What can I do about thinning hair? Trouble shooting for scalp cooling
There is a lot that can be done to adjust your style if hair thins during scalp cooling. Our main tip is don't give up until you know your options. Common questions asked are: How can I cover areas of hair loss? If i'm losing my hair should I stop scalp cooling? What can I do about my hair matting/tangling? In this section we will help you to navigate ideas and support.
Whilst the idea of the scalp cooling process is to minimise hair loss it is fair to say that many, but not all, people do experience more hair falling out the usual. For some people this may be 30% or more of their hair mass. With this in mind it is important to try and manage this. For some people this hair fall is on par with the normal shedding of hair they experience every day. For others, they notice that their hair thins and reduces in total mass or that particular areas thin considerably revealing bare patches.
If this occurs you may start to ask yourself if you wish to continue with the scalp cooling process. Remember that you can get in touch with helpful organisations such as our team at Cancer Hair Care or the manufacturer for further advice and ideas.
In our experience many people continue with the scalp cooling process despite losing quite a lot of hair – you may need to adjust your style for a time to help disguise thinning areas or wear wide hair bands, hats or find news ways to wear your hair.
“I always explain to women that there is often something that can be done when hair thins out. For example, the average head of hair has 120,000 individual hairs on it. If you lose around 30% of your hair that’s around 36,000 individual hairs - that’s a lot. However, it is the 84000 hairs that are left on the head that we can work with. My charity will help you to learn all the tricks and tips to make the most out of your hair” Jasmin Julia Gupta – Founder of Cancer Hair Care.
Below is a troubleshooting guide that may offer you some help and ideas if problems occur.
- Creative ideas and solutions to hair thinning and hair care issues
- Other problems you may encounter:
- Hair tangling -matting, dreadlocking
- Dry (brittle) texture
- I’m not sure if I want to continue with scalp cooling
Creative ideas and solutions to hair thinning and hair care issues
Clothes that compliment - Avoid wearing clothes that show lose hairs
Cooking and eating - Wear a wide hair band when cooking or eating if you need to keep hair away from your face and food.
Cap fit - Ask your nurse or healthcare assistant to check that your cold cap is as tight as possible. If you have lost hair and thus your hair has reduced in overall amount you may need a new cap size. Read our Getting a good cap fit guide.
Some tips for disguising areas of visible thinning/bare patch:
Change parting – Styling hair over a thin area and clipping in place can help to disguise an area of thinning.
Use a hair clip or grip - that can easily be removed to clip hair over the thinning area. Do ensure it places a gentle hold and is easy to remove. Snap clips are ideal.
Fake fringe – If hair is sparse at the front wear a fake fringe attachment that can be attached to a scarf or headband.
Wear a wide hair band - to cover areas of hair loss (fabric is ideal as plastic ones can put additional stress on the hair).
Cut that compliments - You may need to have a cut that helps to make the most of your hair.
Hairdresser - Talk to a hairdresser about using styling products or a change in style to accommodate thinning.
Colour – Trying temporary colours and products. Take a look at Colouring hair - Scalp cooling do’s and don’ts.
Is your cap fitting properly? Take a look in our section Getting a good cap fit to check that your have the best situation to support scalp cooling.
Other problems you may encounter:
Dry hair – If your hair is feeling brittle and dry try using intensive treatments to gently rehydrate hair.
Have any dry, split or brittle ends trimmed, as these tend to rub together sticking like Velcro
Use a leave-in-conditioner to help ease out tangles
Use an intensive conditioner to boost moisture.
Hair tangling-matting, dreadlocking – firstly to try and avoid the build up of matted or dreadlocked hair do read our guide A gentle shampoo and conditioning regime for scalp cooling. It’s also really important to brush hair on a daily basis to avoid the build up of falling hairs getting matted and tangled.
However, if your hair has matted, tangled or started to twists into unwanted dreadlocks then you will need to deal with it. We know that it can be upsetting when hair starts to loose its condition and texture but help is at hand.
If your hair has matted and tangled it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stop using scalp cooling. What is important is to get some help in disbursing the matted, tangled area.
Usually what has happened is a combination of hair becoming more dry and brittle and loose hairs that are falling from the scalp becoming tangled into a matted shape.
To try and resolve this you can try the following:
Brush hair when dry first – It is easier to separate a mass of hair when it is dry. Do expect a lot of hair to come out. Once you have got as much out as possible, you may then be able to clean and condition the hair working on the hair when wet with lots of conditioner.
Ask a hairdresser to help you – Before cutting off masses of hair ask a hairdresser for help. At Cancer Hair Care we are happy to talk with your hairdresser as we have often helped someone comb and cut out a mass of matted hair but managed to save as much hair as possible. Meaning they can often continue with scalp cooling.
Carefully cut – if you need to. Ideally get a hairdresser to help you cut out what is needed and then style your hair in an appropriate way.
I’m not sure if I want to continue with scalp cooling
We have written you a specific question to help you think through scalp cooling if you are considering stopping scalp cooling treatment - Shall I continue with scalp cooling?
Next planned review: February 2020