Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Better Hair Re-growth after Chemo

Q: Hi, I would like some advice please. I'm in the middle of my chemo and have lost most of my hair so have had it trimmed really short. I would like to know whether it is better to shave my head to give a better re-growth or does it make no difference with a zero cut?
A: This is really a matter of personal choice for the most part, but there are some considerations that could have bearing:
First, the chemo has affected your scalp and hair follicles causing the loss of most of your hair. However, more importantly, the chemo may also have made the scalp more sensitive and susceptible to irritation. Because of this, fully shaving the scalp may result in added irritation once the hair starts to grow back in and emerge through the scalp.
This opinion is largely colored for me by the fact that my aunt also went through a battle with cancer and lost her hair during her chemo. When she first lost the hair, she shaved her head fully, thinking that the clean, smooth scalp would be better to deal with. However, when the remaining hairs started growing back, she found the itching to be intolerable and she developed more than a few ingrown hairs on the scalp. From that point onward she simply kept her hair clipper-cut.
As far as the new growth is concerned, whether the hair has been shaved or clipper-cut is irrelevant. The determining factor will be how quickly the effects of the chemotherapy wear off so that your normal hair growth resumes.
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