I am very blessed to have an amazing group of brilliant and beautiful friends. I am also lucky that these superwomen have generously donated their smarts and time to MyNewUsual.com.
One of these terrific braniacs is my friend and hair wizard, Chris Megia.
An international educator for Vidal Sassoon and a sought-after stylist for films, videos, print and fashion shows, Chris has also enjoyed a storied career at the top salons in Los Angeles, including Warren Tricomi and John Frieda. She now manages her own studio with partner Daniel Martinez, while remaining very involved in her mission as an educator. Located in Hollywood, M Squared Studios delivers beautiful, on-trend, effortless hair. Learn more at http://msquaredstudio.com.
My own story is that Chris has guided me through the laborious process of growing back my hair after losing it to chemo and all of the adventures that this entails. I asked her to share her wealth of knowledge with our readers and give some tips and tricks on dealing with the journey back to yourself. And all of your glorious hair.
Chris, thanks for sitting down to speak with us. What would you say is the best way to care for your hair after a traumatic illness?
The best way is to use the right products and see a professional that can help you through the process by putting a shape in it that makes you feel better (by looking better). Even while short, you can tweak the balance to accentuate your face shape.
What is the best way to care for your hair after chemotherapy as it grows back?
One of the things that can happen is that there can be a buildup of the chemo on the hair. Try a clarifying shampoo every other day or depending on your hair type, even just once a week. Buildup makes it feel coated and dull, and color won’t take right because of it. The clarifying shampoo should help.
What are some products that you recommend for the different stages of regrowth?
Use a clarifying treatment or a shampoo and conditioner that contain a lot of protein in it. Your hair can come back finer or frizzy, so you need to get the strength back in the hair. If you are using a good shampoo and conditioner, it won’t necessarily change, but as it grows out, it will get healthier. If it comes back curly, you should try something different like a moisturizing shampoo. Likewise, try a smoothing product if it is frizzy, and if it comes back thinner, try a volume shampoo.
How do you approach coloring your hair when it is so fragile?
First and foremost, make sure you go to a professional to do it. You want to stay away from ammonia, which can be harsh on the hair. A semi-permanent color doesn’t have the same level of peroxide and because your hair is so fragile, you want to be sure to do the right treatment.
What are some great styles for fragile hair?
If it is thin, the best thing to do is stay on the shorter side. The longer it gets, the thinner it is going to look. Stay away from styles that you would use ponytail holders or headbands with because it can break the hair. A professional can work with your face shape and hair texture and give you the most flattering style for your hair type.
Are there any supplements or vitamins that you would recommend for hair growth?
When you are going through something like this, it starts from the inside out. A healthy, high protein diet (hair is made of 90% protein) is key. One of the best vitamins is Biotin, which promotes hair growth and helps hair texture. I would also recommend Vitamin B12. When you don’t have a lot of B12, it can create hair loss. Niacin helps circulation in the scalp. If you are trying to grow your hair, use scalp treatments.
How do you approach cutting hair to help someone who is just starting chemo?
I had a client that was about to start chemo and her approach was to do a fun and crazy style before she started that she wouldn’t normally do in her real life. The great part about that was when her hair started growing back, it wasn’t so scary.
How do you approach hair when it grows back in a different texture or color?
Just work with what you have. Even if you just take hormones, your hair can change from straight to curly. This may be surprising to some, but hair does change as you grow older.
Would you say the trauma of chemo could change the color of your hair?
I would say that I am honestly not really sure that it could change the color of your hair.
Wigs can be a really fun way to get through this period of your treatment. Start wig shopping while you still have hair. This helps the wigmaker see what your real hair looks like and you end up with a wig that looks more like yourself. Have some fun with it, try new styles you wouldn’t normally wear or new colors!
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