Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Collar and Long Hair

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,554
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I've been reading about ACDF and the hard collar that I'll have to wear for 4 weeks (then a soft collar for 4 weeks). Do you agree that it's best to cut your hair short to prepare for post-surgery collar wearing and hair washing? :S I've had hair down past my shoulders forever and just hate the thought of having to do it, but when I (or my husband) has to wash my hair, I guess it would make it much easier. Feedback please? :''(


  • that is a hard decision to have to make. My hair reaches past my waist but luckily I didn't have to wear a collar....however , washing my hair was a brutal experience. I wish you the best of luck dear in whatever decision you make....take care....Miki
  • I know it's a hard decision to make and I have been in this situation myself after having two ACDF's myself and wearing both the hard and soft collars. My hair has always been short, and I had it cut even shorter because I thought it would be hot - after recently having a hysterectomy before all of this, I try to avoid hot! However, could you possibly wear your hear up or even braid your hair temporarily until you are out of the collars? You will be able to take the collar off to bathe and wash your hair, at least I was able to do that, you just have to be careful. Just a thought.....hate to see you cut your hair off as it takes forever for it to grow back out to that length! Good Luck with your surgery and recovery!
  • advertisement
  • I am in a hard collar for 3 months plus, and I have long hair, I ponytail it or put in up in a clip,,, yes it is hard to wash, my husband had to do for the first 3 weeks, and then I could sit in the tub and use the spray with mimimal help from him... scrubbing it was my problem so Dont laugh,, I took my spaghetti spoon server with me and used it to scrub my hair, honestly it worked pretty good,,, I have an extra set of cushions for my collar so once I am out and dry I sit on the toliet or whatever and hold my neck straight while he takes it off anc changes the wet pads, to dry ones... Its going to take you awhile to figure out what works for your trust me... I blogged about one of my bathe experieces on myspace, Ill insert a piece of it here,...

    Blog:Another victory,, John used to have to help me in the tub and wash my hair and condition it all the time,,, One night he let the water go out on me and started washing my hair and I almost froze to death, (but I didnt want to complain becauce he has been so good, ) anyways, after he did my hair and the water was out of the drain, and my new collar put back on, ( I have to change the inserts in my collar when I wash my hair) I tried to get back out of the tub and My not so small ass was stuck to the plastic bath mat like a freaking sucktion cup OMG I was stuck.... John and I laughed harder than we have in years. Finially after prying my ass off the mat, I got out and by then I was sooooooooooo cold.. The victory part of this story is that I with Johns help got to take my own bath and washed my own hair this week.. we have a hand held shower head now, and I took a spaghetti lifter to the tub with m and used it to wash and scrub my hair..... Yes a spaghetti thingy..... I lined up all my bottles of stuff I needed and my shaver and I was self sufficeient... when I was done all John had to do was help me out, take my brace off and while I held my head, and change the inserts, put it back on and I was a brand new clean and smelling good mama.......
    Told you not to laugh...
    You will need someone to put your hair in a ponytail for the first few weeks too because its hard to get your arms up........ have Fun
  • =)) =)) =)) =))

    Thanks for the visual and helping me feel better because I do have a choice! >:D<
  • My first surgery in 1997 I had long hair. My husband helped me wash it in the shower for the first couple of weeks. I was in a hard collar 24/7. Putting my hair up gives me a headache so I wore it down with most of it over the collar. The part that would have been pulled up with the collar on (hope this makes sense) I wore under the collar - helped me not to have a headache. My last surgery in July of this year I was able to shower from day one without the collar (I had water proof tegaderm on my incision) and my hair has been cut short for several years now. Guess the rules had relaxed over the years as I had the same surgeon. Either way I didn't find it to be too much of a problem. Cutting your hair is a very personal decision and I wish you all the best.
  • advertisement
  • Hi Cath,

    I had ACDF surgery on Sept 17 so I am just 15 days post op today. My doctor does not use collars. He said the hardware will support my neck (titanium screws and plates). I came home two days after surgery and showered and washed my hair 3 days after surgery. My incision was covered with steri strips. My hair is a little longer then shoulder length and washing it has been a bit of a challege but its getting easier. I find drying it the most trouble since I can't wrap a towel around it like I am used to and I have to rub it without hurting my neck. I did have it cut into layers just before surgery so it curls and I can get away without blow drying although I don't like it much. I usually end up with kind of wet hair for a while after I shower but its worth it to have it clean. The no collar thing has been very scary for me but it seems some doctors are doing this now with success. My doctor is even going to have me start PT in a few weeks (which is really scary).
  • I have always had short hair. I keep it even shorter now that I wear a bone stimulator. The little electrodes get stuck or pull on my short neck hairs. I have to have my neck shaved. Since I have short hair it was easy for me to shower by myself. I could not get my neck wet for the 1st 2 days. That was Ok because I was not in the mood to do anything. The big badage can off then and I just had the steri strips on. I would blow dry them when I was doing my hair. The doctor said keep them dry and hey it worked. =))
  • I had long hair, almost to my waist. I cut it a month before surgery. Glad I did, it was out of the way. It has been 6 months now since surgery and it is already past my shoulders. I would do it again. I didn't have to worry about it getting under the collar and pulling, or feeling funny sittin around the collar. I never wear my hair up, that would of been a pain!
    Good luck in what you decide.
Sign In or Register to comment.