Many women reveal that hair loss is as traumatic as breast cancer treatment itself – because hair is such a big part of a woman’s identity too. A head without hair is much more socially acceptable for men than it is for women explaining why women are more likely to wear a wig, especially when faced with temporary loss through treatment.
There is no ‘set’ protocol for how to cope with hair loss but we can provide some helpful tips and information to make the process as manageable as possible. In the first instance, if you anticipate losing your hair through treatment and you want to wear a wig, your Oncology Department will provide you with a list of reputable hair clinics that supply wigs for cancer patients. Under the NHS in England and Wales, you are entitled to one synthetic or ready-to-wear wig. In Scotland, too, NHS patients are also entitled to one ready-to-wear wig. Once you start to notice hair loss, some women opt to shave their heads to avoid prolonging the stress of loss. A good hair clinic offers qualified hairdressers who can do this for you in a private environment.
At the stage of choosing a wig, you can search various online stores for style inspiration and colours. There are literally thousands of exceptional quality, natural-looking, breathable wigs in a wide range of beautiful colours. Real hair wigs are also available, although usually outside the NHS. These products offer simple natural styles, some with long hair. A reputable supplier will stock quality global brands, have a registered address and display a returns policy. Many women also choose to restore their eyelashes and eyebrows. For eyebrows, semi-permanent make-up is a popular option as are micro-fine, real hair eyebrows which are fixed in place using special skin glue. Both can provide very natural-looking results. Whether or not you reveal your hair loss is entirely a matter of personal choice. Most people share their hair loss with their family, friends and associates as it alleviates some pressure.
Although Hair Loss Protocol caused by chemotherapy is almost always temporary, a lot of women choose to stay relatively close to their natural colour and style. Quite often, women choose a shorter, chic style to minimize the styling effort. It’s worth bearing in mind that breast cancer treatment can be very tiring – and so you might want to choose a cancer wig that requires little fuss and styling.