A wig is a curious thing. I have learned that there is a real art to selecting and wearing a wig. And when you do it right, it is a sight to behold! Wigs come in real hair and synthetic hair and there are so many options – long hair, short hair, extensions, curly hair, straight hair, blonde hair and purple hair. And the price range for wigs is all over the place. There are some places where you can get donated wigs for free and I spoke to someone today who paid $700 for her wig and then added extensions on them so the total cost was a couple of thousand.
I enlisted the help of my hairdresser, Afsan, and my daughter, Sabrina, to help me find the perfect wig. Like people on a mission, Afsan and Sabrina walked up and down the aisle bringing first one wig, then another. The store had a silly policy of “try no more than 4 wigs”‘ which they waived for us because they could see that we meant business. I ended up buying 3 wigs. One that looks like my own hair, complete with gray hair! One that is a bit funkier which has a mind of its own (I’m not sure I like its mind so we are learning to cope). And a blonde wig that makes me look like J. Lo! Total cost for all 3 wigs: Less than $200. Cancer has not taken away my ability to bargain! And then I found out that our Insurance Company pays up to $200 for wigs. Oops, I threw away my original receipt, so really have no choice but to buy more wigs. Cancer has not diminished my love of shopping!
Buying a wig is one thing. Wearing it correctly is a different story. Over to Afsan, to get the technique right. There are 3 points you have to focus on: the centre of your forehead, and the two points beside the top of your two ears. If you get these 3 points right, you know that your wig is exactly where it should be on your head; slightly off and it doesn’t quite work. You also need to make sure that the wig sits behind your ears and not on it as I found out painfully when I ended up with real sore ears. Then you need to ensure that your wig is secure at the back of your head – and there are clips to help you do this – so that if you are a hugger like I am, your wig does not fall off! I also found out that you can straighten and curl your wig, wash it, cut it (what?) and put hairspray on it.
I still find it difficult to comb the wigs as you have to do it on a mannequin, as opposed to on your head — which is a bit unnatural (and I am not a hairdresser). But I am slowly getting a bit more comfortable.
To take it one step further, I spoke to a designer friend of mine, Justine. I lamented to her that I have yet to find a hat that likes me. She agreed vehemently and told me to give up the quest. She suggested I go with a bohemian look and got me funky scarves and headgear that she sourced from Korea. I am sharing these with other people who have cancer and they too are adopting the bohemian look.
Thank you to so many of you who encouraged me to explore and experiment with wigs and other head gear. Wigs and head gears give you a chance to play, reinvent yourself and have fun at the same time. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…”, and with these wigs, I have many opportunities to play!