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One of the most common worries people have about wearing a wig is how to keep it in place. There are various ways of making sure that your wig is secure.
Although a well-fitting wig should stay in place on its own, you may feel happier using an extra type of attachment, such as double-sided tape. Wig specialists have hypoallergenic tape that doesn’t irritate the skin. The tape is attached to the underside of the wig and gives a secure but comfortable bond. Surgical spirit can be used to remove any leftover adhesive. If your skin is very sensitive due to your cancer treatment, you can ask your doctor or specialist nurse which tape you can use and whether it’s okay to use surgical spirit.
If you still have some of your own hair, or if it’s growing back, it may be possible to keep your wig in place by using special clips in various hair colours. These clips can also be used to attach a hairpiece. The wig specialist can advise you which would be the most appropriate method of keeping your wig or hairpiece in place.
A simple way to check your wig or hairpiece is securely in place is to bend over and shake your head.
If you’re going outside on a windy day, you may want to wear a hat or scarf as well. If you’re shopping and know that you will be trying on clothes or if you’re going to see the doctor for an examination, it’s a good idea to wear something that is easy to slip off, such as a cardigan or shirt, rather than something that goes over your head and may pull your wig off.
When you wear your wig in public for the first time you may want to wear it when you’re with people you know well. This can help you feel more confident and gives you the chance to gradually prepare yourself for wearing the wig with people you don’t know.
The lining of the wig can irritate the scalp, so it may be helpful to wear a thin, cotton wig liner underneath. These are usually available from wig suppliers. However, they can make a wig move around, so you may need to experiment to find out what works best for you. Remember that your scalp may sweat more when you wear a wig, so you’ll need to wash the wig regularly.
Take care not to expose your wig to a flame, for example from a candle or gas cooker, as real hair will frizz and synthetic hair can melt. Even the heat released when opening an oven door can make the hair frizzy. Don’t use the highest heat setting on your hairdryer as this can also melt the hair.
Content last reviewed: 1 July 2012
Next planned review: 2014
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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