Getting Ready For A Wig

October 16, 2011 7:29:55 AM PDT
October is breast cancer awareness month. As patients fight the disease with often aggressive treatments, one side effect can be hair loss.

While there is nothing wrong with being bald, a lot of breast cancer patients do opt for wigs. To help with the process, we had Hairstylist of the Year and owner of Bang! Salon Chicago, Eli Mancha, in our ABC7 studio, along with model Logan Ochoa. Mancha explained the reasons for hair loss, ways to cope with it, and tips for getting ready for a wig. Mancha often recommends the hair vitamin Viviscal to clients who either lost their hair due chemo or are facing thinning hair.

Mancha brought examples of human hair and synthetic hair wigs from John Crager in Chicago.

Hair Loss and Your Children
- Prepare your children for your hair loss before it occurs.
- Let them help you pick out a wig or scarves.

Tips on Getting Ready for a Wig
- Cut your hair short before you start chemotherapy.
- A short-haired wig is easier to wear and care for.
- Look through salon books and hairstyle magazines for a becoming cut.
- Interview hairdressers.

How do you find a wig?
- Your hospital's cancer center or your local breast cancer organizations may have a list of wig specialists.
- Your hairdresser can suggest a wig shop. Some wig specialists come to your home.
- Some beauty salons offer special services for women going through cancer therapy.
- Pick out your wig BEFORE your chemotherapy begins. You'll have more energy, and the stylist sees your natural hair color and style. Get used to wearing the wig in trial sessions, alternating with your own hair.
- A wig made of real hair could cost between $800 and $3,000. It requires a lot of care.
- Synthetic wigs look and feel good, need very little attention and care, and cost much less ($30 to $500).
- Go for the best-quality wig you can afford.
- Choose one that doesn't have an obvious part line, won't get matted or is difficult to care for, and doesn't look like a bad toupee. It should fit well on your head.
- Your wig should not be lined with material that feels scratchy against your scalp.

Caring for Your Wig
- Wash every two weeks.
- Set them with sprays or gels.
- Don't dry them with a hair dryer or curling iron.
- Be careful when you're cooking.

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