Straw Hair

As a child, I would shudder when reading the fairy tale story of Strewellpeter, the boy whose hair stuck out all over his head. Thanks to cancer treatment, I ended up looking like his twin sister.

Struwwelpeter hi-res stock photography and images - AlamyMany of us on cancer treatment, drugs, etc. end up with what’s known as ‘straw hair’;  not a pretty sight.  Now it’s happening to those who get Long-Covid – it must be something in the drugs.

It doesn’t matter which type of cancer we have, or what we are treated with, today’s drugs are no friends to hair.

Hair is our crowning glory, but when cancer comes, hair problems can be devastating – even more so when we try to get help, and are dismissed as being vain.
During treatment, Doctors and Dermaologists lignored me when I tried to get help, although one patronisingly told me to use a conditioner – and didn’t listen when I told him this didn’t work.   
Much is done to help us cope with losing hair – but doctors seem to have ignored the fact that cancer treatment can also throw up what has been described as ‘straw hair’.

What helped when I developed ‘straw hair’

After yet another depressing session with a consultant, I walked past the famous Chemist, John Bell and Croyden, in Wigmore Street, London.  In their window was a sign advertising “The Hair Clinic” specialising in hair conditions and scalp problems.

Right – I thought – let’s give them a real test and see if they know what they are talking about.  In I went, and booked a £60 appointment with their Trichologist, Vanessa.

She asked all about my treatment, questioned me about my diet and lifestyle.  After a thorough session, I stepped out with a hair mask (for pre-treatment before washing), special shampoo and conditioner.  These cost well over £100, but considering Vanessa had come up with possible treatments, instead of brushing me off,  I thought it well worthwhile.

End Result

Using the products next day,  almost immediately my hair was much improved,  As the weeks went on, things just got better;  the shine came back, I could brush my hair without split ends catching painfully in the bristles, and my hair was softer and more manageable.

Now I re-order online every-so-often when I am put on a new drug and straw hair returns.

Why are products expensive?

Initially the products may seem expensive, but they contain much less water – to improve active ingredient concentration and to maximize their effectiveness. A small amount of shampoo is all that is required for optimum results, so it lasts and lasts. My initial order lasted me for over three months.

Vanessa also helps those with Long Covid

We were discussing hair problems happening to a friend, and Vanessa said she was receiving many similar problems “COVID-19 virus has been causing many cases of hair loss. 6 to 12 weeks post-infection a type of hair loss called Telogen Effluvium often occurs. This is a temporary disturbance in the hair growth cycle whereby up to three times the normal amount of hair is shed on a daily basis. Normally around 80 hairs are shed every day but during TE up to 300 can be lost daily. This increase in hair shedding occurs for three months then it stabilises and steadily grows back again, although it can take up to a year before the hair is back to its usual density.

Appointment for an initial consultation with Vanessa Bailey or one of the registered Trichologists cost £60                                                                                                                                                             telephone  020 7224 4640.

And if you want help with other ‘cancer care’ problems, I find the assistants in this very old, but modern-thinking chemists a delight to talk to and get very helpful advice
John Bell & Croyden