HAIR CARE RECOMMENDATIONS

How should I take care of my hair while using DigniCap?

DigniCap offers the chance to minimize chemotherapy induced hair loss for men and women with solid tumor undergoing chemotherapy. Most patients who use DigniCap will see a significant reduction in the amount of hair loss from chemotherapy. However, shedding should be expected and is normal for patients using scalp cooling. The amount of shedding experienced will vary from patient to patient.

Chemotherapy may cause scalp irritation, make the hair dry, brittle, and more difficult to manage. Handling your hair gently during treatment and for several months after you complete your chemotherapy regimen may help reduce the amount of shedding and maintain your hair quality.

Washing Your Hair

  • Wash your hair no more than twice per week.
  • Wash your hair prior to the scalp cooling/chemotherapy treatments as oily hair may affect thermal contact. Do not use conditioner on the morning of treatment.
  • Wash your hair with lukewarm water and avoid high-pressure shower heads.
  • Gently use a detangling brush or comb prior to washing to remove any loose hairs and to prevent tangles or matting.

Styling Your Hair

  • Cutting your hair before chemotherapy is not necessary for scalp cooling. If desired, you may trim your hair before treatment.
  • Let your hair dry naturally as often as possible. Avoid heat tools such as blow-dryers, curling irons, flat irons and hot rollers.
  • Comb your hair with a wide tooth comb or detangling brush twice per week to remove loose hairs and tangles. Always comb or brush your hair before washing to prevent matting.
  • Hair accessories that pull on the hair should be avoided. Loose pony tails, buns, braids and soft headbands are acceptable. Hair extensions, tight braids and dreadlocks may prevent the cap from achieving a close fit to the scalp. This may affect your results.
  • Chemotherapy may cause scalp irritation and make your hair dry, brittle and more difficult to manage. Using natural hair oils to keep the hair soft is recommended. Coconut oil and olive oil are good choices. Avoid putting oil directly on the scalp.
  • Avoid direct sunlight on your scalp. Wear a loose-fitting hat or scarf when in the sun for long periods of time.

Avoid Chemicals

  • Avoid harsh chemicals that can lead to dry hair, breakage, progressive hair thinning and hair loss.
  • Do not use peroxides to color hair, or perms to cure or straighten hair.
  • Do not use products containing parabens (such as methylparaben and propylparaben) that are commonly used as preservatives in hair products.
  • Do not use sodium laurel sulfate (a foaming agent) which removes natural oils in the hair.
  • Avoid silicones that are commonly used to tame or de-frizz the hair.
  • Avoid phthalates (such as dimethyl phthalate and diethyl phthalate) often found in hair products.

Hair Shedding

  • The majority of hair shedding usually occurs after the first and second infusions, but varies by patient.
  • Most patients will experience a heavy shedding phase roughly 14-21 days from the first chemotherapy treatment.
  • Do no wash or get your hair wet if it is shedding heavily. Wait for the shedding to slow down, brush it well, and then wash.
  • Patients with thick or curly hair may have more shedding at the beginning of chemotherapy because the hair acts as an insulator, making it harder to cool the scalp.

Hair Matting

  • Matting is caused by loose hairs getting tangled in the rest of the hair. It is important to comb or brush out any loose hairs to prevent matting.
  • If your hair has become matted, lightly wet the matted area with a spray bottle and apply large amounts of condition or hair oil. Gently work through the hair section by section to untangle the matted area.
  • Some patients have found it helpful to have a hair stylist, friend or caregiver work through any matted area for them.

Hair Care After Treatment

  • It is recommended to continue following the hair care recommendations for 2-3 months after you have finished chemotherapy.
  • Once you are back to pre-chemo shedding levels, slowly begin reintroducing your old hair care routine.
  • Do not color your hair for 2-3 months after you are finished with chemo.

HAIR CARE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How often should I brush or comb my hair?

Gently use a wide tooth comb or detangling brush to remove any loose hairs to avoid matting. Always brush your hair before washing it.

What kind of shampoo should I use?

Use a gentle shampoo, free of sulfates and parabens. Avoid harsh chemicals that can lead to dry hair, breakage, progressive hair thinning and hair loss such as the following:

  • Parabens (such a methylparaben and propylparaben) are chemicals that are used as preservatives
  • Sodium laurel sulfate is a foaming agent and will remove natural oils in the hair
  • Silicones that are used to tame or “de-frizz” the hair work by coating the hair strands.

What hair products can I use?

Staying away from any chemicals is best. Avoid harsh chemicals that can lead to dry hair, breakage, progressive hair thinning and hair loss such as the following:

  • Peroxides for hair coloring
  • Perms to curl or straighten hair
  • Parabens (such a methylparaben and propylparaben) are chemicals that are used as preservatives
  • Sodium laurel sulfate is a foaming agent and will remove natural oils in the hair
  • Silicones that are used to tame or “de-frizz” the hair work by coating the hair strands.
  • Phthalates (such as dimethyl phthalate and diethyl phthalate) often found in hair products.

Can I color my hair?

Staying away from any chemicals is best. Avoid harsh chemicals that can lead to dry hair, breakage, progressive hair thinning and hair loss such as the following:

  • Peroxides for hair coloring
  • Perms to curl or straighten hair

Can I use a blow-dryer, curling or straightening iron, or hot rollers?

Avoid using heat tools. Let your hair dry naturally as much as possible.

Can I cut my hair?

Cutting your hair before chemotherapy is not necessary for scalp cooling. If desired, you may trim your hair before treatment.

What if I get matted hair on the back of my head?

If your hair has become matted, lightly wet the matted area with a spray bottle and apply large amounts of condition or hair oil. Gently work through the hair section by section to untangle the matted area. It may take time and patience, but do not cut the knot out with scissors. You may wish to visit a hair dresser for assistance.

Can I swim in the ocean or swimming pool during treatment?

It is recommended to avoid harsh chemicals that can lead to dry hair, breakage, progressive hair thinning and hair loss. It is not known whether chlorine or salt water will damage your hair during scalp cooling. Using a swim cap is not recommended because of the additional strain it puts on the hair follicles.

Can I go to the beach or layout in the sun?

Avoid direct sunlight on your scalp. It is best to stay out of the sun. Wear a loose-fitting hat or scarf when in the sun for long periods of time.

What happens to my hair if my head becomes warm in between treatments (such as during exercise, from night sweats, or from using a wig or hat)?

It is ok if your head becomes warm from other activities between treatments. Just avoid anything that pulls on your hair or causes friction on the scalp.

Can I wear rubber bands and/or hair clips that pull on my hair?

You can wear your hair in a ponytail, but it is best to use a scrunchie and tie it back very loosely. Avoid putting too much strain on an your hair.

Can I wear hats, wigs, swim cap?

You can use a head covering that does not pull on the hair.

Do I need a wig or head covering?

The goal of scalp cooling is to reduce overall hair loss so that a wig, cap, scarf or other head covering is not needed. Any added stress or friction on the scalp and hair follicles may affect the outcome of treatment. However, the use of a wig or head covering may be desirable for reasons other than hair loss. For example, changes in hair color, hair texture, or hair quality, or for patients experiencing patchy hair loss or thinning.

However, some patients have found that wearing a wig causes additional heat and friction on the scalp. If you want to preserve the option to use a wig, you may wish to have a wig fitting before you start scalp cooling treatment to minimize friction on the scalp and hair follicles.

How should I take care of my hair once I have finished chemo?

Continue following the recommend hair care for at least 2-3 months after your last chemo session, as the hair follicle will still be fragile. The goal is to get your hair back to pre-chemo shedding levels and to allow time for the hair follicle to strengthen before adding heat and/or chemicals back into your hair care routine.

Once you are back to pre-chemo shedding levels, you can slowly start to introduce heat and hair care products. For example, try one product for a few days to see how your hair responds. Then slowly start adding in other products. Similarly, use the hair dryer on low and a cool setting for several days to ensure your hair tolerates it before using higher heat levels. After you have reintroduced your pre-chemo hair care routine, you can then consider coloring your hair.

How long do I continue with the limited hair washing?

Until your shedding has returned to normal, pre-chemotherapy levels.

How long do the hair follicles continue to be fragile after all the treatment is complete?

Three to six months.

Please note that the content of this website is not intended as professional medical or healthcare advice and should not be construed as a substitute for professional healthcare advice, or services from a qualified professional healthcare provider familiar with your unique situation. This content is intended solely as a general product and corporate information.

OPERATIONS
Dignitana
10925 Estate Lane, Suite 185
Dallas, TX 75238
+1 877-350-2150

HEADQUARTERS
Dignitana AB
Traktorgränden 3
226 60 Lund, Sweden
+46 46 16 30 90