Hair After Cancer: Whether to Whisper, Talk, or Shout – Wellness

Hair After Cancer: Whether to Whisper, Talk, or Shout – Wellness

Many times during a Hello Gorgeous! Makeover Experience, a woman may tell us that she no longer feels “girly.” We know that cancer steals everything that makes a woman feel feminine;  her eyelashes, her eyebrows, and even her hair.

A white woman in her 50s who is smiling and has blonde hair.

“As beauty professionals, we have an amazing gift to make the world a more beautiful place, these words have such a deeper meaning to a woman whose beauty has been taken from her due to her cancer treatment. But we have the skills to give her confidence and ensure that she smiles when she looks in the mirror.” Kim Becker, Founder of Hello Gorgeous!

Your Client After Cancer Treatment

So let’s talk about when cancer treatment is complete. If a woman has lost her hair due to her treatment, when it grows back it may be a bit different than it was prior to losing it.

If her hair was straight, it might be curly now.

If the color of her hair was dark, it may be lighter now.

If her hair was fine, it may come back thicker.

As a trained hair stylist, you can help navigate a woman through the growing out process. It is important to know how to communicate with her to understand the exact look that she is looking for.

Does she want her hair to look like it did prior to treatment or does she want something completely different? This is important information to know prior to picking up your shears. When I was a salon owner and was training new stylists, I used a technique to help guide them through the consultation process. Contrary to popular belief, hairstylists are not mind readers. I always told my stylists that they needed to be detectives to determine what the salon guest had in mind.

I encouraged our salon guests and the stylists to use pictures to convey the desired end result. I also encourage the stylist to use a trick that I learned long ago to help realize the subtlety or severity of the new look.

Whisper, Talk or Shout

We use words that anyone can understand. We would ask the salon guest if they would like their new look to Whisper, Talk, or Shout. Let me take a minute to define each of these terms.

Whisper: If your salon guest shares with you that she would like her hair to”whisper.” that indicates that she wants very little change. She doesn’t intend for anyone to notice that there is anything different in her hairstyle, but she would like to see a slight difference in her current style that she will notice. This may be additional framing around her face, extra texturizing in her bangs, or a half a shade difference in her color formula.

Talk:  If your salon guest wants her hair to “talk,” she wants a change but nothing too drastic. She would like for people to notice that something is different, but not quite sure what it is. This may be the addition of bangs, adding layers, or even adding a few highlights to enhance her color.

Shout:  If your salon guest wants her hair to shout, she wants people stopping her on the street asking her about her hair. This could be a bold new cut and or color. She is your brave salon guest who loves to live vibrantly.  Don’t disappoint her. This information is vitally important to use when you are working with someone who is coming out of cancer treatment. She will be sensitive to any change given that this may be the first time in over a year that she has hair.

The cover of a book about cancer treatments.

This book has many helpful hints and tips to keep your salon guest feeling and looking Gorgeous! during a time she may not.This is a great resource for any woman on a cancer journey.

About the Author, Kim Becker: “Eleven years ago, my younger sister was diagnosed with a rare cervical cancer. I went to many of her chemotherapy treatments with her. As I sat there in the infusion room with her, I thought to myself “We will get hert hrough this! I have knowledge that others don’t, we will get her through this.” 



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