• How do you care for a bald head?

    Asked by BuckeyeShelby on Thursday, September 20, 2012

    How do you care for a bald head?

    I'll be starting chemo w/in the next couple weeks. My dr has indicated I will likely lose my hair. How does one care for a bald head? I have a scalp treatment that includes spf 15, so I'm good there. But what about cleaning? Baby shampoo? Regular shampoo? Body wash? suggestions? Thanks

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      I used regular old shampoo. Definitely saved on conditioner. One thing I did not expect was how cold my head got at night. Some nice soft hats really helped keep me cozy.

      over 8 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar

      I don't think there's a single answer for everyone. I had lots of scalp trouble--got folliculitis caused by overly sensitive skin being highly irritated by hair trying to re-grow between chemo treatments. This is known to happen sometimes and is caused by Taxol. So it required treatment by a dermatologist. Probably you won't have the same problem, but if your scalp gets itchy welts, don't hesitate to go to a dermatologist because it probably won't improve by itself. A common problem is that the scalp feels hot to the touch while bald during chemotherapy. This is a related problem--I would describe it as a possible preliminary to folliculitis, but many people get the red, warm scalp who don't go on to develop the itchy welts of folliculitis.

      There is a fair amount of info out there about using very mild shampoo and soap, and using a very soft towel to pick up the water after washing without rubbing the skin. This applies to the whole body, including the scalp.

      My dermatologist, and it appears that many dermatologists say the same thing from the increased sales of this brand, says to use CeraVe brand moisture wash all over the body all the time, and especially during chemotherapy. This includes using it on the scalp. Then use their general moisturizing cream on the body after the bath. They also have a P.M. cream plus an A.M. cream that has 30 SPF, which is great for face and skin that is exposed to sunlight. I had lots of different products before, but I'm a believer now in this brand, which is considerably cheaper than department store products. These items are sold OTC at drugstores.

      The suggestion that you have some soft caps for sleeping is a good one. I have some that are winter weight and some that are so lightweight that they can be used under a wig or hat. That way you can choose based on the temperature or how you're feeling. I don't know if you live near an American Cancer Society office, but I visited the one near me, and I was offered my choice of many hand-knit hats and shawls. It seems that some knitting clubs make and donate these items. Bless them! I got 2 nice soft, warm hats for winter, and the shawl was great while at the hospital for chemo treatments. The hospitals are usually kept very cold, and your treatments may make you feel colder. So throughout the summer I wore the shawl while at the hospital. And, it's nice enough that I'll enjoy using it at home during the winter.

      I hope all this helps you plan ahead and handle everything well. Good luck.

      over 8 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      I too just use my regular old shampoo my head was already used to. At first, my head was so sensitive and it was so strange to feel the shower on my head. At first, I kept mine covered a lot, but as summer came I began to just leave it be. I still get cold though, and I have amassed quite a collection of cozy hats :)

      Other things I've learned:
      -Use a bit of facial moisturizer if things get dry
      -I sometimes use a head moisturizer if things are shiny
      -Animals/pets will still recognize you instantly
      -People may not
      -Watch for low branches.. there's no more hair to protect your fair skin

      All I know is I def. used to wash my hair daily, but now I usually just rinse my dome daily and wash twice a week. I just don't feel like it gets dirty like hair did!

      over 8 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      I used baby shampoo, I didn't have any sensitivity issues either, I have heard of people who used regular shampoo and got head sores. And yes, your head gets cold at night. I also had a cozy hat to wear.

      over 8 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I used body wash when I lost my hair. I am allergic to baby shampoo.

      over 8 years ago
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar

      When my hair started to come out the scalp was really sensitive. I used baby shampoo because it was gentler. After the scalp sensitivity went away I would just use regular body wash. I had a favorite beanie-type hat that I would wear that was really soft. I had some other head coverings that I would use but I really got attached to my pink and white beanie. Try to appreciate the ease of things once you get used to not having hair! No leg shaving, no underarm shaving, and you save a ton of time and product not having to do your hair. Now that my hair is starting to come back in, I find myself being wistful of the days when I didn't have to worry about it!

      over 8 years ago
    • mamoladyc's Avatar

      I used the same stuff on my head as I used on my face to protect the skin. Mild soap followed by face lotion with sunscreen. I also had a cap to sleep in. Sometimes that was too much so I just put a pillow case over my head to keep the chill off. Fortunately, it was winter time so my head was always covered during the day.

      over 8 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I wash what's left of my hair with a mild shampoo every few days. I use Jojoba oil on body after my shower and just run my oil infused hands over my scalp - after each shower - love what it does for my skin from head to toe. (makes a great face moisturizer too)

      over 8 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      I was bald before chemo so hair loss wasn't a big issue for me. I'm also not very good about apply sun block. I've gotten to where I'll wear a bandana when outside for any extended period of time. I asked my Oncologist if I'd lose any other hair and he said "NO". He was wrong, wrong, wrong. I made it a point to tell him that too. He thought it was funny. I think the biggest issue you're going to have with the baldness is the baldness. When you're use to having hair, losing it all can be a bit of a shock. Just remember....it will all grow back. If you're like me, it may end up at different texture and color. There's always wigs but I think women should embrace the baldness. You all look cute with bald heads. Good Luck Tomorrow!!

      over 8 years ago

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