Oxford salon launches free workshops for chemotherapy patients
For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, hair loss can be one of the most traumatic parts of the whole experience.
But an Oxford hairdresser has pledged to change that by launching free workshops for current or former chemotherapy patients, providing haircuts, advice and support.
Matthew Clulee, who runs an eponymous hair salon in Ship Street, in the city centre, has set up what he calls Hair v Chemotherapy, which he started after supporting many long-term clients battling cancer down the years.
He said: “I have learned a lot about how hair and scalps react, during and after treatments, how people feel when faced with hair-loss, and most importantly how to support and empower them to deal with the temporary hair loss.”
The 49-year-old, who opened his salon in 2003, said it is not just the physical side of things that patients can find it difficult to deal with.
He said: “Helping people deal with the visual and, to a lesser extent, the emotional effect of chemotherapy hair loss gives me a lot of satisfaction, especially when I see people responding well and not letting the side effects of chemo make them struggle any more than they already are.
“The workshops are intended to be a light hearted but effective way of helping and supporting, and are flexible for the people that need them.
“I am hoping to encourage the small groups that meet in the workshops to stay in touch and support each other.”
Chemotherapy treats patients by giving them medication, either intravenously or by tablets, in an attempt to stop cancer sells reproducing.
But hair loss is one of a series of potential side-effects.
The workshops are free to attend and Mr Clulee, who lives in Headington also offers remedial haircutting for free to tidy up the effects of chemotherapy.
It is not the first time the salon has supported charity ventures, with previous fundraising drives including for the Oxford Centre for Enablement at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Headington, which works on rehabilitation with sufferers of brain trauma, muscular disease, amputations and physical disabilities.
Those who attend may be recommended specialist hair or scalp treatments for home use.
They are held every Wednesday between 10.15am and 11.45am in the private suite of the Ship Street salon and up to six people can attend each time.