During the months of chemo treatment and for a couple of months afterwards, patients using scalp cooling to help prevent hair loss are advised to limit stress to the scalp and fragile hair. This means infrequent (biweekly at most) hair washing with cold water only, gentle combing, and temporary cessation of cutting, coloring, perming, blow-drying, and styling. Fortunately, I don’t engage in the latter four, so I won’t feel the loss of those particular rituals.
Of course, I do get my hair cut, so I took the opportunity to get my hair trimmed one last time before surgery and chemo treatment this weekend at my local Great Clips ($15 — it would be silly to pay more when it might all be falling out in October anyway). I instructed the hairdresser to cut off 9 inches from my mid-length hair, also explaining I need a haircut which would still look decent when my hair is thinning and infrequently washed — a pretty tall order. The hairdresser recommended a slightly layered bob, much like the haircut I chose 25 years ago when I wanted to eradicate all signs of a hair permanent gone bad.
Here’s what my hair looks like today. As I progress through chemo using the cold caps, I will post weekly photo updates for comparison.
So far, my short hair is easier to wash, experiences almost no tangles, and helped me to stay cooler than usual during my run this morning. Even better, I didn’t need to pull on the hair to put it into a ponytail, because it’s now too short for one. For these reasons, the shorter length should help me to baby my follicles when they are at their most fragile state. I do miss the look of longer hair, but I’d miss it even more if my hair disappeared altogether.
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