How to Shop for A Wig

Wigs on mannequin heads
photo by Per Knudsen

A cancer diagnosis is scary enough on its own. Add the discomfort and side effects of medication (such as hair loss) and it can be difficult to maintain a positive outlook. If you are a cancer patient, something as basic as hair can become very important, especially when it starts to disappear.

Order Your Wig Before You Need It

Ordering a wig before you start to lose a lot of hair has some advantages. Most importantly, your stylist can help you find a style and color similar to your own hair.

The American Cancer Society offers these wig-buying suggestions for chemotherapy patients who will suffer from hair loss:

  • Save a swatch of your own hair to use for matching.
  • Use natural light--outdoors or near a window-—to decide whether a wig matches your swatch.
  • Measure your head with your hair slicked down.
  • Make sure your wig is adjustable; your head size may be up to a size smaller when you lose your hair.

Insurance coverage for wigs

Most health insurance companies cover part or all of the cost of a wig if your doctor writes a prescription. Ask for a prescription for an "extra-cranial prosthesis."

What to Look for in A Wig

A wig made of real hair costs between $800 and $3,000 and requires a great deal of care. Synthetic wigs feel good, need very little care, and cost from $100-$500. Buy the best wig you can afford but remember that it only has to look good for a year; you don’t need buy something designed to last forever.

Helpful Videos

Wig Advice Videos
Helpful videos about how to wear a wig, customize a wig, and more.

LymphomaInfo Social