Scalp Care During Breast Cancer Treatment

How we look is really important to lots of us, and watching your hair fall out can be particularly distressing. For some, that distress may be eased a little by taking good care of the scalp.

Whether you choose to wear a wig, cover your scalp with headwear, or go bald and beautiful, scalp care is important. It can help improve the way your scalp looks and feels, encourage new hair growth, and can make you feel a little better during a difficult time.

You may find you miss the old routine of washing and styling your hair, so why make a ritual of cleansing and caring for your scalp instead? Here are some things you can do to keep it in good condition:

- Regular washing. You should treat the skin on your head the same way you treat the skin on your face - that means washing your scalp both morning and at night (unless of course you have a skin condition prohibiting frequent washes). Use a gentle shampoo or face wash.

- If you do not suffer from any scalp problems, try massaging your scalp. This can help stimulate blood flow to the hair, keeping it healthy and promoting hair growth

- Think about keeping some wet wipes handy to freshen up your scalp throughout the day. 

- Light oils - like jojoba oil and almond- are great for sealing in moisture. Organic virgin olive oil is a great oil too, and often found in the kitchen cupboard - it’s pure, gentle and helps soften skin.

- Keep any head coverings (wigs and headwear) clean by washing regularly. To save on washing, use a warm, damp cloth to wipe any head coverings after wearing, then allow to dry. This will keep head wear clean for daily use.

- Cover up in the sun. If your head is bare wear a minimum of a factor SPF30 when you go outdoors for longer than half an hour. Sun lotions designed for the face are your best option - they are usually formulated to be less greasy and will wear more comfortably on your scalp.

Everyone’s head shape is different, just like our feelings about hair loss and how we look without hair. For most women the thought of a going bare fills them with fear, but hopefully once you do go hair free your feelings may change, and you can begin to get used to your new look.