Stylist Offers Tips For Coping With Hair Loss During Cancer Treatments

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Hair is extremely personal and when a person loses it due to cancer treatments it can be very emotional. We spoke to hairstylist and valued EDDF supporter Deanna Groom Grant to get her professional opinion on how a cancer patient can get through the period of temporary hair loss a little easier. Thank you Deanna for sharing your insight with us!

Eric D. Davis Sarcoma Foundation (EDDF): Tell us about yourself and your work. Also, why do you support the work of the Eric D. Davis Sarcoma Foundation?

Deanna Groom Grant (DGG): I have been a hairstylist for over 20 years and all walks of life have sat in my chair.  After my dear friend Eric went to heaven after his battle with sarcoma, his daughter established EDDF.  However, that’s not the only reason I support it. I believe in their vision of helping others and to bring awareness of sarcoma.

EDDF: Many people who undergo chemo treatments lose their hair. If they choose to buy a wig, as a hairstylist, what are your recommendations for selecting one that will look the most natural?

DGG: I have worked with clients that have undergone chemo treatment and lost their hair – it can be devastating.  If they choose to wear a wig, I would suggest that they have one custom made to get a more natural look.  I have made many custom units.

EDDF:  Do you have any natural oils that you use that could help minimize pain and itching on the scalp as patients are losing their hair? 

DGG: With the treatments, your scalp and skin can get very dry. Raw coconut oil will sooth the itch and gives a cool sensation.

EDDF: Many people who have lost their hair during treatments prefer to wear a hat or scarf instead of a wing. Could you explain a way to tie a headscarf?

DGG: Some may prefer to wear a scarf. If so, drape the triangle with the point at the back of your neck and wrap the ends around and over the third point as in the bandana tie. Then wrap the ends back around to your forehead, and tie them in a knot.

EDDF: If someone loses their eyebrows and wants to draw them in, do you have any tips for doing that in a way that looks natural?

DGG: If you should lose your eyebrows here are some tips to draw them in a way that looks natural. First for the most natural results, buy a powder pencil. The powder pencils are better than the crayon type because they create a look that is less harsh.

For the first dot, hold the pencil straight up against your nose, parallel to the inside corner of your eye. Draw a small dot right above the brow bone.

For the second dot, look straight ahead and lay the pencil straight up and down, parallel to the outside edge of the colored part of your eye. Locate the highest point on your natural brow bone and draw a small dot. This will be the dot used to create the arch of your brow.

For the last dot, lay the pencil diagonally from the bottom corner of your nose past the outside corner of your eye. Try to line up the bottom of the last dot with the bottom of the first one. Again, just stay on your natural brow bone.

Now it’s time to connect the dots.  Make short feathery strokes with the pencil, starting at the first dot and continuing to the middle and finishing with the third dot.

Draw heavier longer strokes as you start the brow, and finish up with shorter thinner strokes.

EDDF:  After chemo, many people experience tenderness to their scalp as hair grows back in. Do you know of any particular shampoos, conditioners or products that are especially gentle on hair for a sensitive scalp?

DGG: For shampoos & conditioners, make sure you choose a sulfate free and moisturizing line.  I love Awapuhi Wild Ginger by Paul Mitchell

To learn more about Deanna, click here to visit her website.

 

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