By Heather Millar
As I’ve mentioned before, I participated in a clinical trial that saved 75 to 80 percent of my hair during chemo. But if I hadn’t had the good luck to be at a medical center that was conducting such a trial, I had all kinds of plans for coping with hair loss.
None of those plans included wigs. I was leaning toward having my scalp decorated with henna designs, or borrowing from my husband’s extensive collection of baseball hats. I’m the kind of person who wears make-up only a couple times a week. I just can’t imagine styling and wearing a wig every day.
Recently, I’ve come across several threads in various online cancer communities that have made me realize that the wig option might not be as horrible as I’d imagined, if you approach it correctly. But that’s a complicated topic for another post.
Here’s the cool thing I’ve discovered for wig-averse people like me: hair fringes. Imagine a waterfall of hair attached to an elastic band. You can wrap it like a halo around your head, have it cut and styled, then pull a hat over it. You can even sew a fringe, or extra wide bangs onto a hat. It looks like you’ve got hair, but you’re really not wearing very much on your head. It’s less scratchy and less hot. There’s a terrific YouTube video that illustrates the concept.
My hair stylist, Liz Nash, actually specializes in helping clients with hair loss, whether with hair extensions, wigs, or fringes. Alas, Liz is about nine months behind me in the breast cancer pipeline, just finishing active treatment and facing reconstructive surgery after mastectomy.
We chatted recently at her salon, Good Hair Day. Liz, whose hair is now growing back in tight curls, is enthusiastic about hair fringes. “I liked the halos because I was hot. And they were easy when I didn’t feel like styling a wig,” she says.
Also, because a fringe uses less hair than a full wig, you can splurge on natural hair, Nash explains. Fringes not only save fuss, they save money.
I hope I never have to go through chemo again, but if I do, I’m going straight to the fringe.