Question asked by: 
Janie, Bedford
Date asked: 
Nov 2013

I’m having chemotherapy and am horrified by the amount of hair falling out. I don’t know what to do about it. Some people think I should shave it off but I’m not sure how I feel about looking in the mirror at GI Jane. What are my options?

Should I shave my head?
I shaved.
Response by Sophie Beresiner

I just couldn’t bear the thought of finding hair on my pillow, so as soon as the first few strands came away in my hand I got my boyfriend to give me a grade 1.

I won’t lie, it was tough, but so are you   ̶ you’re going through cancer treatment.

There are three options: shave, go with it, or cold cap.

The cold cap is supposed to stifle chemo-carrying blood flow to the follicles by freezing the area. This isn’t comfortable, and not guaranteed to work, but some women swear by it. Again, I didn’t bother, couldn’t see any point delaying the inevitable, but of course everyone is different.

If you don’t shave, it’s worth bearing in mind that you can lose 50 per cent of your hair before it even starts to become noticeable.

Shaving your head paves the way for plenty of wig wearing, which after the initial trepidation is really quite exciting. Having a new and easy look every day is brilliant, and no more bad hair days guaranteed.

If you leave it to fall out, or even shave it, I recommend shortening your hair in stages to make the transition easier. I went from long to shoulder bob to pixie crop before the grade 1.

I never would have done something so drastic in the past, but I loved the pixie crop, and it gave me a taste of what to look forward to on the other side of chemo.