Breast Cancer and Wigs

A blog from a follower on her thoughts on wearing a wig:
Once the shock of diagnosis morphed into the disbelief of treatment, it hit me fast and hard: “I’m gonna lose my hair. I’m going to be one of those women who everyone looks at and instantly knows is sick.” My privacy evaporated. My anxiety, already off the charts, shot even higher.
I convinced myself I needed the wig before I lost my hair, like a security blanket I could pull off the shelf the instant I needed it. Convinced myself I had to take care of this before chemo and whatever it was going to unleash. Plus, which wig was a decision I could make by myself without waiting for a test result or a doctor to tell me what to do. Finally, something I could control.

A close friend came with me. While I need her support to face this, I wish someone had counseled me to stop, take a beat, and think it through. I spent a lot of $$$ on a real-hair wig, thinking it would hide what I didn’t want strangers or even some acquaintances to know about me.

I never wore that wig. Not once.

It felt phony. It felt less authentic wearing someone else’s hair than not having any of my own. I couldn’t even bear to put it on around that house. “You just need to get used to it,” said friends and family who never needed to buy a wig because of chemo or any other reason.

That said, getting and wearing a wig is personal and situational specific. Had I stopped and realized I would be working from home through all the treatment and COVID was already blocking social interactions, I might have allowed myself to see how I felt without my hair before spending the money. Or I might not have, I might have been just as panicked about starting chemo without one.

So before you buy, think about it. Ask yourself what you think having / not having a wig might help or make you feel about yourself. And if it’s a go, try on a few to see how it feels. If your entire body screams “get this creepy thing off of me” listen to that scream. You can always buy one later.