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Topic: wig advice

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: May 31, 2009 07:56PM

Leah_S wrote:

I am an Orthodox Jew, and so for religious reasons I have been covering my hair (hats/scarves/wigs) since I got married. Since that's almost 33 years, I thought I would post some information/advice about wigs and wig care.

Style - if possible, choose a style and color that is similar/the same as your current hair style. It will be easier to accept the way you look, and might also keep casual acquaintances from asking questions you don't want to answer.

Whether to get a synthetic or human hair wig depends on many thing. A good quality synthetic wig will look and feel good, but won't last as long as a human hair wig. However, since a decent synthetic wig should last for at least a year, there's no reason to spend a lot more on a human hair wig if you find a synthetic that you like. However, a human hair wig is usually lighter and more comfortable.

Care - if you're going to be taking care of it yourself, use very good quality shampoo and conditioner. Synthetic wigs usually keep their set when you wash them, so you just need to put them on a wig stand to air dry. Human hair wigs can be styled with rollers etc the same way your hair is. However, if you use a blowdryer, do so only until the wig is ALMOST all dry and let it air dry for the rest. If you use hot rollers, do so ONLY when the wig is dry. Use a brush with plastic bristles, preferably the type with little balls on the end of the bristles. If the wig is long (over your neck) you'll need to brush the inside where it touches you neck since it tends to get tangled there.Don't be afraid to brush it frequently.I brush most of my wigs every time I wear them. If you want it set by a professional, you're best off finding someone wo does a lot of wigs. I've been told by a number of hairdressers that working with wigs and working with hair are different. Wigs don't need to be shampooed or styled very often.

Keep it on a wig stand when you're not wearing it. To keep it free from dust, cover it with a kerchief (silk or synthetic, it doesn't matter).

Wigs are designed to be worn over hair, which is why so many women who have lost their hair find them itchy. If you can get a wig liner where you get your wig, that will help. If you can't get one, a cotton cap is good (the kind football players sometimes wear under their helmets) or you can cut the foot and lower leg part off of a pair of pantyhose and use that. I've been using the cotton cap since I lost my hair and find it comfortable.

If you get your wig before you lose your hair, make sure the cap is adjustable. It should have two stretchy tabs that attach with either a flat hook or with velcro on the sides of the cap.

If I think of anyting else, I'll post it on this thread.

Now, you would think that since I've been covering my hair for so many years it wouldn't bother me to lose my hair.

You would be wrong.



Dx 11/3/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 17, 2012 10:16PM CharB22 wrote:

 RachelsLife -- just read your post and found it funny. I went wig shopping with a friend on Sat and there was a young girl in the store looking at crazy blue wigs - just for the fun of it. I told my friend that when I was done all this chemo crap, I was going back to the wig store to buy a blue one -- it'll be my way of celebrating!
Lumpectomy - 12/9/11, 4 AC, 4 Taxol; Chemo done - 4/26/12 Dx 12/1/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/9/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 1/6/2012 AC
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Jan 17, 2012 10:54PM PhillyBird wrote:

CharB22 - I would recommend you get a blue party wig (definitely get a bargain on the web) now if you feel like it.  I ended up wearing a variety of wigs to the office and included a blue one in my collection.  I wore it for Halloween to work, out to dinner (often), and on the weekend running around town.

Age 57; 4X TC July 19 - Sept. 20, 2011; 30 sessions rads Oct. 18 - Nov. 30, 2011; tamoxifen Dec. 1, 2011 - April 15, 2013; anastrozole April 16, 2013 - present; "If you are going through hell, keep going." - Winston Churchill Dx 5/31/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 3, 2013 06:11PM Robyn-6591 wrote:

Thanks Leah. I am about to have an appointment to look at wigs before I start chemo. I hate the thought of losing my hair but a wig that still makes me look like me sounds preferable to hats/scarves. I've never been a fan of them and feel it would be like wearing a label 'look at me I'm being treated for cancer'.

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Apr 20, 2013 03:36AM - edited Apr 20, 2013 03:38AM by MysMel

Thanks Leah, I have often wore wigs, sew-ins or quick-weaves. I'm still trying to come to grips with the whole situation. Just had first chemotherapy treatment 3days ago. I'm in the process of making me some wigs. I am new to this site and look forward to interacting with other women in the same situation. Thanks again

Mys.Mel Dx 3/2013, 2cm, Stage II, 1/6 nodes
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Nov 14, 2013 09:49PM MarieInOntario wrote:

Can you let me know the name of the shop? I am being treated in Barrie but live in Collingwood. I have just had my first chemo treatment and am do for another one in two weeks. I think it's time to do something pretty soon.

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Mar 18, 2014 09:04PM Leah_S wrote:


Dx 11/3/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 21, 2017 01:41PM jc777 wrote:

I decided not to shave my head, even though that was the advice. I'm so glad I didn't listen. I can't wear wigs, they drive me crazy. I itch the whole time. I bought hair extensions and clip on bangs. Amazing! Some of the extensions have bands and some I clip onto the hair that I didn't shave, so that worked for me. I wear different hats over top of the extensions and bangs. I have cut the extensions to the length that I like and have played with some different colors. Thank God for Extensions! :)

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Feb 21, 2017 01:46PM jc777 wrote:

I know a nun who lost her hair while on chemo and she said the same thing. "You would think that since I wear a habit, it wouldn't bother me, but It absolutely does." It's just strange. I would have actually felt like things were almost normal had I not lost my hair.

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Feb 21, 2017 03:46PM Moderators wrote:

HI jc777, and welcome to!

Thanks for joining and posting to share your experience! Just as a heads up, this thread has been quiet for quite a while (since 2013/2014), and it's likely you may not hear back from those who have posted here before you. We'd suggest checking out the Active Topics list to see threads which are currently in discussion, or starting your own topic to share your experience.

Thanks again for posting and we look forward to hearing more from you!

--The Mods

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May 22, 2017 09:31AM Wigs_DC wrote:

This Post has been removed by the Community.
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May 6, 2018 02:17PM MinaS wrote:

hello everyone,

I have a question on behalf of my friend who is going through chemo and hair loss. She has tried synthetic wigs but really couldn’t have it for long, now we are thinking of getting a natural hair wig for her. She lives overseas and I am supposed to find one for her in States and take it there. I looked into some possibilities, can’t really trust online stores with such mixed reviews. I can order it through a cancer treatment Center near me or a few hair salons. Any suggestions in regards to the cost. I will do my best to help out but I heard even a short one starts around $700.No insurance is avialable as she is not living in states.

Thank you so much for your help.


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May 6, 2018 07:35PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Mina! Welcome to!

Till you get answers from other members here, take a look at this article from our main site: Finding a wig. You can also start your own new topic and ask your question; this thread is a bit old, so it's not likely that you'll get much feedback from the original posters here. Let us know if you need help with that!

Best wishes,

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May 6, 2018 08:08PM star2017 wrote:

I think if the synthetic bothers her the natural probably will too, but I guess it’s worth trying. Can she try one where she lives, before you buy one?

I wore the cute chemo beanies mostly. Wore my wig only a handful of times.

Dx@37, pregnant, BRCA2+ Dx 9/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/29/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/18/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 5/21/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/24/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 6, 2018 08:17PM LeesaD wrote:

MinaS - as star2017 said I would have her try one on if possible before you buy. Before chemo I went and bought a real hair wig and once my hair fell out, the wig center I purchased from shaved the rest and cut and styled the wig similar to my old style. I wore it home took it off and never wore it again. It was $1300.00 and thankfully insurance covered the entire cost but was never used. I wore a baseball cap during the day and a bamboo beanie cap to sleep as my head got cold. Best of luck to her.
Oncotype Score 3, 2/4 Sentinal Nodes micromestasis so pushed for ALND for 'peace of Mind' and surprise found 2/14 positive axillary nodes Dx 2/3/2017, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 4/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/26/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/16/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 5/8/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2017 Hormonal Therapy 9/7/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery 11/16/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 1/29/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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May 7, 2018 03:49AM - edited May 7, 2018 02:10PM by buttonsmachine

What exactly is making your friend uncomfortable? The problem is that the cap construction for synthetics and human hair wigs are often the same - so changing the hair fiber might not eliminate the comfort problem. In general a 100% hand tied cap is more comfortable than a cap with wefting. Also, double monofilament tops are more comfortable than standard monofilament tops, but these will still have some open wefting.

Be sure to get a high quality wig that is intended to be a medical wig (or cranial prosthesis) meaning that it was designed for people with little or no hair. I like Ellen Wille, Jon Renau, and Raquel Welch. These brands make both synthetic and human hair wigs, so that might be one place to start. These brands are comfortable for most people. A company called Clarys Wigs also makes very beautiful and comfortable human hair wigs that have a totally cloth hand tied cap, but they are not cheap. Best of luck to you!

Diagnosed at 32. Local recurrences in the skin, and now dealing with MBC. Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 4, 2018 04:45PM Coco29 wrote:

Hi everyone!

Do you know of all real hair wig shops in Santa Barbara or LA that you've had a great experience with?

Thanks so much!

Dx 5/16/2011, 3cm, Stage IIB, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 6/7/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 7/19/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 11/16/2011
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May 25, 2019 03:51PM Anneb1149 wrote:

I am 5 years out from treatment, but my hair is much thinner than before, and trust me, it was incredibly thin and fine before chemo. I just found out about wiglets, which are, I guess, ladies toupees. I found one synthetic one that I love. I am one of those that a full wig drives me crazy. Since I like this so much, I decided to look for a better quality one. The one I have looks fine, but does not feel like hair. The biggest problem I am having is finding my color which is pure white. I have done some research and have been told that the “heat friendly” synthetic hair is less expensive but equal in quality to human hair. I have tried Jean Reneau and several other online sites, but if anyone knows of a place that carries white heat friendly wiglets, I would love to hear about it.

For those of you just starting treatment, I wish you the best of luck with your treatments. It was a long journey, and particularly tough for me because I had lost my husband of 42 yrs thirteen months before being diagnosed. My children stepped up and I never went to a chemo infusion without one of them being with me. Hang in there.


Dx 9/25/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 3/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 10/3/2013 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 10/3/2013 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 10/9/2013 Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/27/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes

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