hair-no-there care
March 16, 2014 1:39 PM   Subscribe

mr. mitt and i just completed our second fundraiser with st. baldricks and are the happy recipients of (electric razor) shaved heads. what sort of hair/scalp care do we need to consider while it grows back?

so we celebrated my 25th remission-aversary by raising awareness for pediatric oncology research through st. baldricks. yesterday we got our heads shaved and now we move through the slow process of "growout". we're ready with our hats and sunscreen, however i have no idea how i cared for my scalp the first time we did this. my barely more than cursory search of the innertubes brought up a lot of suggestions for chemo-scalp care and shaven head care, but not much for healthy and going from bald to not bald care. does mr. mitt need to care for his scalp differently because he's not a lady? i use curly hair shampoo and definitely don't need to use that for awhile, so is there a special shampoo i should use? do i skip shampoo altogether and use my body wash instead?

i'm so full of questions mefites!
posted by ovenmitt to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
Best answer: I shave my head regularly and don't do anything special while it grows back out. I wash my scalp with face wash and occasionally use a facial moisturizer, but that's it.
posted by asterix at 1:48 PM on March 16, 2014

Best answer: If you live in a northerly place where, realistically speaking, it stays cold until sometime in May, you should arm yourselves with some nice warm hats. I made the terrible choice to shave my head in mid-March in New York City, thinking "but it's spring next week!" Nope. Turns out your hair really provides a lot of head insulation, even if it's "not really that cold".

Doubly so if springtime is rainy where you are. Nice spring rains = frigid hell when you have no hair.

I have a naturally oily scalp and oily hair, so I found that it was good to shampoo my scalp every few days even before I had significant regrowth. YMMV depending on what kind of scalp texture you have.

Also, have a plan for the extremely awkward transitional regrowth period that's going to start in a month or so and last until your hair is finally heavy enough to weigh itself down. You mention having curly hair, so maybe this won't be an issue for you. But my dumb straight and fine hair stood straight up for like three months until, finally, at an inch and a half long, it was heavy enough to lie down and look like a normal hairstyle.

My solution was a lot of product. Luckily I was in college and a certain amount of WTF Did You Do To Your Hair was acceptable. You may need to get creative if you work in a corporate environment.
posted by Sara C. at 1:53 PM on March 16, 2014

Also, re specific shampoo, I just used the same shampoo as usual to shampoo my scalp. It seems silly to me to go buy a special product for this use. It's really just soap for your head. You could probably use bodywash or soap or whatever you have on hand, if your shampoo is especially precious.
posted by Sara C. at 1:54 PM on March 16, 2014

Best answer: Yeah, I just use cheap shampoo or Dr. Bronner's or even bar soap, and can't really notice a difference.

If you're as white as I am, hats are your friend not just for cold weather, but anytime you're outdoors in daylight. Sunburned scalp sucks.
posted by dr. boludo at 2:06 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I shave my head regularly with an electric razor and occasionally get rashes or skin breaking out from irritation. If that happens to you (it doesn't always), a bit of antiseptic cream will usually sort it out. The skin on your head can be surprisingly sensitive.
posted by danteGideon at 5:15 PM on March 16, 2014

Best answer: And I find a bandana more comfortable than a hat. I like the stretchy Buff ones, because they just roll right on without knotting or fiddling.
posted by danteGideon at 5:27 PM on March 16, 2014

I started wearing a beanie (tuque?) to bed, as I got a really cold head when I slept.
So yeah, beanies for the win.

Additionally, I can now do the Indiana Jones thing where if I pull a beanie down over my eyes, I can go to sleep just about anywhere.
posted by Elysum at 4:26 AM on March 20, 2014

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