Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wig Woes

I've made it through two days of work without crawling under my desk.  Although, I did need a three hour nap when I got home.  Work four hours, sleep three, that's the plan.

Worst part was how badly my head itched the entire time I was there, all from wearing a wig.  I'm used to being bald inside my house and wearing scarves out.  But, for work, I figured I'd actually dress up and put on hair.

I so wanted to be a wig queen. I'd planned to have a variety of wigs to go with different outfits. My thought, long before my hair fell out, was that if it was going to have to happen, I might as well have fun with it.  So before chemo, I went a little crazy and bought 7 or 8 hairpieces, foolishly purchased without the understanding that underneath the perfect styles and shiny colors, they are instruments of torture.

They don't tell you that ahead of time.  A typical description will say that their wig has a "woven weft construction that combines airy ventilation and a feeling of lightness, while giving you the confidence of having full coverage and a secure fit."

Wow, that sounds perfect.


What is a "woven weft construction?"

Do you recall those 1960s lawn chairs?  They were made out of lightweight aluminum with a pastel-colored, two toned, three inch, plastic-based webbing structure across the back and bottom?  They, too, provided "airy ventilation."    You'd relax by the pool in one of those chairs, wearing your darling little bikini, and by the time you finished your soda, you had deeply quilted, raised patterns in your skin that would sting and itch for hours.

Well, the manufacturers of those chairs haven't gone out of business - they now make wigs.

Like those lawn chairs, the inside of the wig consists of a scar-inducing series of straps that go across the top of your head, with a cap in the center that the hair is sewn into.    At the base of your skull there is either velcro or hook and eye area so the wig cap can "give you the confidence of a secure fit."

To keep up with the summer theme, you get the same confidence of a secure fit with wigs as you do with that great little bikini you wore when you sat on those fabulous lawn chairs.  You know, the kind that were crocheted and the bikini bottom actually tied on each side?  You had to get it perfect which took a lot of juggling in front of the mirror.  You tied it loose on each side, and then tighter on the other - back and forth until it would stay on.  If you got one side tighter than the other, you ended up walking funny.  Tie it too loose and well, you could only be confident of a attracting new boyfriend.  Unfortunately, with no guarantee that he'd be a secure fit.

Wigs are the same - tighten it so it won't go awry if you need to scratch your forehead and you are guaranteeing yourself a migraine.  But, leave it comfortably loose, and with one sneeze it's on your lap.

Unfortunately, unlike the bikini example, any wig mishaps aren't going get you a new boyfriend. Nothing says "I'm not hot" like a lap full of woven weft constructed hair.

I have wigs that range in price from $5.00 to $150.00.  Expensive or cheap, they are all hot, scratchy and uncomfortable - they feel like they are made out of industrial strength burlap.

Now, maybe on Project Runway they can make something floaty and comfortable out of burlap, but Rene of Paris hasn't quite mastered that skill.

So that's me, back at work.  Exhausted, with a lawn chair strapped on my head.


  1. try washing your wig and spraying the inside of it with a wig conditioner - you should have gotten some when you purchased your wig. My wig didn't have hooks or velcro, it just sat on my head.

    But one day, we were driving home from chemo and I was feeling just ducky. My husband was driving and it was a nice day so we had the windows open. As we accelerated away from an intersection, my wig flew off into the back seat! I was mortified and said to my husband, who is bald 'don't even think of laughing' and jammed it back on my head.

  2. Wow, Ann, I'm sorry you're having issues with your wigs. I've bought two wigs and have not had those issues yet. I usually wear mine about 5-6 hours per day at work and then remove them when I get home. I spent about $450 on each wig but only because I have extended health care and they were covered. I got a special wig shampoo and conditioner with them also. Are you wearing a "fishnet" underneath the wig? It helps to keep the wig in place and it stops the wig from irritating your head.
    My biggest fear is that it's going to fly off one day but so far so good! The wigs are fine but at the end of the day I'd much rather go bald.
    Take care,

  3. I had hoped to be a sassy wig wearer too, but the summer heat sucked the sass outta me pretty quick. What did help is this thing called a 'chemo band' that I velcroed around my head under my wig. It was filled with gel and I could put it in the freezer - great for the hot flashes... It made the wig sit up off my head a bit so it wasn't so damn itchy.

  4. My wig was okay in the beginning, but by the end of it, I couldn't hardly stand the thing. I tried wearing it to work, but since I had a strenuous outside job I was always hopping into my truck and getting a look at myself in the mirror and finding that my wig was twisted sideways or something. They make little thin caps to wear inside the wig if your scalp is really sensitive, and it sounds like yours is. Sorry you're having these issue. It's the last thing that you need on top of everything else.

  5. I have the wig caps but they make it worse. Too tight. I guess I just have too big a brain in my head, ha ha! I'll check out the chemo band, maybe that will help.

    I came home from an appointment today with my wig sideways too. Sigh.

  6. I'd have to agree with what Deb said ... it was ok in the beginning but soon became irritable and annoying. Now I just wear caps/hats.

  7. Roflmao--went to try out a new mattress and we were the only customers. "That is my husband and I. The sales lady said, this place is dead. "Brutel response." Meanwhile I ask her if I could lay on them she said, I guess it was $2500. Plush pillow top. I Lay back and guess what? My wig came off. About then the salelady saw me do a 360 with my wig and did almost die of shock. Instead of imbarrasement. So went to wigs and more and got a wig and I ducked taped it...Needless to say I haven't got my mattress yet

  8. I know this is an old post but I had to comment! My good friend had breast cancer and a double mastectomy about 10 years ago and we worked together, cubicle farm style. I went to ask her something and knew she was at her desk cause I could see her head. I got there and it was just her wig on a paper towel holder, she got hot and took it off and left for the bathroom. Cracked me up! We still laugh about it occasionally, as well as the time my then infant daughter went to pull her hair and it came off!


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