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Hasse
June 19th, 2019, 07:56 AM
So, in two weeks I'm having a minor brain surgery. I wanted to ask tips for how to manage my hair best around that time. I've gone through this a number of times, but previous times I wasn't into haircare as much as I am now.

Before the surgery I have to wash my hair with hibiscrub, which has a fair amount of chlorohexidine (an antiseptic) in it. Afterwards, my hair always feels dried out and roughed up. After washing with that stuff I'm not allowed to use any other products, but I was wondering if using conditioner in the lengths before washing would protect it and rinse out good enough. Maybe a cone free condish would do the trick?

Afterwards I'll either be up and running or, if the surgery will be more serious than expected, I'll have to take bedrest for a week. What hairstyles would prevent my hair from becoming a matted mess? It's too short for bunning, so maybe braids? Will the roots stay tangle free in that case?

SwanFeathers
June 19th, 2019, 11:45 AM
I would not risk putting anything in that would lessen the effectiveness of the antiseptic, but I would probably use a leave in conditioner after the surgery from CHIN- DOWN. Your hair may not be happy right away, but it's not worth the risk of an infection. Whenever you are cleared to wash it you can do a deep treatment.
P.s. double braids are great for bedrest situations.

Begemot
June 19th, 2019, 12:31 PM
Sorry to hear you have such surgery coming up. I hope everything goes smoothly and you will be up and running afterwards! Maybe two french braids as a style would be your best option?

ExpectoPatronum
June 19th, 2019, 12:50 PM
I second SwanFeathers. I wouldn't risk messing with the chlorhexidine. Your hair will recover as you recover. Braids are a good option if you're on bedrest. I hope your surgery goes smoothly and without complications!

Deborah
June 19th, 2019, 12:59 PM
I would not use any conditioner or anything other than the prescribed cleanser. The risk of infection is just too high. Once you are safely out of surgery and mostly recovered, you could probably use a spray on conditioner from chin down only. I don't think your hair will be permanently damaged by one harsh wash. It will probably look and feel dry, but that is easy to solve later on.

blesseddamozel
June 19th, 2019, 01:28 PM
Seconding that double braids are perfect for bedrest!! I had surgery that resulted in some complications that left me on total bedrest for about 4 days and I didn't have the ability to brush my hair at all during that time, but the braids protected it from any matting or tangles.

lapushka
June 19th, 2019, 01:34 PM
So, in two weeks I'm having a minor brain surgery. I wanted to ask tips for how to manage my hair best around that time. I've gone through this a number of times, but previous times I wasn't into haircare as much as I am now.

Before the surgery I have to wash my hair with hibiscrub, which has a fair amount of chlorohexidine (an antiseptic) in it. Afterwards, my hair always feels dried out and roughed up. After washing with that stuff I'm not allowed to use any other products, but I was wondering if using conditioner in the lengths before washing would protect it and rinse out good enough. Maybe a cone free condish would do the trick?

Afterwards I'll either be up and running or, if the surgery will be more serious than expected, I'll have to take bedrest for a week. What hairstyles would prevent my hair from becoming a matted mess? It's too short for bunning, so maybe braids? Will the roots stay tangle free in that case?

I have 0 experience with this. When grandma underwent major brain surgery (tumor), they shaved her head, and boy (not wanting to scare you), the scar was... something all right.

I would NOT use conditioner or any other product that might interfere with the effectiveness of the wash. DO NOT DO IT!

I would just go through the motions. Afterwards you can pamper your hair all you want and catch up on things; but don't mess with this very intricate process, please.

Deborah said it all and said it well!

GrowingGlory
June 19th, 2019, 01:42 PM
Maybe you could just allow sebum to condition your hair well before washing with Hibiscrub.

Hasse
June 19th, 2019, 01:44 PM
Thanks all, for your input! I'll just let my hair get super sebumy before washing and skip the condish.

Lapushka, you won't scare me that easily :P , I had my fair share of scars and shaved patches that looked awful. I just hope they leave my hairline intact this time. Nothing worse than a bald patch you can't hide. And while I want to shave my whole head some day, it won't be that soon. So I hope I can style my way around the great haircut the surgeons give me.

lapushka
June 19th, 2019, 05:21 PM
Thanks all, for your input! I'll just let my hair get super sebumy before washing and skip the condish.

Lapushka, you won't scare me that easily :P , I had my fair share of scars and shaved patches that looked awful. I just hope they leave my hairline intact this time. Nothing worse than a bald patch you can't hide. And while I want to shave my whole head some day, it won't be that soon. So I hope I can style my way around the great haircut the surgeons give me.

A good sense of humor: priceless! :D :thumbsup:

Hang in there, and good luck for your upcoming surgery.
Keep us posted!

cathair
June 19th, 2019, 06:16 PM
I've looked after my Mum's hair through two brain surgeries during the last six months. I wouldn't worry too much about the hibiscrub. It's not pleasant to wash your hair in, but it's nothing a good conditioning afterwards won't fix.

Have they given you much information about aftercare yet?

You won't be able to wash your hair until the wound is decently healed. Depending on what you have done, that might be a week, maybe two or even longer. You won't be able to get your head wet at all, though you should be able to wash your face and brush your teeth.

You may be able to use dry shampoo and dry/water-less conditioner (yes there is such a thing!). I liked the Aussie Wash and Blow dry shampoo best. It made the most noticeable difference on bed hair. Do you have someone going with you? You may need help with this. But definitely don't do it unless the surgeon expressly tell you that you can after he or she has done their checks. Make sure the wound is covered before you spray anything. If you can avoid it using anything before the wound is healed, in my experience I would really strongly recommend it. We couldn't, but your stay should be no where near six months!

The dry conditioner they used intensive care where we were, that's where I learnt about it. If you have any EEG or EGC tests it's really helpful for removing the glue from the electrodes too. The stuff they used was John Freida brand. It looked like styling mousse when you squirt it out of the metal can. It was also really helpful at removing extreme matting. I'm looking for the exact one, but my google fu is letting me down right now. It was a silver can with a purple lid. I don't expect the brand is so important though.

I bought my Mum a new hairbrush after her second op to try to avoid infection, it was worth the piece of mind to me. I would do that again, I might even get another when I left hospital. They don't have to be anything fancy, but cleanliness is so important.

Your head will be bandaged, so you won't need to worry hair dos for a few days. After that, just go with what is comfortable. If you can cope with a braid that's fantastic, if not, don't feel bad about wearing it loose. You will be mostly resting anyway. Brain surgery is extremely fatiguing.

After the bandages come off, try not to touch it. It will feel nearly impossible it's a change to your body and you'll want to investigate, but you really don't want to get anything in that wound. We found it helpful for one of us to take photos on a phone, so we could show Mum what it looked like. You may or may not want to do that depending on how you feel about looking at cuts. It will startle you, but I can promise that the skin with the incision will heal up really nicely. Better than other places on the body, there's a lot of blood flow in the scalp.

Wishing you all the best for your surgery and that you have a speedy and smooth recovery :heartbeat If you feel up to it, I'm sure we'd all appreciate hearing how you are doing over the coming weeks.

share801
June 19th, 2019, 08:08 PM
I had a friend who had this recently, once they found where the incision would be they did a side shave so it looked sorta deliberate. If you can get a good idea before hand you might might find some ways to help hide it when its over.

dyna
June 19th, 2019, 10:10 PM
Don't worry about the hair. It'll grow back. Don't do anything that risks infection, you don't want to have to grow another brain. Good luck, we're rooting for ya!

Hasse
June 19th, 2019, 11:04 PM
I really appreciate your sweet wishes and comments! This isn't my first time around, so I'm kinda used to the process. Fortunately, I don't have a brain tumour, I've got hydrocephalus. It's a condition in which your cerebrospinal fluid can't leave the brain, requiring the implantation of a shunt to transport it to (in this case) my peritoneal cavity. The shunt can clog or break or otherwise malfunction at any time and we think that's slowly happening now, so they're going in and insert a pressure meter to monitor me for a day or so. After that I should have some answers. Or, what's more likely the case, the results won't be clear and they take the wait and see approach. In any way I'll be having a lot of brain surgeries for the rest of my life, because shunts are just basic plumbing put in a body, so they break guaranteed within 5-10 years. Anyhow, just wanted to fill you in a bit.

In my hospital (in The Netherlands) they aren't so strict about bandaging, the most covered it gets is for about 3 days with a surgical bandaid (the white big sort) and they're letting me wash my hair again after three days, provided I won't get the wound too wet until the stitches come out after a week. I'll be cared for by my mom that week if need be.

The cut will probably be in my current parting, so I might have to change my part. The other side where I would part isn't fully grown out yet, so that might be a struggle. My last surgery was about eight months ago, so I have a lovely tuft of hair doing its thing there.

If it's allowed, I will post pictures of how it looks, making sure there's no blood visible. I don't know what the policy is regarding those kind of pictures, though.

milosmomma
June 19th, 2019, 11:15 PM
I do hope your surgery(s) go smoothly and safely. Wishing you speedy recovery as well. The only thing I thought may help I can think of is a soft silky pillow case. I'm not sure how strict they will be in hospital but it will definitely help with the friction. Happy growing!

Hasse
June 19th, 2019, 11:21 PM
Thanks! I think it's not allowed in the hospital, but I'll bring one to my mom.

Hasse
June 19th, 2019, 11:45 PM
If it's allowed, I will post pictures of how it looks, making sure there's no blood visible. I don't know what the policy is regarding those kind of pictures, though.
I was thinking along this line: https://www.instagram.com/p/BuoPgZjlsyy/

cjk
June 20th, 2019, 09:15 AM
Brain surgery? Minor or not, it's brain surgery.

Priorities.

Take care of yourself and your health. Hair is important, around here, but your brain outranks it.

What sort of surgery? Do you know where the incision will be, or how big it is? You could probably style it, others have mentioned braids, so that it's mostly exposed ahead of time.

lapushka
June 20th, 2019, 03:39 PM
I was thinking along this line: https://www.instagram.com/p/BuoPgZjlsyy/

That's a big cut. Is that you? I'm thinking... no?

Maybe posting your own picture with a link, like you did here & with a TMI warning might be good to do if you're worried about people being scared or put-off. :flower: HTH!

Hasse
June 21st, 2019, 06:56 AM
That's indeed not me, but someone with the same condition. Mine are one half that size and one of about 2 inches.

I think I'll do that, lapushka! Thanks.

lapushka
June 21st, 2019, 06:58 AM
That's indeed not me, but someone with the same condition. Mine are one half that size and one of about 2 inches.

I think I'll do that, lapushka! Thanks.

Oh thank goodness, because she has quite the big scar, poor girl!

You're welcome, Hasse! :flower:

To me it's not scary one bit, but we don't all have the same stomach for scars and such. :)

enting
June 22nd, 2019, 01:22 PM
I may need this advice for myself. I was thinking that maybe four braids would work, one for each quadrant of the head so that whichever spot they need to access is easier to get to than if it's in just one or two braids. Does that sound like it might help keep the rest of your hair safe? I have no experience with this as of yet.

Hasse
June 22nd, 2019, 01:38 PM
The amount they cut varies from surgeon to surgeon, I think you can ask best where they plan to cut first. Then you can braid the rest out of the way :). I like your idea of sectioning.

enting
June 22nd, 2019, 01:52 PM
Mine, if I go ahead with this, would be toward the front on one side, probably my right side. The gesture the surgeon made didn't look like it would be a very long incision. For me it would be endoscopic and not need that much area. He did also say they like to shave only a very small area, and that was good to hear. I would definitely want to ask the surgeon if what I do with my hair will work for them. My hair is also decently long and I'd want to bun the braids also, if possible, so the length doesn't get in the way of anything. I'd definitely want to section my hair as accurately as I can to where they want to cut.

I was thinking of sectioning because that way each braid has a lot less wiggle room to get all tangled. Bigger sections have more friction wiggle room and more area at the scalp that can get caught. (I snagged the base of a bun the other day with my hand and ouch did that hurt. I don't want to accidentally have hair ripped out by snagging on things.)

Would you mind if I private messaged you at some point about this stuff?

Hasse
June 22nd, 2019, 01:56 PM
I don't mind at all!

enting
June 22nd, 2019, 05:12 PM
Thanks! I may do so.

Julescarm
June 23rd, 2019, 12:15 AM
My five month old niece has hydracephalus (not sure how it is spelt) her hair is still growing nicely after the shunt and I don't see a scar. They tried a brand new version on her which is the latest model and its been working wonderfully. Apparently hair follicals are a lottle more resilient. My daughter who is a little over three months old has a Hemangioma (abnormal growth of blood vessels clumped together causing a raised spot )on her head and the hair is just fine. Praying for you! Xx

lapushka
July 3rd, 2019, 12:40 PM
This girl had to have unexpected brain surgery within the week:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCxDki1Aoqc&t=2101s

(hydrocephalus + brain cyst)

All suddenly came up and done in about a week.

But she does show the scar (so for the faint of heart, do not watch the video).

Hasse
July 3rd, 2019, 02:49 PM
Thanks for sharing lapuskha! I've had the surgery this afternoon, braided my hair so it's protected :). I'll post pictures tomorrow. They shaved quite a bit but left my hairline sort of intact. I'll probably be able to hide it with side braids.

I met a woman who also has hydrocephalus so that's nice, to meet someone with the same condition.

I know more in about six weeks, so the second, bigger operation is off the table for now. I'm relieved! I'll be able to wash again this weekend, and I'm planning on cowashing because it's more gentle than regular shampoo.

lapushka
July 3rd, 2019, 03:22 PM
I know more in about six weeks, so the second, bigger operation is off the table for now. I'm relieved! I'll be able to wash again this weekend, and I'm planning on cowashing because it's more gentle than regular shampoo.

I would use regular shampoo, the cleaner you can keep your scalp & scar, the better. CO-washing may not cleanse well enough to keep it clean there. You have to be careful!

Hasse
July 3rd, 2019, 03:45 PM
That's a good point. I'll ask the surgeons about it.

Vacurlylady
July 3rd, 2019, 04:15 PM
Thanks for sharing lapuskha! I've had the surgery this afternoon, braided my hair so it's protected :). I'll post pictures tomorrow. They shaved quite a bit but left my hairline sort of intact. I'll probably be able to hide it with side braids.

I met a woman who also has hydrocephalus so that's nice, to meet someone with the same condition.

I know more in about six weeks, so the second, bigger operation is off the table for now. I'm relieved! I'll be able to wash again this weekend, and I'm planning on cowashing because it's more gentle than regular shampoo.

Iím thankful your 2nd Bigger surgery is over with and your hair is somewhat protected. Yay for being able to wash this coming weekend. Iím sure you will be happy! My thoughts and prayers will be with you over the next few weeks!

Hasse
July 3rd, 2019, 04:51 PM
I didn't have the second surgery, luckily! I probably worded that wrong.

lapushka
July 4th, 2019, 05:27 PM
I didn't have the second surgery, luckily! I probably worded that wrong.

I think you worded that just right, but sometimes people read different things, I can do that too, so I know what it's like. LOL!

Vacurlylady
July 4th, 2019, 06:17 PM
I didn't have the second surgery, luckily! I probably worded that wrong.

Yes, I completely misread that. 😳 My apologies. Hope you are having a good day.

Stormynights
July 4th, 2019, 11:38 PM
My daughter had surgey for brain cancer the 29th of May. Her scar runs from ear to ear just inside the hair line. They didn't shave very much hair considering. She had the staples and her hair was full of blood. We didn't mention it to her or comment on her looks. She hasn't been out of the hospital very long, just over two weeks. I stayed with her most of the time just leaving for a shower and short nap. Her hair will cover her scar because she wears bangs. Now she is wearing a extra cloth headband. She thinks her scars look awful but they really aren't bad. She also has a scar running down each side of her nose but those had stitches. Her operation was a sucess.

AuntyMiki
July 5th, 2019, 12:36 AM
What a relief for you guys! I think doctors care about the scars they leave, so they really try to make as small of ones as possible. I have one from melanoma on my arm that looks like a Caterpillar. I think he could have done better on that one.

Hasse
July 5th, 2019, 03:55 AM
The scar turned out to be 4 inches long and they shaved quite a bit. Ah well.. Hair grows back. This motivates me even more to grow what's left of it long :) that part I can control.

enting
July 5th, 2019, 04:06 AM
Yay for not needing a second surgery!
About the length of scar and hair removal... oh my... I'm sorry to hear. Yes, hair does grow back. We'll be rooting for it!
Do you have a way of styling your hair that covers it if you prefer? Or did they shave too much for that to work?

I was reading the other day about how some doctors prefer leaving as much hair there as they can handle because they think it leaves less chance of infection than a straight razor shave. It's so interesting how different surgeons prefer different practices with hair management.

Begemot
July 5th, 2019, 04:46 AM
Good to hear from you! Another yay from me for no second surgery :) Wishing you lots of new growth, Hasse :blossom:

lapushka
July 5th, 2019, 05:35 AM
What a relief for you guys! I think doctors care about the scars they leave, so they really try to make as small of ones as possible. I have one from melanoma on my arm that looks like a Caterpillar. I think he could have done better on that one.

Yes but better a good margin then leaving something behind! So there's that. :)

Hasse
July 5th, 2019, 06:07 AM
I can still cover it and braid my hair, so I'm quite happy!
https://i.postimg.cc/1tWC8SdJ/20190705-123006.jpg (https://postimg.cc/tZxtcKpx)

https://i.postimg.cc/zGWc09LG/20190705-123031.jpg (https://postimg.cc/gxzs0tqC)

The wound:
(Warning! Bit of blood visible.)
https://postimg.cc/zbxb0pRg

enting
July 5th, 2019, 10:19 AM
You did a really good job covering it over, I can't tell there's a shaved patch there at all in these pictures!
(Thank you for also linking the not-covered over picture, your covered pictures are even more impressive now!)

ETA, how are you feeling? How's recovery going?

lapushka
July 5th, 2019, 11:12 AM
The wound:
(Warning! Bit of blood visible.)
https://postimg.cc/zbxb0pRg

Ha! That girl I mentioned in the YT video has the exact same scar in the same spot. I wasn't grossed out by it. I've seen my grandma after brain surgery (now that was panicky for me).

You can cover it up pretty well! And you'll see your hairs will start sprouting before you know it!

Hasse
July 5th, 2019, 02:11 PM
Recovery is going okay, I have a headache and swelling but I'm hoping those will go away in a few days. And I'm only two days post-op, I tend to go too fast too soon :P.

enting
July 6th, 2019, 04:13 PM
Good to hear. Don't push yourself too much!!
How did you end up doing the braids for surgery? Did you leave the hair around the suture site loose or was that also in a braid when you went in?

Hasse
July 6th, 2019, 04:23 PM
I left all my hair loose before surgery and made a single dutch braid after. I made sure to keep the incision site clear of hair. Didn't get any tangles, so that's good :). Braiding it also helps with not fiddling too much with my hair, since I'm constantly thinking about how little I have left and feeling if it's still there, although that sounds silly when I say that out loud. Still have to get used to the post-surgery hair.

Ylva
July 6th, 2019, 04:48 PM
I would never have guessed there was a shaved bit or a scar there. :) Well hidden! Besides, I don't think it looks that terrifying anyway. You can wear your scars with pride. I wish you a speedy recovery!

enting
July 6th, 2019, 04:55 PM
I left all my hair loose before surgery and made a single dutch braid after. I made sure to keep the incision site clear of hair. Didn't get any tangles, so that's good :). Braiding it also helps with not fiddling too much with my hair, since I'm constantly thinking about how little I have left and feeling if it's still there, although that sounds silly when I say that out loud. Still have to get used to the post-surgery hair.

:thumbsup:
It's not silly at all, you definitely still have hair, but it is also definitely less than what you had. Yeah, not fiddling with it sounds like a good plan, just let it grow back in and do its thing. By the way, I also love that streak of color you've got in your hair.

CosmoCat
July 6th, 2019, 05:28 PM
I can’t tell either, you hid it well! I’m glad the bigger surgery is off the table!:cheer:

enting
July 6th, 2019, 07:14 PM
I've still been thinking about pre-operative hair styles even though you're past your surgery.

I decided to see if surgeons have anything to say about it themselves, and lo and behold, they do!
I found the following PubMed articles relating to head surgery and containing hair:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23714960 - braid the hair!
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28922240 - use a number of duckbill clips and twists to hold hair back!
and there are a number of articles that I don't have access to, but the titles include mentions of literally draping the hair out of the way (wait, they needed to publish an article on that?) or putting a stocking over the head and hair to keep it out of the way when doing ear surgery.

I'm actually amazed that these are published papers, and all of these methods are intended for the surgical staff to know how to do, not the patient.

Liz H
July 6th, 2019, 08:50 PM
Wow, I'd never guess you had the surgery. As for the fiddling, I'd be constantly fingering the area just to get used to it. Would probably need a rubber band wrist snap to control it.

Hasse
July 7th, 2019, 02:03 AM
I've still been thinking about pre-operative hair styles even though you're past your surgery.

I decided to see if surgeons have anything to say about it themselves, and lo and behold, they do!
I found the following PubMed articles relating to head surgery and containing hair:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23714960 - braid the hair!
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28922240 - use a number of duckbill clips and twists to hold hair back!
and there are a number of articles that I don't have access to, but the titles include mentions of literally draping the hair out of the way (wait, they needed to publish an article on that?) or putting a stocking over the head and hair to keep it out of the way when doing ear surgery.

I'm actually amazed that these are published papers, and all of these methods are intended for the surgical staff to know how to do, not the patient.
That's so cool! I'm also surprised there are articles published about it. The point is, I didn't know how much they would shave beforehand. But if I ever get an operation on my shunt again, I'll braid it out of the way :). I know how much they'll shave then. Since I hope my hair to be APL or longer when that happens, it's the sensible thing to do anyway.

enting
July 7th, 2019, 03:48 AM
Right?

How you did it made total sense for your hair at this time, no worries.

I hope everything is continuing to heal up and your headache goes away soon.

AuntyMiki
July 7th, 2019, 11:17 AM
Lapushka, that's for sure!

Hasse
July 7th, 2019, 11:36 AM
Ha! That girl I mentioned in the YT video has the exact same scar in the same spot.
I've only now been able to watch the video, you're right! It's 'good' to see someone dealing with the same, makes it somewhat more bearable.

Groovy Granny
July 8th, 2019, 08:21 PM
My son had a VP shunt placed as a preemie with hydrocephalus 37 years ago and has had only 2 revisions; 1 at 18 mos and 1 when he was 12, and he has had no obstructions or infections to date.

I am very busy caring for my DH with his upcoming heart surgery, but I have been praying for you,and will continue to pray for your strength, hope, direction, and healing ~ God bless you :pray:

Hasse
July 9th, 2019, 01:57 PM
My son had a VP shunt placed as a preemie with hydrocephalus 37 years ago and has had only 2 revisions; 1 at 18 mos and 1 when he was 12, and he has had no obstructions or infections to date.

I am very busy caring for my DH with his upcoming heart surgery, but I have been praying for you,and will continue to pray for your strength, hope, direction, and healing ~ God bless you :pray:
Thank you!