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  • Clare Reed CBT Therapist

How to Choose the Right Wig for Work

Updated: Jun 28, 2018

Most people that have gone through the rigors of chemotherapy will always remember the moment they lost their hair. For some it is the most depressing stage of treatment, as you feel you can no longer hide your Cancer from the world. For others it’s a chance to break free of a boring haircut and be creative!

There are a good number of tips to choosing the best wig for work and I have highlighted them here for you.

How to Choose the Right Wig For Work with Cancer
How to Choose the Right Wig For Work with Cancer

Choosing a wig for work really depends on your goals, which is your goal?

Goal 1

You don’t really want anyone at work knowing about your health issues. You have informed management on a need to know basis.


You have to do your utmost to get a wig that looks like your hairstyle. This will eliminate scrutiny and comments like “Oh, I love what you have done with your hair” or even worse - someone wants to touch it!

Top Tips

Source a wig that looks as close to your own hairstyle as possible. If it is slightly different get your hairdresser to trim or colour it to match your natural style before your hair starts to fall or you opt for a head shaving party!

If you can’t find a wig that meets your normal hairstyle then choose one that you like. It must be shorter than your normal style and the same hair texture e.g straight, curly if you need to cut your hair to the new style. Then get your normal hair cut to meet the wig design and colour so people get used to the new authentic style and won’t necessarily notice when you swap to a wig.

Goal 2

You are self-employed or in a client facing role and image is everything for business development and corporate meetings.


Follow steps in goal 1 but go as upmarket as you can on the wig purchase. You do get what you pay for with wigs. Also get two, one for a spare, you don’t want to get caught out before an important meeting.

Top Tips

Appreciate that clients want to have confidence in your ability to deliver for them. Any health issues, such as Cancer, can put doubt in their mind! Don’t let Cancer lose you business as well as your hair!

If you can reduce face to face meetings, or move them to Skype/Go to Meeting, for a couple of meetings, it will reduce the chance of them wondering about your hair. But only cut back on face to face meetings if there is no chance of losing business.

Wearing other accessories will deflect attention from your hair e.g glasses, a stylish outfit, a very good tie, more make up than normal. (See my next blog on Eye lashes and Eyebrows for when they go missing in action!)

Goal 3

You aren’t working or are very secure in your job, aren’t client facing and want to let everyone know about your situation and have some fun with this (helpful if you are fundraising)

You can buy multiple wigs for different days/weather/how you feel/personas. You won’t have to spend so much money to buy fun wigs!

Top Tip

Make sure to check the dress code at work so you don’t get in trouble for wearing a luminous pink Mohican to the office!

Goal 4

You are in a position at work where you can change your image easily and have been thinking of changing your hair colour or growing out your natural colour

This could be your chance to experiment with a natural hair colour such as the grey you have been dying frantically for years. Try on some grey/natural wigs for comparison at a wig store and if you like the look you could opt for a grey/natural wig so that when your hair grows out grey/naturally it won’t be too much of a shock.

Top Tips

Remember that after chemo, any new hair that grows back initially is like baby hair and easily damaged. It is advised not to use chemicals such as colorant on your hair for the first year.

If you have upped the ante with lifestyle improvements, you may have decided to remove as many chemicals from your life, including hair dyes. Now is as good a time as any to try a new grey look.

Goal 5

You aren’t interested in wearing wigs but don’t want a cold head either

Good news, 2018 is the year of the turban - a cool fashion statement. Hopefully this one rolls on to 2019 too! It means the shops are full of head turbans and scarves you can wrap around your head as you feel like it.

Top Tips

Remember to apply SPF on your head when going head nude, it probably is a life time since you were last hairless and this skin will be fragile.

A comfy soft beanie for your head at night will prevent chills. If you get hot and cold sweats from medication or forced menopause symptoms you can whip it on and off as needed.


Some countries provide a wig service as part of the treatment plan with wigs offered at a discount or free.

Some insurers also provide a wig payment for wigs purchased. Check what support is on offer to you before purchasing.

Wig Maintenance

Wigs are high maintenance, here are some tips for keeping yours in shape as long as possible:

Buy a decent wig shampoo/conditioner, a wig brush and a wig stand (this is like the one I found and is very transportable and great value)

Wigs need to be washed and you can either take it to a hairdresser who specialises in this or do it yourself. There are numerous videos on YouTube on this topic. This is the video I used

Wigs also lose hair, eventually your wig may need to be replaced due to bald patches. Sometimes after just a few months, if you have worn it daily to work. If you can afford it have a back-up wig ready to go.

I suggest taking it off and hanging it on the wig stand asap after getting home for added longevity.

What tips or advice can you give someone looking for a wig for work? Add your answer to the comment section below. Every tip helps :)

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