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IS IT TRUE BALD CHICKS HAVE MORE FUN? 

This is up to you… I did! (and still do) I loved the ease of not having to take care of my hair and I grew to love the response from friends and strangers alike to my hats, wraps and henna tattoos! Variety has become my spice of life! · I experimented with lots of hats and head wraps. I tried on every style and color until I found what worked the best on me. You should do this AFTER your hair has thinned or you have shaved because they will not look or fit the same as when you have hair.

WILL I DEFINITELY LOSE MY HAIR DURING CHEMO? 

Not all the drugs used for chemotherapy cause hair loss. Your Oncologist will be able to tell you what to expect from the chemicals that you are being given. 

HOW CAN I HELP MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS WITH THE SHOCK?

It is a good idea to get a short haircut so that you, and those around you, can get used to seeing you with shorter hair. Major changes in your appearance can be scary.

HOW DO I BEST PREPARE FOR THIS?

First, I suggest that you save a good-sized cutting of your hair to help you when you go wig shopping. 

  • Take a few close photos of your hair, cut the way you like it. And, take a shot of your face so that you can re-construct your eyebrows and lashes with long-lasting make up. 

  • If you have time and feel well enough, try to see a wig specialist while you still have hair, to try on styles and colors. DO NOT ACTUALLY BUY THE WIG AND HAVE IT STYLED TO YOU UNTIL YOU HAVE LESS OR NO HAIR. IT WILL EFFECT HOW IT FITS YOU. When you go to the wig shop bring a friend or loved one, go out for lunch and make it FUN! 

  • Do buy a lightweight cotton stretch cap and a warmer fleece hat before you lose too much hair because you will start to feel the changes in body heat dramatically. Have them on hand, early. 

  • I don't recommend trying on a variety of hats while you have hair (unless they are exchangeable) because they fit differently and they do not look the same as without hair. When you are ready for hats visit the hat area of our site for tips on choosing hats.

IS THERE ANY WAY TO PROTECT MY HAIR BEFORE I LOSE IT? 

Using a shampoo for dry or damaged hair and cream rinse can help. 

  • Do not use things that will add stress to your hair like pony tail elastics or fasteners, curlers, hot rollers or bobby pins. 

  • Try to use you hair dryer only on low and keep it several inches form you head. Or, preferably, towel dry by patting gently. 

  • Switch to a wide toothed comb and a brush with ball end bristles.

  • Do not use chemical hair dyes or perms 

  • Wearing a cotton stretch caps to bed will slow down stress to the hair and catch loose hairs.

  • You should speak to your health care provider before starting any changes in your grooming habits.

WHAT ABOUT THE HAIR ON MY BODY? 

I lost my hair everywhere! I considered not having to shave my legs or armpits a plus! Losing my eyebrows and lashes was the worst. I feel that losing my eyebrows is what finally made me look sick to others and 20 years older. I spent months honing the solutions for myself. I want to make it easier for you. Please check out Henna solutions, long lasting make-up solutions and Brow Guides and read the article Quest for the Elusive Eyebrow.

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY SKIN WHILE I AM BALD? 

I use only a very mild soap especially on my scalp and I find keeping the areas from getting too dry really helps, so I apply body cream at night. 

  • I find using a good body cream on my legs and arms has been necessary, daily because of the drying effects to the skin. 

  • If you are doing the "bald look thing" as I do you should use maximum protection sunscreen on your scalp or keep your head covered while outdoors in direct sun. During the day I use the Senegence™, long lasting make up, MakeSense™ Foundation over the SeneDerm™ Daytime Moisturizer "creates a mechanical shield equivalent to a SPF 30 and smoothes out any flaws in my skin tone. 

  • When I have a Henna Tattoo on I try to have a lightweight hat with me for when I can't avoid being in the direct sun.

  • Always consult your health care provider before using any products.

HOW DO I SELECT A WIG? 

We will have many articles on this topic on our site in the future but here is what I know. 

  • Most important, many insurance policies cover the purchase of a wig as a "hair prosthetic". You should call ahead to find out if yours does and be sure to ask your doctor for a prescription and get a receipt with your purchase. 

  • First, try not to go alone. When you go to the wig shop bring a friend or loved one, go out for lunch and make it FUN! 

  • I suggest that you save a good-sized cutting of your hair with you to help you when you recognize your color. If you do not have a sample, take a few close photos of you with your hair for reference. You won't believe how fast you forget what you looked like with hair once you are without it. 

  • If you felt well enough to see a wig specialist while you still had hair, they should have ordered whatever you agreed that you would like to try. 

  • If this is your first visit, try them all! 

  • Make sure to try on a variety of styles and hues to confirm your choice. 

  • Remember, DO NOT ACTUALLY BUY THE WIG AND HAVE IT STYLED TO YOU UNTIL YOU HAVE LESS OR NO HAIR. IT WILL EFFECT HOW IT FITS YOU. 

  • Once you have made a selection you must have a qualified stylist experienced in cutting wigs trim and thin the wig to fit your face and personality. If the store where you have purchased the wig does not provide this service consult a hair stylist who does. Preferably make a first visit at no cost before you have chosen the wig for any suggestions they may have. To find a skilled stylist: 

  1. Start by asking the wig shop for a reference

  2. Ask your usual hair cutter if they do this, ask for the truth. 

  3. Contact the nearest cancer hospital or center in your area. They usually have a "consultant who works with the physical changes related to cancer". Ask for it just that way then request a referral. 

  4. If still stuck, E-mail us for help 

  • A resource you should know about to either get a wig for free or just try a lot of styles on for size is the American Cancer Society's wig swap program. Call the office nearest you and ask if they have a wig collection to share. They should and they will have a knowledgeable person who can help you. Once it is yours you can trim it as we discussed above, to fit you! 

  • Finally, if you can afford it get more than one wig. I got one that most resembled my own hair (we call her Pam) and a cheaper, $40.00 wig which has shoulder length hair, in my original color that looks like I just stepped out of the shower (my husband and I call her Trixie). It is long enough to style and play with and warmer on a cool night as it covers my neck.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY? 

Good question, with lots of answers. 

  • You can get fun, cheap wigs and hairpieces as low as $40.00. 

  • The next range for a synthetic wig that can be a fairly successful disguise for you baldness for $120.00 - $500.00. It is more the length and style that makes the difference than the quality of the hair. Another factor is the scalp it is attached to. Some are lighter and airier feeling than others so be sure to try on all different brands. My wig (Pam) was on the lower priced end. 

  • If you really want an amazing solution and you can afford it, and/or you have superior insurance to cover most of it. You owe it to yourself to at least try on a human hair wig. Oh my god, my own hair never felt as good! They range in price from $500.00- $2000.00. The price is based on the quality and origin of the hair as well as the length and volume

WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THEM? 

A $40.00 will look great to the uninformed but they will not feel like hair to you (or your date). 

In the $120.00 -$500.00 category, If trimmed and thinned, you may be able to fool those who know you well and even your date unless you play too roughly… They are all easily washable and you just shake them out and set them on their stand to dry. Promise me you will NEVER use a hair dryer on a synthetic wig!

I tried some human hair wigs on the other day and I can honestly say that if I could trust myself to actually wear it on warm California days, it would be worth the price. A human hair wig is as flexible to style as, well, real hair but you do have to wash it, dry it and style it like, real hair. This can be an excellent choice if you have a qualified stylist helping you,

WILL WEARING A WIG RETARD MY HAIR GROWTH? 

You should consult your health care provider for answers to medical questions.  I have found that it helped me to clean the wig as the manufacturer, your stylist or wig shop recommends to avoid germ growth and infection. If it is a human hair wig, who cares since your own hair may never look as good. Just keep wearing the wig, this will also justify the investment (just kiddin'!).

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE MY HAIR TO GROW BACK? 

This can vary. You should consult your health care provider for answers to medical questions. For me, my body hair stayed off until several weeks after my first set of six treatments every third week. On my scalp, I had re-growth of stubble until my 4th chemo session and I was clean and smooth from that point on until about a month after my last treatment. Once it began growing back I stopped shaving the stubble and it took about six weeks until I looked like a chick with a buzz cut and at the 3rd month people were telling me they actually liked it!?!

ARE THERE SPECIFIC THINGS I SHOULD DO DURING RE-GROWTH?

There are a number of suggestions:

  • We recommend you consult your health care provider regarding your medical questions.  In my case, this was a good time to use a cream rinse to add moisture to sooth the scalp.

  • This is a good time to wear hats rather than wigs because you may have scalp sensitivity and need to remove your hat at intervals. People will get freaked out if you have to remove your wig to scratch your head! 

  • If you are wearing a wig this is a good time to wear cotton vs. a nylon liner to absorb moisture and cushion the scalp. 

  • Try not to style your hair as it gets long enough with moose, chemical products or sprays as the hair may be a little fragile at first. 

  • Avoid chemicals and hair dyes until the hair is at least 3" long, has a more stable root and your scalp is no longer sensitive. 

  • For color, when you and your health care provider feel it will be safe, use only semi-permanent products that wash out every 4-6 weeks with normal shampooing. Go for only subtle color changes or fill in the gray. Do not use bleach to lighten your hair. 

  • If using a hair dryer keep the temperature cool, several inches from your head and fluff the hair with your fingers rather that pulling with a brush or comb. 

  • Unfortunately, the hair on my legs and armpits started growing first and faster. It's a bummer.

AS MY HAIR IS GROWING BACK IT HURTS. IS THIS NORMAL? 

We recommend you consult your health care provider regarding medical questions. For me, the pain comes and goes. But the discomfort is mostly in areas where I have sweat glands - my head, my armpits and my private chick areas…

WILL RADIATION CAUSE HAIR LOSS? 

Please ask your health care provider any medical questions you might have.

WHAT ABOUT SKIN AND SCALP CARE DURING RADIATION? 

We recommend you consult your health care provider regarding medical questions.

We will be doing a lot of research in the near future to bring you more information and specific products to help you with the effects of radiation treatments on your skin and scalp. 

In the meantime, we would like to hear from you: 

  • What are you experiencing? 
  • What are you doing that is working for you? 
  • What products are you using with successful and safe results?

Send us an email and let us know!

 

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