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We are still women and we still know how to be beautiful even in the face of everything they throw at us. If you have made the wise decision to get chemo, and acknowledge that the only way to fight this enemy is to blast those terrorist cells to kingdom come, then you better buy a wig or two. That is a small price to pay when study after study reveals that women who opt for chemotherapy have the best chance for disease free survival, also known as living a long life, and even that word : CURE.

The best time to go wig shopping is when you still have all your hair. Your main wig should be the closest to your natural hair as possible. You then will take it to your stylist and have him cut it to your hair style that you are wearing right now. By doing this you have “you” ready and waiting in the closet the day you decide to shave your head. When you start to lose your hair just knowing that “‘you” are within arms reach can provide such peace of mind.

Wigs are covered by most insurance companies. Find out if yours is. Then find the best you can afford. Remembering all the time that your insurance will be picking up a large percentage of it. Go only to a wig salon or hair salon that is accepted by your insurance company.

There are 100% human hair wigs, a mixture of human and synthetic, and 100 % synthetic wigs. See what you like best. Keep in mind that a $50 wig looks like a $50 wig. You also will need a wig stand and all the other accessories that go with it. Your wig salon will show you what you need and how to use them.

There are also fun things that are available when you don’t feel like wearing your wig. And you will NOT feel like wearing it all the time. There are hats and scarves with bangs and ponytails attached. There are wonderful options out there. Have some fun. Even get adventuresome and get back-up “for fun” wigs in different lengths and colors.

Your hair will always look fantastic when you wear a wig. It is so shiny and well styled it really is prettier than your real hair. It is also hotter and itchier. One tip to help with that: when you take it off put some Sea Breeze on your scalp. It will thank you!

Human Hair

There is nothing more beautiful than a 100% human hair wig. Hair that comes from Russia is spectacular. There are human hair wigs that come from other countries like China and India, but they have a different texture to them because they have been strip bleached to get all the color out of them and then re-dyed to match colors that are popular here in America. Because of this they are very coarse and tangle easily and don’t have the same shine or bounce to them.

The Russian hair is made from children’s donated hair that has never been dyed. Since it is “virgin hair,” as the wig people call it, there is shine and body and bounce and it looks so real no one would ever suspect you are wearing a wig. They cost a lot of money. Your insurance covers wigs, but it may not cover that much. But this is how you will be presenting yourself for the next several months. You have to decide whether or not it is worth the high price to pay.

For women on a budget, The American Cancer Society has wigs that women have donated. These are available for free. If you can get a human hair wig, you can have it dyed to your color. And always remember, a wig looks best when it is cut by your stylist into your normal haircut. It is less traumatic that way for you.

Wig Care

Washing a wig is easy. Simply put it on its Styrofoam head and attach the chin strap with the alligator clips that came with the wig to keep it in place. Gently wet it and wash with wig shampoo. Let the shampoo run through the hair by running the water over it, rather than scrunching up the hair. I used conditioner on my wig as well. After that is rinsed out, lay the head on a towel and gently blot the hair dry. The Styrofoam heads come with a hole in the bottom. If you didn’t get an attachment to stand it on you can always use the finial on the bottom of your banister and let it air dry until it is just slightly damp. Then blow it dry. It is best not to blow dry your wig on your head when it is wet because you will stretch out the cap.

Don’t be afraid to use styling products on your wig. Style it as if it is your own hair because, well, it is!

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