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How do you care for a bald head?

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2017

I started losing my hair 15 days after my first treatment of taxol/carbo so had it shaved down to nubs lol . I had my 2nd treatment and 15 days after it most of my hair has come out, except for patches in the back. I have small red bumps and my Dr. prescribed mupirocin, which seems to be helping. I am using Johnson baby shampoo when I do wash it. I wondered when it all comes out (assuming it finally will), is there anything to put on it to keep it from getting too dry? I know the baby shampoo is about the most gentle I can find, but I wondered if anyone had something they put on it to help prevent dryness?

When it first starting coming out, I had light "pain" in the back of my head, like a knot or bruise. This time it feels like something is crawling or tickling the sides of my head. I have the medicine on it so I don't scratch it, but it is a very strange sensation. Will that happen the next 4 treatments too? Or when it all comes out does it go away?

Thanks for your input and experience! I love the people on this site and how helpful they are! I hope to help others one day too. :)

 

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

When I got looking into changing things in my life so I didn't get cancer again, it came to attn how many things we use on a daily basis that are toxic.  All that to say that I stopped using regular shampoo/cream rinse/bath soap and went with natural products.  I use Dr. Bonner soap and since I didn't have hair I just used it all over.  The little red bumps on my head were very painful on and off.  My naturopath suggested using apple cider vinegar with water to dilute and it absolutely did the trick for me.  Once my hair was all out and the bumps were gone then the sensations went away.

Hope you find things that work for you.  (((HUGS)))

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2017

I have always been a believer in using all natural whenever possible. I have used apple cider vinegar for my face for many years (derm. told me it was Rosecea, I got tired of paying for and using medicine, looked for something natural and found vinegar and it worked!)

I am looking into finding a naturopath for my after cancer care to keep it away. It is hard in Missouri because they don't license them, and I want to find one that is legit.

DottieDean
Posts: 36
Joined: Sep 2017

I'm in Missouri, too.  St. Louis.  

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2017

I wish you were closer! I don't get to St. Louis very often. Would love to offer you support though :)

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

I'd never heard of using vinegar for folliculitis, but after reading this I saturated a cotton ball and dabbed it on head a couple of times. Viola!! No more bumps. Great suggestion, thank you!!

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

Yes, it was amazing to me too- something so safe and so cheap- win/win Laughing  (((HUGS)))

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

My head a hair always hurt before it fell out.  I started using Avon Skin So Soft bath oil on my body when I started chemo and it kept my skin from getting dry and itchy, so I just rubbed a little on my head too. It worked very well.  I am sure baby oil would work , too.

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

ConnieSW
Posts: 1552
Joined: Jun 2012

Actually, not all my hair came out.  I never shaved (had been advised not to) and retained some sparse, scraggly strands.

DrienneB's picture
DrienneB
Posts: 186
Joined: Aug 2013

I used a babywash from Aveeno for my body, but did not touch my head very much while I was losing hair and after it was gone. I showered, but because of the pain and how easily it came out, I just didn't deal with my head too much. It was a mistake. I developed scaly, flaking skin on my scalp and eventually had to buy zinc shampoo to heal it. So keep it clean, and scratch it gently, as you would if washing your hair.

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

I just used the same body wash on my bald head that I use on the rest of my body. Only one time did I experience any kind of bumps (probably from sweating) and I ended up using Nizoral shampoo a couple of times until it cleared up.

The sensitive scalp sensation went away for me once all of the hair was gone. It started noticeably shedding around ten days after the first round. My hubby helped shave it off about two days later. It was rather traumatic that first time. The second time, it was a real relief just to get rid of it!

Hang in there, Cass83. Just remember that losing your hair is a sign that the chemo is doing its job. You can do this!

 

ncg007
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2015

I had the head pain too, almost like you could feel every hair follicle.  Alra Therapy lotion and also Alra Mild Conditioning Shampoo producuts worked good for me, both designed for radiation/chemo patients.  I received from hospital cancer center and also found at wig shop.  Another thing to try is Jamaican Black Castor Oil, it moisturizes scalp and also promotes hair growth and you can find at Whole Foods or Beauty supply.

Nancy

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2017

Thank you ladies for your suggestions! Kvdyson-that is exactly what my husband said when it started coming out. We know the chemo is working :)

cindy0519
Posts: 173
Joined: Nov 2015

Hopefully this will make you chuckle a bit....I used my Clarsonic, face wash, and moisturizer on my head.  When I'd wash my face and use the Clarsonic, I'd just keep going and do my head, then rinse, and moisturize :)

 

henhill's picture
henhill
Posts: 123
Joined: Aug 2016

but my head was really sensitive.  I found that the best thing was to  keep my head covered all the time so that I wasn;t exposed to the elements.  I even wore  a hat to bed and it worked well for me- no skin issues.  Good luck with your chemo

 

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

I've used Johnson's baby shampoo since my hair started falling out. When my scalp hurt I used Johnson's baby nighttime lotion, which I also still use on my feet and legs when they hurt. It cools and calms the skin. My scalp only hurt before the hair started coming out--once it started falling out, the pain went away, and it hasn't hurt again.

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

I use the Alra shampoo, too. I started w/baby wash but switched to Alra, which seemed to calm my scalp down somewhat. I cut my hair super short before starting chemo but never shaved it, and after 4 rounds still have peach fuzz everywhere. My scalp itched a lot and it was very painful when I was losing my hair; best thing I found was to go outside with a soft-bristle brush and brush the living heck out of it. That was the only thing that relieved the pain during the intial shed. Now I just scratch good it when it feels itchy, and tons of dried skin comes off under my fingernails but there's no pain. I've had some bumps (folliculitis) but not as many as I would have had if I'd shaved it entirely...or so I tell myself.

Rubyshoes
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2017

And coconut oil. I've used them on itchy medicine induced itch. It does leave a greasy feel.

bluesmama
Posts: 124
Joined: Aug 2014

so i had a buzz cut and it grew out a little before it started to fall off. i just finished my third round of carbo-taxol (3 week cycle). i feel like what remains is being held by a giant dandruff. :/ 

i've been amusing myself (i'm a little strange) by pulling out clumps on the back and sides and keeping the top relatively even. i'm so eager for my hair to grow back but that won't be for at least another two month i would imagine. 

do you ladies think i should just pull out what i can and give my poor scalp a break from the build up and dead hair? my scalp is definitely getting scaly and flaking. i just want to make sure i do what i can to help my hair grow back with a healthy scalp.

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

I pulled and brushed mine when it hurt, which was during the time it was dying and starting to shed. Getting it off made me feel better; I used a soft bristle brush several time a day (outside, not inside) and my scalp felt much better afterwards. I also (gently) scratched the heck out of it because the flakes were bugging me. I haven't had any flaking problems recently, thankfully, and my few little bumps have been relieved by my newly discovered miracle cure, vinegar.

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2017

I went with the Johnson's Baby Shampoo, and even now with my hair back in, I am still using it! I am keeping it short so it works well. I like not having to blow dry or style it. Wash, comb, go!

Sharring
Posts: 24
Joined: Sep 2017

i start my first chemo next week and I thought I was prepared to lose my hair. I hadn't even considered there my be some "side effects" lol.  That's why I love this site. I feel stronger when I can be proactive instead of reactive.  Having a few solutions / items on hand to tackle those side effects when the time comes will be a "win" for me. Thanks for the question Cass and to everyone who shared what worked for them!

Jairoldi's picture
Jairoldi
Posts: 221
Joined: May 2017

If you can resist shaving your head completely down to nothing you might avoid some of the irritations. Try an electric razor with a #2 or #3 guard. This will leave you with short hair but just long enough that when it starts the falling out and tickling you can pull it out or use a lint roller. This what my chemo nurse suggested and it worked for me. No aching and no rash. Also I thought I would lose all of my hair in a week and at chemo 5 it is still thinning. Some bald patches but not bald as a cueball.

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2017

You're welcome! I found so much help from these ladies earlier in my journey. I am glad my questions and their answers can help someone else too!

Amatullah
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2017

Several baby shampoos, including Johnsons Baby Shampoo have sodium trideceth sulfate, sodium lauryl/also laureth sulfate or other similar versions of commercial chemical cleaners.  They are very drying and accumulate in our tissues and there is contraversey about it being a carcinogen when used in combination with some other products.  The chemical is used as a degreaser in garages and on engines.  It is too hard on hair follicles too.  There are plenty of organic shampoos.  Aveeno is a good one.  Amazon carries dozens of organic soaps, so you don't have to spend time trying to determine what is safe at the grocery store.    

Hma4's picture
Hma4
Posts: 38
Joined: Jan 2017

I never shaved it completely either and I washed my head just like I did any other day, except I used less shampoo lol. it fell out gradually with no side effects, the funny thing was after a few months I got a dark spot right in the middle of my head, it looked like a birth mark, but it wasn't there before, now that my hair has grown back in it seems to be gone, from what I can tell the black in my hair is very dark and I have just as many grays as before only difference is my hair is curly, but super soft. I'm letting it grow since I would like to see my hair long and curly lol. My friends used to say "I don't think I would look that good bald"  I never thought I would either, but I rocked it with no embarrassment it was what it was- it was a battle that was not going to get the best of me! Attitude makes a lot of difference prayers and hugs ladies!

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