Wigs! Hair loss with TC chemo
Two weeks after first round of chemo, my hair is starting to shed. Needing all your input on wigs. Is it worth getting one with real human hair? What are the must haves to keep your scalp comfortable? What materials are the softest? Any other pointers?
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Hello @brighterdays – I remember when my hair first started falling out from chemo. I knew it was coming, but it was still a jolt to see a bald head. I too, thought a human hair wig was the way to go, but after seeing the prices, I quickly changed my mind. I initially wore hats, bandanas, and scarves to cover my head, but I quickly learned that people were going to look at my head whether I went around looking bald, or if I covered it with some sort of head covering. Coupled with being hot and uncomfortable, I chose to go out in public bald 🙂 best decision I made and at first I was self-conscious, but I quickly realized it was more about the person staring at me with the issue rather than me having an issue with being bald. I was comfortable, saved a lot of money on a wig that might not have looked/felt good, and it was kind of freeing. Everyone is different, but this is my story/perspective that I am sharing with you. 🙂 I wish you all of the best!
What was your experience and journey?
I went with a high end artificial hair wig during chemo and got quite comfortable with it over time. They are pretty good these days! Get one that can handle some warmth, like a curling iron, if you need to style it. I found some good styles with the Raquel Welch brand. It sure makes getting ready to go out quicker!
Get synthetic. You have to fix human hair. Synthetic is also cheaper.
Does insurance usually cover part of the cost of a wig? Does your oncologist office write the prescription?
I had long curly/frizzy hair before TC; about 2 weeks after starting treatment it became very matted at the back of my head and was coming out while showering. I called my niece and had her shave my head. I never actually went bald – so my hair was probably thinning ALOT. Fortunately I was working from home and it was winter so I just wore warm polar fleece caps day and night to keep my head warm. I looked at my hair situation as a "Do Over" and was interested in how it would return.
After TC was completed my hair started coming in, it is slightly different – the curl is looser and my hair actually feels softer. Its still growing slowly and it will be a year come this July when all chemo treatments were completed. Its not long enough to anything with but to wash and let air dry – it was slow growing before chemo so I'm not surprised that it is still slow growing.
Best of luck in your journey with treatment.
When my hair started coming out it happened really fast. I had cut it short in preparation for it coming out. When I could not wash it off of myself and dry myself without more coming out, I just sat down and pulled it all out. I couldn’t feel a thing.
I bought a couple wigs, and wore them a few times. I realized it is really hot flash inducing and uncomfortable and decided to try a few hats and scarves.
I ended up going bald most of the time, I would put a nice scarf on my head if we went out somewhere.
Did you cut your hair or is short?
Some people can pull off bald-not me. I purchased a synthetic wig after I learned that human hair reacts to the weather, which makes sense. I went to a shop that specializes in assisting women who will be suddenly losing their hair. I’m glad I did as my wig had to be ordered since I have a small head.
I found the wig to be comfortable even in hot weather because it had holes about the size of a dime in the mesh. I could do a half up and even a ponytail. It was not cheap and my insurance did not cover, but it was worth it to me.
Do what works for you!
Best wishes, Cindy
I bought a synthetic wig while I still had hair but I’ve never worn it. I’ve learned everyone is so different! For me, I feel fake wearing it. Like I’m in a show. I wore beanies and scarves instead. They feel more like me. I’ve become used to be bald now and it’s getting hot in FL. I’m going out bald more and more. It’s freeing to me.
Short answer, No! Not only is real hair more expensive, it is harder to maintain and doesn't wear as long. Synthetic wigs these days can be just as real looking as real hair as long as you don't go too cheap. Go to a wig store with a licensed stylist who can fit you with the proper size. When I wore a wig pretty much no one who knew me could tell. There are three types to consider and I wore all three. I lived in my ball cap with hair. Easy on, easy off and the style and color matched so well that even those around who knew it wasn't my hair were amazed. They run $80-$90. A halo is synthetic hair on elastic that's just bangs and fringe. Imagine the stereotypical monk with hair all around with a big bald spot up top. These are also easy on, easy off, cool to wear with any kind of hat you might have from casual to Sunday best. The wig shop I frequented catered to cancer patients and had sales which allowed me to play with colors. Think purple, hot pink, teal. Losing hair is not fun (I was so traumatized that I covered my mirrors until it grew back), but I had fun wearing the colors. I even wore a tiara on my last day of chemo and radiation. I admire those who go bald proudly, but I was very, very private about my cancer so would not advertise it. I'm happy it's over, but I still have my wigs and intend to keep wearing them on occasion. Great for a bad hair day. Good luck.