Being Bald

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jason_els, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Got a question here...

    My hair is falling out very rapidly these days. In the past two months I've lost nearly all of it due to the chemo and it's come out in whole patches and clumps.

    As I see it, I can either choose to shave it all off or attempt a very short cut that leaves just a few millimeters. I expect I will lose that too very soon until I'm completely bald.

    I've never been bald before, never shaved my head for any reason. What do you think I should do? Should I just go for a complete shave or leave what little is left for a kinda tennis ball fuzz look? For those of you who are bald, whether by nature or choice, what kind of maintenance is involved? Do I need to use sunscreen or head wax or some other kind of thing? Does growback itch and should I expect ingrown hairs? What should I expect that I don't know about? Is wearing hats necessary to protect against sunburn even if I don't spend much time outdoors? Do you still wash your scalp with shampoo or do you use soap? How often do I need to clip or shave it?

    I'll put up a pic once it's done so you can see what it looks like but right now it looks awful so I have to do something. I'm going to have a barber do it so I can learn how to maintain it no matter what I decide to do.

    Thanks for the input! :smile:
     
  2. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Get a Flowbee!
     
  3. Rubenesque

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    I'd get the razor out and yes you will need sunscreen... that's an area that has not been subjected to the suns rays because it's always been covered with hair.

    Don't know if it'll itch when it grows back, but I do know that after chemo your hair can grow back totally different to the way it was before. Had a friend who had straight hair and after chemo it grew back really curly
     
  4. poomoz

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    Jason I am sorry to hear about your chemo, I hope you are in the mend.
    Just be yourself and you will find out who your real friends are.
     
  5. dongalong

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    Your new look will probably take a bit of getting used to. Get a cool hat to avoid shocking your friends. :wink:
    I shave my head at least once per week (with electric clippers) that leaves about 1mm length, sometimes I use the razor for that shiny Kojak look but it's rare.
    I usually wear hats when it is sunny but sometimes it's too hot, so if I go without I'm usually conscious that my scalp skin will burn easily - however it's nice to get rid of that grey "convict" look.
    Maintenance is similar to shaving your beard or stubble, I still use shampoo to wash my scalp.
     
  6. Mem

    Mem
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    Shave it or get a close crew cut. I've never had ingrown hairs on my head. I usually shave my head every two days. It's very easy to shave your head. It's easier than your face to shave because you don't have eyes, nose or lips in the way.

    I usually wear a baseball cap. At the beach you do need sunscreen. I wore a bandanna at the beach because I did not want to get a sunburn on my scalp. I've gotten a sunburn once on my head and the peeling was very nasty, but that was after several hours in the hot sun with the water reflecting extra sun on it. Unless you will be out in the sun for an hour or more you should not need sunscreen.

    I don't use shampoo on my head. Shampoo is for hair, soap or body wash is for skin.
     
  7. eddyabs

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    Jason, go the whole hog and shave it off.....it will be much less of a concern for you, and you can accessorise with some natty hats. I bet you'd look good in a classic English flat cap!
     
  8. sdbg

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    Hi Jason! My hair started to thin severly in my late 20s. By the time that I was 35, I had classic male pattern baldness. I bought a pair of clippers and cut it myself without a guard. I've shaved it a few times. It doesn't look that much different whether I shave it with a razor or buzz it with the clippers. To me, it feels weird to have a shaved head and put a hat or cycling helmet on - kind of like snake skin. Perhaps if I did it more often, I'd get used to it. It has never itched when it grows back. Trimming with the clippers is quick and easy. I do it every weekend and it only takes 5 minutes. Hats are a must, and you can accessorize with them. When I go swimming in the ocean, I have to do the sunscreen thing or my head gets burned. I've come to like having extreme short hair, especially in the heat of summer or when I'm sweating on a long bike ride. Without all that hair, your head cools off faster.
     
  9. Industrialsize

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    I used to work as an oncology Nurse. If you think you are going to lose the rest of your hair I would shave it and not buzz it with clippers. My patients who buzzed their hair always told me that they wished that they had shaved it. They told me that when very short hair falls out it can be very irritating to the skin of the neck, back, and wherever it falls. Shaving is the way to go. And as someone else already said, don't be surprised if when your hair grows back in that it may be quite different. Straight hair may come in curly, brown hair may come in brown etc. Good luck with the rest of your treatment.
     
  10. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    I'd go whole hog and shave it, Jason.
    And to keep it looking good, you'll need to shave it nearly every day ... or at least so I'm told by the people I know who do shave.
    I think it can be a sharp look, and I think your features could be shown to great advantage with a baldy.
     
  11. MickeyLee

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    take it down to the bare skin, Mr. Jason_els. unleash your inner Professor X.
     
  12. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Thanks guys.

    No idea how you managed as an oncology nurse Indy. It must have been an enormous emotional drain. More power to you.

    Hmm.... If I shave it every day are there special or recommended razors for it? How do I know I've gotten every spot? Do you use shaving cream, soap, or some other thing? Will a barber shave it for me so I can see how he does it? Do you shave in the direction of the hair like a beard?

    Sorry to be so naive. My knowledge of hair care is limited to washing, conditioning (sometimes), drying, combing, and taking it to get cut once in a while. It's never occurred to me that I might need a regimen of some sort or what it involves.
     
  13. Mem

    Mem
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    I use a triple (shaver) razor. You use shaving cream and the shaving cream will guide you to where you already shaved. The shaving direction will come natural to you. If you are right handed you will feel more comfortable shaving the left side of your head in a forward motion. For the back you can use a hand held mirror and turn around to see yourself in the medicine cabinet mirror. You can also use an electric razor.
     
  14. MarkLondon

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    I've never tried shaving my head, I just clip it about once a week. Usually bare-chested and take a shower after to avoid the itchy hair-dust problem. Though a towel tucked into your turned-down collar will keep most of it out of your clothes.

    But if you're getting patchy hair, shaving is probably best.

    You do NOT want to get a sunburned peeling scalp. So a hat or sunscreen is necessary until you've built up a tan, if you do tan.

    The new look will probably be a bit of a shock at first, but give it a while and you might well get to like it.

    Have you got someone who could shave/clip you? It can be quite a pampering experience and avoids the contortions involved in managing the back left quadrant.

    Best Wishes,
    Mark
     
  15. SpeedoGuy

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    Progressive male pattern baldness here.

    I like the bald look. Eventually I'll go to it, or, at least, very short clipped of what remains of my hair. I think either look cool.

    Whatever the choice, my best wishes to you, jason els.
     
  16. Northland

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    Well Jason, there is no set answer for this. When the chemo began attacking my hair I was in no condition to care what happened next and when it was suggested that I just have the rest shaved off, I agreed to it and found it was something of a relief. A friend of mine would keep it shaved down on a weekly basis, although in fairness, there wasn't much to shave off after the first few weeks and then there was nothing (which saved him a lot of work). Baldness agreed with me more than the tests which were run regularly and definitely more than the chemo did.


    Embrace your baldness! Once people realize you don't have to fuss around with daily hair care they'll be jealous and visit you just to look at you. Oh trust me on this, I had people visiting so often, I had to request they cut down on the visits.

    Once the hair-eyebrows included-had all deserted me, I wore a nice cotton hat-almost like a ski cap but not quite. Baldness and chemo are an excellent recipe to make a person feel cold. After a time, I had a collection of hats and baseball caps to take care of the chill. I don't know that everybody gets that side effect, it may have been the drugs they were putting into me and you may be on a different regimen.

    Once I was out of the woods, I found my hair wasn't growing back. No, there was just a rapidly building collection of fluffy white cotton on my pate. I couldn't figure out how the cotton got there, or how it stayed put. Eventually I realized it was my hair which had been a wonderful black a few short months before; but, now was white. To add to the absurdities, my eyebrows came back in black (as they were before) which gives me a somewhat more handsome look than I had before (yes, I know, that is hard to believe as I was voted best looking in the ICU eight days running).

    In all honesty here, the hair was the least of my concerns and most likely at some point along the way, it will drop to a lower matter of importance on your list. The main thing is to beat the damned cancer, everything else is secondary. A healthy body with no cancer is what matters most. Just get better and we'll tend to the hair later.
     
  17. lookingforhung

    lookingforhung New Member

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    Today, there are good options if you have some of your hair left. They have procedures where they use your own hair and the results are amazing.
     
  18. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Thanks for that Northland. I recently shave my groin to help combat a jock itch infection (you get unusually susceptible to fungal infections on chemo) and that's not growing back at all, and my body hair is coming in much finer as is my facial hair. It sucks. I'm less worried about my head hair than the rest. I'd look ridiculous without eyebrows. Nick8 suggested that if I do, I just pencil them in like Joan Crawford!
    TINAAAA!!! Bring me the axe!
     
  19. transformer_99

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    Shave it or get clippers and mow it down over your entire head, buzz style and no attachments on the clippers. If you do shave, stay away from sunscreens. Wear hats instead. I don't like the ingredients in sunscreens, they seem to keep your skin from breathing. Your head is where the most heat transfer occurs on the human body, wearing a loose fitting cap or hat allows that while protecting it from the sun, wind and other elements.
     
  20. Penis Aficionado

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    Jason, I'm bald (by choice -- if I didn't periodically shave my head I'd look like former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy: http://www.nypost.com/seven/07032009/photos/jeff_van_gundy.jpg).

    I'm also 6-2, so I wear hats because I have tendency to bang my head on things. When I was younger and had hair, I never realized how useful it was as padding.

    I also find it easier to put on a hat than to apply sunscreen every time I go outdoors -- your scalp, having no other part of your body to shield it from the sun, burns very easily.

    You can use a plain bar of soap to wash your bald head -- shampoo won't hurt it, but is unnecessary. So now there's one less thing you need to buy!
     
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