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Question about what to wash my head with

Posts: 83
Joined: Apr 2010

I am just 1 week past my 2nd chemo of carbo/taxol. Most of my hair was coming out so I had my husband shave my head. I now have just short stubble but for some reason I am developing a rash on my head. I have not changed the soap I use so I am wondering what might be causing the rash. Could it be a side affect of the chemo? Do I need to use something special to was my head with? Might it be more sensitive without all the hair? Any information would be helpful. I am planning to ask my doctor at my 3rd chemo in 2 weeks if it doesn't clear up.

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

I was told to not shave my head but to cut it very short. The hairs would eventually fall out on their own. Apparently told shaving causes the hair follicles to become sensitive and hurt. Now that's what I heard and not sure if it's true.

Surely can't say I had a rash on my head ever, but wonder if more sensitive with your shampoo. Might you try a shampoo/conditioner like we use for babies?

Good luck...getting a wig or scarves and/or hats? I had a really cool wig that was a completely different style and thickness than I have with my normal hair. It was a real treat to look like a different person...enjoy it!

Cecile Louise's picture
Cecile Louise
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2009

I got a "buzz cut" when my hair started falling out. Eventually, it got really patchy-looking so I shaved my head. I then developed a "rash" on my scalp that was very itchy and quite painful. My oncologist said it was foliculitis, an inflammation of the hair folicles. I used Neutrogena soap (the clear bar) to wash my head and dabbed antibiotic ointment on the bumps. It eventually went away, much to my relief.


Posts: 60
Joined: Mar 2010

My hairstylist recommended John Masters Organic zinc & sage shampoo. I have had no problems with rash or bumps. It is all natural and very gentle. You shouldn't use bar soap. You wouldn't use bar soap if you had hair, and if you think about it, you are washing your scalp, which is not like the skin on the rest of your body. You need a shampoo.

kkstef's picture
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

I also just had mine clipped short....my beautician also told me not to have it shaved because of the folliculis. I never had any rash. I got a shampoo at the wig store and used it several times a week. No need on over shampooing your head at this time!

I think a natural type shampoo might be most gentle...or even the baby shampoo.

Hope it is better soon!


Posts: 134
Joined: May 2010

My scalp was sensitive too. I did buzz cut my hair to get rid of some strands. My wig fit better. I was advised to use any gentle shampoo and then dab hydrocortisone cream on my scalp.My nurse told me. It worked well and took away the bumps, itching and pain. Hope this helps.


lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I read that you should leave your hair 1/2" or so long so that it lays under a hat instead of being stubbles that get pressed paonfully into your scalp. But my hair fell out 100% pretty quickly anyway once it started. I always used the light moisturizer I use on my face (Clinique) right up over my whole bald scalp. By the way, I have had 2 rounds of taxol the last 2 Mondays and my little chemo curls are still all clinging to my head. I'm hoping they hang on until after I get back from the beach (July 3rd to 10th). I figure my next round of taxol will be the end of hair for me for awhile again. This'll be my 3rd time at being bald from chemo.

Posts: 743
Joined: Oct 2008

I used baby oil gel on my scalp when my hair was coming out. It seemed to ease the discomfort some.

Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2010

Hats with seams gave me a rash. I think my scalp got more used to not having hair as time went on. Definitely had a rash early on and discovered it was the seams causing the irritation. Once I found buff headwear (seamless headwear) my rash went away.

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