To shave or not to shave that is the question

Hello ladies,
well here I am day 17 after first FEC and my head hurts like I don’t know what.
I was trying to explain to OH it’s like when he kisses me with stubble and the hair sticks into my face, ouch!!!

Anyway just wondered what some of you thought about shaving. Should I take the plunge ans just shave it all off or wait and see what happens.

At the moment I still look the same but handfuls come out if I try to put my hands through the short crop. I haven’t had a pillow full of hair yet either but it is sore.

Any thoughts, thing is how quickly will it go? It is a public holiday this weekend so chances are won’t be able to get a hairdresser to finish it till Wed, there is the option of OH but last time I let him near my hair, when I was about 17 to do an undercut, child of the early 90’s what can I say, he nearly balded me on one side. But then again the plastic cover fell off the clippers and he didn’t realise LOL.

Anyway what are all your experiences?



I was just so sick of having hair everywhere, I just went to the nearest barber and asked the whole lot to be shaved off. I think this was the wisest thing as I did not have to suffer slowly the loss of my hair. I felt quite depressed seeing the hair falling in lumps and when you are in the shower most of it stick to your body…ARGHHH, terrible feeling! Since I shaved it hasn’t grown, but for quite a long time it stayed like hubby’s beard…but now most of it has fallen. Just cut the agony and have if OFF!


Hi Leeloo
I am going through the same dilemma. My hair was saved on x3 FEC using the cold ap but it started to fall big time when I started TAX so I’ve ditched the cold cap. I am currently sporting a large monks crown but have hair around the sides. I mentioned to a hairdresser friend in the school playground that I’d sent my OH to Boots to get clippers for the big shave and was strongly advised against it. He came round to my house (bless him!) and cut my hair really really short but at least still in a hairstyle and I could get away with baseball caps and with a headscarf it’s less severe as you can see hair around my sides and I can pull a fringe down. I have young kids and it is probably less severe for them to deal with too. However now I have ditched the cold cap I know the rest of it will go and I don’t know if I can cope with all that shedding so I might still take the plunge and shave it. Interestingly the wig lady also advised not to shave it as she said that sometimes hair grows in between cycles and the shaved hair can be spikey on the scalp!!. I think if it needs a shave I’ll try a grade 1 rather than shave the lot off totally - it’s a tough one to know though isn’t it? Good luck with whatever you decide.

I went for a grade 5, short but not too short. It was still annoying and sticking to me in the bath.

In the end I found that massaging vitamin E oil into my scalp with a warm wet flannel was just bliss and got rid of most of the burnt stubbly hair (if you look at the follicles it looks like a chemical burn, you could probably get the same effect with far too much 80’s perm lotion LOL). After rubbing the oil in after a few baths I found the hair stopped falling. I’m on day 19 of fec 2 and nothings falling this time. I just have a few soft baby hairs over my scalp it’s funny. 33 going on 60 and 18 months LOL.

try rubbing some oil in for a soothing effect if your hair’s short. Olive oil or almond oil are good replacements if you don’t have vit E oil around.

Oh yeah it’s really good for the skin too.

I had my hair shaved off before I started chemo. It made me feel much more in control and now that I m through chemo I do not regret doing it at all. I don’t know how I could have coped watching it fall out.
But I did find that when it grew a little between chemo I could always tell when the stubble was going to come out again because it felt like needles sticking in my head and it would wake me up of a night.
Now six weeks after chemo I have a fuzz of white, white!! hair all over my head.

Thanks everyone - I was wondering on the question of shaving. going to hairdresser for a shorter cut today and will probably do the very short thing in 2 weeks time. got a wig today which looks like I have done my hair properly! I have scaves too.
Chemo starts on Monday.

Thanks for the comments, it is really falling out now although I have no bald patches as yet. Might be something for me and OH to do over the weekend.

Glad your wig is nice Gill, I don’t like mine at all :frowning: but I have a few buffs and Sisly have a half price sale on and have some nice funky silk scarves in it. Good luck for Monday, I get no. 2 on Wed.

I think I’ll go for a number 3 all over but we’ll see what happens over the next couple of days.

Love and hugs

It’s a very personal choice. Like Margaret I had my head shaved before even starting chemo, it was my “two fingers” up at the whole process. Five weeks after last chemo I am white and fluffy at the front and dark and sleek at the back (sound like a badger lol)

Good luck

Louise x

I have had 2 lots of chemo. The first time I just let it al fall out and it was very distressing. The 2nd time I sat quietly in the kitchen with an expensive bottle of wine and calmly cut then shaved the lot off (used boyfriends clippers). This way was mush better and less distressing.

Hi all

I have done it in three stages really although I did have my shoulder length hair cut once I had had my op. My son shaved my head for me No 7 then we did No 3 Now i have stubble but its fine just getting used to seeing myself like it. Even a v ery short crop was getting on mhy nerves dropping out all over the place it has to go in my opinion makes you feel so much better and i think its quite distressing hair coming out all over the place. Happier as a baldy at this particular time. Love the scarves better than my wig although I think it looks good and my family say i look younger (compliment or not!! will have to think about that one) But I am going to go for comfort and just wear the wig on special occasions that call for hair!!

Its a personal thing go with the flow

Love Debsx

Hi all,
I have had mine cut very short (for me anyway) and frankly I hate it! I look like Christopher Walken. So perverse as it seems I am actually looking forward to it going! As soon as the first lot starts to fall I will take it off I think. I like Ruth and Louises’ attitude. I intend to show no fear and take the bull by the horns.
Glad to hear you are all still on the sauce too! I start Epis next Friday. Wig fitting tommorrow but it’s really just a back-up, I hope to just wear scarves if nec.
Happy weekending

Hi Ladies and thanks.

I woke up this morning to hair everywhere and a thin patch right beside my temple.
I had long brown shoulder length hair when I started chemo, I got it cut into a very short pixie cut 2 days after 1st so I am controlling the hair loss thing.
I was talking to my Mum about it last night and I know this was a big stumbling block for her but she asked me how much it was falling out so i grabbed a handful from a heavier bit and she was a tad shocked, me too as up till then I hadn’t got that much. So we decided that I would get it clippered no2/3 asap, thing is as everywhere is closed today I either wait till Tuesday and get my hairdresser to do it, or I could ask my friend/hairdresser who is off on maternity to do it. I was thinking of letting the kids help too, that way they will feel part of it but I think it’ll be done tonight or tomorrow. It will be a relief and it will be on my terms too.

WOOHOO the GI jane look here I come.

Love and hugs to all

Hi Lisa
my hair started to fall out 10 days after first fec and I got so fed up of it being everywhere for the following few days and keeping me awake at night, that I got a friend to shave it for me. Had it cut on a number four, and never looked back. Best decision I made, so much easier. I even go out with head like it and no headwear. think that because of this, I have no patches as weight of hair is not pulling on it, if you know what I mean! when if first started to fall out, I had the worst headache ever, and sure this is linked.
You go for it girl, sure you wont regret it.
deb x

Hey all,
Well got a number 1/2 all over. I do have a couple of bald patches but nothing major.
Head still feels a tad sore but no where near as bad as it was. So another chapter unfolds in this whole cancer story.
My friend who was my hairdresser but is on maternity leave did it for me.
My mum couldn’t find her clippers so I rang Karen and drove out about 30 mins later. Her husband was there and another couple we are friendly with too.
I took my 3 kids with me so they felt part of it too, in all it wasn’t a bad experience, I get a shock when I look in the mirror but I am sure by this time tomorrow night I will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Thanks to everyone for their words of advice and support, that’s why I love this site so much.

Loads and loads of love and hugs

Hi Leeloo

I think you did the right thing - chemo does so many things to your body that you cannot control and for me, shaving my head instead of watching it fall out gradually was my way of taking SOME control. Also, I’m afraid that there will be times during your treatment where you feel rubbish and where the last thing you would feel like doing after getting out of the bath would be to blow dry your hair. But to put a positive spin on it, you will be amazed how much time it saves when you’re getting ready, not having to do your hair, and if you invest in a few decent wigs you will find that every day is a Good Hair Day. I have 6 wigs and have fun deciding which “look” I want to go for - it confuses the hell out of people who recognise me but don’t know me well enough to have been told what happened to me!

I also bought some lovely scarves in Tie Rack, and a “buff” from Millets which is handy at night as it’s surprising how cold your head gets in the night, how does Phil Mitchell ever get to sleep?

It’s all down to personal choice wether to shave or not to shave.
not long after my first fec my head hurt, it was like someone constantly pulling my hair. i had lots of hair on my pillow. if i ran my fingers through my hair i would have it in my hands and once i was twisting my hair round my finger and ended up with a wad of hair in my hand. also hair was everywhere about the house.
so i had a couple of drinks an my OH gave me a number 2 cut. it was heartbreaking for bothof us and took me a while before i could look in a mirror. Once my hair was shaved off my head stopped hurting, i have a wig but i hate it so i wear bandanas outside and go bald in the house in front of OH and kids. if someone visits i cover up then. I did forget once when on holiday and walked out of the caravan bald, OH was watching me and once i realised what i’d just done he said he’d never seen me move so quick. i was surprised how quickly we all got used to it and now i don’t really think about it.

Sometimes i feel like forgetting the wig or bandana and just going out with my bald head because i think that why should i cover up, i shouldn’t be ashamed of it. It’s something i think about and i don’t have the answer because i can’t exactly put my finger on it - does that make sence?

May everyones hair grow back quickly and in a way they want!

Ann x

Hi Ann,
You are so right. When I was covering my head I think that I felt ashamed. I don’t know why cos obviously it was nothing to be ashamed off. I actually walked stooped. The day I went out bald head and all was liberating for me, I felt ME again and now I forget that I have very little hair.
Last night I went to my granddaughter’s birthday party. My son actually said how he liked my hair! 2 cms of white fluff all over.

Thanks ladies,
I know what you mean about covering your head.
I had arranged to meet some friends for lunch and drinks today but I don’t think I can out them through it.
I would walk about with this patchy head no worries but it will shock them and they are going out for a nice meal and a get together and I don’t think it’s fair me making them feel bad because of my hair.
Funny how in all this we still think about other people’s feeling more than our own. Also my neutrophil count was low on Wed and I have been running about still and I am now worried it won’t be high enough for no.2 on Wed, so I am going to be good and not do too much over the next couple of days.
Will pop to the shop to get some manuka honey tomorrow though. Might order that lifemel stuff on Thursday and see if it does the trick.

Thank you all again
Love and hugs

Well I bit the bullet and shaved it all off tonight and do you know what…now it may be the gin talking but…I reaaly enjoyed taking control as someone siad earlier. I’m wondering if we shouldn’t oraganise a “go comando” day. i think there are a lot of us lovely ladies hiding under various headwear.

God…wouldn’t it b nice to walk out and smile at all the other girls in the club.

Anyhoo…I do look a bit weird, hoped I would have a smooth and sexy head, but actually have a bag of potatos under the skin.Cat still loves me, that’s the main thing.

Bu**er it, one more gin then…
Night night ladies

p.s. re the spelling…blame Gordons