Shaving your head BEFORE chemo...has anybody done this...your thoughts?

Well I see my oncolgist on Fri, and we are going start probally next week with chemo, heres my problem..I want to shave my head , because last time I really just went short ,and just hated my hair falling out, freinds are way supportive, my family however thinks thats nuts and I should just keep my hair as long as possible, there is no doubt I will lose with treatment.
This is really bothering me, I will probally go Saturday, my aunt says she will not speak to me if I do it, and the sad thing is shes a beautician by trade.
Just wanted some thoughts on it. Or if anybody here did this prior to chemo....

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You know your hair will fall out after one or two treatments. And the falling out part as you know is difficult. It comes out in chunks, can stop up the shower drain, gets all over the towels, and your scalp can hurt. This was my experience at any rate. I did a buzz cut after mine started coming out in chunks and I was glad to be rid of it. My family was upset with me too. It was in-your-face I have cancer. No more denial. But everyone got over it and focused on the important part. Your aunt is probably not wanting to face up to your cancer. Good luck!!

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I shaved mine 18 days after 1st treatment. That's the day it started to fall out so I just went ahead and did it. I didn't want loose hair falling around all the time. If you want to go ahead and do this then you should. It's your choice....the end result is the same..You just get to choose when it happens

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My mother has gone through two chemo courses. The first time , She was so stressed about her hair falling out. "Would it fall out at the dinner table", "Would it fall out in her sleep?". We begged her not to shave it, Telling her to let nature take its course. I regret it!. It became her main focus!. Not on her health, But on her appearance. Her hair got so thin and she finally shaved the remainder of the flyaways. The second time for chemo , She immediately went to the wig shop, Bought a beautiful wig. She went to her salon and shaved it. What a difference!. Sad for about a day, But never talked about it again. It became who she was. She is still her, But with really nice "Fake hair".
As far as your aunt goes. I was in denial about my mother. When she lost her hair it became real. I think the visual is what makes it sink in for the families. It is very hard at first to see the results of Chemo. The disease becomes real for us
It must be especially hard for her, When she actually works with the stuff.
But like I said it doesnt take too long for us to see that you are still the same person, Just a little inconvenienced. Do what you feel you need to do. It is about you right now. She will get over it, I did.
she will realize how insignificant it really is!! You are still you
Hope this helps a bit

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The first time I shaved my head but not until right before it fell out about 2 weeks after my first treatment. This is about what YOU want and what and what makes it easier for you. Either way it falls out and that is one of the hardest things to deal with in my opinion besides the fact that you have cancer. Since you have been down this road before do what is comfortable for you. When you are done with treatment ask your aunt to help you decide on a new hairstyle when your hair starts growing back in. Thats what I did to help me get through the bald part. I concentrated on something new and different to try with my new hair. Good luck.
Kathy

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Do it. It's your body, your disease. If you want to shave ahead of chemo, that should be YOUR decision. And I say shame on your family for not being more supportive.

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It will probably come out by the 3rd week after treatment. I know I always cut mine very short and felt no need for head shaving. With it very short, it just came out more and more as it was combed and got thinner until there was none. I personally would never shave my head - I'd do the short haircut again and I've done it twice already.

I also would not worry too much about what others think you should do. You are the one losing the hair and you have to be comfortable with whatever you do. If they ever lose theirs, they can do what they want.

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Well, call me crazy, but I didn't shave my head this time. I am heading to my 5th tx of carbo/taxotere in a couple of weeks. I have very short hair to begin with. I would go into the shower in the morning and brush and shampoo my hair and brush again and rinse it off my body (and sometimes I had to add soap to my body to get it off). I would collect it from the drain and that would pretty much take care of it for the day. It stopped the itching and any associated pain. I did this each morning and I still have some hair. I rarely wear anything on my head and have gone to a formal affair with this real thin short hair, but everyone seems to think I wear it well. It still falls out, but one or two hairs at a time. I am hoping to keep some to the very end of this course of tx.
Judy

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I am a believer that you have to do what is right for you. Cancer gives you the right to be selfish and do what you want. I had my buzzed before chemo and was glad I did. It gave me time to adjust to little hair before all the nasty chemo stuff plus when it did fall out, it was not as traumatic since it was wisps of hair falling out and not big chunks. You do what YOU want to do. Don't worry about how your aunt feels...you are the one having to live this...not her. I am not trying to knock her but she is not in your shoes. Whatever you decide will be the right thing.

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I had a beautician offer to style a wig for me. I never did it since I didn't like the wigs ....they were scratchy plus my head was always so sweaty so I wore turbans at home and ballcaps in public...(I love the ones on that site you posted about), but my thought is that it might give your aunt something helpful she can do for you since she is a beautician. You buy the wig and then the beautician cuts and styles it to fit you.

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Everyone is different. After my first treatment, during the first week I noticed my hair starting to come out. It upset me more than I thought. I had already gotton a wig on the same day I had my first trmt as I felt great! I went by myself to a salon and she suggested I first get it cut short which I did. By the time that I got home, I thought what the heck and my grandson helped me shave the rest off! I think everyone has a different comfort zone. I remember when I first came home from my 1st visit with my onco, all of a sudden I just broke down-something I had not done yet. A close friend was here with me trying to let me know everything was going to be alright. I told her I knew that but that I at that moment I felt really stupid because I was more upset at losing my hair than having cancer. She reminded me that nothing you feel is stupid! Feelings don't neccessarily happen in any particular order! Do what you think is best for you!

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I cut mine short then when it started falling out after having some fun .I shaved my head . I had hair in my food on my clothes ,on my pillow,. It was just one more thing I didn't want to deal with.God Bless kate

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i agree with those above..it is about you. I had intentions of shaving my head before it started to fall out but it started about 2 days before I was ready. Not planning on a reoccurrance but if it should happen I would shave my head either before my treatment or a day or so after. As it may have been for you, it was worse for me having the chunks fall out. I felt a release after it was done. Best wishes, hugs & prayer to you and live with no regrets!

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Here's another suggestion. Whether or not you shave your hair off is up to you. But if it is a substantial length and thickness now, you could have your beautician (in this case your aunt) cut your hair in a way that the hair can be saved & made into a "halo", affixed to a type of ribbon, that you can tie around your head & wear under a hat , scarf etc. This is great in the warm months, when you might not want to wear a wig. This was done for me by an expert wig maker in advance. It was really helpful in the summer. If you do this, do it quickly before your hair starts thinning. Good luck, Shela. Sort of the same principle as Locks of Love

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I had my hair cut short before my surgery in Oct My hair didn't start to fall out until Dec...Then it was a slow process....little bits here and there..Finally in Jan my son,who is 27 and has been helping me since the beginning of my journey and is a super super guy bought a hair shaver, buzzed his head and then buzzed mine...I think if I face a recurrance I'll do it right away instead of waiting....After all it's only hair,and yes when we are bald, people just have to accept the fact that we have cancer...If we can handle it, they should be able to do the same...... Blessings Bonn

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I'm going thru chemo for the second time. And both times I got my hair cut real short once it started to fall out. The hair would get in food when I was cooking, in the drains, pillows etc. Not a good thing. And cutting my hair real short took care of those problems. The little that was left on my head....did not cause a problem as it fell out. Also you can get ingrown hairs when you shave, still many ladies do it and are happy with the results. Good luck in your decision. ((HUGS))

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Before I started losing my hair I had it cut very short and actually liked it alot ( I had sometimes worn my hair very short before OVC ) and I received a lot of compliments. As soon as my hair did start to fall out I went and had it all cut/shaved. I had thought losing my hair was going to be really hard, but turned out it was the easiest part to deal with. Wore my wig two times and after that went with hats or natural. By the time I was done with chemo I probably accumulated at least 20 hats. I had always liked hats on others but never wore one because it just didn't fee/look right to me. During my treatment time, one of the things that I enjoyed doing was shopping for hats. To this day, when I see a hat I really like, I always say to myself, if I were still going through treatment, I would definitely buy that hat.
As far as if you should or should not shave your head because of what your aunt or anyone else thinks, that should not be an issue, you need to do whatever it is YOU want.

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I'm with those who cut their hair short before chemo. I got a nice cut and took lots of good photos with it cut short (not the one I use on this web site). I'm glad I did it. By the way, when my hair grew back, I decided to keep it cut short, although not quite as short as I had when I started chemo. I don't color my hair any more and I get so many compliments on the style and color (people are amazed it has grown in curly and multi-colored, with natural highlights and lowlights and a gray streak)!

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I am a hairdresser and colorist by trade and as a person who has just finished chemo I say it is whatever is going to make you more comfortable. There really isn't much difference doing it before or waiting till it will fall out. As soon as I was told I would defiantely loss my hair I had cut it short and donated it to Locks of Love. Then as soon as it started to fall out I shaved it all off. I was not going to wait for it I wanted to take control. So if you feel that you would like to shave your head before you start treatments I say you go girl!!! If I have to go thru this again I will do the same. I found it harder to have handfuls of hair coming out than shaving it. You feel that everyone can tell you are lossing it. Good luck with your treatments!!!!

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When my hair started falling out, I couldn't stand the randomness of when it was falling out. Nor could I stand the itching. So 2 days later, my friends shaved my head. It has been very liberating. I am having fun wtih scarves and hats.

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I had read that it falls out about 14 days after first chemo, so I had a friend cut it short about 10 days after chemo. A few days later it startet to fall out and even though it was short, it still bothered me, that there was hair everywhere, especially on my pillow, so my husband cut it really short without shaving it. I have lots of scarves and just this week got me a wig (paid for by insurance). I really like my scarves better, so easy to wear. Maybe you could get some before you have chemo, maybe even a wig. Took me over 3 month since surgery to feel good enough to try out wigs, but you can order lots of scarves on the internet.

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