Shaving Your Head During Chemo
One of the hardest and most emotional parts of a breast cancer diagnosis is losing your hair during chemotherapy. The drugs from chemo take a brutal toll on the body, but there is something about the visibility of having cancer as represented by our hair falling out, that can be particularly hard to swallow.
It goes without saying that it can be really freaking scary to shave your head, especially if you have had long hair your whole life. Instead of letting chemo take their hair, however, a lot of women are taking back their power and shaving it off before the side effects of chemo kick in and it starts falling off. There are even some people out there who have head shaving parties, turning something scary and potentially isolating into something fun, loving and supportive.
If your course of treatment involves chemotherapy, and you don’t plan on cold capping, you might be interested in organizing a head shaving party for yourself! To get inspired and learn how other AO Babes did it, keep reading.
Stage A Salon Take-Over
“My best friend shaved her head along with me the first time I did chemo. We had the barber shop shut down, played some pop music, drank craft beer, and just laughed.”
Jeannie and best friend, Michelle after their head shaving party. Photo courtesy of Jeannie M.
Head Shaving House Party
Craving the comfort and privacy of being somewhere familiar? Throw your hair a good-bye party at home! Put on music, order your favorite food, have a few White Claws and when you’re all ready, go to town with the scissors and shaver like @trinurse: “I had a party just before my 2nd chemo and all my friends were there & my apartment was filled with joy and love! I was so worried about losing my long hair and that was the day I started losing it in clumps. It just felt right to shave it at the end of the night & it was so not traumatic thanks to my husband and friends!”
You could even experiment with fun and funky hair cuts before you shave it all off like Desiree @desireepruik: “I called my bestie and she shaved it. In between the shaving process we tried some different short haircuts and took photos. When she was finished I wasn’t sad but instead felt like a sexy, beautiful and strong woman.”
Organize A Head Shaving Fundraiser
If you have a heart for giving back, a Head Shaving Fundraiser may be right for you! Inspire camaraderie while raising awareness and money for your favorite charity by organizing a hair shaving event! Invite friends, family, colleagues and to donate funds in exchange for a turn at cutting your hair. That’s what Libby (@marinelibby) did:
“For me, taking control was the most important thing. I cut my hair into a bob, and then organized a fundraiser for my community garden on Eventbrite where friends and family came over to my house, and took turns clipping and buzzing my hair off. The whole party raised money for a great cause.”
Libby getting her hair cut by kids in her community at her fundraiser. Photo courtesy of Libby C.
Bald Is Beautiful
After you’ve shaved your head, and all is said and done, practice some radical self love and indulgent self care and embrace your new look! Go to Sephora and get your makeup done by a professional, and try on super fun wigs with your friends. Embrace your inner Charlize Theron!
You can even organize a sassy and sexy self love photoshoot commemorating your new look! Throw on your favorite lingerie, and go to work! We recommend our all-time lace faves, The Gloria and Jess Bras. As sexy as they are comfortable, you won’t want to take off either one of these wireless bras. These gorgeous styles were designed with gorgeous, silky stretch lace that will accentuate your pre or post-surgical body beautifully. Constructed with artful, mindfully placed seaming, each will leave your skin unbothered and pampered while you reclaim your sexy, post-head shaving. No matter what kind of shoot you have, or what you organize to celebrate your ‘do, choose to infuse life, joy and fun into shaving your head. Take your power back from cancer by celebrating life and making amazing memories with the ones you love the most.
Dr. Alexea Gaffney at her photoshoot looking like a queen.
We know that losing your hair is a scary side effect of chemotherapy, but the support of your best friends and family can make it a little bit easier. Throw your hair a good-bye party, rally your friends, family and community to have your back, and remind you that you are #NeverAlone.