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SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

15 REPLIES 15
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

On the subject of hats, I found some lovely little caps in our local Maggies centre. Reasonably priced too. They also had scarves, but I didn't get any of those. If you have a local Maggies centre, it's worth a visit.
poemsgalore xx
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

Hi Mazza,
Well done on figuring it all out and making the right decision for you.
I'm adding my experience for anyone reading this thread, still waiting to start chemo. I had the cold cap and was one of the lucky 30-40% who do, to keep most of my hair. It has thinned and I have one obvious bald spot, which I 'comb over'.
I found that taking paracetamol half an hour before the cold cap went on helped me cope with the initial shock of the coldness. I also took a scarf to wrap around my neck to keep warm.
I used shampoo which was fragrance free and ph neutral etc, washing my hair only every 2-3 days and then only a cool hairdryer setting, with no other products.
However, I too bought a wig before starting chemo and found my new hairdresser (part of the 'my new hair' network, had helped my confidence in cutting and styling my thinner hair, very helpful.
In the end, although I recognise I've been lucky, chemo is a tough on the looks and it's hard for all of us to cope with that. Great for everyone to make the best choice for them.
Sarah
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

Thank you ladies for all your helpful comments and tips. I got my wig on Saturday which I am really pleased with (if you can be pleased at the thought of going bald that is!). I have decided against the cold cap due to my migraines. I've also bought a pair of sun glasses for when my eyebrows and eye lashes fall out. I chose a wig with a longish fringe as I was worried about the wind blowing and the wig cap being seen - so I guess I am going to look like a spy!
Thank you again ladies, your replies have really helped me and it's nice to not feel so alone and good luck to all of you that are still having chemo.
Mazza1
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

i bought some really nice hats from annabandana, headcovers (USA) and suburban turban, they were not cheap though. i also bought 6 plain pashmina wraps from local market for £1.50 each and a nigerian friend showed me how to wrap them really elegantly and easily. if you don't have any friends from africa, you can go on youtube and see videos of how to tie scarves and wraps. my husband prefers the scarves to the hats on me. in fact i have had many a comment of how good they look from others too. it's quite a confidence booster.
i always looked on the no hair issue as an opportunity to re-invent myself!
enjoy your search
angela
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

For info - I didn't use the cold cap and my hair only thinned initially but did all fall out pretty soon after 2nd dose of FEC. The hairloss was entirely physically painless.

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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

Hi Mazza, You might as well hang on to your hair for at least the first week or two of chemo. I've had mine cut shorter and ordered a wig in a similar style but with highlights in. Hopefully, it won't be too hot or glaringly obvious on all the bright sunny days we're going to get over the summer. I'm with you, Angie, having mine clippered by my son-in-law's hairdresser around the 9th May. It's my birthday just before so hoping own hair is still passable then! Been looking at hats in the high street shops but at this time if year they all appear to be straw hats. Can't find any little beanies so thanks, Apple, I'll look online for chemo caps. Thanks also to Angela G for the tip about aloe vera gel. That's another for the ever growing shopping list!
Take care all,
Moira xxx
ps Cycle1 day 3
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

hi mazza
my hairdresser (trained by Trevor Sorbie from the "MyNewHair" charity) advised to just trim at first, and then when it starts to fall, then go back and get it clippered. So that's what i did. As it started to come out, my scalp was very tender, and the hair seemed to have a mind of it's own, and it was painful to try and brush it in a different direction. To overcome the tenderness i used double strength aloe vera gel from holland and barrats. It worked a treat, the tenderness went immediately. the hair didn't look great, but at least it didn't hurt anymore. now it's clippered on a zero setting, and the stubble has almost all gone now. i still use the aloe vera to soothe and moisturise even though the tenderness went with being clipped.
i'm now heading for my 3rd FEC next week...half way!
All the best to you.
AngelaG
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

that makes no sense does it mazza....
i'm cycle 1 day 4
angie xx
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

hi mazza
im day chemo 1 day 3,
i'm going to get clipped next thursday day 9 ish, i had a goldy coloured longish bob but bought a shorter, darker bob wig because it was so nice. so ive just dyed my hair to the same colour as the wig (cheap dye) and by next week when everyone has got used to the darker hair, i'll just get the wig on and its like ive just had a trim.
my nurse said that it can start to come out sooner sometimes, there is no set time, so i dont want to get caught out, i want to be in control.
angie xx
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

Hi...decisions, decisions...I found the whole cancer dx a loss of my independence..being a headstrong person i decided the only control I had was my hair!!!..I had my bob..which I had had for 20 odd years cut into a short punky style before I had chemo...about 14 ddays after the first fec my hair started to come out and then I had my hairdresser come to the house to clipper it off....the rest came out under a power shower!!...a nifty trick I found as advised by the lovely lady who supplied my wig..I chose a style that resembled my own original bob and as I didn't tell anyone who didn't need to know of my dx...so no one knew the difference!!!....in fact..my daughter's neighbour complemented me on the shade of my "hair"!...my chemo started in Jan 12 and the last dose was May 12...in the July I was too hot and was sick of "Cilla"..my wig..so I took it off..I only wore the wig outside the house...inside I wore lovely cotton chemo caps which I bought cheaply online or bandannas which I also bought online...best of luck whatever your decision..Apple

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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

Hi
I shaved my hair about day 14 after my first chemo, my hair started to come out quite a lot and I felt it was the best time. my head felt abit sore when it started to come out.
i finished chemo in September and by January I had enough hair I stopped wearing my head scarves.
Good luck with chemo
take care
xxx

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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

I had my hair cut fairly short when diagnosed. I did try the cold cap but my hair fell out just before chemo 3. The few days before was distressing as I was head sore and fed up of loose hairs stuck to my face, in my food, etc. Went to my hairdresser the next day who shaved it all off. Felt so much better then.
9 weeks post final chemo and it is growing back! Much darker and frizzy. But welcome back hair :-)
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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

Hi Mazza,

From what you have said there's still a 1% chance that you will try the cold cap, in which case it would be a shame to shave off your hair and then regret it. From my own experience, taking back a bit of control is really helpful. Like quite a lot of ladies on here, I had really long hair before my diagnosis, so getting it cut was pretty much a given. I went to the hairdresser basically saying 'just chop it off and tidy it up" because as far as I was concenred I'd already lost my hair! Instead he gently said no, I'll cut it in a 'classic bob' which he did - to chin length. This lasted less than a fortnight as I didn't try the cold cap and my hair fell out very quickly after the first FEC (began on day10, almost all gone by day 15) and I went back to get it clippered. My scalp was very sore, and to be honest getting it shaved off was a relief - but it was done when I was ready and at my instigation. He cut it to about 5mm - this meant that as the remaininh hairs died they still fell off, if you shave it completely, they may not cme away. I finally shaved off the last few 'telegen' hairs (the ones that chemo could not kill cos they weren't actually growing) after cycle 5 - and a few dyas later spotted the down of new growth!

Like NIM I never wore my wig - indeed over two years later it is still as new, and today I will finally get round to handing it to a local charity - I used scaves and hats out doors and in public, but at home and in private was happy to be bald and bareheaded (even if I kept a scarf on hand in case someone knocked the door!)

You will make the best choice for you, and that's all that matters. Hope all goes well with your chemo and side effects arew minimal. Hugs.
Member

Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

Hi Mazza
I started to lose my hair 8-9 days post first FEC and I had a shortish bob. On day 10 my oh got the clippers out and cut it back to 0.5 cm as I found the clumps of hair falling out annoying and upsetting. Once the hair had come off, I felt fine. It was the anticipation of losing I found really unsettling. Losing the hair didn't hurt in my case.
I had a wig, never wore it. Just had hats and scarves and this worked fine for me.
Whether you should shave before chemo 1 or not is up to you (and it's so difficult making these decisions!). But why not wait until you're in the chemo chair, see how/if you get on with the cold cap and take it from there? Also there you can chat to other ladies, I found that quite comforting.
Wishing all the best!
NIM41

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Re: SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

Hi Mazza
I shaved mine between 2nd and 3rd FEC because I found the clearing up of hair distressing. I didnt use the cold cap and I wouldn't say it hurt to lose it, more like having tied it back too tightly. I too had a wig at the ready and it gave me more confidence to go out and feel 50% normal. I am pleased to say it is now lurking in a drawer - although the hair I now have is a bit grey and I keep being mistaken for a man! I got so used to not having any it is still a novelty. The hair I am most pleased to see return is the eyebrows. Perhaps if I now pluck them my gender would be more obvious!
Good luck on chemo - take each day as it comes and remember each day down is one less to go.

Kahren
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SHAVING MY HEAD - SHOULD I DO IT BEFORE FIRST CHEMO APPOINTMENT

Hi everyone,
My first chemo is on Wendesday. I'm getting a wig tomorrow (Saturday). I was going to try the cold cap but I suffer with severe migraine and am 99% sure I'm not going to bother with the cold cap because of migraines. When should I shave my head?
And if I shave my head does that mean it won't hurt when I loose the hair on my head as there will only be stuble to lose or does it still hurt? The chemo nurse said you will start to lose hair just before the second chemo session.
Any replies much appreciated.
Mazza1