Many women who experience hair loss related to their treatment for breast cancer say that losing their hair feels like losing part of their identity. Your hair may be an important part of your self-image and style, and it can be upsetting when it is no longer there.
Like many women who experience treatment-related hair loss, you may decide that wearing a wig is the right solution for you. But wearing a wig can feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable at first, especially if you’ve never worn one before.
Even though you may be feeling distressed or insecure about your hair loss, there are ways to help manage your transition to wearing a wig. Here are a few tips to get you started on your journey to wearing a wig with confidence.
Do your research
Wigs come in all sorts of styles, colors, and constructions, and we all have our own personal preferences about how we want our hair to look. There are many online resources where you can find information to help you choose the right wig for you and videos to help you learn how to style a wig. Knowledge is power — making informed purchases and style decisions will help you feel more confident about the wigs you choose to wear.
For example, watch the video below to learn five tips for achieving a more natural look with your wig.
Keep it similar
Choosing a wig that looks similar to how your hair looked before you started to experience hair loss can be a simple way to make you feel more comfortable and confident in your first wig. When shopping for a wig, it can be helpful to have a few pictures of your preferred hairstyle, color, and length. Having these reference photos can make it easier to find a wig that’s closest to what you’re used to.
Customize your cut
You can take your wig to your hairstylist to get it just the way you want — have bangs cut or trimmed, have the style shaped to your face shape, or have it thinned out to remove excess hair. Remember that wigs look the most natural when the hair is not perfectly in place, so don’t hesitate to play with the hair and style it how you want.
Personalize your look
Just because you are wearing a wig doesn’t mean you have to wear it the same all the time. Try adding a headband, scarf, or any hair accessory to create a personal touch. You could also try a braid, wear it half-up, or in a low pony to switch up your look throughout the week.
Embrace your style
Whether you’re wearing a wig that’s similar to your natural hair or you’ve chosen a totally new cut and color, remember to own it! It’s important to remember that if you feel confident you’ll look confident. But be patient and go easy on yourself if it takes time to cultivate that confidence. Everyone’s journey with hair loss is different, and it could take days or even months to start feeling comfortable with wearing a wig.
When in doubt, reach out
Remember that you are not alone. Every single wig wearer began their journey where you are right now. If you have questions, concerns, or just want to vent, try joining an online support group or forum focused on hair loss related to cancer treatment. Finding community with people who share your experience can change your whole outlook on wearing a wig.
Anticipate comments from friends and family
It is entirely your choice to determine when and if you will share details about your hair loss journey with others. Hair is personal, so it’s up to you to decide when you are ready to share what you’re going through — remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation.
However, expect that people in your life might notice a change in your appearance and that they might ask you about it. You may not know how to respond the first time someone asks if you’ve changed your hairstyle or if you are wearing a wig — and that’s OK. Anticipating these questions and preparing a response can help you feel more confident about your choice to wear a wig.
A simple and straightforward way you can respond to such a question without going into details is, “My hair is different because I’m wearing a wig. I wanted to try something new! Do you like it?” Or, if you’re comfortable with sharing more information about your treatment-related hair loss, do so — just make sure it’s your choice.
Remember it’s normal to feel nervous
It’s OK to feel self-conscious or nervous when you wear a wig out for the first time. You may worry that people will notice you are wearing a wig or that your hair looks fake. That is normal. Try to remember that most people are so consumed with their own lives that they probably won’t notice changes in your appearance like you think they do. Also, wig technology has improved so much over the years — lace fronts and monofilament features look so natural, most people will not even realize you’re wearing a wig. Read What Type of Wig Cap Is Best for You? to learn more about wig cap constructions that appear more natural, which can help you feel more comfortable as you transition into a confident wig-wearer.
Carliz Sotelo Moore founded Wigs.com in 1999 and has been a wig wearer and passionate advocate of wigs since. Her passion and mission is to provide a convenient, supportive, and educational platform for those who are affected by hair loss who turn to alternative hair.