Use what you got (and what you lose)

credit: A Snake A Day Keeps the Doctor Away – Mixed Media / Human Hair | Anie Hu 2013


Hair loss isn’t always a big deal for every young person – everyone is different – but it’s one of those experiences tied to cancer, and you can’t get rid of that. The patients themselves will have an opinion about hair loss, but then there’s their mom and dad’s, their friends’, boyfriends’, strangers’, professionals’. We will arrange to have their haircut before chemo, arrange the wig for them and have it styled. And those are all nice things, but it doesn’t take away the fact that in reality it’s a wig sitting on top of your head, no matter how many people say ‘That looks amazing, it’s so natural’.

There is a difference between how many want one, and how many have one. Most people have one, but whether they want it, or they use it, is a different story. They feel they should have it, and they won’t know how they feel when their hair comes out. I tell them it’s better to have a wig, or a selection of scarves, so when hair comes out and you think ‘I wish I had a wig’, it’s there.

The wig is very much about other people’s perceptions, particularly mums for daughters. The wig represents quite a lot in this respect – of health, of beauty, of wellness, and seeing a child with a wig can be easier. Boys usually say they don’t want a wig. Whether this is what they really feel, or how they think they should feel is another thing.

– Zoe