In Conversation With… Avril Chester


Our series of ‘In Conversation With’ raises awareness of breast cancer. Avril Chester talks to us about the impact of her diagnosis, treatment, hair loss, emotional impact on her and her family, and recovery. She also set up the award-winning charity platform Cancer Central that supports those effected by cancer.

Our first conversation, ‘Avril and Her Cancer Diagnosis’ Wil and Avril discuss her physical and emotional journey, and Avril stresses ‘everyone responds differently so never compare. Your emotional journey is your emotional journey.’

Watch the conversation below in full to hear about Avril’s complex diagnosis.

Avril and Her Cancer Diagnosis

In our second conversation, Avril and Wil discuss the process of hair loss during cancer treatment. Avril explains that for her the journey slightly obsesses about once you have lost hair but less talked about is the actual process. Avril explains ‘you have a slight tsunami of – are you going to do wigs, are you going to do scarfs, are you going to be bald – but nobody actually talks about the point of hair loss… and it was traumatic’. Wil and Avril acknowledge this is the most visible aspect of cancer, and discuss the emotion involved when it happens. As Avril reminds us ‘you now look like a cancer patient now’. Wil emphasises the importance of acknowledging how the hair loss impacts on the emotions – ‘patients often feel like it is vanity to be upset about the hair loss, but it is so much more and it is ok to feel distraught’.

Wil explains there are over 1,000 hair follicles and the hair cells rapidly divide, so when undertaking chemotherapy the treatment cannot distinguish between types of rapidly dividing cells. Hair loss might happen in a matter of days but depends on the level and type of treatment, not everyone loses their hair.

Watch the conversation below in full to hear about Avril’s hair loss.

In our third conversation, Avril introduces the concept of Cancer Central, which we set up during her recovery. Avril explains that during her treatment she was finding things out almost accidentally, and struggled to find information easily, ‘as a technologist this was frustrating!’ Cancer Central is a community coming together for the community.

The award-winning charity has amassed over 70,000 donated hours, from over 300 individuals and 60 organisations. ‘I still pinch myself’ says Avril.

Wil and Avril speak about the benefits of technology, which was also the underlying reason for developing the Root Cause Clinical concept. ‘Lots of people are located far away from a clinic but seeking help’ Wil says. ‘When you are experiencing hair loss you may not want to travel or be in public’. A Root Cause Clinical consultation sees clients in the comfort of their own home.

Watch the conversation below in full to hear about Cancer Central and please do consider a donation!

Our final conversation discusses Avril’s recovery. Avril explains how her hair growth looked – patchy and darker colour – and Wil explains the hair cell regeneration process. The key thing is not to panic. Many people are unsure if they can treat their hair during their recovery. Wil discusses some of the ways to stimulate the scalp and follicles using non-evasive products. Again, everyone is different, speak to your hairdresser or book a consultation with Root Cause Clinical to discuss hair growth and maintenance routines and having access to a hair expert.

Watch the conversation below in full to hear about Avril’s recovery.

If you or someone you love is effected by cancer please don’t feel alone – click on the Cancer Central website to Ask Ave your questions. If you want to speak to a hair expert about hair loss or growth contact us now to book in a consultation –

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