Tips on Getting Ready for a Wig

For many women, wigs are the answer. One woman became a wig sales specialist after her own experience with breast cancer, mastectomy, and hair loss. “Within four weeks, I lost a major part of my body and all my hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. I was at my lowest. I know how important a beautiful wig can be,” she said, explaining her career choice.

Tips on Getting Ready for a Wig

  • Cut your hair short before you start chemotherapy. It’s less traumatic to lose short clumps of hair than long ones —and it’s easier to fit a wig over less hair.
  • If you get used to short hair, you won’t have to wait as long for your hair to grow back to feel like yourself. Shorter is also cooler —an important consideration, because wigs can feel hot in the summer.
  • Since a short-haired wig is easier to wear and care for, if your hair is already short, you’ll have an easier time living with temporary hair of a similar length.
  • Look through salon books and hairstyle magazines to find the becoming cut that’s right for you.
  • Interview a few hairdressers. You may want to book an appointment just to talk to an expert before the actual cut.

Finding a Wig

How do you find a wig? You can take several routes:

  • Your hospital’s cancer center or your local breast cancer organizations may have a list of wig specialists in the area.
  • Your hairdresser may be able to suggest a wig shop. Some wig specialists come to your home to provide additional privacy.
  • Ask friends for leads.
  • Some beauty salons offer special services for women going through cancer therapy so that after you select your wig, you can have it styled in a variety of ways.

Try to pick out your wig BEFORE your chemotherapy begins. You’ll have more energy. Plus, the stylist will be able to see your natural hair color and style. You can get used to wearing the wig in trial sessions, alternating with your own hair.

Wigs come in all styles and colors. A wig made of real hair could cost between $800 and $3,000, or more, and it requires more care than you give your own hair.

Most women choose synthetic wigs. They look and feel good, need very little attention and care, and cost much less ($30 to $500).

Go for the best-quality wig you can afford. You want one that doesn’t have an obvious part line, that won’t get matted or is difficult to care for, one that doesn’t look like a bad toupee. It should fit well on your head, which is why it’s important to take your wig with you to the hairdresser even when you don’t need it yet.

You also want your wig to be comfortable, not lined with material that’s going to feel scratchy against your scalp. (Remember that most wigs are designed for women who have some hair.)

Although you may wear your wig almost every day, most women use a wig for less than a year, so it’s not necessary to buy something that will last forever. To keep your wig looking good for as long as possible, give your wig “time off” by using a turban, scarf, or hat. On occasion, have it cleaned and styled by specialty hairdressers.

Read more at Breastcancer.org

 

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