questions about wigs/hair



I’ve just been told that I’m going to have chemotherapy, and the main thing that I dread, is the hair loss. I can cope with the pain, sickness and tiredness, but losing my hair is utterly destroying. I’m only 37! I am definitely going to get a wig, and my aim really, is to look as much as my normal self throughout.


My questions :


  1. Is one wig enough?

  2. Is wearing a wig everyday comfortable enough?

  3. How soon can I wear the wig? Ideally, I’d like to keep having mid length hair on show continuously (whether it’s my hair or fake hair). I know I’ll have to cut my hair at some point before the whole thing goes off completely, but can I maybe have my hair cut the same day that I start wearing my wig? So nobody (except my close family) will ever see me with short hair/thinning hair/scarf? I just want the transition to be unnoticed…is it feasible???

  4. How long after chemo does hair start to regrow? To about shoulder length?

  5. I’ve started getting a few white hairs here and there recently, does that mean that when my hair re grows, there’s a “good” chance it’ll be mostly grey?? :frowning:




Im the same age as you, and I was pretty upset at the thought of losing my hair just like you- but im halfway through chemo now, and started to lose most of it after the second treatment. It wasnt as bad as i thought it would be, to be honest its certainly been one of the lesser side effects for me. I have 2 wigs one which is very similar to my own hair which i wear to work, and another one which i tend to wear at home its a bit lighter than the other one which is heavy on my head. They can be a bit uncomfortable to wear all day long so in the evenings iv’e got a beanie hat that i wear.

I cant answer your question about hair regrowth, but there are a lot of other ladies on the forum who have been through chemo so im sure someone will answer that for you.
Losing your hair is not pleasant, but I personally don’t think its the worst thing about chemo, I really hope you dont find it too traumatic.
Good luck and best wishes,
Emma x



I too am due to start chemo and I am also 37 yrs. Everything you have asked is what I have been wondering,  im quite grey as well so can’t dye until a few month’s after chemo. Today I have been into Accessorize and bought some lovely headbands to disguise the grey if I am lucky enough to salvage some hair from using the cold cap. However I am under no illusions and my bcn as advised me its 50/50 that it works, if you can even stand to continue with it, so I am going to buy a wig similar to my own hair (which will be a bob when its cut next week) to ensure I can start wearing it asap. I am concerned its going to be summer soon so would like  a cooler (at home) wig as well, which wigs are the coolest??


Take care


Louise x



I’m a member of the February Valentines 2013 chemo group. We all finished chemo around May/June 2013, and none of us have hair below chin length as yet. Our first hair varied in speed of growth and various colours. Mine has come back exactly the same colour as it was originally, although I’d hoped and thought it might come back pure white. Why don’t you tell everyone you are thinking of having a shorter hairstyle, and go for a wig that is quite short. Then when it comes back and eventually gets to the same length as the wig, nobody will be any the wiser.


I can’t help you with wig info as I went completely bald and only wore hats when it was cold. I couldn’t bare the thought of a wig.


best wishes


poemsgalore xx

Hi Secretxxangel,

Sorry to hear that you are about to start treatment which will lead to you losing your hair. But I noticed that you already have a plan which is great!! - to get a wig and to look as much your normal self throughtout. You already know what you want and there’s no reason why you can’t do it that way.

I’ve put some thoughts below - hope it helps x 

Best of luck and I hope you find a wig thats just right for you.


1.Is one wig enough?
I got a synthetic wig and was told it would last about 6 months. But I cared for it well and I think it will last much longer than that. One wig has been fine for me. I wear it when I’m out and about or meeting people. I wear buffs around the house and a buff and a hat if I’m out walking.

2.Is wearing a wig everyday comfortable enough?
I found it easier and more comfortable to wear once all my hair was gone. I’ve no problem wearing it every day.


3.How soon can I wear the wig? Ideally, I’d like to keep having mid length hair on show continuously (whether it’s my hair or fake hair). I know I’ll have to cut my hair at some point before the whole thing goes off completely, but can I maybe have my hair cut the same day that I start wearing my wig? So nobody (except my close family) will ever see me with short hair/thinning hair/scarf? I just want the transition to be unnoticed…is it feasible???


I went to a Macmillan centre about 2 weeks after my first chemo cycle and they took my hair off (buzzed it down to a no2). I brought my wig with me and they fitted it and made sure that it was snug and that I was happy with it. I went in with my own hair and went out wearing a wig. No-one would have known.

4.How long after chemo does hair start to regrow? To about shoulder length?
I think its different for everyone. I finished chemo at the start of Feb and have just a little regrowth. It might speed up - who knows. But I will rely on my wig and buffs for the next few months.

5.I’ve started getting a few white hairs here and there recently, does that mean that when my hair re grows, there’s a “good” chance it’ll be mostly grey?? :smileysad:
I don’t know. I’ve had white hairs from a young age and was colouring my hair regularly. I don’t know how it’s going to come back - but I’ll get it back to my usual color asap :slight_smile:




I lost my hair during in chemo 4 years ago when I was in my mid-forties .  I echo a lot of what has been said already…



  1. Is one wig enough?  I only had one wig and it lasted fine - it was an NHS-funded one so nothing posh /expensive.  I wore it for most of the day every day for about 6 months.  I looked after it by only washing it occasionally in very gentle shampoo and always putting it on it’s stand overnight.  I think I’d have needed another one if I’d worn it for longer than 6 months.  At the time a second wig was availalbe on the NHS if the first one was showing signs of wear/thinning/damaged.  


  1. Is wearing a wig everyday comfortable enough? It was for me.  My chemo started in the September so I was wearing a wig over the autumn/winter/early Spring so it wasn’t hot weather but I was in a warm centrally heated environment all the time and my scalp felt fine.  I honestly forgot I was wearing a wig most of the time.   



  1. How soon can I wear the wig? You should be able to arrange to have your hair cut and then start wearing the wig straightaway.  So yes, I think you should be able to have a seamless transition.  I had a wig that was so similar to my own (short) hairstyle that people didn’t even realise I was wearing a wig.  One particularly outspoken work colleague said “oh, I thought you were going to lose your hair” when she saw me for the first time after treatment.  She was genuinely surprised when I said “yes, I have, I’m wearing a wig” - she was also embarrassed and worried she might have upset me - actually I could have kissed her I was so pleased by her comment. 


  1. How long after chemo does hair start to regrow? To about shoulder length?  I think this differs from person to person.  I finished chemo in the January and felt confident to go without any head covering by July.  Have always had short hair so can’t comment on how long it would take to grow to shoulder length.



5.I’ve started getting a few white hairs here and there recently, does that mean that when my hair re grows, there’s a “good” chance it’ll be mostly grey??  I was the same, a few little grey hairs before (in brown hair).  It grew back initially a rather dull brown colour with only a few grey ones so I had it professionally coloured in the July.  It’s now it’s usual colour (a few more grey ones as I’m 4 years older!).  I think some people’s hair does grow back initially a slightly different colour but reverts to type soon afterwards. 


Worth looking at Toni and Guy and their link up with Macmillan called “Strength In Style” as regards hairstyling/colouring for chemo patients.


I wish you all the best.   



I got a NHS wig and took it to my hairdressers who styled it more for me, however I wasn’t in love with it and ended up buying another two cheap wigs off the internet. I never really loved any of them but then came across which supply weaves to wear under a hat or scarf. This was perfect for me as it was enough hair for people not too think anything was wrong with me but not so much as a wig. Now thankfully my hair has grown back, just as fine but thicker than before. Like you I had grey hairs before chemo but actually have less now my hairs come back but have heard different things about that. All the best in your treatment. 

Hope all goes well. I was told my hair would fall out fairly quickly so I decided I wanted to take control and shave my head first, unfortunately my hairdresser and hubby put pressure on me to just get it cut short which ended up being more upsetting and a pain when it did start to fall out, messy hair everywhere and when I did have to shave my head it was tender and painful. Initially I didn’t want a wig but I’m getting one now; head gets cold and I have a wedding coming up. Any advice I would give it get it cut as short as you dare as soon as you can and feel comfortable with and get a wig organised asap. Head turbans are great as well. All the best x

Hi secret angel,
I’ve replied to a lot of posts to do with hair as it was my big thing too back in September when this all started for me ! I had very long hair that was my pride and joy and thought it would be the worst bit losing my hair ! It’s not … There’s a bigger fight ahead and that’s for your health through chemo !
I had it cut three weeks before chemo started 15 inches came off then another 7 inches a week after it started in October. First cut was the worst but it was ok after that. My breast care nurse said it would be less of a shock for me when it started falling out, she was right !
Exactly two weeks after chemo started my hair started falling out, it was a nightmare for exactly a week because it was still bob length and too long my hair just got everywhere even though I wore a beanie to catch the hair !
I sulked for that week but had a good look in the mirror and realised it was still me and was ok with it ! I managed to get my wig before the hair started coming out and I haven’t worn it once :slight_smile: I’ve worn scarves the whole time as the wig felt alien to me and scarves are comfy ! But lots and lots of ladies wear wigs and you wouldn’t know the difference !
Regrowth I think is different for everyone, my hair fell out by second week of November and started poking back through before treatment no.5 second week of feb! Nearly four weeks on and I look like I have a whispy skin head :slight_smile: it’s growing really quickly and filling into a good head of hair ! It’s darker than my normal auburn, seems to be almost black at the moment, I was told it could be grey for a while or curly but no sign of that at the moment ! I guess the medicine messes with the pigment so I think it’s potluck !
I had my last chemo session 26 feb and am now onto surgery stage, the chemo did what they said it would do and shrunk my lump considerably, the time has flown by, the hair ended up being the least of my worries as health, avoiding infection and getting through all of it was more difficult ! I thought it would be the other way round too ! I just turned 40.
You need to do what ever makes you feel the most comfortable throughout, for me was scarves, I’ve tried to keep life as normal as I can which has helped me too !
The weird bit is having no eyebrows and lashes, they fell out after treatment no. 4 for me, but the look good feel better course helped me showed how with eyeliners and brow pencils and most people are fooled by my handy work in that department :slight_smile:
Good luck with your chemo, be positive, stay healthy and if you want to message me you are more than welcome
Kay xxx

Thank you all so so much for your replies.


I am now planning to cut my hair right before I put on my wig early in my treatment (thanks MonicaB for showing me how to do it!), so no one will see me with short hair one day, then long the next. Short hair doesn’t suit me and I am not confident enough to go in the outside world with a scarf around my head.


I am in awe of the ladies who take it all in their stride and go out without a wig, as I am very vain, and would be horrified to have people looking at me whispering “oh, she has cancer” and feel their pity, uneasiness, or disgust…don’t want to deal with that.


Anyway, thanks again!!!

I can’t answer all your questions, but being nearly half way through chemo I can tell you about some of my experience.  I have two wigs which I got before I lost my hair.  They are similar to my own hair, which is dyed because I probably have a lot of grey.  I don’t wear them all the time in fact I wear them less than I thought I would.  I have a couple of scarves, one of which I have attached a fringe to, you can buy them off the internet I didn’t want to look like a chemo patient.  Around the house I usually wear a scarft or a sleep cap, these are great when you start losing your hair, because it doesn’t end up all over the pillow.  I think most people start getting their hair shorter and shorter so that the loss is not so sudden.  I find wearing a wig fairly comfortable, but you can’t slouch around.  You can feel a bit insecure if its windy outstide, mind mine has never blown off. It takes time to get used to, you think it moving, and going askew.  I wore mine out before I lost my hair, which gave me some confidence.  I realised that people just didn’t notice.  Obviously friends noticed a difference.  But a friends 12 year boy, thought it was my own hair, that is how much notice he took.


I think hair starts growing back a couple of months after chemo, and can be quite fine and baby like for a while.  The advice is not to colour it until it is totally back to normal. 


Your hospital should be able to tell you about HeadStrong, where you get a one to one session, on tieing scarves and all the options including fringes.  I found that very helpful. 

Hi. I just wanted to add to to what the other ladies have said. I’ve just started chemo, due my 2nd session tomorrow. I have only wisps of hair left. I’d rather it had all gone but I’m sure it won’t take long! Mine fell out over 3 days. I have a wig that I had cut by a hairdresser. I was convinced it was very ‘wiggy’ but my breast care nurse asked if I’d had my hair highlighted and another lady I bumped in to remarked how my hair had grown! Both obviously knew about the chemotherapy but still didn’t realise it was a wig! It is synthetic and i have just ordered a real hair one too as i feel most comfortable in a wig. Mine gave me a headache whilst I still had hair but it doesn’t now. I too wear beanies and scarves around the house but would put on my wig to answer the door. I understand your concerns about being seen as someone with cancer. Very best of luck xxx

Hi All


I only started my chemo last wednesday, so I still have 7 days left to see what happens to my hair!


However, I am trying the cold cap treatment - makes the chemo feel like its taking forever, but I’ve heard a lot of good feedback about it. Although, I did have an appointment yesterday to see the hair clinic in the hospitals cancer centre - Discussed wigs, lengths, colours, all sorts in there with the lady - who was very helpful.


Has nobody spoken to you about the hair clinic? They could offer you much more advice, as well as possibly putting you forward for a special “treat” day with beauticians who show you best make up to use etc - maybe this is just something the hospital I’m at offers - but it could be worth asking.


I cut my hair shorter before I started chemo, mainly because I didn’t know how I’d feel in the mornings with getting ready for work etc, so just makes life a little bit easier - but in regards to the few white hairs - i’ve noticed I’ve gone slightly greyer than I was originally, which is a pain as I haven’t dyed my hair since December, and not much point in doing it yet.


But I hope you manage to get some proper answers and help though - good luck x

Hi all

Here’s the link to the BCC ‘Headstrong’ information and support which a few users have mentioned :

Best wishes
Lucy BCC

I have just finished my FEC-T chemo, the oncologist was spot on saying I would start to loose my hair by day 18 of # 1 and a few days later my hairdresser shaved it down to a number 1 cut (so no itching). Not all the hair fell out ( I did not try the cold cap) so I now have some longer lengths about 3/4 cm and a fine down where the re growth has started ( started again after # 5 chemo).

I had an NHS synthetic wig which has been great just remember not to go too near a hot oven!! I wash it every few weeks and always store on the synthetic head- it gives me a good hair day everyday with so little effort & everyone has commented on how good it looks. It was shorter than my normal hair but with more than normal & a darker colour- I think I actually prefer it but I’m not sure I’d be able to style my real hair like this!
I wear it to go out but either use wooly or cotton caps at home or sometimes if it’s warm enough I’ll do without anything.
I’ve made more of an effort to pamper myself ( which I never really did before) taking care of my skin & moisturising & that’s helped me feel a lot better about my appearance as it’s made a big difference.

Good luck everyone is different, don’t be scared just try & find what works best for you. X

Losing ones hair is really tough. I had my chemo in 2012 and it started to fall out pretty quickly . I initially had a " last real hair cut" and had a shorter haircut( my hair is short anyway). Then it started to get really wispy and so I asked my husband to shave my head; he said it is the weirdest thing he has ever done for me! The “wig man” at the oncology unit was amazing. He is so passionate about his job and convinced me that wigs have moved forwards over the years. I was keen to have a bit of fun and have a long curly wig ( I have short, very fine , straight hair!) but Sean and my mother persuaded me to go for something close to what I already had. Sean thinned the wig out as he said they always come at least 50% too thick and spent ages picking the right colour. He even had a tool to add in a few split ends to make the wig look as much like normal hair as possible. Well it turns out that mothers are always right, even if you are 44 years old! The wig was very realistic even to my critical eyes. I only needed one. It was comfortable and I wore it regularly. I also bought a few hats from Suburban Turban which were incredibly comfortable and nice quality. My chemo finished in September 2012 and by June 2013 it was back to my usual short length. My hair is slightly coarser and greyer and is still quite thin courtesy of Letrazole. The hardest part for me was losing my eyebrows and eyelashes. I wept when they fell out. Even now my eyelashes are only half their previous length and I don’t know when and if they will ever recover. I also lost all my body hair and even now I have less but I can’t complain about that! In many ways losing my hair was not as bad as it is for some women as I knew what to expect. I had lost my hair three times in my teens when I had leukaemia and it was then that I dealt with the devastation of losing my waist length hair. Strangely it hurts more thinking about that than my recent hair loss.
As my hair started to grow back, the wig was less comfortable than hats.
One day I was at my sisters house and wearing a purple hat and my 4 yr old nephew enquirer " what is that purple thing on you head? "!!! My sister and I howled with laughter. I am looking forward to reminding him of it when he is 17 !
Everybody has such a different experience with hair loss and its re growth and how they feel comfortable dealing with it. There are no right or wrongs and get the best stuff you can manage. I was extremely surprised by the wig the NHS supplied as I had anticipated having to buy one myself. I don’t know if all hospital trusts offer the same ranges. I also used and still use chemical free shampoo for fine damaged hair which does make a difference. I have tried loads do different ones but found that Phytokeratin, that I found in John Lewis works best for me.

Secretangel thanks for asking the questions I have been worried about and for all who have given great advice - another question re eyebrows and lashes – Are eyebrows quite easy to draw on to look natural and has anyone had them tattoed also re eyelashes without looking TOWIE are false ones easy to put on and will they stay on all day - expensive??