Let's talk about wigs

Hi folks

As it seems that the treatment I am going to have to have will include hair loss, I have been looking into wigs.

I know that many of you have found it liberating to shave your head and decide to wear scarves etc but few mention wigs. I have read that chemo makes the skin sore so wigs rub and that they feel hot etc.

Does anyone wear a wig? Did you choose NHS or buy privately?

I looked at real hair and micro filament edging and such If the scalp does become sore is there anyway of protecting it or a lining as such

I would be interested in anyone else's views.

Cheers Fay

Just thought though when I have the roof down on the car then all bets might be off! Lol

28 Replies

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  • I haven't tried a wig,preferring to to use a selection of other head-coverings. Mostly for local use I wear a cheap 'sleep cap' from Anna Bandana. For outside I top this with one of a selection of hats, three I knitted myself in fetching stripes, two a kind neighbour who can't really knit gave me. For best I have two expensive jobs from Suburban Turban, very well made and comfortable. I also have a couple of bandana I tie on for chemo sessions. I wore a Santa hat for a party last night. It has been rather fun experimenting, but I am so glad it is winter, I think it mist be hell keeping covered in the Summer.

  • Hi Rachael

    Thanks for the info on Surburban Turban. Will look at their stuff as well. I usually feel cold so usually need something to keep me warm even in the summer. However, with chemo all that might change.

    Fay

  • Hi Fay , my wig was my lifesaver because I just looked horrible in hats and scarves , I wouldn't have left the house if it wasn't for ' Wanda ' , I had a voucher for £90 off a wig and I was given a list of places that took them , the lady that owned the place was amazing , the 2nd wig I tried on was the one ! It was more expensive but it was so worth it , Wanda is synthetic she doesn't itch but now my hair is starting to grow back she's getting warm !

    Good luck in whatever you choose.

    Diane xxx

  • Hi Diane

    Thanks for your reply. A couple of questions. Who gave you the voucher?

    Did you have a wig liner or was it ok without one.

    I am aware that you can obtain wigs via NHS but not sure of the system. Will Google it.

    I want to be prepared. Diana Rigg may look good in a turban but not having quite the same face shape I feel I may need a bit more help!

    Fay

  • When I had my 1st meeting with the nurse she gave me the voucher then , I think the value is different for each health board ,

    I found the wig liner a pain ,left a mark on my head and I got very hot with it ,but try it you may find it helpful they were really cheap on eBay , also I didn't shave my head went down to no2 on top and 1 on sides and it didn't all fall out so it was a little like Velcro 😂

    Yep my problem is a very chubby face which with the lovely steroids became even chubbier haha I bought a couple of head scarves and I just looked like a Russian peg seller 😂

    Diane xx

  • I have nhs wig didn't have a voucher just appointment at onc unit a lovely lady came with a suitcase of wigs ... I found one that suited me and only used a wig liner which was like a stocking cap when I still had hair... once I lost my hair I found the liner to be unecessary ... my wig becane hot in warm weather so I got used to not wearing one but I did find people stared at me when venturing out bald... I didn't get on with scarves but did wear a hat because I found my ears were very cold ... loosing eyelashes in particular I didn't expect but they go as do eyebrows but make up helps ... if you find look good feel better course they are worth attending for the freebies and there are a lot of you tube videos to help with make up tips ... I laughed at myself wondering where to stop my foundation with no hair I found it hilarious at the time ... loosing my hair I thought I would find so traumatic but when it happened it wasn't so bad ... keeping my sense of humour and being kojak with a lollipop 🍭 kept me going ... people who stare its there problem not mine 😃 I've got used to it and now it's growing back 👍🏻

  • Hi Shelly

    Am mentally preparing to lose all hair. Pisses me off a bit as I paid for laser hair removal a few years back. Now I get it all for free.

    Will have to see what the cns offers.

  • Hope you get sorted ... some people I've heard don't lose all of their hair i.e. Legs etc but I lost all of mine ... everyone is different I guess ... I got a few fun wigs and had a wine and wig Wednesday with a few girl friends it was good fun 😃😃

  • Hi I had a wig and must admit found it very hot, but a friend of mine wore her wig all the time, she didn't go out without it on, it was an nhs wig and she looked fab!!

    Xx

  • I will have to see what I feel most comfortable with

  • I had an NHS voucher for my wig (and had to pay £68) which was fab quality and I could order from a lot of wig suppliers. However I didn't really like wearing it, I had it properly trimmed etc which made it look much better but still only wore it to show my family, once to the theatre and once home from the hairdressers. My sister tried it on and wanted to keep it and my mother in law said she was very jealous of how good it looked!!!

    I wore a few scarves at the beginning of my hair loss but once it was all off I wore a combat cap when out and nothing in the house or garden, maybe a long scarf wrapped if it was cold.

    The only times my head hurt were the few days before hair started to fall out and also when I had a reaction to Taxol. Surprisingly I didn't go completely bald but had some very fine short white hairs which loads of others had too but no one talked about, some of my friends wet shaved them off.

    The fibre wigs are fantastic and so easy to look after, you don't need to have a human hair wig unless you really want one. Then they come with a lot of fuss and bother !!!

    Try a few and maybe go for a different look. Now that my hair is growing back I know I will never grow it long again

    Oh yes I also remember trying on my chosen wig and saying to the nurse'how do I know have far down to wear it?" She kindly said ... "Why don't you use your current hairline as a guide........" Yes that was a good idea !!! Also luckily I have a small mole that lies right on my hairline so once my hair had gone on th few occasions I tried the wig on, I could use that as a marker!!!

    Good luck

    Clare xxx

  • Hi Clare

    Good information as usual. I will see what they have to offer. The easy to after bit sounds good as I am basically a lazy person and the less hassle the better.

    Fay

  • Hi there, I had two wigs,one free on the NHS they allow you the equivalent of £90.00.The first one I had I wore all through the winter,I did worry when it was very windy & we live near the coast,but it never moved, This particular wig was quite heavy & as we went from colder weather to milder it felt quite hot,so I went back to the wig place & the lady there showed me one which was hand tied & so light it was really lovely. This cost approx. £100.00,but my husband said well you have to look at it overall as you got the first one free so that worked out not to bad. I went to my grandson's graduation in this one & honestly people never knew I was actually wearing a wig. I found aswell that it makes you feel more normal or at least it did for me. I don't know that I would risk going out with the car roof down,but I suppose it would depend what speed you are doing.

    Anyway I hope you get sorted out,i am sure you will.

    Caleda4

  • Hi Caleda4

    I do like the idea of lightweight. I will keep that in mind as well as all the other info from you all.

    Fay

  • My sister bought me 4 inexpensive wigs as soon as I had surgery and the Dr. said I had cancer.

    They fit ok when I had hair, but now are too big. The Canadian Cancer Society offers free wigs, but they won't book an appointment until almost all of your hair is gone so they can get the fit right

    I've tried to wear one, but found it too hot. I wear hats, but end up taking those off and on.

  • Hi

    It certainly seems to be common theme that most people find them too hot. Being a generally cold person I may be able to wear one when out. I think getting a cheap one to reassure myself then one later on is the way to go.

    Fay

  • That would work!

    I worried about losing my hair (when, how, checking the pillow). When my scalp started to hurt around day 14 after treatment 1, I even avoided shampooing for a couple of days. Day 16, when I washed my hair it came out in major handfuls.

    I was traumatized. Called my family to cry with them. Even though I knew I had a 98% chance, it still shocked me.

    Knowing that I had the wigs my sister bought was a security blanket. And the idea that I could wear various styles and colours was fun too! I decided the same day to shave my head. I couldn't imagine day after day of trying to shower when I couldn't get the hair to stop coming out.

    I took my favorite wig to the salon with me and had the stylist trim the bangs. I wore it out to the car (by then I had lost it a few times when I bent over to put on my shoes). I got to the car and pulled it off, driving home bald, thinking everyone was looking at me.

    I posted a picture on FB when I got home. I looked pretty grim and determined. My friends rallied in support, especially the bald men, lol.

    I took a bunch of pics with various knit touques and scarfs and sent them to my family. They didn't like them, lol. They said they made me look sick.

    My sister bought me a really nice felt hat. That was the winner!! Unfortunately it's too big too. So when I go out I wear a touque for warmth and my felt hat for looks!

    I went to a work event last week for the first time since the end of August. The felt hat fell off with the first hug, so that was gone. The room was so hot one woman almost fainted, so I had to pull off the touque. People said I have a cute head, lol.

    So I think the right fit is so important, in the wig and the hats!!

    I think if I was going to spend any time outside in the cold ( gets to minus 35 here), I'll definitely be wearing a wig for warmth! Around the house I switch between light cottin, warmer cotton and nothing, depending on how warm I feel.

    I hope you find a wig that makes you feel as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside.

    Hugs xoxo

  • Hi Fay

    As the ladies have said depends on where you live - surprise surprise!

    I live in London and was just given an appointment with the 'wig lady' when I attended my pre-chemo appointment. She had a whole room of wigs in Guys which I could chose whatever I wanted FOC. Now the new centre is open there is a wig shop on the ground floor with scarves etc.

    I googled the wig and it was £250 online.

    Trevor Sorbie has specialist appointments for chemo patients where they give advice etc.

    But as I had cold cap treatment didn't have to use the wig - have you considered this? My hair went thinner and lost a little on top which I covered with hair fibre but kept 75% which was important to me.

    Eyebrows/eyelashes/body hair goes but I think Boots does makeup sessions with Macmillan and YouTube is very informative as it is with the many ways you can tie a scarf. I pencilled in the eyebrows and used eyeliner but they come back within 6 weeks of finishing treatment.

    I had no scalp soreness but sailed through chemo with only tiredness and calf pains for 2 1/2 days each session.

    Lots of luck xx

  • Hi Bev

    Sounds as though you had a good choice. Probably won't get the same in Dudley!

    I have done some research on the cold cap and was going to start a thread on it but you beat me to it. Did they offer it as an option. ?

    I have found out you can hire one for a period. Was yours through the hospital or did you arrange it yourself.

    Fay

  • Hi Fay

    At Guys there many machines available for everyone to use. You just tell the nurse that you want the cold cap at the beginning of each session.

    You MUST get the right size - it must touch your scalp for it to work.

    You spray your head with water and then use a spray conditioner on your hair. The cap needs to be on for a time before treatment starts but this will coincide with your anti sickness drugs being delivered. The first 10-15 minutes is uncomfortable but this then disappears and it is just heavy after. It needs to stay on after the drip finishes depending on treatment but by then you are relieved that the treatment is finishing and are happy anyway.

    As with everything it is up to the individual but I was so glad that I used it.

    If I can be of any further help just say.

    Bev

  • Hi Bev

    Very useful information. I think I might try it if it is offered as an option. As in the film Terminator "I may be back" but for more information if needed. Thanks

    Fay

  • I lived in wigs during the day,because I wanted to look as normal as possible,but I went for a totally different look.Short blonde random pixie cut,introduced to me by a lady in a wig shop in Essex and when she brought the wig to me (her choice) I said I'm not trying that f.....g thing on,but when I did all around me said,that's the one!

    Use it as a new start,I shaved my head,wore wig out,beanies in and baseball hats or bald in the summer,go with what you feel comfortable in.I did wear like a cut off tight liner with the wig.

    I was lucky my head never got sore,I was on Carbo/taxol ,I just fake tanned,pencilled in eyebrows and just used each day as a performance,life is a stage .My wigs were privately bought and not hair,but by goodness looked real.

    I now even dont colour my hair and have it in the cut of the wig.........

    So I digress, embrace the moment,do what you feel comfortable with and take this as a new image!

    Carole xxx

  • Thanks Carole

    I am ash brown at the moment but used to bleach it in my younger days. I will have to see what suits. An open mind on the style and I could end up being brave like you on the style.

    Cheers Fay

  • I have one recommendation.

    heathershair.co.uk

    Amazing and different options for hair and alternatives to wig. An amazing charity too. And very cheap donation policy. X

  • Thanks for that. Will check them out after (ironically) I come back from the hairdressers!

    Fay

  • They will send you samples too if you contact them. They only ask for a £2 donation x

  • Hi Fay, I never wore a wig. I had my sister make a hair piece using my own hair. Maybe think about saving some of your hair to use as fringes, plaited or ponytail etc just an idea before you bin it. Best of luck xx

  • Hi

    Never thought of that. Good idea.

    Fay

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