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Selecting a wig while going through chemotherapy

When a patient comes in to look at wigs she usually wants a wig that will be as close to her natural hair as possible. I’m often asked about human hair wigs verses synthetic wigs. I’d like to share my experience as a wig fitter for those going through chemotherapy. Especially those with shoulder length to long hair.

The first thing I’m told is that they want human hair only. While you may have preconceived notions about human hair and synthetic hair, the truth is that they both have advantages and limitations, which make them the right choice in different situations.

Human Hair

  • offers the most natural look & feel
  • presents the most styling versatility
  • requires more styling – especially after washing
  • typically more expensive than synthetic hair
  • very durable – can last over a year with proper care*
  • Insurance will only cover up to $350 of the $800 to $2000 of a human hair wig.

Heat-Friendly Synthetic Hair & Blended Hair

  • offers more styling versatility (hot tools may be used – max 350°)
  • can be more challenging to style than human hair
  • special care must be taken to avoid tangling
  • colors may vary from non-heat-friendly synthetic hair
  • less durable than regular synthetic hair — 2-3 months with proper care*

Synthetic Hair

  • higher quality synthetic hair offer a look and feel quite similar to human hair
  • offers limited styling versatility (hot tools cannot be used)
  • requires little maintenance & can usually be worn right out of the box
  • typically more affordable than human hair
  • less durable than human hair — 4-6 months with proper care

All 3 types have their strong points. In the last 7 years I have sold less than 10 human hair wig. Most of those women came back once their hair was gone and asked for a synthetic wig for many different reasons.

1. Once their hair was cut short they liked it and wanted a shorter wig.
2. Care of a human hair wig while not feeling well is more than they wanted to tackle.
3. They want an additional wig for every day wear that is easy to care for in addition to the human hair wig.

This information is not to get you to change your mind. This is your personal journey through a very difficult time and I want you to look good and feel good about your choices.

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