Grow back gracefully
Welcome back to the final installment of the Wiggin Out series. We have worked our way through all things wigs and even some wig alternatives. This is a bonus blog designed to help you regrow your hair gracefully.
Beauty is not dependent on your opinion. You are beautiful because you are beautiful. So you might as well enjoy it.
– Jeanna Doyle
The hair grows in three distinct cycles: new, intermediate and shedding phase (there is a fourth stage not commonly mentioned or worth noting for this article but is named the Exogen phase).
Anagen- The new growth stage
Catagen- The intermediate stage
Telogen- The resting or final stage
All these stages exist at the same time. If you ever notice when you shave your legs there are some hairs immediately reappearing. That is due to these different cycles. It is for this reason some hair sheds at different rates and why you may notice new hairs forming before you finish treatment.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the rate of hair growth for women is approximately 0.5 inches per month or 6 inches per year (1.25 centimeters per month, 15 centimeters per year).
Hair raising strategies
Once your hair starts the regrowth process you may notice some changes. It may be finer; lighter or a different color, like grey; or a different texture, like curly or wavy. The chemotherapy can create changes to your hair, some temporary some more lasting or permanent.
When your hair first starts coming in, it may appear to be a different color. That’s because it is new hair next to a bare scalp. The color may be darker once you have more coverage and less scalp is showing. If you give it some time to thicken up before you try to regain length you will be much happier in the long run. The hair should have enough coverage so that you would be happy with it once longer. If it is not thick enough, give it some time by trimming it back. The goal is a fuller, short style until some thickness returns.
One way to help manage this is to let a little hair in the front get a tiny bit longer while keeping the back, top and sides shorter. This will give the illusion of length and depth. Once you have a good amount of coverage then away we grow.
Consult your oncologist before you attempt to have your hair colored or do any chemical service to your hair. If you like you can still wear a wig scarf or hat until you are cleared for color. Some women see this as an opportunity to grow their hair in grey all at once. If you google search grey hair images, you will see some stunning photos of women young and old, some naturally grey and some just seeking this sophisticated color.
Strokes of genius
Don’t forget to brush your head with a good soft bristle brush. This will stimulate the scalp and feel wonderful. Use this a special quiet time of pampering. There has been a lot of articles lately on dry brushing and the benefits for the entire body. The chemo can live in the hair follicle for a long time, dry brushing can speed up this shedding process.
Donate your wisdom not your wig
It is not advised that you donate your wig or allow others to wear it. The drugs used to fight the cancer may be absorbed into the wig lining and may be toxic to others.* If you would like to pay it forward, please consider sharing your knowledge. Helpful tips (what worked, what did not work), a funny story, or a favorite memory about wearing your wig can go a long way. You can share your wig wisdom to help others at www.wiged.com, just click on Donate the Wisdom.
*The consumer alert regarding the dangers of donating used wigs comes from an article by Cheryl Coppola RN, MSN, OCN
This wraps up Wiggin Out. I hope you have enjoyed the series and will share this info with someone who could benefit the information.
Just remember bald, bare, or hair to spare – you are still beautiful, perfect and whole.
Want some additional support? Schedule a consult at The Hopemore today or purchase a copy of Wig ED What to look for when looking for a wig. Available on Amazon or The Hopemore.
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