Hi everyone, been popping into this site for a couple of weeks.

I have copd, a few weeks ago was told I have breast cancer, slow growing. Was all set for an op., but then found out I had small cell cancer in my lung. Had first round of chemo. I was taking it all in my stride, but my hair is now falling out in handfulls. I am so upset I want to cry, but am trying to come to terms with it. I can get a wig from the NHS, but not sure if they are any good. Can anyone give me any advice, I would be so grateful. Janice

18 Replies

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  • Hi Janice

    I don't know much about wigs, but I had a good friend who passed away last year from brain cancer. She had worn a wig for at least a year, and I honestly never noticed. She always looked great - wig and all.

    Best wishes, Bill

  • Hi Billculbard, Thanks for your reply, but I had to smile you men are all the same, you never notice anything we women wear, but we love you anyway.

  • :-)

  • Hello Janice,

    You have had an awful lot to adjust to in the last few weeks, so it is understandable that you are upset. Losing your hair can be a really visible sign of what you are going through where up to now it may not have been obvious.

    If you need any information or support visit our website roycastle.org

    In terms of wigs, the general standard of wig provided by the NHS, as Bill says, is very good. There are lots of hints and tips about getting the right wig for you - including getting it trimmed if you have a regular hairdresser who is prepared to do that for you.

    Depending on where you are in the UK there are services which can also provide advice on scarf tying and various ways of managing hair loss. Breast Cancer Care offers a free service at many hospitals and Cancer Centres and the service is open to people with any cancer. You may also have a local "Look Good, Feel Better" service which can give a boost.

    I hope the chemotherapy treatment is not too awful and you are getting advice for the Chemotherapy, or Cancer Nurse Specialists.

    If we can be of any help please visit the website or call our helpline on Freephone 0333 323 7200, option 2

    best wishes

    Lorraine

    on behalf of the Information & Support team

  • Hi LorraineD, thanks for your reply. I am feeling a bit better as I got myself a wig two days ago, and everyone says it looks real, one friend thought I had been to the hairdressers and had highlights put in, another friend said she is going to get her hair dyed the same colour as my wig, its just a bit lighter than my own hair also a little bit shorter. So now I just have to get used to the itching. My daughter shaved my head for me. To be honest I am glad the hair has gone as it was really upseting. Not sure if I can have my 2nd chemo on Monday as blood count is low so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Onwards and upwards I hope x

  • Hi Nixy, my hair came out in handfuls too and I tried to prepare myself for it. I took my husband with me to chose an NHS wig and I love it. I thought it would look so fake but it didn't. Hairpieces have come along way since the old days. I had a mobile hairdresser come and cut my own hair as short as possible so the hairpiece would fit better and it did. My falling hair was blocking up the hoover, the sink and drains. I bought some scarves to wear from the Feel Good look Better programme and either wore my NHS hairpiece to use everyday or alternating it with just a scarf. It gave me quite a new look and lifted my spirits and gave me more confidence. My hair as now grown back from straight and fine to thicker and curly and I love it. I can do so much more with it now. So try and look on the brighter side to wearing a hairpiece and take a friend with you and have some fun trying them on. I even wore a hairpiece for my big day as my own hair had not grown back by then and had no problems at all. I hope this helps you.

  • Hi hedgehoggy, thank you for replying, it really is nice to talk to people who have been there. I got my NHS wig two days ago and it has put my mind at rest as it looks pretty good. We women love our hair and it was the worst thing to see it falling out. Like you mine was everywhere. Feeling a bit more positive now. Hope you are keeping well now x

  • Hi Nixy my wig itched a bit until I put one of those net stocking things underneath a bit like a pair of pop socks, but you can get them made in cotton which I bought and is better and they are washable. You can buy them in shops where they sell wigs.

  • I have changed my chemotherapy drug and have been told I will lose my hair. I went to get an NHS wig a couple of weeks ago and was amazed how good it is. I too had heard all the stories about what they looked like but even my husband thought it looked good and I put it on when my friend came round and it was so good she wasn't sure if I was wearing it or not. Give it a go I think you'll be surprised.

    Sue

  • Hi suesal123, It really is good to hear all the positive things people are saying. Got my wig two days ago and yes it looks so much better than I imagined. I will have to get used to the itching. I was walking round Sainsburys yesterday scratching away when no one was looking and I keep pulling it down a bit at the back. I am sure I will get used to it, thank goodness for wigs, what would we do without them. x

  • Hi Janice, I got a wig for myself even though the chemo didnt agree with me and had to be stopped.My hair still got a lot thinner and lost some of it. Th e wig was from the N.H.S . and to be honest it was brilliant. I got one that was so like my own hair even I couldnt tell the difference.

  • Hi jillygirl, got a wig on Tuesday, and yes everyone likes it. It does look pretty good even though it itches like mad. Bought a woolly hat yesterday, the least said about that the better I look like an old scarecrow in it, still it gave my granddaughter a laugh. What happened when they stopped chemo, did they still give you other treatment? hope you are ok.

  • Sorry nixy for not replying earlier, as you know I spend most time on quit support. My chemo was an extra safeguard so I didnt need any more. Quit support has my details if you go into quit stories. Mine is under jillys story. I think I was one of the lucky people, if you can call it that. As for the wooly hat I got one made me look like Compo. :P

    Good luck with your treatment. P.S. you can always message me if you want a chat. :)

  • thank you jilly girl. Yes I have seen you about on the other sites, nice to know there are other people around if I need a chat. (down with wooly hats) Janice x

  • jillygirl, thanks for that I was having a good laugh till I realized that picture looked a lot like me......Not to worry, I have taken the bobble off my hat, still looks awful lol x Janice

  • :D :D

  • What, No men with wig stories? ;-) I'm sure if my hair starts falling out, I'd be off to the wig shop a.s.a.p. :-)

    David

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