Hair care… During and after cancer
Having gone through cancer and cancer treatment, Steve La Bella knows only too well the harsh effects it has on the body. He also understands the importance hair quality and style has on people’s confidence and for that does his best to impart care, support and advice for quality hair decisions during and after cancer.
When Claudine went through chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, she mentioned that she went to great lengths to ensure she cared for her hair in the best way… I know only too well having a husband as a hairdresser the importance of hair on people’s confidence and became curious about how professionals in salons manage someone going through treatment for cancer such as chemotherapy… So we couldn’t think of a better person to interview and gain more insight into how that is done… It was great to hear there are services and products that exist which are more helpful and recommended… And if not these products there are some helpful tips around what to look for and what to be mindful of…
Thanks Steve – for not only taking care of women and men in your salon who are going through cancer – also for the great work you and the team do around fundraising for cancer…
|Your Name||Steve La Bella|
|City of Residence||Adelaide, South Australia|
|Occupation or Experience||Hairdresser, co-business owner|
|Your Passions/Interests||Hair, music, photography|
|A favourite quote||A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new!|
|A personal message||Be positive, be strong and have the people that really love you around you.|
For women going through cancer – what do you find as the biggest challenge with their hair?
Ok with most chemo treatments not all, hair loss usually is going to happen sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly. I usually suggest to cut the hair shorter to keep it looking thicker – they then face less hair falling out (which can help emotionally), but eventually they may need to by a wig. I would recommend finding a wig that looks natural and feels authentic. In our salon we recommend Beverley May – she is an expert in creating a wig and style that matches each individual.
Are there things to watch for when selecting products and services when going through treatment?
Yes there are things to be aware of while going through treatment. Firstly always consult with your doctor and seek any necessary information. Colouring and perming the hair is usually not advised during treatment as this could generally damage and weaken the hair even more. With your general hair and scalp care, it would be good to use products that are as natural and organic as possible. Products such as Natulique and Pureology have been developed to be as natural as possible to avoid harsh chemicals getting in touch the scalp and hair. Natulique is the only complete Certified Organic Professional Hair and beauty line in the world and complies with the Ecocert vision for using the purest organic ingredients.
What is helpful for hair and scalp care during or after cancer and treatment?
Zero sulphate shampoos and conditioners that are free of harsh sulphates and salts making them more gentle and mild on the hair and scalp. For those who are facing hair thinning after treatment, it is comforting to know there are products that may really help, for example Redken Cerafil offers a hair thinning solutions with a simple yet powerful range of products. If you have full hair loss it is also recommended to be sun smart and use head gear or other as protection.
In what way do you as the hair dresser support the hair return to condition and ‘shape’ after harsh treatment for cancer or other health issues?
I’d recommend using the best products available as mentioned above to help return hair quality. It is also helpful to visit a good hair cutter who can give your hair a good shape as the hair grows out. Sometimes people discover styles they may never have otherwise had.
What other suggestions do you have for those wishing to achieve a certain look for their hair?
As hair does take a long time to grow back I would also suggest doing other things in the meantime so you feel and look good and maintain your confidence during and after treatment. This may mean purchasing a wig, creating some interesting scarf designs and having fun with hats. Use the time after treatment to enjoy regular haircuts that give you a different look and have a nice style and shape along the way.
In what way do you and your salons show support for those going through cancer?
We make sure to have the products available to our clients and take extra care in supporting them as they rebuild their hair styles. Having gone through cancer myself, I am passionate about supporting where I can. Our directors and team donate through a variety of organisations and events such as the Starlite Foundation, Light the Night for Leukaemia Foundation and Jodie Lee Foundation for bowel cancer. We also play an active role in World’s Greatest Shave – shaving the hair for charity.
Do you have any other tips you could share?
It may be worthwhile checking your health insurance policy as I have heard with some it is possible to gain a rebate for wigs purchased during that time. Also sometimes the hair grows back a different colour and texture to before the treatment, so work with a professional who can make suggestions with how to make the most of that.