Head coverings: Wigs - The Funny Thing About Cancer
 
So I've covered most of the bald part of losing your hair.  The only thing I haven't done is shared my photos of when I shaved my head.  This would be because I lost my camera cord.  Thus I have no way of getting those photos off my camera for now.  Once I figure that out, I'll post my head shaving photos :)

Disclaimer: all photos you will see are from my phone, which means they are not of great quality.

So anywho, let's talk about head coverings.  Cancer patients have a plethora of head covering options.  You have hats, scarves, wigs, paper bags... you know, whatever catches your eye.

And before I went bald, I really had no idea what I'd want to wear.  I had a suspicion that I'd be more of a bald kind of girl, but I didn't want to go bald and realize I had an ugly head and THEN have to go shopping for stuff. 

Because that would be seriously traumatic.

So instead, I went wig shopping before I went bald. 

Now, I'm struggling with how to describe the thought of going wig shopping.  Maybe just sit and consider this for a moment if you're a female that has never shopped for hair before.  Does the idea appeal to you?  Does it totally freak you out? 

I was freaked out/mystified by it.  How, exactly, does one shop for hair?  Where does one go?  Do you just go into a shop full of wigs and try on everything you see?  What is the difference between human hair and synthetic?  Does synthetic LOOK fake?  Where can I even find a wig shop? 

Let's just say I was apprehensive about the whole event.  Because I like to KNOW about stuff before I shop for it.  And I knew NOTHING about wigs.  And the thought of going into a hair shop with wigs of every size, shape, color, and texture was overwhelming.

But it had to be done.  So the first question was WHERE to shop for one.  I went online and looked up wig shops in Minneapolis.  And found 2.  And they didn't have websites (I totally judge stores by websites).  And they sounded more like costume shops than wig shops (based on the store reviews on google).

So I googled "cancer wig shop" (or something like that) and found out about medical wig shops. 

A medical wig shop is a private, appointment only wig shop.  You get one-on-one time with the wig shop owner who teaches you everything you need to know about wigs and helps you find one that will work for you.  I felt like God had answered a prayer I wasn't even aware of having prayed.

So I called the proprietor of "It's Still Me" wig shop in Minneapolis.  Her name is Jan and she is a cancer survivor.  She could fit me in right away, so I drove over there (while waiting for my mom's flight to come in) and went through the wig shopping process.  It was fabulous.  Jan had the personal experience to educate me on what to expect when my hair did fall out.  She understood that I knew NOTHING about wigs and took the time to educate me on simple things like how to put it on, brush it, and how to wash it.  She even had a GREAT selection of scarves and hats and taught me how to tie them and wear them.  It was exactly what I needed.

It made the idea of living bald for a few months alot less scary because now I had options.  If I didn't feel like being bald for a day, I now had a variety of things I could do to cover it.  It was liberating and made me a whole lot more comfortable with the idea of being bald.

So here is the wig I picked up:
Picture
Just picture it in dark brown...
I wanted something that was short, like my little pixie cut.  But I wanted it to be hand tied because those were lighter and less itchy.  So this was the shortest hand tied wig in the shop.  Jan then referred me to a stylist that specializes in cutting hairpieces.  Yes, a regular stylist COULD cut it, but wigs are a different texture than regular hair.  And if the stylist screws it up, it's not like the hair will grow back.

So I went to see the stylist and he cut my wig.

And I hated it.  It was big and bushy and I looked like a soccer mom with a bad haircut.

So I went back.  And he shortened it a little more and thinned it out a little so it wasn't quite so BIG.

Here is the result:
Picture
It's a little messy but I had a 2 year old tugging on my leg while I was taking this photo in the bathroom mirror.
Verdict:  I don't love it.  I don't hate it.  I wear it to big work meetings where people might not know that I have cancer.  It gets the job done and generally looks pretty realistic.

Then I found out that the American Cancer Society gives away FREE wigs (I paid for the one above).  And I thought to myself, I would love to get a really fun wig.  Something totally unexpected.  Something I can just have fun with.  Why not?

And this is what I got:
Picture
Yep.  It's red.  And long.  And totally fun.  I call this my "I'm pretending to be 23 and a party girl" wig.

So those are my wigs.  I don't wear either all that often.  I pretty much just wear them when I have a work event or when I just feel like "blending in" with other people. 

Next, we can discuss hats... I have alot of very fun hats!
Mary
5/18/2011 05:09:55 pm

These really look pretty good - I bought one and hated it - The first time I needed it was mid-Aug (uggh) - so I took it off after about 15 min and never went back - just went bald or wore a ball cap.

So here is one for you - what do you wear to a christmas party that isn't a ball cap or a wig and your hair is just growing back. Well I took a clue from Chris's great gramma Pearl and bought gold glitter and sprinkled it all over my head - it was very glamorous and fun.

You'll be glad to have your real hair back - Mary

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julie
5/18/2011 08:09:09 pm

FINALLY! They both look surprisingly natural. Can't decide which one I like more!

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Rosanne
5/22/2011 06:40:47 pm

Was looking at the first pic and thought it looked nice until I saw the second. Love it! Love. It! You should totally grow back the pixie, loved that cut on you, and then use the red va-va-va-voom wig for when you want to be extra hot!

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Amy
5/27/2011 04:07:28 pm

Holy Hot Momma, Batman! That second wig is awesome!

Don't get me wrong ... I like the first one too... super cute. Actually, as I scrolled down this blog, the screen stopped right below the blonde pic, so for a couple seconds there I thought you'd gone platinum blonde and I thought "Rock on, sista!"

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