Hair loss - better to cut hair or not??


I’m looking for some advice re hair loss and whether it is best to cut hair short or whether it makes little difference.

I am recently diagnosed and had my first chemo session two weeks ago with the second one at the end of this week. Hair loss has been a big worry since the I was diagnosed (at the back of my mind I feel this will make me look and feel ill even though most of the time I don’t feel like there is anything wrong with me) and even though I know I need to be prepared for it, the thought of it is still so scary at the moment…

When I went to get a wig this week the hairdresser suggested I might want to have my hair cut shorter (it’s shoulder length at the moment) as this can make it less traumatic (and messy).

I have already started to lose a few hairs so think it is only a matter of time but just the thought of it is too much at the moment so a simple decision like whether to have my hair cut or not seems like such a big decision. Part of me thinks that it’s going to be traumatic anyway so will it really make that much difference to have it cut short first?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks


I did the cold cap and it didn’t work for me.

As soon as big handfuls started coming out I shaved it all off.

I wish I’d just cut it short and seen what happened in hindsight. Because then I could have had bits poking out of my bandanas etc as I can’t wear my wig much, it’s way too hot for me.

At least it you have some hair then when it does start growing back after chemo you could potentially hide it, where as when it’s all gone, it’s all gone.

If I go through this again (Which I hope will never happen) I’ll do that part of it differently i think.

Hi Chrissie,

I’m just in the process of losing my hair for the second time.

First time round I had long hair, and once it started to come out, I took the plunge and clippered it short all over. Amazingly, I actually liked it once it was done, and was sad when my new funky haircut disappeared soon afterwards.

This time, I’m starting from short hair, and so I decided to leave it and just let it fall. As EK says, it does help to have a bit of hair on show whilst you still can, and I found a hairband distracted from my thinning crop (well it did to me at least, as I couldn’t see the back in a mirror!). However, it has now become so thin and patchy that I am not comfortable with it, so have pulled out the clippers again, and having braved it now wish I had done it sooner.

Not sure what my advice to you would be, other than see how you feel as your hair thins. For me, I felt a strange sense of relief both times once I had gone for the drastic trim, almost as though it was acceptance of what was happening and preparing me to move on. My hair is very thin now, and getting thinner by the day, but I draw in my fake eyebrows, put on fancy earrings and face the world with a smile.

Best wishes whatever you decide, Julie x

I did the same as EL KAT, its now on its way back and i’m looking a bit like David Essex!

LOL - David Essex :smiley:

This is my 2nd time, the first time I’d had my 2nd chemo and was in the shower and huge clumps were coming out so my hubby shaved it (no 3) he thought it was great short! This time it was coming out after first one so I shaved it no 4 - , oops forgot when I knew having chemo cut from shoulders to quite short!

I do wear a wig when go out, as it’s not hot now it’s fine wouldnt fancy it on in this wind though!

The one thing I noticed when it’s coming out it’s in the food everywhere not nice, yes it’s upsetting but you get over it - get some false eyelashes & a bit of fake tan and hey presto you’ll be ok, hold your head up and remember there is always someone worse off than you are.

Take care Jo xx

My hair started to come out 14 days after first chemo - and I had worn the cold cap!! I became very concious of running my hands through my hair and upset myself by the amount of hairs that came away each time I did.

I felt much better after I cut my hair short. I am half way through chemo now. Totally bald - no hair anywhere apart from on my arms?? It will grow back.

The hair loss is one of the big things about chemotherapy - it is such a visual sign of what we have. Stay strong, you will know when you feel ready to cut your hair - don’t jump the gun unless you really feel ready for it. Have lots of tissues on hand to dry your tears.

This too will pass!

I cut mine short just before me second chemo session, it was shoulder length before that. When it was longer it came out when washing/brushing etc and my scalp was getting sore. With it shorter there was less tugging and my scalp hurt less.

I finished chemo at the end of March and now have a couple of inches, but it is curly at the back, which takes a bit of getting used to as it was really straight before. Waiting to see how it turns out as it grows.


I got my hair cut short before chemo started in preparation, then as it started coming out, showered the loose hair out every day leaving me eventually with a fluffy skull- great Uncle Fester look.
I didn’t shave it as someone had advised that that could damage the hair follicles and make it more likely to grow in curly. And it has grown in curly. So that’s that theory gone.
If I have a next time, I will wait till it’s mostly gone and then will shave it, as the very sparse stuff/fluffy skull is not morale boosting.

I cut mine as soon as hair came out every time I touched it. It upset me more to see losing it, then to take control and shaving it off myself.
We had a bit of fun with that first shave, too, cut the side first, styled it into a mohican and took pictures. My 11-year old daughter also took part, which I think made her accept the change more, as she was quite worried.

My hair seem to grow, but I will shave it weekly till after chemo (had 5 of 8 so far). Dont know if it could regrow during tax. I am lucky to have found a wig, which looks really good ( better in fact than my old hair) and I like looking into the mirror as a baldy. I do appreciate my facial features more, where I was distracted before, annoyed about my semi curly frizzy hair.
I also forget my baldness regularly and open the door to anybody without covering - unless when it’s cold, then I throw a buff on in the house. I don’t go out bald, though, my daughter would not appreciate that and I respect her feelings.

I don’t mind the hairloss as much. There are plenty of wigs. Losing eyebrows or eyelashes are a bigger worry, as not so easily replaced. Hairless will only be temporary, just give me all the drugs to get rid of bc.

Hi Chrissie,
I had my first chemo in august and had my hair cut shortish just before, but my hair started coming out 2 weeks after the treatment, so I made the decision to shave it all off, and it was the best thing, as the shanks of hair that were coming out was more upsetting. Am doing well with the scarves, bandanas and hats :slight_smile: !! Goodluck Jane.

Hi Rexi, I quite agree with you, I say to myself that the chemo is doing its job, which makes the hairloss bearable, so bring it on, as am kikcking this cancer’s butt!
Goodluck Jane.

From experiance. Loosing hair hurts, so I let mine go.
What is it with David Essex? I have that look too, but i’m much younger…(Yeah, right!)

I thought i be ok wont be much of lost. But it was falling out in clumps very upsitting.My daughter shaved it off.But then wiskers every where lol i used put my knickers on my head at bed time lol try save pillow being full of little hairs lol.good luck x