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Frequently Asked Questions about Wigs

  • When should I buy a wig?
    The Comfort Wigs, ETC staff suggest that you shop for a wig before your first infusion to avoid 'panic' buying.  Some people do not feel well for the first few days after the first chemo infusion, and simply do not feel like shopping, therefore, having picked out a wig gives a sense of accomplishment and security.  Comfort Wigs, ETC suggests making an appointment to cut your hair and cut the wig on the 15th day after your first chemo treatment because this will be the first day of hair loss. People who wait too long to cut the hair short find hair loss begins slowly and loss accelerates daily and becomes a problem by the 18th or 19th day after the first treatment.

    Some people do not lose their hair with chemotherapy, so check with your oncologist before purchasing a wig. Many nurses and stylists also suggest obtaining a wig that is close to your own hairstyle, so when the hair is lost, very few people will notice the difference.

    Now may be the time to change to a shorter hairstyle, because your hair will be short for a few months after you complete your chemotherapy. Synthetic wigs and machine made human hair wigs can be ordered ‘from stock’ and delivered within a few days. Don’t wait too long to order your wig, or you may not receive it in time.
  • Are there many styles of wigs?
    Each wig manufacturer such as Jon Renau, Raquel Welch, Henry Margu, and Rene of Paris each have 40 to 50 different styles and the styles change as traditional hair styles change. Almost all wigs come in average size, however since only about 5% of wearers need petite and large wigs the styles are limited. 

    A wig that is worn daily will begin to show wear just as a suit or jacket will when worn the same amount of time. Plan to have your wig 'serviced' at least every 90 days. Wigs that are long enough to rub on the collar or shoulders are subject to "Friction Frizz." The frizz can be worked out by a trained wig technician.
  • How do I get the Wig to fit ?  A wig that fits properly will be comfortable and secure, and the owner will forget she is wearing a wig. The front of the wig should  be worn on the natural hairline, which is 4 fingers above the eyebrows. The back of the wig should be pulled down to the natural hairline in the back. The wig should be comfortably tight at the back hairline to prevent the wig from slipping up and over the occipital bone. Level the wig on front by pulling the temple tabs (rounded points) to the temples. There is a small wire in each temple tab that can be contoured, rounded, inward so the wig will not protrude out in front of the ears.

    Most wigs are 'fashion' wigs and are designed to be worn over a full head of hair.  Of course, when you have lost your hair the wig may be too large. The wig is too large if you can reach up to the crown or back and 'pinch' a couple of inches of wig between your fingers; sometimes you can grab a handfull.  Try to adjust the wig with the adjustments in the back. Comfort Wigs, ETC is equipped to custom fit and size almost any wig.  We routinely cut sections out of a wig, then restitch and resize about 20% of the wigs that leave our salon/boutique. Your wig may need adjustments after 1 to 2 months.
  • Will the wig itch or be uncomfortable?
    Your wig will actually be more secure after hair loss because your hair allows the wig to slide and move. Most clients report that the wig is also more comfortable after hair loss. A “Comfy Grip” will hold the wig in place during your daily activities, provided your wig is the right size. See “Measuring your head”, and follow the instructions to be certain you choose the proper wig size. Wigs come in large, average, petite, and super petite (although not all wig styles come in all sizes). Here is where you may have to get creative and use your sewing talents.  Wigs have adjustable Velcro and elastic tabs in the back that allow you to make your wig comfortably secure. Wigs also have small tabs in front of the ears that can be adjusted (bent) to hold the wig close to the face.  Today’s medical wigs are quite different from the wigs you may have worn for fun in the 60’s and 70’s. They are now made with better base materials, and the hair fibers are much more natural looking.
  • Should I choose a synthetic or human hair wig?
    When choosing a wig, consider first the length of time you will actually need a wig. Your hair will begin to grow back very soon after treatment is completed. Some patients experience re-growth even before completing their chemotherapy. You will need a wig 6 to 10 months at the most.  Synthetic wigs offer great value through price, easy daily maintenance, durability and appearance.

    Synthetic wigs come with ‘fiber memory’, built-in wave or curl pattern that holds its style unless the wig is abused (with excess heat or by combing while the wig is wet). A properly maintained synthetic wig will look and wear well for the time you will need it. Synthetic wigs are made with small, light wefts that look like natural hair (see wig construction), and they are much easier to style than real hair. You will be spoiled by the ease! Some synthetic wigs are made with a monofilament (transparent) top that looks exactly like your scalp with individual hairs that appear to be growing out of the scalp. The 100% hand-tied wigs look totally natural.  Always follow the wig maker’s instructions, and use only products made for synthetic hair.

    Human hair wigs are more expensive than synthetic wigs and have to be shampooed, dried, styled, and conditioned just like your natural hair. They may frizz on humid days and lose their style if they get wet. Most human hair for wigs come from the orient and from India, therefore, the wig hair is black or very dark brown.  That hair must be stripped of the dark color in order to dye it other colors. Human hair wigs may be permed and colored, but be sure to have a qualified stylist perform these services, as wig hair is extremely porous and easily damaged by chemical services. 

    See a reputable wig salon/boutique if you are looking for a human hair wig. Human hair comes in many different grades and you want to get the best hair you can afford. The most chemically treated human hair is the least expensive or desirable because it is not as durable and will tangle badly each time it is shampooed.  At least insist on 'Remy Hair', a grade of hair that has not been chemically treated and 93% to 95% of the strands are going the same way...keeping it from tangling as badly.

    Cut hair is the very best because the hair is always 'root to root', the way it grows from the head, and is not chemically treated, therefore, much healthier.
  • What about custom made wigs?
    Custom-made wigs are very expensive, $2000 to $6500, and normally take 2 to 6 months for delivery. (Remember, you will begin to lose your hair about 15 days after the first chemo infusion.) These wigs can be made to exactly match your hair and style. They are made from a full mold of your head, and when completed, have a vacuum fit. This is the best kind of wig for one who has experienced permanent hair loss, if the expense is not out of reach.
  • How do I make the wig look natural?
    Today’s wigs are made with built-in wave or curl and are easily styled. Synthetic wigs are often styled with a few strokes of a brush or by simply finger styling. Place the front of the wig on your natural hairline and hold firmly with one hand. With your other hand, grasp the back of the wig and pull it down to the nape of your neck. Center the wig in the front by making sure the temple tabs are even on the sides, in front of the ears (temple tabs have small protected wires in the rounded points). Do not cover your ears with the wig base. Comb all wig hair out that might be trapped under the perimeter of the wig. The first time you wear the wig, you may need to adjust the Velcro and elastic bands at the back of the wig for security. Almost all wigs stretch after being worn and occasional readjusting in  the back. If the wig tends to slide up in the back, loosen the Velcro a little.
  • Why do some wigs look unnatural?
    Many wigs look like wigs because of too much hair.  Most fashion wigs come with 10% to 30% too much hair and no one knows to thin them out.  Also, many times too much hair is combed forward, giving a “Ted Coppell” look. For the most natural looking style, try brushing all the hair away from the face, then pick or comb a little hair forward to soften the front hairline. If you need to use both hands to style, you may need a Chin Strap to hold the wig while you work. Wigs normally do not need  backcombing, instead, try using a little hair spray under the top hair to get and retain fullness. A few squirts of hair spray will finish the style and hold all day. Place the wig on a Styrofoam head for overnight retention of the style.
  • How are wigs made?
    Almost all wigs are made totally or partially by machines. Synthetic hair is made of fine plastic fibers with the texture of ideal hair. There are 6 different curl types classified from ‘a’ to ‘e’. The curl or wave is permanent unless the wig is damaged by heat (hot water, hot air from ovens, barbeque grills, etc.) or if combed while it is wet. Human hair wigs may be combed while wet. Wefts are sewn to elastic bands or strips to create the wig. Hand-tied wigs are the most expensive wigs because of the human hours invested in each wig. Hand-tied wigs do not have wefts, therefore there are very few seams to irritate to scalp. The comfort factor in hand-tied wigs is remarkable. Our hand-tied wigs have a monofilament top, and upon close inspection, it appears that the hair is growing from your scalp. You can wear a definite part, and it looks completely natural.
  • What size wig should I buy?
    Wigs come in sizes from petite (20 inches) to large (24 inches). All wigs can be adjusted with the elastic and Velcro tabs located at the nape area of the wig. It is advisable to measure your head  before purchasing a wig, using a pliable or soft tape measure. Hold one end at the front hairline and pull tape around the hairline and back to the tape at the front hairline.

    You must purchase a wig that is large enough to fit comfortably, because wigs are much easier to adjust down in size rather than up in size. Ninety five percent of women are in the average size range, so there is a larger style selection in the average category.
    • Average fits 21.5”
    • Petite fits 20” to 21”
    • Large fits 22.5 “ to 24"
  • How do I care for my synthetic wig?
    Thanks to modern technology, we now have synthetic hair. Monofilament fiber looks and feels like natural hair but is easier to maintain and style because of permanent wave or curl, texture, and volume.  Frequency of cleaning will depend upon your environment, lifestyle, and the amount of perspiration. Suggested guidelines for cleaning are after 40 to 60 hours of wear. To clean your wig, follow the manufacturer’s instructions (that come with your wig) for the correct amounts of cleaner and water as well as water temperature. Gently swish the wig back and forth in the water as you would your lingerie. Take care not to tangle the hair. Rinse well in cool water. Follow directions with conditioner. Always rinse the wig well to get all products out of the base material. Conditioner is recommended with each cleaning to retain the luster and manageability of your wig. Always use a soft towel to blot (not scrub) the water from the wig. Allow the wig to dry naturally overnight on a plastic or wire stand, and never brush or comb the wig while it is wet! Place your wig on a Styrofoam, wire, or plastic wig stand when not in use to best maintain its shape.
  • How will I get used to wearing a wig?
    Losing one’s hair is a trauma as mentioned in ‘Emotions of Hair Loss’. No one wants to lose her/his hair, buy a wig, or have to wear the darn thing! Initial response to seeing yourself with a wig varies with the individual from horror to pleasure. You might see the wig as a foreign object, and think that everyone else sees the wig as an attempt to disguise your lack of hair. We suggest purchasing a wig close to your own color and style to lessen the impact of the change.

    Try wearing the wig before your hair loss to acclimate yourself to the look and feel of the wig. Wigs can be bulky because of the base material mass plus the fact that most wigs have more hair than most people. Play with the wig using a wire bristle brush and lifting the hair to get a natural looking flow instead of brushing to flatten the style. A friend can often help by making suggestions and helping with the back of the style. You may be pleasantly surprised at how easily the hair is worked. Synthetic wigs will spoil you. Your wig will feel better as you get positive comments from family and friends. Many women quickly gain confidence in themselves, and some even like their wig as much as or more than their hair.
  • How do I care for my human hair wig?
    Caring for a human hair wig is much the same as caring for your real hair. Use a wig shampoo so you don’t have too many suds to rinse. A protein-based conditioner is best, but use it sparingly! Do not apply conditioner on the base of the wig! Conditioner will loosen the knots and then some of the hair will fall out.  Human hair wigs absorb a lot of everything. Be careful not to tangle the hair while shampooing and conditioning, and blot the hair instead of scrubbing with towel. Most damage to hair is done during detangling, so be gentle with the tangles. A light non-alcohol spray gel, mousse or style lotion can be used, but remember, use sparingly. Do not leave conditioner on the roots or wig base very long, as the conditioner can soften and loosen the hand tied knots that secure the hair to the base, causing excessive hair loss from the wig.
  • How do I style my human hair wig?
    You may dry your wig naturally, blow dry or hood dry if using rollers. Hot rollers are gentler than curling irons and give the style more lift. Curling iron temperatures can get as high as 230 degrees Fahrenheit. With daily use, curling irons can cause more damage than conditioners are able to cure. Wigs do not grow, so any damaged ends must be cut. You will want your wig to last until your hair re-growth is 1 1/2 to 3 inches, so treat it with reasonable care.  Wire brushes and picks work best when styling a wig. A bristle brush or vent brush will pull the hair too much and create more hair loss than can be sustained for the life of the wig. Hair spray made specifically for wigs is strongly recommended. Normal hair spray often contains fixatives that are too strong or sticky and is more  difficult to brush out.
  • Should I buy more than one wig?
    A wig can be styled in various ways, but as with your own hair, a change is sometimes in order. If you start with medium to long hair and a medium to long wig, you may want to consider a second wig in a shorter style. It normally takes 3.5 months after chemotherapy to grow 2 inches of hair; so obviously, you will have short hair for a while. A positive attitude is essential in coping and healing, so be positive about this too! Some men are crazy about long hair—just tell him to just get used to it.

    A second wig can be really functional for casual times, work-outs, and as a fun change at work. A second wig choice could be blond or red, longer or shorter, highlighted or spiked: just make it fun!. Besides all this, wearing the same wig every day is kind of like wearing the same suit every day, it will start to show wear. You may want a second wig to wear while the first wig is being shampooed or drying.  If you do not want to purchase a second wig, think about going to American Cancer Society to get a free one. Very few of the A. C. S. wigs will be styled, so use your imagination and grab one that is close to a color and length you want. A qualified and experienced cosmetologist will probably be delighted to cut or shape it for you. Another idea is to borrow a wig from someone in your support group.
  • Can wigs be Dangerous?
    If your wig is synthetic, you must be mindful of heat and the damage it will do to the fiber. Do not use a regular curling iron on your wig. Be careful when opening barbeque grills, ovens, and steamers. The heat from a fireplace can also damage a synthetic wig. The fiber will frizz at a temperature over 190 degrees. An experienced professional can work the wig to correct the damage, however, the hair will probably never be the same as before.
  • Will the wig be styled when I receive it?
    The wig you order from us will not be styled when you receive it. Our wigs have been carefully selected by style, natural looking colors, curl, volume of hair, and length. It will get to you carefully packaged and held in shape with a hair net to protect the curl and paper padding inside the wig to hold its head shape. Please check the label to be certain the wig is the name and color you ordered. All should be correct, if not, please email or phone us at 1.866-383-8885 to obtain a return number. Simply take the wig out, and remove the net and paper padding.

    If your wig is a curly style, you can keep the curl by finger combing or by using the pick end of the comb to fluff and shape the style. Do not pull the pick all the way through the hair! Try inserting the pick near the base and gently lift the pick to within 1 inch of the ends and then slip the pick out instead of pulling all the way through the ends. If you pull the pick all the way through, the hair will kind of explode into frizz. To obtain a less curly look, gently brush to obtain the look you want. Brush in short lifting strokes instead of long down strokes to get fullness in the areas where lift is desired.

    Pinning the wig to the Styrofoam head before styling is a good idea. Usually a T pin at each ear tab is sufficient to hold the wig securely while styling. The short lifting strokes will lift  the wig off your head or Styrofoam head. Wigs that are straighter can be brushed, combed, or finger combed to obtain the look you want. We suggest that you go to the photos in our site and print the photos of the style you purchased in order to refresh yourself as to the varieties of looks you can get with your new wig.

500 E. Round Grove Rd, Suite 306
Lewisville, Texas 75067
214-488-8885 1-866-383-8885
FAX 972-316-8885

Open 9:00 to 5:00 Tuesday thru Friday
and 9:00 to 3:00 Saturday
Closed Sunday & Monday.