Wigs Vs. Scarves

The scarves are winning.

I know, I promised some serious wig action after I lost my hair. “Cancer Made Me Flip My Wig!” was suggested by the lovely and talented Ro Nagey as the title of a book of photographs in which I try on every hairstyle in the world.

Well, I haven’t gotten around to that yet but I finally managed to meet with the lady who fits wigs for Macmillan and I learned something important: I don’t look good in most wigs.

It’s not because when I put one on, the illusion of eyebrows is completely lost and it becomes plain that I don’t have any. It’s because they just aren’t making wigs that look good on me. When I put on a wig, the wig begins screaming, HEY, LOOK––I’M A WIG! I’M A WIG, I’M TOTALLY A WIG! I COULDN’T BE ANY MORE OF A WIG IF YOU PAID ME!

And I immediately take it off again.

I’m so disappointed. I wore my hair extensions with pride and panache. They were fun. There were a limited number of things I could do with them but that was fine with me. Wigs and hair extensions, however, are very different animals. They hang differently from the head. Personally, I’m not sure there’s a wig made for my head.

Scarves, on the other hand, can be arty and flamboyant, colourful, cheerful, pretty. Yes, it’s true that scarves generally say, BALD FROM CHEMOTHERAPY. 


Wouldn’t you?


22 thoughts on “Wigs Vs. Scarves

  1. While I was waiting for my hair to grow back after my craniotomy, I wore a baseball cap. I’ve always hated wearing things on my head, but after a while I almost got used to it… but then, when my stubble finally became a 2 or 3 cm growth I ditched it and went around like some crazy punkish female Riff Raff out of Rocky Horror (the surgeon shaved off just the top of my head where he was going to open it…).
    OK, I know, my story’s completely useless for you, but I think you rock, be it with a scarf or with a wig. Or a baseball cap. Or a tin hat.

    • Sometimes I think about walking around with my head covered in tinfoil. Just to mess with people. 😉

    • I love your hair!

      My mother used to say the same about mine. She hated the colour and the crimping.

  2. If you feel you look terrible in wigs, wear your scarves. Anyone who has survived chemo, should be allowed to wear anything she damn well pleases.

  3. Before she died, my mother bought me two wigs (I was going very gray and can’t use hair dye.) My daughter refused to be seen in public with me if I wore one. I think it was the I’M A WIG!! problem. I liked them, anyway. But tinfoil sounds good to me, too.

    • My mother was always complaining about my red crimped hair. She thought I looked terrible. If we sat anywhere for an extended period of time–like a doctor’s waiting room–she would begin talking about how awful my hair was, entertaining everyone around us. I could never get her to stop.

  4. “Yes, it’s true that scarves generally say, BALD FROM CHEMOTHERAPY. ”

    Well, perhaps, but really, why is that a problem? There is no dishonor in being bald from chemotherapy.

    • True, it’s not really a problem. I was sort of hoping for a coiffure fashion statement but BALD FROM CHEMOTHERAPY can get you a seat on a crowded bus. A bad wig will only get you stared at. 😉

  5. Given that a lot of people wear things that they don’t look good in, if you want to wear a wig, fine. However, I am a big fan of scarves because you can get such a variety! And maybe do some interesting wrapping and draping. How about beads dangling along the edge! Or little bells! (No, that would drive you crazy.)

    • Bells might drive other people crazy, which could be a plus!

      I’ve got a bunch of scarves––I just have to dig them out and go nuts. I found two that I really like. The wig/scarf lady showed me that the trick is actually tying them over a cap–otherwise, they slide around. Fortunately, I’ve got some of those, too.

      Scarves offer a lot more variety.

  6. My Grandma, post-Cancer, had a wig. Fortunately, it suited her. She once took it off to de-mist the car windscreen with it. She said it was handy.. I can see scarves being more apt should the need arise.

    • Oh, I don’t know. The mental image of a grandmother using a wig to wipe down a car windshield is utterly priceless. Thank you for that.

  7. Hi. As someone who has been on the cancer journey for a very long time. I love the way you write about your experiences with cancer. Getting to wigs.I know there’s not a wig on this planet that would fit my head. My current wig has a life of it’s own. It came off during a CT scan. I left it on the back of the couch one night. My brother didn’t turn on the lights when he saw the “cat” sitting on the couch, He petted it and gave it some kitty treats. When I came downstairs my wig was sitting on the couch with 3 kitty treats next to it. I’m into baseball hats now.

    • This story wins the intarwebz. It’s the best ever wig story I’ve heard yet!

      And thanks for your good words. Hang in there!

  8. Clearly, you need to combine two concepts, one from the legends of SF fandom and the other from haute couture, to create a new fashion statement: the propeller wig.

    I leave it up your imagination to determine if ths means a separate propeller or it if means that the wig itelf rotates. You may wish to experiment with both concepts.

    • Sounds interesting…but it also sounds like work. Sometimes just tying the scarves wears me out.

  9. I was one of the odd ones who didn’t rate chemo. Apparently it’s not feasible with kidney cancer. But the sight of all the ways they shaped the scarves in the displays in the oncology building I went to so regularly was one of the more cheerful sights there. I never saw a man with one though, which seemed almost a shame; they missed out on the experimenting.
    I figured there had to be a book out there teaching the sales people how to tie them a hundred different ways.
    If not, maybe you are the person to write one!

    • Actually, I’ve discovered a lot of the places that sell head-scarves for chemo-sabes include instructions for clever and decorative tying. A lot of it is surprisingly simple, much simpler than it looks. Some take a little practice but once you get it right, you have a sense of achievement to go along with feeling like you look good. There’s a lot to be said for that.

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