Understanding your hair type can really help you to know how to care for it.
This is true at any time, but even more so when you are scalp cooling.
So what hair type are you?
Hair types fall in to 4 categories –
Type 1; straight hair
Type 2; wavy hair
Type 3; curly hair
Type 4; coily hair
Within categories 2, 3 and 4 there are further sub categories (a, b and c) which determine the width of the wave curl or coil.
The higher the letter the more extreme the type.
This diagram shows the distinctions.
Once you’ve figured out what kind of hair type you have, you can use the Haircare Guide that is most appropriate for you.
There’s our guide for types 1 & 2, and our guides for types 3 & 4.
Click on the guides below.
There are some key differences when it comes to caring for the different hair types, and there’s lots of detail in our guides, but in general –
All hair types should wash their hair less frequently than they are used to:
- For types 1 and 2 this shouldn’t be more frequently than twice a week
- For types 3 and 4 this could be around once every two weeks
- Type 1 and 2 hair should only be brushed when dry
- Type 3 and 4 hair should only be brushed when wet
For both hair types it is really important to liberate any shed hairs daily, whether that is with a detangling brush or finger combing:
– For types 1 and 2, dry shampoo is fine to use, as are root sprays
– Types 3 and 4 should avoid dry shampoo as it can clog the follicles, but root sprays are fine
When prepping the hair for treatment day there are different approaches for different hair types:
– Type 1 and 2 should dampen their hair using a spray bottle. There is no specific quantity of water used, just enough to be able to slick the hair back. If your hair is long it is only the hair under the cap that needs dampening, no need to dampen the lengths that are sticking out the bottom of the cap
– Type 3 and 4 need to really wet their hair. Curly hair is generally a lot more porous and therefore will need a lot more water making the spray bottle a more difficult way of wetting the hair. You may choose to run your hair under a tap or shower so that it is wet enough to reduce the hair volume and allow a good cap fit. Again the lengths of your hair don’t need to be wet if they are not under the cap, the ends can be dried off with a towel once the cap is fitted
All hair types should avoid heated styling products such as curling tongs, straighteners etc:
– Types 1 and 2 can use a hair dryer on a cool setting
– Types 3 and 4 should avoid all heated styling if at all possible
Remember that you know your hair best, but if you follow our guidance and are open minded about what you need to do to look after your hair, the hair you retain will be in the best possible condition as you move on from chemo.