Hair and beauty advice for young people with cancer

Cancer can really change your image. And when you’re young, that’s tough. Tangle Teezer and Kohl Kreatives gave expert hair and beauty advice to young people to help deal with those changes.

Tangle Teezer

Chloe was treated on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Bristol Royal Infirmary after she was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma.

“Being 19, 20, and losing your hair which is such a part of your personality… I didn’t feel like me anymore.”

Callum, from Chester, was supported by Teenage Cancer Trust after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma aged 21.

“I actually asked people at Teenage Cancer Trust: ‘Is this a thing? Are wigs for young guys an option?’”

Kohl Kreatives

We also invited three young people to meet Trish Daswaney, founder of beauty brand Kohl Kreatives. Trish hosted an exclusive skincare and makeup tutorial, and a candid group discussion about cancer, body confidence and self-esteem.

Read her advice about the best skin care and beauty products to use during chemotherapy.

Angel was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in August 2018. She was treated at St George’s Hospital and was supported by Teenage Cancer Trust nurse Claire.

“I lost a lot of weight on treatment – I was super skinny and very bony. I felt really self-conscious, something I hadn’t experienced before.”

Chloe was treated on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at University College Hospital in London after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her thigh bone and knee joint.

“I didn’t realise how much your eyebrows define your face until they’re actually gone.”

Leah, from north London, was 22 when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. She was treated at University College Hospital and was helped by Teenage Cancer Trust.

“During chemotherapy my acne would get really bad. I didn’t really want anyone to see me like that.”

What are the best skin care and beauty products to use during chemotherapy?

Cancer treatment can change your appearance and have a really big impact on your skin. Knowing how to look after your skin can be tough, so we asked Trish Daswaney, founder of beauty brand Kohl Kreatives, about the best skin care and beauty products to use during chemotherapy.


Toner has antibacterial properties, so it’s a great way to disinfect and rebalance your skin while also helping you relax.


Chemotherapy can leave you really dehydrated, so it’s important to rebuild moisture in your skin. Serums are thinner than most moisturisers, which means they can go through more layers of skin. Using a serum after cleansing your face every day for 3-4 weeks will mean that your skin is much fresher and hydrated.

The skin around your eyes, your neck, and your ears can become especially sensitive when dehydrated, so make sure to apply serum there.

Hydration/moisture barriers

Products like Vaseline act as barriers to moisture, making sure water doesn’t leave your skin. If chemotherapy dehydrates you a lot, try using a hydration or moisture barrier on your lips and nose/nostrils.

Sheet masks

Sheet masks are soaked in serum and help keep your skin moisturised during treatment. Even better, you can pop one on and then sit down to watch some TV – double the relaxation!


If you’re looking for a moisturiser to use during treatment, try to find one with lots of oils in (eg avocado oil, jujuba oil), as these are especially effective.


Mixing a little illuminator/shimmer into your moisturiser can help restore the natural glow you lose during chemo. Your skin will reflect your pigmentation and look more refreshed as a result, whether or not you apply more make up on top!

Liquid blusher

Liquid blusher is gentler than other varieties, as its biggest component is water, so it’s a great choice for sensitive skin.

Make up brushes

You might be used to applying some make up with your fingers, but using make up brushes is a much more hygienic option during treatment. Make sure to clean your make up brushes properly with a wet wipe after each use and let them air dry. Once a week, give your brushes a gentle wash with shampoo and let them air dry.

If you’re using a make-up product that comes in an applicator, apply the make-up to the back of your hand and then use to a brush to apply it to your face. This warms the product up to your body temperature and is much more hygienic as it avoids the bacteria on the applicator.