Has anyone shaved their head before their hair dropped out?

I'll be starting Taxol on the 31st and thought after the first dose and wig acquired I would shave my head. The reason for this is I think it will make me feel a little in control of what is happening to me.

I'm also considering shaving during treatment as the hair doesn't grow back until treatment's finished.

What do you wise women think?

Love Christinexx

24 Replies

  • Hi Christine,

    There are a lot of people that have done this as you will soon find out, I didn't do this as I am far to inquisitive on IF,HOW and WHEN my hair will fall out, if hair is fine it will fall out evenly (my hair is fine so I rained hair for a week) if thick it will come out in patches, mine started coming out on the thirteenth day of the start of treatment (twice) I don't think there is need to shave it while on chemo, as it doesn't grow back untill the end of treatment unless of course you are stopping chemo in between to have an operation, I had six chemo on a three week cycle.best wishes love x G x :-)

  • Hello Gwyn

    Do the eyebrows and eye lashes go as well?


  • Hi Christine,

    Yes but I can't remember when, but I think it was around the same time, in fact now I am in remission (for a second time) they keep coming and going so this is one thing I hated (and still do) but I think they have took a battering so are not so keen to reappear LOL x G x

    (on previous comment I meant "TOO inquisitive" my iPad keeps trying to correct things and gets it wrong haha)

  • yes

  • Hi Christine

    The first time I had chemo, when I had breast cancer, I didn't shave my hair, had the cold cap and kept quite a lot of hair. However, it was uneven and patchy. Second time, with OVCA, I couldn't face the gradual loss and the hair all over the place, so I shaved it, and I'm glad I did. It got it all over with, saved the distress of losing it day by day, and I think it is growing back much more evenly and nicely.

    All body hair goes with chemo

    Monique x

  • Hi Monique,

    Without the cold cap the loss isn't gradual, but it does take about a week for it all to be gone, but the cold cap does make it more gradual long drawn out and patchy, I feel if you are going to lose some it just as well be all, but I didn't find it a problem, it taking a week, in fact it fascinated me (I am strange though LOL ) love x G x :-/ ;-)

  • Hi Christine

    The first time I had taxol, I only shaved my head after the hair started to fall out. The hair loss is very sudden, quite literally hair today, gone tommorrow and you are likely to have very little hair left 3 weeks after your 1st treatment. Although I had cut my hair short (2-3 inches) I found it hurt when the hair was falling out, like a loose tooth and so I shaved it all off.

    I found that the hair did grow between treatments and even noticed thinning along the strand of the hair so much so that you could count the number of treatments I'd had. At the end of the treatment, I shaved it again so that it would grow back more evenly. I think I probably did this a couple of times, till it was all growing back nicely.

    The lashes and eyebrows do go, but I found they hung on for a few more treatments.


  • My hair began to fall out but not all at once as I had expected. One of the nurses at the oncologist's clinic advised me to get it shaved off as it was dropping. So I did. Saved all the cleaning up. :D

  • P.S. Nothing grew back until well after all the treatment.

  • I shaved it off before treatment began first time round. PIcked my wig while I still had hair though, to get a good match.

    Second time I cut it cut short, then held onto it for as along as possible - until I started getting odd looks from people! It only lasted about 3 weeks.

    You only get the tinest growth during chemo - about a couple of millimetres!

    Get hold of some 'Buffs' - they are great for keeping your head warm at night and when you don't feel like wearing a scratchy wig!

  • I got a friend to shave mine after first treatment

    2nd time around I treid the cold cap and unlike Monique my hair only thinned very slightly and looked perfectly normal through out

    Do what feels right for youxxxxx

  • Hi Christine

    I got a hairdresser friend to cut my hair really short just before my first chemo. It virtually all fell out after treatment number 1, but after just having number 5 I still have some eye lashes and eyebrows left.

    Brenda X

  • Hi Christine,I shaved mine off as soon as it started to fall out which was Abbott two Weeks after treatment started. Like you I wanted to take control and mine was falling every time I ran my fingers thru it. I am nearly at the end of chemo ( one more to go! ) and I still Havre some eyebrows and a few eyelashes. All the way thru Chemo I have kept a very patchy short stubble on my head which is pure white??? I think it just goes to show just how individual we all are. I have to say that being someone who was always hair obsessed,I haven't found it as traumatic as I thought I would, just very cold if I don't wear my wig or knitted hat. Lisa xx

  • Hi Christine,

    I shaved mine about three weeks into treatment as it was falling out in clumps, I shaved it on a Bald setting, however I was speaking to a hairdresser who also supplies and cuts wigs a couple of weeks ago, he advised you should never shave bald, but number one or two, as this reduces the chance of infection in hair follicles.

    I was thrilled that I didn't lose my eyebrows and lashes during treatment, then the bl......dy things fell out a couple of weeks later.... The injustice!,,,,

    Good luck


    Jan x

  • Hi Christine

    I never had the courage to shave mine, just let it fall out. I was shocked when it started to fall out 2 weeks after my first chemo, but was happier to let it be. Strangely my eyebrows and eyelashes hung in there until after my chemo finished.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Love Linda xx

  • Hi Christine - yep, I shaved the lot off as soon as it started to thin really - it was absolutely as you say: to feel like I was in control. Did the wig thing, never wore it and ditched the scarves too a few weeks in. Just didn't seem nearly as earth shattering in reality as the prospect did.... Am now through chemo and look slightly like a plucked chicken but it's growing back far faster than I expected. No eyebrows yet, but the eyelashes are definitely returning :)

    I'd say go for it.

  • Hi Christine,

    One of the bonuses of having chemo is loosing your hair, sounds a strange thing to say doesn`t it? But then I am a bit weird!

    A) You have no bad hair days

    B) You can be ready to start your day so much quicker.

    C) It`s one thing less to worry about when your feeling rotton.

    D) You save money on all the never ending hair products and visits to the salon.

    E) And when it grows back you have the excitment of trying new styles while it grows.

    F) No more whisker plucking, leg shaving or waxing. Infact my body kind of felt weird cos there is no bodily hair at all not even that downy facual hair, it felt quite allian and so smooth.

    As a retired hairdresser, I kind of envey`d the men having their heads shaved - I often wondered what it would be like to shave it all off. Now I can tell everyone - It was liberating!!!!!!

    As soon as I knew I was going to lose my hair to the taxol, I had it cut shorter than I would have dare to ever do before. Then I asked everyone to sponsor me in a head shave to raise money for Cancer research.

    I shaved it all off one week before the chemo started. I was however, amazed how much it grew in that week before treatment. I went to a salon to do it and photos was taken to proof to everyone who had sponsored me the task had been completed.

    I raised a whopping £1,400.00.

    One thousnad was donated to research the rest I donated to macmillom who were my best friends throughout the treatment.

    About ten days after my first chemo the bristles started to fall out, it made such a mess in the wash basin each morning, which made me realise how terribly painful it would be to lose ones longer locks like that. I looked like a mangy old cat for a while but that didn`t phase me because I had three fabulous wigs. One was on the NHS - I had to put about £30 towards it though. Another wig I paid £90 for and it was fabulous, I also bought a light weight one for the summer which only cost me £65. I also had head scarfs and bandanners but I only wore them around the house, personally I didn`t feel like myself in those, they made me feel like a cancer victim.

    If I ever have to go through this again so help me God, I would do the same every time, I would also ask for sponsors to raise more dosh for research. This gave it a real purpose - a positive reason to lose my hair, rather than losing it to the cancer and its gremlins.

    It also raised a lot of awareness and friends who felt scared said I had given them all inspiration to fight the demons should they ever fall victim to the disease.

    I made an appointment at a beauty salon and they taught me to pencil my eye lashes on using light brush strokes they looked so incredibly natural, so much so most people remarked that I had not lost my eye brows. I wore false eye lashes for a wedding but they were not my problem, losing my wig in a tree branch fascinator still attached but thats another story - we still laugh about it.

    I couldn`t get the knack of putting false eye lashes on myself but I did use eye liner and that made so much difference.

    About two months after my eye lashes had grown back, they all fell out again, I was a bit worried this was going to happen every 8 weeks or so, but it didn`t happen again.

    All the best Christine, do whatever feels right for yourself, whatever way you chose it will be the right way for you luvie.

    Take good care love from Tina xxxxx

  • Tina, I think you just wrote the ultimate hair loss blog! How brilliant. And why didn't we all try to use it as a fundraising exercise? Think of all that dosh! Bugger!

    I bow to you as (now ex) bald lady extraordinaire.


    Sue xxx

    PS. And can you tell us the wig-and-fascinator-in-a-tree story sometime please, when we need cheering up....

  • A 18 months after my last chemo, my hair had grown back to its usual jaw length bob with blonde highlights. Inbetween I experiemented with all semi-permanent colours, I went dark brown, bright red, bronze/gold and enjoy some fabulous new styles along the way.

    Some peoples grows back curly or wavy, mine never did mores the pity. But it is much, much thicker than it has ever been.

  • Hi yes i shaved my head fter the 1st session of chemo as it was starting to fall out, i thought bugger you i am in charge, i have a lovely wig which is so natural but dont wear it that much, even went out for Sunday Lunch and removed the wig so liberating! Love Pam x

  • hi i am on taxol only so knew my hair would fall out as i have had carboplatin/taxol before. my hairdresser came round and gave me a skinhead as i couldnt bear to have long bits of hair falling out. I do have a wig but havent used it yet, when my hair grew back last time it grew back quite quickly and like the other ladies i think people should take us as they find us. Good luck i a sure you look gorgeous xx

  • The growing again part can be fun. I took to makeup and earrings. A bit flamboyant but outwardly confident and it went a long way to making the improvised, make do and mend, haircuts look like a style choice. Now after 15 months I have my first real haircut, chosen yesterday with my hairdresser, skillfully razored, thick, strong and steel grey. It's beautiful and the earrings have become permanant. And yes, I shaved the lot off. I couldn't bear it falling in the cooking.

    The best of luck on your journey. Find some way to adorn yourself. A little shoping is no bad thing!!!! love Liz

  • I started finding hairs on my pillow while in hospital and my hairdresser friend came and cut my hair really short for me. It continued coming out and she came back and told me to shave it all off - which she did. I don't think my hair started to grow back until way after chemo, roughly 5 months. I now have long hair but due to lots of complication from my chemo, it grew back very thin. I now have very thin hair which isn't great however, I have no arm pit hair and hardly shave my legs etc like I used to before - every cloud has a silver lining and all that. :)

  • Hi

    I shaved my head before it started to fall out. Took photos as it was being done so made it fun.. I felt I had some control I did not want the trauma of chunks falling out plus looking wispy. The funny thing was the little stubby bits still fell out and it felt like when you have been to the hairdresser and you have hairs down your neck, so I used a lint roller all over my head worked a treat!

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