This month is breast cancer awareness month and in honour of cancer awareness, I am going to talk about hair, surprise surprise! It is well known that when people suffer from cancer they are often treated with chemotherapy which can cause hair loss. Chemotherapy can cause your hair to fall out or thin. This may happen within 2 to 3 weeks of starting treatment. Hair usually grows back after your treatment finishes. Some chemotherapy drugs can make other hairs on your body fall out, such as facial hair and pubic hair. Not all chemotherapy drugs make your hair fall out. Radiotherapy can cause your hair to fall out, but only in the area being treated. Hair does not always grow back after radiotherapy. Other cancer treatments, such as hormonal therapy or targeted (biological) therapy, can cause changes to your hair. Many people choose to wear wigs as a way to prevent a change in their appearance.
If you are struggling to deal with cancer-related hair loss please call cancer support specialists on 0808 808 00 00.
I have worn a wig once. I was really excited to try out a wig for my 20th birthday so I could have extremely long curly hair. I was unfortunately clueless about all things faux hair, so when I decided to get a wig I knew to go straight to my older cousin Ruchelle. This is Ruchelle, she is super creative, she loves all things beauty and hair, so whenever I need advice I go straight to her. She helped me to find the perfect wig for me so when I decided to write this post, I knew I had to ask her for help. She first started wearing fake hair when she was 15. She has always had really long hair until she begged her mum for a curly perm and all her hair fell out. Her hair fell out a week after the treatment first at the back then at the front. She then cut it and got her friends to cornrow it with extensions. After this, she started to get weaves that she has worn on/off for 10 years, then this was followed by wigs last year at 25. I had a nice little interview with her and this is what we covered…
HOW TO PICK A WIG
As you probably know, wigs are super popular at the moment. Wigs used to only be associated with hair loss or old age and in the black community wearing a wig is essentially just associated with not having much hair, but now everyone wears wigs. The rise of celebrities and influencers flashing new wigs every other day has normalised wigs in society, it has actually made it cool and trendy but how do you find a wig? Well, first of all, wigs are a great way to experiment with different hair colours and different hairstyles e.g bobs etc. So you need to decide what you’re looking for. A half wig if you want some of your hair out, a full wig, one you can customise etc…
Synthetic VS Human Hair
When picking a wig you then need to decide if you want a synthetic wig or one made from real hair. Natural hair wigs are created from harvested human hair, so they look, feel and act just like your own hair. Synthetic wigs are created from man-made fibres using specialized technology to give the overall appearance and feel of real hair. There are pros and cons to both but it really depends on you. With synthetic wigs they are a lot less flexible, you can’t typically change the style or use heat on it but it is a lot cheaper. With real human hair wigs, they are a lot more pricey but they last longer than synthetic wigs and can be colour/heat processed. Personally, I purchased a synthetic wig, this is just because I wanted to wear it once and I just wanted to try it out. I knew I wanted a set style plus I only needed it for one occasion. It was cheap and effective!
WHERE TO BUY A WIG
For those honouring Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, if you are dealing with cancer, there is one particular website known for straight and curly wigs as well as their support of those enduring chemotherapy. Headcovers Unlimited not only has a variety of other headwear including scarves, but they also carry wigs for all ages for both sexes. You can buy wigs online or in black hair shops but prices definitely vary. A nice full head synthetic wig can cost around £30 and a human hair lace frontal can cost around £200. Wigs are also available for sale on Instagram, however, approach this avenue with caution as it is not a guarantee the wig will look the same as it does in the picture. Another option is to just make your own wig. I would recommend watching some YouTube tutorials or finding someone with experience first. My cousin tried to make one herself. She made a Brazilian Wave Wig with a closure after watching a YouTube tutorial. She took an old wig cut all the hair off and then sewed the tracks onto the wig cap. While it looked nice she found it really itchy to wear and thinks it could be to do with how she sowed it.
HOW TO WEAR A WIG
If you are like me, you may not even know how too put on a wig properly at all, but it is really not that hard, my cousin showed me and I can tell you too.
- Step One
You want to start by making sure your real hair is out of the way. You can do this by cornrowing your hair or even just making some doo-doo plaits and then pinning the ends flat against your scalp or tucking them in.
- Step Two
Next, you want to take your wig cap (this can be nude or black colour) and place it on your head over your real hair. A wig cap will keep your real hair from escaping and also smoothe out the shape of your head preventing bumps that may make your wig look uneven. Make sure you brush your edges back under your wig cap as well, use some edge control if needed.
- Step 3
Now you need to adjust the size, wigs come with elastic straps that allow you to make your wig tighter or looser so it can fit properly and comfortably on your head. If your wig comes with lace you will need to cut off the lace ensuring you don’t cut off any of the baby hairs on the wig.
- Step 4
Now to put the wig on, carefully place the wig on top of your head making sure it is facing the front when you put it on. You may need to make a few small adjustments so gently tug on the wig to move it into place. My half wig came with clips that allowed me to fasten it to my real hair which meant it wasn’t going anywhere!
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR WIG
When you are done wearing your wig for the day, you cannot just take it off and dash it in a drawer, you have to take care of it. Like with everything the better care you take of it, the longer it will last.
- Wig Stand
Make sure you put your hair on a wig stand. This will help your wig to keep its shape and taking it off your head allows your hair to breathe.
If you have a human hair wig, you need to treat it like human hair and wash it. This will help to keep the hair looking shiny and smelling clean. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner and make sure you are gentle and don’t scrub it too hard, to prevent hair from falling out of the wig.
It is so important to make sure your wigs hair dries properly, especially before you try to style it. Be careful and dry it piece-by-piece. This makes sure that strands of fibres don’t fall off.
I hope that this blog post has helped if you are dealing with hair loss or just wanting to try something new. Wigs can be a great way to protect your natural hair and express yourself so if you’re considering it, just do it! If you have any specific struggles or concerns with your hair, don’t hesitate to comment below, submit a hair analysis form or just send me a message.
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– Paris x