Questions about shaving head

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shannalanai
shannalanai Member Posts: 22
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
My mom is fixing top start chemo and I was telling her about some posts I have read in here about shaving your head before the hair falls out from chemo. She is wondering what you shaved your head with because she was told not to use a regular razor because it could nick you and cause an infection. Any info on this would be great.

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  • Stormy8281
    Stormy8281 Member Posts: 24
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    Hello, Shannalanai,

    After finding out I had breast cancer, I watched a documentary about going through breast cancer and one of the suggestions was to have your hair cut short, so it won't be too much of a shock when your hair does start falling out. I did have my hair cut. Exactly 14 days after receiving my first chemo, my hair did start to come out. We made it a family affair. My Husband, mom and brother came over, and promised to have their hair cut too. My brother used his electric hair (not beard) shaver. Everyone lied about their turn. But I kinda figured that out. Anyway, my head started to feel like velcro, and any hat or scarf I wore, stuck to my head. So, my mother took a new disposable razor to my head. It felt so much better. It would help protect your mom's head tremendously, if she buys a cap to wear under any scarf, hat or wig.

    I hope this helps with you and your mom's decision.

    Lots of hugs for you and your mom.
    Gale
  • Unknown
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    I had my hair cut really short a week or two after my first treatment. About a week or so later my hair started falling out. My hair was everywhere---the floor, bed, kitchen counter, etc...after a week of this I couldn't take it anymore! I used my husband's beard razor to shave my head one day and when he got home he used a new disposable razor to get everything I missed. I didn't love seeing myself bald, but it actually looked better than having patches of hair. I hope sharing my story helps your Mom with her journey. Good luck and take care, Eil
  • mgm42
    mgm42 Member Posts: 491 Member
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    I already had short hair when I started my chemo. But, my scalp started to hurt. It was like I had slept on my hair the wrong way or when you've kept it in a pony tail too long and then take it down. Your head is sore. About the 14th after starting chemo, my hair started to fall out, so my husband purchased an inexpensive electric shaver (like the ones they use for dog grooming) and shaved my head for me. Shaving my head really helped with the soreness and the mess. Yes, I don't like being bald but I am used to it. It's been 10 weeks since my last chemo and my hair is starting grow back. I imagine that in about 2 -3 months I will have a pixie cut. Until then, I wear a baseball cap when out in public with big outrageous earrings. What better fashion statement than that! LOL. Good luck to your mom. I'll be rooting for her. Marilynn
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
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    Hi Shanna: I had short hair when I started chemo but 2 weeks after the first infusion my hair scalp hurt and my hair started falling out so I had my hair buzzed off. The problem with that was that the tiny hairs would get stuck on everything and my scalp still hurt so I used my husband's electric shaver and shaved it all off. Felt much better after that. Hugs, Lili
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
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    My hair was quite short before I was diagnosed, but I had it cut to about 1/4 in. before chemo. It came out slowly and unevenly, but I covered it up with hats...also large earrings to draw attention away. I have discovered that I like being a "hat person", and I have some friends who enjoy buying hats for me. Some are a bit too outlandish, even for my taste, but we have fun laughing about it. My hair is coming back (about 10 months after last chemo), but I still like my hats. I did not shave my head, but my husband did...moral support and all that. He uses shaving cream and a disposable razor. I did buy a hair cutting kit because my hair came in very unevenly in between chemo treatments and I wanted it all the same length. If I was going to shave my own head I would probably use an electric shaver. I think making it a family affair (maybe just the 2 of you) and letting someone help her might be good. It is a very personal decision and she should be the one to make it, but I am glad she has you to support her.

    seof
  • scaraher
    scaraher Member Posts: 20
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    After I learned I had to have chemo I cut my hair short then right before chemo started even shorter. Once it started falling out I had my husband cut it with the hair trimmer thingys. It was pretty short about a millimeter long. Then when it was coming out it patches and I had bald spots I found a barbershop in my city that only has females barbers and went there to have my head shaved. It was awesome she did a hot towel wrap bothe before and after shaving it then massaged my head. I think I may have gotten a little more than the normal trmt. Her grandmother died of breast cancer and her fiancees mother is battling it so she was extremely sympathetic and it turned a horrible experience into something not so bad. Ultimately this is your mothers decision but I flet by choosing to cut my hair and then ultimately shaving it put me in control of it not the chemo being in control. I wish your mother the best of luck and ultimately she will do what is right for her.

    Stephanie
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
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    scaraher said:

    After I learned I had to have chemo I cut my hair short then right before chemo started even shorter. Once it started falling out I had my husband cut it with the hair trimmer thingys. It was pretty short about a millimeter long. Then when it was coming out it patches and I had bald spots I found a barbershop in my city that only has females barbers and went there to have my head shaved. It was awesome she did a hot towel wrap bothe before and after shaving it then massaged my head. I think I may have gotten a little more than the normal trmt. Her grandmother died of breast cancer and her fiancees mother is battling it so she was extremely sympathetic and it turned a horrible experience into something not so bad. Ultimately this is your mothers decision but I flet by choosing to cut my hair and then ultimately shaving it put me in control of it not the chemo being in control. I wish your mother the best of luck and ultimately she will do what is right for her.

    Stephanie

    I agree...whatever form it takes, I think the "head-shaving ceremony" is a way to be in control of something. There is so much we can't control about cancer, controlling when and how we become bald is one.

    take care. seof
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
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    Everyone deals with things in their own way, but I felt the opposite of most of the people who have replied to your question: I did NOT have my head shaved. I did have my hair dresser cut it a little bit short, but I emphasized to her not to cut it drastically, only a little. I guess my feeling was that I wanted to hang on to as much of my hair as I could, so why shave it off? I did not end up losing all my hair, but I may as well have because I just have strands covering my head with most of it bald which is really depressing. However, I think I would feel worse if I were completely bald. It's a personal decision. Good luck to your mother. Ohilly
  • NorcalJ
    NorcalJ Member Posts: 187
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    ohilly said:

    Everyone deals with things in their own way, but I felt the opposite of most of the people who have replied to your question: I did NOT have my head shaved. I did have my hair dresser cut it a little bit short, but I emphasized to her not to cut it drastically, only a little. I guess my feeling was that I wanted to hang on to as much of my hair as I could, so why shave it off? I did not end up losing all my hair, but I may as well have because I just have strands covering my head with most of it bald which is really depressing. However, I think I would feel worse if I were completely bald. It's a personal decision. Good luck to your mother. Ohilly

    I guess I'm with the most people here. I had it cut REAL short about the week it came out. Then my wonderful hairdresser used a new, never used, electric razor and did the job better than I could have.(And then we "toasted" with chocolate). We didn't "Bic it" because of the potential for cutting my scalp. I've found the bit of stubble actually helps the scarves stay on. The best part of this "new look" is that when I have a hot flash, it feels really good to have the "dome" instantly cooled. I wear scarves, and large, gaudy earrings---a "fun" look that wouldn't, otherwise be appropriate for work.
    Good luck to your mom---after all, everyone else has to look at us. It's how you feel on the inside that really matters, and "strong" will always outshine anything else!
  • Bill.S
    Bill.S Member Posts: 177
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    You asked about using a blade. From what I have read,your mom wants to avoid ALL cuts any where on her body. I've been shaving my face with a blade all of my live and don't want to consider an electric but I never cut myself. If or when my head hair starts falling out I'll go to my barber and let him use his electric cutter.
    I get my 2nd chemo next Monday. Onc says it will be sometime in August if it falls out.
    Don't get cut !!!!
    Bill.S 56 yr old MAN with breast cancer
  • artifact hunter
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    head shave
    Hi:

    I had a friend give me a buzz cut with a barber's electric shaver. She had done this years ago, when I turned 50 - just for fun. But this time it was traumatic, but not nearly as traumatic as running my fingers through my hair and coming out with a glob stuck to my fingers. I cried until I saw my relection in the kitchen window; when I realized I looked just like my younger brother. I immediately got on the phone, called him and told him this. We had a good laugh and my emotional pain dwindled. Shaving this was was painless and it did not hurt when my hair fell out. Mine began growing back by the fourth of six chemos. You're on your way dear, it'll be okay, but cold. How do bald men do it?