I never imagined feeling so excited about receiving an email with the subject header:
“Your Wig Is On It’s Way”
I am, surprisingly, incredibly excited. It’s time to embrace what has been one of the most challenging consequences of my chronic illness.
Last year I began to face significant hairloss. To say it was confronting is probably an understatement.
At the time, to make sense of what was almost an overnight change for me, I wrote about the challenges and discoveries I was facing and making on this new, scary journey.
Two blog posts in particular document my grief and grappling with this condition. If you’d like the background story, here are the links:
12 Months Later…
Almost 12 months to the date my hairloss situation went from a, “keep an eye on” issue, to a “can’t ignore a moment longer” issue.
I was thinning on top a year ago, but I’m now noticeably bald with wispy strands of unattractive hair hanging off my scalp.
I did still have a good thickness of hair at the side of my head only 6 months ago. I now have visible bald patches and hardly any hair on the left side at all. I can’t even say it’s thin. I feel I could count the strands left.
The back of my head, just below the crown is the same as the side.
I simply can no longer hide it with hair styling techniques.
So I have decided a new course of action is required.
The time has come….I need a full wig!
I do have two hair toppers but my hair is just too thin and non existent for the topper clips to attach.
The good news is this situation has left me with only one choice, if I want hair, I need a wig.
No Choice Can Be A Good Choice
Sometimes not having a choice in a difficult situation can be a good thing. It means you just have to embrace your one and only option.
This is the case with my wig decision. Aside from wearing scarves and hats, if I want hair, it’s a wig or nothing.
I’m sure there will be new challenges. I’ll need to embrace a slightly different hairstyle. I’ve chosen a wig with a style as close to my own as possible but it won’t be my old head of hair I knew and was emotionally connected to. Our hair for most of us, especially as women, is a part of our identity.
Hairloss is not just a physical loss, it goes to our very core. Grief is real and at times overwhelming.
To help me navigate the loss and get on a path to acceptance, I’ve joined a reputable and incredibly supportive online forum for women who have significant hairloss. I’ve spoken to amazing women on the forum, who have bravely embraced the life of wigs.
Their advice has been priceless, selfless and led me to confidently choose and buy my wig.
I know I’m not alone which brings amazing comfort.
What I loved about my wig buying process is there really was only one wig I liked in terms of style, plus it ticked every single box I needed ticking.
I’m learning “wig jargon” with terms like, monofilament crowns with memory caps etc. In the picture below, the “tech” details of my chosen wig are explained and you can see what its like underneath. It’s a Raquel Welch brand wig (modelled by the lovely lady herself).
I’ve chosen the Hazelnut colour which I really love. I’ve coloured my natural hair so much to try and cover the ever growing bald patches, it’s almost black. I’m naturally dark blonde so hazelnut is going to be a happy medium.
This particular wig is made from synthetic heat resistant hair, which means I can use heat styling tools on it. It’s also light weight and the style of cap is supposed to be quite cool. All things important to me.
Wigs do come in human hair and there is a conception they will look more natural, however synthetic wigs have come a long way and if you choose a reputable brand they look natural too and are easier to care for. They are also more affordable.
The website, Headcovers.com, has a fantastic overview of the pros and cons of all kinds of wigs. Well worth reading when at the research stage of buying a wig:
I Still Need My Hairdresser
One thing I know is the importance of a good hairdresser, especially when dealing with hairloss and wigs.
My beautiful hairdresser is visiting me next week. We need to cut my wispy natural hair into some kind of a short style. This will mean I’ll be able to more easily put the wig on over it, and hopefully still look ok at night when I put the wig on its wig stand and embrace “au naturalè”.
Hairdressers can also cut/trim wigs to better suit your needs and style choices. When embracing a wig life it’s so important to feel as comfortable as possible with how you look.
So I am really looking forward to working with my hairdresser next week and together create my new look.
I’m also looking forward to an email popping up in my inbox saying:
“Your Wig Has Arrived”
I’ll keep you posted and as always I’m happy to answer any questions and support anyone starting on the hairloss journey.
You are not alone, I am not alone and just knowing this can bring great comfort in times of great change.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.Luke 12 v 7 (NIV)
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
If you would like an audible version of my blog, please check out my Podcast, Medical Musings With Sam
I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women