• Has anyone shaved off their initial growth after chemo? Should I just leave it alone?

    Asked by Noelle on Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Has anyone shaved off their initial growth after chemo? Should I just leave it alone?

    I lost all my hair after one round of chemo. It's coming back in all weird right now. I'd like to shave my head to bald again to promote even growth but I'm not sure if this is a good idea at this point.

    23 Answers from the Community

    23 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Shaving your head will not promote even growth. The way your hair grows in is primarily genetic and will continue the same patterns each time. Mine has been growing back since April and I still have a lot of bad hair days, but it needs to get long enough to have enough weight and bend so that it doesn't just go off in any and every direction. You can still get it trimmed or shaped if you like, but shaving it all off again will just put you back at the beginning again.

      over 8 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      I've always shaved my head anyway but when my hair first started growing back it was like fuzz. Like a baby's hair. After a few shaves it started to grown back in a bit courser. It would have done that anyway. Like Nancy said, shaving it will not promote even growth. If I were you, I'd just let it grow. Let us know what you decide.

      over 8 years ago
    • JudyS's Avatar

      I left mine alone, I was so happy to have hair again (yes, it was peach fuzz). It grew in just beautifully. Mine was barely 1/4" and still showing some scalp when I got the nerve to walk around like that (beginning of summer) and I even received compliments on the cute short cut and 1 lady asked me who cut my hair for me because she was looking to go with a really short cut - that was too funny!! Its really your decision - enjoy it!

      over 8 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      My hair is beginning to grow back since they replaced paclitaxel with Gemcitabine and Carboplatin. For now I am leaving it alone, as it looks like a buzz cut. Not sure what I'll do when it starts getting all wonky - I like the buzz cut look, so I may keep it. Do what makes you fell the best about the way you look. Nancyjac suggestion of trimming and shaping sounds like a good idea to me.

      over 8 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I didn't shave my hair till part way thorugh chemo, then shaved it......I had some hair and hung onto it through chemo, till I decided it looked more like straw than hair....should have shaved it sooner....once I was done chemo, I didn't cover my hair anymore

      over 8 years ago
    • Modern's Avatar

      After I shaved it initially I left it alone I loved having hair again and it is so soft :) but it's really up to you if u prefer bald to peach fuzz though its gotta grow back sometime :) good luck with I'd treatment

      over 8 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      This is a time to be patient with your hair. If you shave it, you are just starting out all over again. The hair issue is one of the toughest parts of treatment for us. I continued to wear hats and scarves when my hair was first growing in. It took about 3-4 months post chemo for me to feel comfortable with my short hair.

      over 8 years ago
    • SherrySwett's Avatar

      If your hair grows in like peach fuzz does it fall out when you get stronger hair? My hair grew in strong and a little curly and somewhat darker than normal. It was 7 months before I would bare my head in public at a Christmas Eve program. I was self conscious for a while but then I got used to it and people said they liked it short. Now I'm letting it grow for a while to see what it does. My hair is getting lighter now.

      over 8 years ago
    • SherrySwett's Avatar

      The first haircut I got was just to trim the extra "tufts" of hair and make it even.

      over 8 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      Go to someone who can shape it a little bit. Mine was growing in fuzzy and weird but a professional trimmed the ends and shaped the back. It is wavy and funny and certainly has a mind of its own which gel tames somewhat. There is some nice body mixed in with the curls and waves. Try to be patient. The lady who drew my blood yesterday at a check up said she missed her old chemo hair. She's two years post treatment and her hair is string-straight again.

      over 8 years ago
    • gogolf's Avatar

      I was told by one of my chemo nurses to not shave your head close, leave about 1/4 inch so as to not damage the hair folicals. I have had chemo twice and the first time my hair came back good and it is again this time. I am going to sound like a commercial but I have been using John Frieda shampoo and conditioner and the detangler spray. Both times I lost my hair I used shampoo and conditioner every day and so far my hair is coming back just as good as the first time.

      over 8 years ago
    • gogolf's Avatar

      Opps I forgot to add that the shampoo is the Root Awaking in the green tube.

      over 8 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      I had long blonde straight hair before chemo. It came in white at first, then lots of black kinky hair came in. I had a little Afro! The color bothered me so I dyed it brown as it grew out. I kept getting trims as it grew to have a style. That was fun! Now I have longer blonde hair (I cover the new gray) again. My hair is like it was before 2 years later. Shaving it will not make it grow, growth comes from the roots. Enjoy the changes as your hair grows back. Get it trimmed when you need to or change the color up. It is only hair! The important thing is your health now. Good luck to you!

      over 8 years ago
    • MsScribe's Avatar

      I left mine alone but kept my hair very short so that it grew out relatively quickly. At first my hair, which had been long straight and brown, came back in white short and curly! I mean like pin curls! It took over 6 months for it to darken to a grey and white mix - sort of charcoal now. A year after chemo my eyelashes and eyebrows have also grown back in as thick as they were before the chemo. My hair is still wavy and thick, and I now bleach it almost white. As I'm still getting sweats and flashes I don't plan to grow it until those diminish...wishful thinking.

      If you plan to grow it longer be aware that the chemo isn't just in the hair but also in the root, hair shaft and your blood stream for several months. I would guess at least 6 months until its out of your system. So...you might want to let it grow but keep it short.

      Try using some product designed to get the chemicals out of your hair such as Nioxin scalp conditioner.

      I have a good friend who decided to invest in a good razor, threw out ALL her hair products and now buzzes her charcoal colored hair to a 1/3rd of an inch...she rocks it!!!

      over 8 years ago
    • leslie48240's Avatar

      NOELLE... It is the strangest thing...but I discovered that the hair actually changed on the shaft as it grew. In other words, as it grew out I could look at an individual hair and see the baby soft white hair at the far end, then it was stronger and darker as you look and feel down the shaft to the scalp end. Not sure what that would mean as to shave it or not...but patience pays! I, like others here, was just so glad to get any hair of any kind back. I was not a gorgeous model type bald...more like Creepy from the old EC comics. For others going thru the hair loss...the pre-shaped scarf head covers were the most comfortable at home. For work I got the very inexpensive wigs from local beauty supply store...just $30-60 dollars. Not real hair so they kept the style with just a shake. Easy to wash. Look for the ones with very soft stretchy mesh inside instead of heavy elastic...as your scalp will be very sensitive. The specialty wig shops wanted a few hundred dollars and they were not as comfortable or natural looking. After the 1st wig...trying to match my natural hair and style (gray with loose medium length curls)...I upped the game and got a spunky short black curly one...loved it!!!
      figured if I had to wear a wig...I might as well have a little fun with it.

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      "If you plan to grow it longer be aware that the chemo isn't just in the hair but also in the root, hair shaft and your blood stream for several months. I would guess at least 6 months until its out of your system. So...you might want to let it grow but keep it short."

      This is just not true. Chemo drugs are eliminated from your body in several hours at most. Their effect in terms of having killed cells (including hair cells) may have an impact for quite some time, but not because the chemo drugs are still in your body. I just wanted to clarify that so that you don't think that shaving your head again or using any time of product will have any affect on removing chemo drugs from them, because they are already long gone.

      over 8 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      i cut my hair because it started off super super stooopid curly.... honestly, i thought i had some one else's hair up on top of my head! i couldn't deal with it, and one of my friends told me i looked like a muppet - the jerk!

      so, out came the clippers, and i cut it down to about 1 cm.... and it was BETTER!!!!! my hair continues to grow, and it's still curly, but the curls are relaxing. i'm again at muppet stage, but since the curls are relaxed, it seems less.. .well... unamageable. so, i'm trying to decide whether i'll go 1 cm short again... or just let it keep growing.

      and oh wow is the hat head and bed head HORRID!!!!!

      and, by the way, i have WAY MORE GREY now! oh, the cruelty of it all!

      anyway, i'm told that the average is like a year before you get your old texture back.

      whatever... at the end of the day, shaving it won't change how it grows. but, if it has reached the point at which it's all growing at a relatively even pace, it will seem like it's more even. i would not go all the way down to the skin... but maybe to 1/2 or 1 cm in length....

      dont' know if that helps... but, i can tell you... you are not alone!

      over 8 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      I am not sure that shaving your hair will help promote growth.. perhaps you can get a nice "short" style done
      at the salon to even things up.

      over 8 years ago
    • WonderKitty's Avatar

      I shaved my head pretty regularly during my treatment. It all fell out almost right away, but then kept coming back extremely sparsely, and a weird color, so I kept it shaved for comfort and convenience, and let it grow out only when I was done with chemo for a couple months. I say shave it. Its not worth the hassle.

      over 8 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar

      I decided to keep my hair at the "stubble" length since I expect that chemo will return to my treatment regime at some point in the future. Bald is easier for us guys than you ladies but I think it's all in what your comfortable with. Hair or no hair that is the question. which is nobler?

      Keep it positive and smile :)

      over 8 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Just let it grow back how it wants.... It won't be long. Spike it, wear crazy big earings and that fun "smokie" eye makeup. You're young you'll look fabulous!

      over 8 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar


      Good question. I hope your hair is back by now. Here is an article we wrote that I thought you might like.


      over 7 years ago
    • baridirects' Avatar

      I had gone through several stages of haircuts at the start of my chemo treatments, some of which I really liked. When it started to fall out in earnest, I had it shaved. Strangely enough, I'm getting some growth even though I'm still receiving chemo, so I've been going every now and again to get it evened out. I have a month of chemo to go, so my plan is to get it buzzed perhaps one more time, and then after my last treatment, allow it to grow out, just keeping it shaped as best as possible. I've been walking around bold as brass in my scalp for the most part, rocking some funky earrings just for fun...when I don't have a head covering on, I'm using sunscreen to protect my skin from burning. I'm looking forward to seeing what grows out...I started to gray naturally when I was 12, but have been coloring it for many years. Right now, looks like it's going to come in platinum, and I'm thinking of leaving it that way.


      over 7 years ago

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