The anticipation of losing my hair was one of the more challenging aspects for me. Part of it was the fear of how I would look bald, of course, but most of it was the fact that now just by looking at me, people would know (assume) that I was sick. It made the invisible…visible.
Up until my hair actually started falling out, I was able to decide who I shared my illness with and I could pass as a normal, healthy person if I wanted. It was a scary transition to not have that choice, unless I wore a wig. So, in anticipation of how I may feel, I decided to check out some wigs. Wigs made from real hair are very expensive, and I was not trying to spend any more money at this point. The American Cancer Society (ACS) offers a free wig made from real hair for cancer patients, amongst many other wonderful services for cancer patients, so that’s where I scheduled an appointment before my hair started falling out.
I was nervous about wig shopping, so my best friend came with me and we decided to try to make it as fun as we could. It was a small building with a very friendly staff person who welcomed us in. She led us to the back room, which was about the size of a bedroom, covered top to bottom in wigs on mannequin heads. Upon initial glance, I noticed that almost all of the wigs were geared toward older women. That’s their typical population so I get it, but I felt very out of place and immediately apprehensive that any of these would make me feel comfortable.
So, I decided to have fun with the process and ultimately get the one that felt the most natural to me, even if it was a far cry from what I’d actually prefer. It was free and it was an option if I decided I wanted to wear a wig. I’ll let the photos below speak for themselves.
I decided on the one that most matched my hair color and could pass as my real hair, despite me never wanting short hair like this. I certainly did not feel comfortable in it but it was the best I could find there. I was trying for authenticity in case I wanted to pass as healthy in public. Some people prefer to have fun with it and get hairstyles they wouldn’t normally get or they get multiple costume wigs for fun, which is fantastic, but I was just worried about being seen as a sick cancer patient everywhere I went.