Can You Make a Wig from Your Own Hair for a Friend or a Relative who is a Chemo Patient?
Cancer is so prevalent these days that most of us know at least one person who is suffering from the awful disease. While the medical establishment does have treatments available for cancer patients, these solutions often leave patients’ immune systems depleted, and many end up losing their hair altogether, at least for a short time.
Wigs can conceal hair loss caused by cancer treatments like chemotherapy. A custom wig can help the patient look more like they did before treatment began or can give them an entirely new look.
If you know someone who is undergoing chemotherapy, you may wonder if you can donate your hair to fashion into a custom wig. Being able to help your friend restore their hair and confidence is truly rewarding, but can it be done? Can you take your natural hair and fashion it into a wig for chemo patients? If so, where do you send your hair, how much does it cost, and how long does the process take?
With all the questions you may have, we have helped by providing a few answers. Before you start cutting your hair to fashion into a wig for cancer patients, here are a few things to consider. The good news is that yes, you can have a wig made from your own hair. Whether you can fashion your hair into a wig depends on how much hair you have.
The Benefits of a Custom Wig for Chemo Patients
Before we get to how to have your hair made into a tailor-made wig for your cancer patient friend or relative, we should discuss why a custom wig is such an excellent gift.
Not only can a one-of-a-kind hairpiece help the patient conceal hair thinning and loss, but many patients find that wearing a wig gives them a sense of normalcy and consistency while undergoing cancer treatment.
A wig also provides privacy during their treatment. Wearing a hairpiece made just for your loved one prevents people from asking questions about their diagnosis, treatment, and appearance.
Wearing a wig even gives the patient the freedom to have fun with differing wig styles and colors, and offers a reprieve from having to wear hats, scarves, or turbans to cover their thinning or lost hair.
The bottom line is that a custom wig for chemo patients can give your loved one confidence and strength while their fight against cancer is ongoing.
Can You Get a Wig Made from Your Own Hair?
You can have a wig manufactured from your own hair, but the process requires 8 ounces of hair at the very minimum. Unfortunately, this means that most people don’t have the extra hair to spare. On average, it takes about two or three heads of hair in order to meet the weight requirement for a single wig.
If you don’t have enough hair, that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. If your hair supply falls short of the 8-ounce requirement, you may need to purchase supplemental hair to make it enough. Many wig manufacturers can help with that regard.
You can avoid having to buy extra hair by asking friends and family members to add to your wig donation. You will want to ensure the hair you collect is similar to your natural hair in length, color, and texture. Even if your hair has been color-treated or dyed, you can still send that hair in to be manufactured into a wig, as long as the hair is healthy enough to be fashioned into a wig.
How to Make a Wig with Your Real Hair
To fashion your hair into a wig for your friend, family member, or even yourself if you are planning to have chemo and anticipate losing your hair, you will have to find a custom wig maker. Newport Hair Loss Center is the best option in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County.
When we receive your donation for a custom chemo wig, we will brush out any new growth before weighing the remaining unusable hair. Many wig manufacturers keep an inventory of donated hair on hand that they can use to make up for any lapse in weight. The wig manufacturer will make sure that you are satisfied with the supplemental hair before it is added to the wig.
Is There a Minimal Length Requirement for Wig Hair Donations?
The minimum length requirement to fashion a wig from your own hair is 14 inches from root to end. Keep in mind that the hair will lose about three inches in length once the hair is hand-tied into the wig. That means that a hair donation of 14 inches will actually come out to 11 inches once the wig is finished.
How to Make Sure the Custom Chemo Wig Fits Just Right
Before you have a wig made for your friend or family member, or yourself if you are the cancer patient, the wig wearer will need to have their head measured. This prevents the wig from being too small or too large. Instead, when the proper measurements are taken, you know that the wig will fit just right.
For best results, we recommend that the chemo patient have his or her head measured after cutting or shaving their head. This ensures we get the most accurate dimensions for a proper wig fit every time.
How Long Does a Custom Chemo Wig Take?
The time to complete a custom wig is about 8 to 12 weeks. The wig making process takes so long because each strand of hair is hand-tied. This intricate process ensures more realism, as great care is taken to keep each strand uniform so that it lays just like the wearer’s natural hair. The hair will fall naturally and can be styled or parted any way the individual prefers.
How to Improve a Custom-Made Chemo Wig
When we hand-manufacture a wig, we purposefully leave it “raw” after construction, allowing clients to customize the wigs any way they want.
Once your wig is completed, you get the opportunity to have the wig custom cut and styled by our professional wig experts. Newport Hair Loss Center offers complimentary wig styling services, which include a cut, color, and shape. We recommend that you wear the wig while it is being cut and styled, so the stylist can determine how the hair will fall and frame your face.
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Wig from Your Own Hair?
Wigs vary widely in cost, depending on the length, color, and amount of donation.
Many health insurance companies will cover part or all of the cost. The patient’s doctor will need to write a prescription for a cranial prosthesis, which is the medical term for a hairpiece or wig. A hairpiece is a remedy for the treatment of chemotherapy side effects, after all, just like nausea medication.
The wig wearer is encouraged to call their health insurance company to ask if their policy covers a “cranial prosthesis” for hair loss related to chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
If the coverage is adequate, your loved one should ask about the maximum cost the policy will cover. Other questions include the paperwork required to submit a claim, including what details the doctor should include on the prescription, and how long it will take to get reimbursed.
In most cases, your loved one will have to pay for the wig upfront, then he or she will get reimbursed after the claim has been submitted to the insurer.
How Long Will the Custom Wig Last?
When you order a custom wig from your own hair, you are getting a quality wig that is designed to last for many years. However, the lifetime of your hairpiece will depend on the method of storage and your level of care. Wear and tear can shorten the life of your wig, and it’s common to see a few strands shed or come loose from the cap after a few washes. This is normal and part of wearing a custom-made wig. If the hair shedding becomes excessive, contact your wig manufacturer. It is possible to have more hair tied into your wig, in most cases.
What Activities Are Acceptable when Wearing a Custom Wig?
The wearer will be able to engage in most normal activities while wearing the custom wig. Chemotherapy can cause energy levels to drop and the patient may not feel like doing much besides healing from the chemo treatments. However, the wig is built to fit the wearer’s specific head measurements. This means that the hairpiece should feel snug enough for the person to walk or even run without the hairpiece falling off. If the wearer ever becomes nervous about the wig falling off or slipping back, a piece of tape or glue on the ear tabs can help to adhere the wig in place for added security.
How Should the Chemo Wig be Cared For?
Because the hairpiece is made of your natural hair, the custom wig can care for just like one would wash their natural hair.
However, a custom wig doesn’t need to be washed as often as your natural hair. Instead, the wig should be washed on an as-needed basis only.
To begin, brush out all knots and tangles while the hair is dry. Rinse your wig with lukewarm water and finger comb shampoo throughout each strand. When running your fingers through the wig, focus on the ends, getting them as clean as possible. While you are washing the hair, keep each strand elongated throughout. When finished, rinse the shampoo with lukewarm water and repeat the process with a conditioner.
We recommend using a professional grade or salon-quality shampoo and conditioner that is free of sulfates and parabens.
To keep the hair looking healthy and strong, we also suggest running a lightweight oil on the ends of the hair strands after washing to help restore moisture and balance.
Allow the wig to dry overnight on a mannequin head or similar wig stand.
How Do You Store a Custom Wig?
When your friend or relative isn’t wearing the chemo wig, we suggest storing it on a mannequin head or wig stand. This helps the hairpiece retain its “head shape” when not in use. If you don’t plan to wear your wig for a while and want to store it for an extended amount of time, you can fold the wig in half and place it in a silk bag for proper storage.
What are the Best Wigs for Chemo Patients?
Hair loss caused by chemotherapy can cause the patient to suffer from an itchy and sensitive scalp. For this reason, we recommend a custom wig that comes with a monofilament cap, which will be most comfortable when worn for long periods. A lace front wig is another option that can make 100% human hair wigs more tolerable to wear.
At Newport Hair Loss Center, we can help you donate your hair to be made into a wig for chemo patients. Whether you want to donate your hair for any cancer patient, or you have a specific person in mind, we can help.
When it comes to a custom human hair wig, your loved one has plenty of options. We offer blonde, red, brown, and black wigs, and every shade in between. We make wigs for men and women, and we even manufacture children’s wigs.
With your hair donation, we can hand-manufacture a human hair wig that can hide your loved one’s hair loss and restore his or her confidence.
Call now to schedule a free and private consultation so that we may discuss your future hair donation.