An unfortunate side effect of some cancer treatments is hair loss. It can be especially disheartening for women when dealing with this situation. Many women decide to start by styling a short haircut, while some completely shave everything and others wear headscarves. Finding the perfect wig for a cancer patient still stands as a challenging option. Yet, it doesn’t have to be so hard with these practical tips to keep in mind:
First, find your capsize
This 1-minute guide shows how to measure your head to get an accurate idea of the ideal cap size of your future wig. All you need is a soft measuring tape and maybe a friend to help out with reading the numbers. The good news is that most women are “average” capsize, so this part of the wig-buying process really isn’t complicated. We also carry petite and large cap wigs in the store.
Secondly, choose a cap construction
The way a wig fits onto your scalp is almost as important as the hair itself. There are various ways hair can be attached to a cap; some styles may work better than others for your unique scalp.
Hand-tied caps (also labeled 100% hand-knotted) mean that each individual strand was attached by hand. Although they are usually the most expensive, they can have a very natural flow to them and have a very soft base. Monofilament is a type of sheer material used to make realistic hair parts in wigs. Some of these wigs are completely covered in monofilament, while others have just the material near the parts. Although mono caps are more expensive, you can part your hair in any direction.
Lace-front caps are ideal for when you want a hairstyle that shows off your hairline, since each hair is hand sewed into a delicate, subtle lace. Some lace-fronts are ready to be worn right after purchase, while others need to be cut down to design your desired hairline- the choice is yours!
Open wefted caps (also known as capless) mean that the hairs are sewn onto strings, which are then attached to strips designed onto the cap. It can help you keep cool, since they are open and won’t trap in heat. Some open wefted caps have a thicker lace design on the top, so the hairs appear more voluminous. Some women like this extra lift, but some may find that it doesn’t quite suit their face.
Close wefted caps are closed with lace so the wefted strands don’t get disarrayed as easily. To get a closer look at open v.s closed, check out this video explaining everything you need to know.
Human hair v.s. synthetic hair
Human hair can get very pricey and the manufacturing and processing practices vary when it comes to these types of wigs. Here’s how you can tell if what you’re paying for is worth it:
- If the hair isn’t chemically processed and it comes from one donor only
- It looks visibly healthy and strong
- It’s easy to style
- It keeps its quality for about three years. For this one, you can read reviews of similar wigs from the same manufacturer
Maintenance for these types of wigs can be tiresome and complicated, so here are some easy-to-follow instructions to keep your wig in decent shape for a long time!
Synthetic hair also varies greatly in quality. What makes them great wigs for cancer patients is the fact that they work best as short-term wigs and are way more affordable (which can be a top priority for those who need to worry about treatment first and foremost). This is what to look for if you want a quality synthetic wig:
- Choose synthetic fiber that is high quality. Research the manufacturing process, too.
- Make sure it’s pre-styled before buying
- A quality synthetic wigs shouldn’t have to be styled daily, and will go back into style once washed and dried.
- Remember that it doesn’t need to be washed as often and natural hair. Here is a helpful how-to on keeping your synthetic hair clean; if worn daily, it should be washed once a week.
Always look at the wig in person
Even if you’re set on knowing the kind of wig you want, avoid the temptation to buy online! They can get damaged in the process of mailing, making it harder to style, wash, and most importantly- it’s impossible to know if it really is the best fit. Our store can provide you with the expert knowledge you need to make the best purchase possible.
Some final wig tips for cancer patients
- Consider if you want to change your style once in a while. Though expensive wigs have their advantages, the cost won’t allow you much flexibility in changing your style or color. You can opt for a few cheaper wigs, and change them out whenever you want.
- If you want a natural color, consider buying a wig that is a shade or two lighter than your true hair color. This is because some cancer treatments can give your skin a pale complexion.
- If you’ve yet to lose your hair, but soon will, consider cutting your hair short first. It’s a bit less traumatic to lose short clumps of hair than long locks and it will be much easier to fit a wig over short hair
- If you want to style your hair using heat, make sure your wig is capable of handling it. There are many examples of both synthetic and natural hair that is heat-friendly.
- Think about the weight of your wig. Heavy wigs will trap more heat and make it difficult to wear in the warmer months; luckily, there are plenty of options that won’t leave you sweaty and uncomfortable!
There really is so much to explore with the world of wigs. Hair technology has improved so much in the past few years that it’s virtually impossible not to find hair that you love and feel confident in.