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Tips on Choosing and Wearing a Wig

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Tips for wearing wigs

Most women who are faced with hair loss opt for at least one wig and alternate wearing the wig(s) with hats and scarves.

What should I do to prepare for hair loss?

  • Make sure you will need a wig. Not all chemo causes hair loss.
  • If your hair is long, consider having it cut short so that switching to a wig or other headwear will be less noticeable.
  • Hair generally falls out 2-3 weeks after your first chemo treatment.
  • Once it starts falling out, consider having your head shaved (use an electric razor to avoid cuts).
  • This can make you feel more in control and keeps you from waking up to find itchy hair all over your pillow.
  • If you still need something to catch the hair, you may want to buy a Mesh Cap.

Hair usually grows back about six months after chemotherapy ends. Your new hair may be curlier or straighter, thicker or finer—or even a new color. Usually this change is short term; with time your hair will very likely go back to the way it was before treatment.

What kind of wig should I buy?

After hearing they will lose their hair, some women rush out and buy a real hair wig.

Many regret it: In addition to being expensive, real hair wigs require a lot of upkeep. Synthetic wigs are much easier to maintain and they look and feel natural. With the money you save you can try different style synthetic wigs—even different colors. As one of our customers wrote:

All three of my “tlc”™ wigs look as good as the one I bought for $300! I bought each one in a different color. My husband thinks I look great!

- Sally M., Fresno, CA

 

Choosing a color.

  • As we age, a lighter color is often more flattering and gives a softer, more natural look.
  • Chemo can make your face look pale. If you have black hair, consider choosing dark brown for a more flattering look.
  • If you’re a brunette and going grey, consider choosing a wig in a lighter shade of brown, possibly with subtle highlights.
  • White is very flattering, too.
  • Be adventurous! Now is your chance to experiment without paying for a long, expensive salon dye job.

Check the wig return policy and your insurance policy.

  • Make sure you can return the wig within a reasonable length of time without a restocking fee.
  • Check your private insurance policy. With a prescription from your doctor for a “cranial prosthesis”, it may help cover the cost of a wig.
  • Medicare does not cover the cost of wigs, but they may be a tax-deductible expense.

How do I make sure that my wig fits comfortably and correctly?

  • Carefully follow the directions that come with the wig.
  • If you wear glasses, remove them before trying on the wig.
  • Be sure to shake out the wig vigorously before putting it on.
  • Consider investing in a Wig Hugger. This cushioned gel band ensures that the wig is positioned comfortably and securely on your head.

The Cool Comfort™ Wig Liner is another helpful item. Chemo can make your scalp sensitive, and the Wig Liner offers good protection. Made of a special soft cotton/poly fabric, it also wicks away perspiration to keep you cool and comfortable while wearing your wig.

How do I style my wig?

  • Before styling, always tuck all of the hair behind your ears.
  • Bring forward only as much hair as is needed to make the wig look natural.
  • If needed, have a hair dresser trim the bangs and thin the wig to make it look more natural.
  • Shorter wigs—use a brush sparingly; your fingers will work better. Use Wig Styling Crème for hold, if desired.
  • Long, straight wigs—spray lightly with Wig Conditioner and brush with a Wig Brush, starting with the ends first, before styling.
  • For touch-ups, lift hair with a Hair Pick, included in our Wig Styling Kit. The Kit also includes a Wig Brush, a Collapsible Wig Stand for drying wigs and other useful items.
  • For a more natural look, don’t try to have every hair in place.
  • Use scarf bands and other hair accessories as you would with your own hair.

No more “bad hair days!”

While losing one’s hair may be frightening, many women enjoy trying styles and colors in a wig that they would never have dared to try with their own hair. Some women buy more than one wig and change wigs to suit their mood, their outfit, or the occasion.

Wigs always look good; there are no more bad hair days. In fact, many women continue to wear their wig(s) after their hair grows back, especially when they don’t have time to get their hair done.

Give yourself permission to try new colors and styles. You may well bring a smile to your face and to the faces of those who love you. (And you may get some compliments, too!)

Para solicitar información en español, llame al 1-800-227-2345. Un especialista en información sobre el cáncer le asistirá en español.

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