Look Good

Hair

The Hair fall is a side effect of some of the chemo protocols as your Oncologist will explain you. The fall might happens slowly or quite suddenly for some. 

There are few things you can plan before starting the chemo: Buy a gentle shampoo to protect your hair as long as possible, go shopping for your head scarves, turbans or wig depending on what you decided wearing.

You might also consider having a shorter haircut to avoid losing long hair and simply getting used to your new look. When the fall intensify, you might choose to trim or shave it with your hairdresser.

If and when you feel ready to cut, you can take the opportunity to make a donation of your hair which will be used for wigs. To know more, you can check the Locks of Hope program here.

If you need help handling the hair fall, shaving in the comfort of your home, feel free to contact Laetitia in Dubai.

Cooling Caps

Scalp hypothermia reduces or delays the hair loss resulting from the chemo treatment. Cold caps can be purchased online for about 3000 AED generally not always covered by insurance.

Cooling caps work with some chemotherapy drugs which are generally only thinning hair. Effect is limited for aggressive ones. 

Cooling caps must be wear during the whole Chemo session on wet hair and are generally seen as quite uncomfortable. It is a very personal decision however many patients drop it after few sessions.

See here for additional information.

Head scarves & turbans

In the region, we are used to see ladies covered and there are shops where you can buy some however…. Some fabric are not comfortable in the hot weather, style can sometimes be quite conservative. The main issue is then to find your own style. 

There are some specialized Chemo accessories online shops but sometimes, they overprice the products and shipping fees must added too.

I sorted all the shawls or scarves I already had from trips to Asia or Africa for example that had the correct dimension and soft fabric. Then, I bought  the missing colorful cotton scarves in local shops or online. Ideal dimension are 180 cm x 100 cm or 200 cm x 100 cm. They can then be tighten on the head in many ways , there are some great tutorials online, up to you to adopt your own style and play with colors and knots. Few other tips: ensure you create some volume on the head and don’t hesitate to use colors (you might look very dull with black or white on the head). 

You can also buy some simple chemo beanies to sleep if you fear to be cold on the head at night. 

Last but not least, you can add hats, caps or accessories to create your new look.

Wigs

Wigs are a great and almost undetectable manner to hide the hair loss. There are several shops where you can buy, style wig and find related accessories and care products. See below a list of shops:

If you need help handling the hair fall, shaving in the comfort of your home, feel free to contact Laetitia in Dubai.

To know more about choosing your wig, click here to watch the video done with Beauty By Edge team:

Henna crowns

This can be a great way to beautify a bald head! I didn’t try it as my kids voted against however I would have loved trying it. Watch here a great video with few examples and here a local artist based in Abu Dhabi.

Regrowth

Hair, eyebrows and lashes typically grow back few weeks after the last chemo session. It starts with a thin light duvet. Castor oil applied can help the process (at night, with a protective towel on the pillow). The hair might not grow back in the same color or texture.

Some decide to shave the first regrowth to strengthen the new roots, however the impact is not medically proven.

Cosmetics

Nails

Nails will suffer with the chemo. To prevent their fall or breakage, they need to be cut or filed short, cuticles pushed with care with a cuticle remover. Refrain from doing a mani-pedi during the treatment. 

Good moisturizing creams (see below) and some very specific Nail polish brands have silicium based polishes which if used proactively and during the full treatment, will keep nails in a quite good condition.

Eye Care Cosmetics and La Roche Posay are the two brands I used and unfortunately not easily available in UAE. La Roche Posay Silicium Nail Polish is available online only while I got friends bringing me Eye Care products from France.  They both have a variety of colors besides the base and top coats. The base coat being mat it is absolutely suitable for Gents.

Skin

Skin tend to become very dry during treatments. Face, Body, Hand & Feet might require a different routine to keep the skin moisturized to prevent some side effects such as Hand-Foot syndrome or radiotherapy skin burn.

The Medical team recommended me Urea concentrated creams such as Eucerin (available without prescriptions in pharmacies). 

Eyebrows & Eyelashes

Eyebrows & Eyelashes might also fall though in general later than the hair. In order to protect them as long as possible, I stopped using make-up in that area to avoid touching eyebrows and eyelashes while putting it on or removing it.

Some conditioner mascaras and gels from Revitalash (available in UAE) or Eye care (on Amazon.com) can help to keep them for longer and help their regrowth afterwards. 

If you plan for Microblading, please check with your Doctor before as it is generally not advisable during a Chemo treatment (risk of injection linked to the immunity drop)

Dubai based RENEW Skin Body Beauty offers this service

Styling

Make-up

Make-up during Cancer treatment might be a challenge since eyebrows and eyelashes need to be protected, are thinner than usual… or not there anymore. There are some tricks to draw eyebrows using the eye lines.

Learn and get the help of Laure Sejean  a talented Dubai based Make-up Artist.  See video here

Clothing

Not very fond of the hospital gowns, and looking for comfortable clothing, I had bought fashionable colorful cotton shawls to wear during chemo sessions, or post surgery from Shawleez, a local fashion brand. 

Cancer treatment is a period during which our body changes (weight, mastectomy, colonostomy, hairdo) potentially impacting self-confidence. Uplifting styling experiences as provided at the Julie at the House of Colors can be a  great help and gift idea).

Bras

Mastectomy bras & swimming suits, drain belts post mastectomy are often a concern. Brands such as Marks & Spencers, Debenhams, AnaOno offer a variety of dedicated underwear and swimwear online. In Dubai, some are available in Haven Spa shop.

Reconstructive Surgery & Paramedical Services

Surgery – Coming Soon

Nipple tattoos

Further a personal experience, RENEW Skin Body Beauty offers founder offers Nipple Tattoo free of charge to Breast Cancer patients.

Physiotherapy – Scar treatment

Scars can be painful, whether post surgery or treatment such as Radiotherapy. Jocelyn Kope is physiotherapist in Dubai at the Chiron Clinic in Sustainable City and helps Cancer patients with internal discomfort and pain related to scars.

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