To shave for wedding or wait?

Lythe Member Posts: 65
Hi all, I was diagnosed with her2+ breast cancer in my right breast and 2 lymph nodes a few weeks back and started AC chemo last thursday (14/11/19) and my next round is on the 2/12/19. My wedding is on the 30/11 and I'm having a quandary about my hair. The cancer care team said my hair would be gone by my wedding day and I'm ok with that and will make plans for a wig for the day but I guess my question is, should I pre-emptively shave my head, assuming that it will definitely be falling out by then and commit to the wig or wait and see (get a wig in case but hold off until it actually starts to fall). As far as I can tell, wigs can be uncomfortable and itchy and I'm in brisbane where it is hot so I guess I don't want to have that added discomfort if I don't have to but, if my hair falls out on the day in large chunks I guess that could be hard to deal with at the last minute. I'd love to hear people's experiences with AC and hair falling out. And wigs. Oh, I should say I am not a very princessy bride so while I want to look nice on the day, it's not my major driving force. Thank you for any advice.


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,388
    Hi there, congratulations on your wedding, that’s lovely as is your very practical approach - your hair isn’t the most important thing on a day like that. I wore a wig right through summer, but in Melbourne, which can be just as hot as Brisbane but usually much less humid. I had a light synthetic wig, which never felt heavy and didn’t itch. It was also really easy to look after. The Melbourne supplier isn’t much good to you but I am sure there are good options in Brisbane. I would suggest look for a supplier for cancer and alopecia patients, because they know about sensitive scalps, how to adjust your wig when your hair starts to grow back and wearing a wig regularly, not just for a special event. Personally,  I’d steer clear of real hair as such wigs are likely to be heavier therefore hotter (not to mention more expensive). Very best wishes for everything in the future. 
  • Red1
    Red1 Member Posts: 23
    Firstly CONGRATULATIONS!! my hair loss tale - I had TC chemo most of my hair fell out between the 2nd and 3rd cycle although not all off it but enough to want to cover it ..I didn't think I would be emotional about, but I did burst into tears and felt like everything had become a little more scary than before, the emotions and carry on only lasted a few hours but I really wasn't expecting to be in mourning for my hair, I believed I was totally prepared but no!!..I'm not sure about the AC, chemo the nurses have seen it many times though..I never went for a wig either so I am unable to help there, although I wish I had sometimes..Wishing you all the best for an amazing day!!
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,388
    PS I had A/C, 15 days precisely before the hair started falling out. I didn’t like the idea of shaving but had a local hairdresser poised with the No 3 clippers. Much easier to handle very short! 
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    edited November 2019
    If it was me I'd take a wait and see approach. For many people the period before and during your hair falling out can bring a great deal of scalp tenderness and discomfort. The last thing you want to be worrying about on the day is being uncomfortable, be it shoes, spanx or scalp! So I'd be prepared for any outcome. Have a gorgeous scarf on standby, a lovely hat, and a wig. There are wig hire places so you don't have to buy, simply rent for the occasion.

    The way I look at it is that in years to come you don't want to look at the photos and be reminded of a problem,  but rather see the joy of the day. Do what feels good for you. Congratulations and mazel tov! Let us know what you decide. K xox
  • Sunnyvic
    Sunnyvic Member Posts: 7
    My hair became quite brittle and it hurt as well as my scalp approx after three weeks. I had my hair shaved and it instantly became more comfortable. The shaved hair must have just come out in the shower as one day I was shiny bald, rather than a crew cut.
    I agree with kmakm about having some options and see how you are feeling on the day.
    Have a lovely wedding day.
  • Nefertari
    Nefertari Member Posts: 288
    I would also wait and see.  I started chemo and still had hair 3 weeks later,  it was thinner but not bald.  I had it cut shorter but that's it. 
    After four weeks it actually became brittle and then broke off in places and my scalp was tender so I shaved it.  You may still have hair on your wedding day. 
    I also bought a synthetic wig, a short cropped style which was very light.  Everyone says it looked great but I found it hot, that could have been the chemo though as I had lots of hot flushes.
    Congratulations on your wedding, hope your day is fantastic
  • shs14
    shs14 Member Posts: 146
    edited November 2019
    I agree with @kmakm to be ready for anything so you don't worry.
    I had caps and scarves and a wig all ready when I first went bald. I have lived in scarves since then, never taking to my expensive wig.

    I imagine you have lots to do and cope with in preparation for a wedding on top of starting chemo. You poor dear, life can be crazy sometimes can't it. I'm sure you will be beautiful whatever happens.

    I had my mum's funeral not long after I went bald on AC. I wore a scarf and people were lovely about it. 
    I think a lot of coping is just having a positive attitude! I've had lots of compliments on how I look in scarves and a bit of makeup. I think people are surprised that you look healthy in cancer treatment!

    I've just checked my photos for the timing of my hair loss (I'm Her2 as well and had AC and then Paclitaxel).
    My hair held on quite a long time, I didn't shave it off till one day before three weeks after my first AC, so day 20. I think it started to look a bit thin a little before that but I attended a Look Good Feel Better session 17 days after my first AC with hair, I wasn't quite ready to brave the world with none! It was good to see others in the session bald as they were all beautiful and brave and I felt less alone about the transition.
    I had dose dense AC - fortnightly - so I'd had a second infusion 13 days after the first, my hair was looking thin day 18, I shaved it day 20. Good luck with it all!
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    I'd be organising your prepared for the massive shedding by day 17. I got mine cut off as it was so distressing.  It's best they then trim your wig so it looks like your hair suits your face. With tbe hair off I was able yo massage my scslp more easily. You'll need a wig cap under your wig to stop itching. You can buy bamboo ones if you prefer. 
  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    What about considering a white lacy sort of hat with flowers in it? A couple of wisps of hair is better than none but you will want them short and neat not sparse and long. Family thought it was kind of cute and kept patting me on the head lol.
  • CRM
    CRM Member Posts: 92
    Congratulations on your wedding.  I hope you have a wonderful day with or without hair xx
  • Giovanna_BCNA
    Giovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hello @Lythe Congratulations, wishing you a wonderful wedding day!
  • Mira
    Mira Member Posts: 678
    I have no advice, but congrats and I hope you have a lovely day :smile:
  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,836
    Hi Lythe, my hair began to fall out around day 16.Slowly thinning for a few days and then big chunks falling out.I cut my hair short  when it first started falling out.I would wait and see as you may have enough hair to play around with but have a wig ready incase.Go for synthetic as they keep their style.Real hair wigs are expensive and you have to restyle them after a wash- mine was high maintenance! Best wishes for your wedding day.xx
  • KylieG
    KylieG Member Posts: 57
    What about a vintage 20s-30s style wedding head dress? I think you’re very brave.  I’m also recently diagnosed with Her2, 2 lymph nodes, starting chemo soon as well.  So proud of you going ahead with your wedding!  Congratulations! Xxx
  • Lythe
    Lythe Member Posts: 65
    Thanks so much for everyone's support and advice! I've bought a wig and a bamboo turban and have scarves sorted. I'm going to see how I get on this week. I think I might do a pre emptive head shave to feel like I have more control over it because at the moment I'm finding I am thinking about it far more than is really sensible. I'm at day 11 now and my scalp is feeling a little tender and itchy so I'm thinking I won't make it to day 17 anyway! I'm having up and down days with the wedding. My partner is so supportive but it's just not really how I imagined the day to go. And does anyone else have trouble sleeping through the night on AC? I'm tired all the time but my sleep cycle is terrible and I'm up at 3am most days! Anyway, thank you for all the comments. It's given me lots to work with.x