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washing hair after cervical surgery

dbullwinkelddbullwinkel Posts: 224
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Can anyone offer advice on hair washing after having cervical surgery. I had a discectomy at c5-6 with alograft and plate.
My last visit to doctor (3 weeks post-op) I asked if I could go get my hair done..he said out of the question. I also assumed he meant I could not wash it in the shower myself. I am going crazy..luckily i can pull it up.
It is now one month since my surgery and looking for advice/experiences as to this problem. I now think I am strong enough to blow dry my hair..possibly with breaks. but I am not sure if it is safe to bend my head back in the shower. thanks.


  • i only had to wait 5 days to shower after surgery.
    i just stood in the shower without tipping my head and washed away.
    hair dresser was a no no. as you have to tilt your head back in the sink etc.
    so yeah i would clarify that w/ ur dr.
    i think he meant no hair dresser..
    i don't think he meant do not wash it at all.

    i did not start drying my hair till my 4th week check up and started PT. i did try but the tugging on my head made me sore and wore me out.

    good luck
    let us know how u make out. >:D<
  • I am 3 weeks post acdf c 5/6 yeasyerday.The hospital sent me home with w few of these shoer cap things that has a shampoo & conditioner in. I put it on & massaged it in. At first I thought it felt pretty good. I was in the hospital 4 days & my hair needed it. By the end of that day though it was driving me nuts. I yook a shower the night that I came home & washed my hair. Carefully trying not to move much. It was not easy. The whole ordeal completely wiped me out but, My hair felt so good. Now I am able to shower daily being cautious, yes
    I also am able to dry my hair. It does take some time as I too have to stop & take breaks. It dries pretty much itself.I have yet to master my curling iron or straightener. It will come, I'm sure. For now my hair is out of control & it doesn't bother me yet.
    I wish I has my hair cut before the surgery. I know getting into that bowl will be a no no.
    I guuess you should call & be sure. Just take it easy & be careful
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  • I was allowed washing my hair 3 days later in the shower. You cant go to the salon because of them pulling your head back into the sink. Even now, a year later, it hurts when I go to the salon.

    Hope you feel better soon,
    Christina :)
  • I was able to shower and wash my hair the day after surgery. They covered the incision with a waterproof dressing.
  • I also was able to shower the following day including washing my hair. After showering I changed the bandage on my neck to a dry clean one. I was lucky that I had a removable shower head that I could direct the water to where I wanted it. A lot easier then a normal shower head. They're not that expensive to purchase ($20 - $30).
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  • I am having my ACDF on 9/10. My doc told me they would send me home with another collar that I can wear in the shower.
  • I am so happy this topic came up because its one of the ones bothering me the worst. My surgery will be Sept 17th and I made an appointment to get my hair done a few days before. I currently wash my hair daily and it would drive me crazy to let it go more then a day or two so now that I have this info I will make sure that my doctor knows I plan to wash my hair and makes recommendations on how to do so. My other issue is since I am no longer a spring chicken I color my hair (have it done really) every 4 weeks at a salon. As mentioned I can't imagine how that will work out in the future but my current plan is to have the women who does my hair cut it first, then put in the dye and then instead of staying till it needs to be washed out I will drive home, get in the shower and wash it out myself. Not sure if I really can manage this but its the plan for now. Either that or I am going gray "groan".

    upcoming surgery to fuse either 3 or 4 cervical discs from C3/4 > C6/7 (NS is leaning toward leaving C6/7 alone even though there is some damage at that level.
  • I had my hair coloured and cut prior to my surgery so, that I wouldn't need to get it done for 6 weeks. I did eventually go to the haor salon and they were fantastic. They knew what I had done and made sure to accomodate my needs.

    Initally after my first ACDF I was a bit scared and after the first few times having other people do it for me while I sat in the bath, I got the confidence to do it myself in the shower - that's ok and you can do that.

    After my second op i didn't give it a second thought and was able to do it myself. Showers are easier and you will get there. You will also be able to go the salon and have them do it for you too. It makes you feel like a million dollars.....

  • I had ACDF, C4-6, last January and washed my hair at home in the shower 2 days after surgery. I was worried about getting too much water on the incision, so I wrapped my neck in saran wrap and taped the edges near the incision every time I took a shower and then patted my neck "clean" with a damp cloth afterwards. It wasn't ideal, but it worked. Showering and then drying my hair was exhausting for the first week or so, but it was worth it! I didn't have to wear a collar all the time, and took off the soft one for my showers. I still can't put my head back to have it washed at the salon, so I schedule the first appointment of the day and just go in with clean hair. It's all a process, but it works out. ~kathleen
  • Today I finally was able to wash my hair...I was careful not to bend my head back or forward: just held my head straight. I could have done that ages ago...it is the blow drying that held me back. I have very long, thick hair that takes forever to dry. It must be blow dried otherwise turns into a birds nest! I was able to blow dry it with my soft collar on. I took breaks as my arms tired and pains in my shoulder blades developed. BUT I feel so much better now! Today was five weeks since my surgery.
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