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The "Hair" Question

The "Hair" Question

Posted by Lulu Paris on Jun 27, 2020 10:36 am

New to the group. Started chemo on June 22nd.  My head already feels itchy.  I am contemplating do the deed and shaving my head.  Hair has not started to fall but I don't know if I want to wait.  I have already ordered wig and it's ready for me to pick up when I'm ready. 

Any thoughts on if it's better to take control of situation or wait it out?

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Buffythevampire on Jun 27, 2020 12:32 pm

Lulu Paris‍ I remember the itchiness brings back memories. It was around day 14 when I started noticing the fallout. I was tired of the mess and chose to have it shaved around day 20. I didn't like the bald look on me, hated that phase. But I have a strainer in the tub drain and didn't like seeing the hair fill the drain after each shower. Plus the hair on the pillow case and clothes daily was annoying. But it is entirely up to you whether you get it shaved or not. 

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Treepeo on Jun 27, 2020 4:39 pm

Hi Lulu Paris‍,

I remember that my oncologist told me that my hair could start falling out as early as 6 days after I started chemo.  I could not bear the thought of losing clumps of hair.  That would really freak me out.  So I bought some head scarves, took the bull by the horns and went to get my head shaved.  Once it was done, I put on a head scarf, and immediately went out grocery shopping so I could face the world right away.  And you know what?  No one paid any attention to me.  They were so busy looking at their cell phones that they rarely even glanced my way.  I got over being self-conscious pretty quickly.

Here's the other thing.  Having a shaved head is so easy.  No more bad hair days.  Just put on a scarf or wig and go.  It was actually great.

Whether to shave your hair off or not is a personal decision.  I decided to do it and I did not regret it, but everyone is different.  I say think about it and go with your gut.  You know yourself best and what you will be most comfortable doing.

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Lulu Paris on Jun 27, 2020 7:22 pm

Thank you.  I have made an appointment to go this week.  Take back a little control in my life.  Can't choose not to lose my hair but I can decide when and how. 

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Essjay on Jun 27, 2020 7:29 pm

Hi Lulu Paris‍ I too shaved my head before it fell out. My husband gave me a buzz cut before chemo number 2, and I lived in hats and scarves through the winter. My faves were from www.headcovers.com, and I learned to wrap scarves from www.wrapunzel.com. I also used buffs which were soft and comfy. Wore my wig once or twice for video chats with my niece whom my sister in law refused to tell I had cancer 🤷‍♀️.

After my chemo as the weather got warmer I went and had a henna tattoo - I loved it! It lasted 3 weeks by which time I had enough fuzz to cope with my semi baldness. Wish I’d done it before, but i think I needed the hats for warmth!

well done for taking charge!

best wishes Essjay xx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by jobo on Jun 28, 2020 10:49 am

One thing I was not prepared for when I had my head shaved was the stubble.  It was very sharp and my head caught on everything, including the pillow on my couch and my scarves.  Knowing what I know now, I think I would have opted for a very short haircut instead and put up with a bit of fallout in the shower.  Either way, you'll mostly be wearing your scarves or beanies or wig when you go out. 

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Marsh on Jun 28, 2020 11:17 am

My hair started to shed just after my second chemo. I got tired of it ending up on my shoulders or between my fingers! So I had hubby buzz it off with the electric clippers. Great decision! I had already ordered a wig (from Godiva Secret Wigs an awesome company) and I had hats and scarves ready. I wore my wig a lot. I actually loved it. But when it was too hot I used pre tied head scarves that I bought off Amazon.
The only thing was a night sleeping. My head got cold!!!! I wore a cap to bed! It's amazing how much warmer hair keeps you! Like many others, I felt more in control losing hair on my own terms. And it wasn't nearly a devastating as I had thought it would be.

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Ecr on Jun 28, 2020 5:36 pm

I had my spouse shave me bald after my first chemo treatment.  I already had really short hair so there wasn’t that much to lose.  I never got a wig. I didn’t want one.  I wore a fleece cap most of the time, especially at night.  I did go bald headed at times.  I think I did it to make a point that I don’t think I should have to hide my bald head.  It was kind of interesting the number of women who came up to me and talked about having had cancer too,  it was kind of liberating.  The only downside is I am very pale so I had to use a sunscreen with an spf of 60 so I wouldn’t burn.  I am glad to have my new hair, though it grew in the same white it was before though it’s much softer than it was.  I’m still rocking a flat top cut.

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Chocoholic on Jul 1, 2020 7:36 pm

 In the beginning when I researched how to prepare for my hair-loss,  it seemed like shaving my hair off was the best thing to do.
I saw some videos of people having hair shaving parties, or going to a hairdresser, or having their hubby or kids shave off their hair, but most of these women ended up sobbing or looking traumatized but not wanting people to know it.
I kept putting it off until my hair started falling out. For me, I'm glad I did. I cut my long hair short by myself and wore a hat. It gave me time to come to terms that I had cancer, and I was going to lose my hair, and change my looks completely. 
I dragged my fingers thru my short hair every day,  to get the worst of it and put it in a bag. I marveled at how much hair I had and thanked my body for being strong as we go through the treatment process.
I still have my bag of hair, but am close to being able to bury it as another symbol of letting go and coming to terms.
I realize now, that I felt more in control going slowly, and that losing my hair was more of an emotional and psychological deal than I had imagined. Rushing to shave my hair off would have been just another traumatic experience. 
Yes, I also read not to shave the hair too short.
Everyone reacts differently, and sometimes it's hard to know what  the  best thing is for you.
This is just my 2 cents.
Sending you hugs for your journey forward.

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jul 2, 2020 6:49 am

Chocoholic‍ , As I read your post, I became calmer and calmer. As you know, I’ve got cause to be grateful for strength and a burial to come in the next few days, so thanks for the reminder to stay centred and be strong. 💛
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by LucyK on Jul 2, 2020 11:05 am

I had beautiful long red hair.  I had my young adult daughter put it in 5 long braids which she then cut off .  the braids became keepsakes.  My son had fun "styling" my new look.  The short hair didn't last long. After the hair started falling out, the hospital nurse shaved my head.  I felt doing it this way was less traumatic, although it was still upsetting to look at myself in a mirror. 

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Alexiss2020 on Jul 5, 2020 9:20 pm

Hi ladies, I myself am trying to come to terms with my new bald self. I had very long strawberry blonde hair,  we cut it bob length,  lasted a day because it was falling out so quickly and was everywhere... went to a 2 blade on the professional hair razor, that lasted less than a week, every shower it was everywhere, everything I ate I felt it was falling in. Today, I used a ladies leg razor and went totally bald. The entire process was emotionally draining. Every. Single. Step. Today, I have broken down in tears more than I can count. I know its "just hair" and "it will grow back" but today, that does little to comfort me. My husband and bff are amazing and reassure me that I'm "still my beautiful self" but its so hard to feel that way right now. I know I'll come around and thought maybe posting about it could help me feel better... a little vent session where others know exactly how I'm feeling. I thought maybe I'd feel empowered, maybe that will come in a couple days. Right now, I find myself trying to love the new me. I hope that will also come in a few days. I know this will get easier after today and I'll get out of my own head and realize how much simpler life will be... just need to remember the 60SPF!! I have to say, reading all these post has helped fix my mindset already... Thanks for letting a girl get her feelings out. ❤

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by JustJan on Jul 6, 2020 8:07 am

Alexiss2020‍ I too struggled with when to
take charge of my hair. I had short hair to start with so shaving it didn’t seem like a big leap for me.  When my hair began to fall out, my head also became ultra sensitive so shaving it seemed to be the logical thing to do. The weight of the hair does make the sensitivity worse. The hair follicles stay sensitive for a couple of weeks. I found wearing a bamboo cap to bed and using a satin pillowcase really helped. I also rubbed my head with coconut oil as well. I wish you all the best as you move through your cancer journey. 
Strength doesn't come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't. - Rikki Rogers

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jul 6, 2020 8:11 am

Alexiss2020‍ , I’m not in a position to be able to relate to what you’re going through, so I am simply sending you some love.

I hope you’re able to find some beautiful smooth silk scarves to bring out the colour in your eyes! (Or just to brighten your day and your reflection.)
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by ashcon on Jul 6, 2020 10:40 am

You are so right. Losing the hair is surprisingly traumatic, despite the assurances we give ourselves about getting used to it, knowing it will grow back, etc. 
I had a double mastectomy, no reconstruction, and was oddly more ok with losing both boobs, than losing my hair.  Go figure. 

You WILL come to accept and even love your temporary new bald self. 
Yes, SPF the heck out of your beautiful bald dome! 
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 6, 2020 1:08 pm

Lulu Paris‍ 

I can understand wanting to take control over what you can! Good for you!

Have you had your appointment yet? How are you feeling about it?

Thinking of you,

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Lulu Paris on Jul 6, 2020 1:34 pm

I went last week before Canada Day and did the deed.  Shaved down to a #2 I believe.  Still have my hair and when home I go o'natural and am comfortable with it.  Was able to have my wig fitted so have my game face for work.  Surprisingly there were no tears or trepidation.  I'm more anxious about the wig and how it looks.  Ironically my hair has still not fallen out but wouldn't change my timing as I felt good on that day and subsequently developed febrile neutropenia.  Each day with cancer is challenging and I find having to face the challenges when you feel the strongest helps.  That being said, we will see how I feel when may hair actually does go. 

Thanks for everyone's input.  On to live another day. :)

Included a pic of my new do.

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Alexiss2020 on Jul 6, 2020 5:57 pm

Lulu Paris‍ gorgeous!! 🥰 

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Jul 7, 2020 1:51 am

That's a nice picture.  My hair went exactly as my chemo onc predicted.  In fact it started falling out at an alarming rate once the chemo treatments really kicked in.  I tried to keep it as long as possible, but ended up getting it shaved.  I went pretty much bald and eventually lost my eye brows as well.  Once the chemo ended though it didn't take long for my hair to return.  It's a different colour now - just white but came back nicely and I have lots.  I can't complain.  The wigs did help, but I don't need them now.  Good luck

Re: The "Hair" Question

Posted by Lyne on Jul 7, 2020 8:14 am

Lulu Paris‍ ,

I love the new do, suits you perfectly. I had gone with the number 2 also.  My daughter and hubby did it for me.  A little less dramatic when it fell off, as I was already used to the shortness.

When it grew back I decided to keep it short, so the trimmer came back out and I love it! Especially in this heat!

Good luck with your treatments, may they take care of business!