Wigs and head coverings


Many patients were initially afraid that everyone would see that they were wearing a wig. Afterwards, it was certainly not visible for outsiders, and they primarily get positive reactions.

Patients were initially also often cautious about moving, because they were afraid that the wig would shift or fall off. Since this did not happen, they quickly gained confidence when wearing the wig and started to worry less about it.

Some patients were continuously conscious of wearing a wig, while others no longer felt that they were wearing a wig after a while.

Wigs come in different kinds, sizes, lengths and colours. There are wigs of real (human) hair and wigs of synthetic hair. Wigs of real human hair are the most expensive and do not last as long as synthetic-hair wigs. These wigs must be washed every two weeks, combed and styled. A wig of human hair is heavier and warmer than a wig of synthetic fibres. Synthetic wigs need less styling because the style is fixed in place. You can let these dry on a wig stand. (Do not blow dry.) The average lifespan is longer than that of wigs made of real hair, because the fibres are stronger and do not break as easily.

There is also a distinction in the production of wigs: there are machine-woven and hand-woven wigs. Hand-woven wigs are more expensive and do not last as long. Hand-woven wigs can have a ‘more natural’ appearance.

Take someone whose judgement you trust when you go to buy a wig. That can make the choice easier.

A wig that is darker than your own hair often looks ‘hard’. A shade lighter looks ‘softer’ and ‘friendlier’.

A wig can ensure that you feel a bit better on bad days. Make-up can also contribute to this. A wig can be very attractive, and many patients are very happy with them.

Costs of a wig

The costs for wigs and head coverings vary enormously, depending on the materials and the quality. A simple wig often costs more than €400/$450/AUS$600/£350/CAN$600. Some patients wear the wig daily, while others use it very little. Having doubts about purchasing a wig? Then go to a hair dresser (stylist) before the start of the chemotherapy, so that the stylist can see the colour and shape of your hairstyle. You might be able to reserve a wig with the stylist for a small fee. You can then buy the wig when your hair loss actually occurs.

‘Partial’ wigs

Aside from wigs that cover the entire scalp, there are also hairpieces that cover a smaller part. These can be a solution when complete hair loss or baldness does not occur. There are, for example, demiwigs, that cover the entire scalp except for the hairline at the front. Toupees are hairpieces that only cover the top of the head.

Alternative head coverings

There are also other head coverings that can hide hair loss. Examples of these are caps, hats or (head) scarves. These head coverings come in different kinds, colours and sizes, and they are usually much less expensive than a wig.

There are also head coverings to which hair is permanently tied, so that it appears that your own hair is coming out from under the head covering. You can also have your own hair attached to the head covering.

Consider that silk scarves will easily slide off a bald head. Combined with a cap, they will stay in place better. There are videos on the internet about typing scarves.

There is a great deal of information about head coverings that can be found on the internet.

Camouflage powder

When your hair gets thinner, you can use powder to colour the scalp. There are also sprays with hair fibres so that the hair loss is less noticeable.