There are so many ways you can help make a difference in the lives of patients and families today.
Hair loss is one of the most difficult side effects of chemo and radiation treatments for many brain tumour patients, and certainly the most visible. It’s hard not to be self-conscious about it.
Wigs continue to be a popular choice for brain tumour patients experiencing treatment-related hair loss. The good news is there are a number of options available. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of wig retailers across Canada. Search your location and find the one that is best for you.
Wigs can be very expensive, but thankfully there are a number of charities that provide them to cancer patients at zero cost. Similarly, be sure to talk to your insurance company to see if they cover all or part of the cost of wigs before making your decision.
Many wig retailers suggest getting a fitting prior to chemo/radiation. Sizing can be done in-person at a shop or by submitting your measurements online, depending on the business.
It is strongly recommended that people with craniotomy scars wait until they are completely healed before wearing any sort of wig to prevent irritation and complications. Likewise, sensitivity or rashiness following radiation therapy could be irritated by a wig. Thankfully, there are a number of products available to alleviate some of the itch.
There are pros and cons associated with each. Human hair wigs are resistant to heat, but require more maintenance. Synthetic wigs retain their style after washing, but are damaged by heat, meaning straighteners and curling irons are a no-no. Human hair wigs also cost significantly more than synthetic.
Our heartfelt thanks to all those who grow and donate their hair for wigs for brain tumour patients. You are giving the gift of confidence and restoring normality to someone whose world has been upended by a brain tumour.
However, before you hit the salon, there are a few things you need to consider.
Where are you going to send your hair once it’s been cut? There are a limited number of places that will accept donated hair, so be sure to contact one prior to having yours cut. A few options are Chai Lifeline Canada, Angel Hair for Kids, and CanDonate Hair Foundation (Quebec).
Be sure to contact the recipient first, as many places have different stipulations on the length and quality of the hair donated (has it been coloured, or layered, etc.).
Remember – it’s important to have your hair secured in a ponytail or braid for cutting. This ensures the hair stays together, and is kept all in one direction. Loose hair is generally unacceptable for wig making.
Most of all, know that your donation is truly appreciated, and that you’ve made a huge difference in someone’s life at a very difficult time.
If you have any questions or wish to get involved in additional ways our staff are here to help.