March 31 2019 – Barbara Snowden
Wearing a Wig as a Cancer Patient
Women who are faced with hair loss from chemotherapy or radiation treatment usually choose at least one wig style and then alternate between wearing the wig(s) with wearing hats and scarves. Most patients hair will grow back, but its thickness, texture and color may not be the exact same as it was before treatment.
Tips for Preparing for Hair Loss:
Here is what the American Cancer Society Suggests:
- Make sure you actually 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 head covering 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.
- You may notice that some hair may begin to grow back between treatments, but then fall out again.
Don’t be worried though, hair tends to grow back about six months after chemotherapy ends. Your hair might be more curly, more straight, or even a different color, but many times it goes back to how it was before your treatment.
If You're Experiencing Alopecia
Hair Loss can be a challenging pill to swallow but learning how to adjust by using wigs is a great experience that can get you out of your comfort zone. It doesn't have to serve as just a fashion accessory. It can become a part of your life that you love and a way to express yourself. Here are some tips:
- Choose a wig before you lose all of your hair if you can, this provides you with time to figure out what styles you like and don't like.
- When you hair begins to fall out, your hair follicles tend to become extremely sensitive. This is a good time to try using a cotton wig cap.
- Try to look at this as a possibility. And use your new experience with wigs to help you do that!
Choosing a Wig
- Take pictures of your current hair style.
- Save a lock of hair from the top front of your head, where your hair is lightest, in case you want to match your wig to your present hair color.
- Use natural light—outdoors or near a window—to decide whether a wig matches the swatch.
- Measure your head with your hair wet or slicked down.
- Make sure your wig is adjustable; your head size may be up to a size smaller when you lose your hair!
Natural Wigs vs. Synthetic Wigs
Wigs can be made either of natural human hair, or of synthetic materials. When comparing a high quality synthetic wig, there is not a lot of difference in the look and feel of the hair. The main differences are in the cost and the kind of maintenance, so choose the type that's right for your needs and for your budget.
Synthetic wigs tend to be cheaper, and hold their style regardless of the weather, they also don’t fade in terms of time. However, they don't last as long as wigs made of human hair, and don't have as much flexibility in styling as they mostly come pre-styled.
Natural human hair wigs are significantly more expensive and tend to come in fewer color options, but they can be cut, styled, and dyed just like you would your own hair. The drawback is that they'll also need more maintenance because they do not create their own oils that rejuvenate the hair. They will react to weather, and will need restyling or re-dying over time as they fade.
When making your decision think about how long you expect to keep the wig, and whether you would rather have a single wig that lasts a long time, or whether you'd like to change your look more often with two or more wigs.
You don’t have to be discouraged because of hair loss as a cancer patient. You can try hairstyles you’ve always wanted to try, and here at African American Wigs, we’ve got the perfect look for you.