Coping With Medically Related Hair Loss

Hair loss during chemotherapy can affect your self-esteem, your identity, and your self-confidence at a time when you need them most. That is why Joseph Paris Naturally offers natural-looking wigs and hair prostheses for patients in New York, New York.

All About Hair Replacement Systems

To choose the best hair replacement system for your type of hair loss, you must first understand the different options we have in the market.

Machine-made wigs are the least expensive hair replacement solution. These are mass-produced by layering wefts of hair to an elastic wig cap. This is the most detectable option because the hair doesn’t appear to grow out of any specific point.

While being the least natural hair replacement, machine-made wigs provide an instant solution for your hair loss. You can order these from a wig catalog and receive them within three days or purchase one from a wig shop and have it the same day.

This type of wig is also mass-produced but is partially handmade. Hair in this type of wig is sewn to the wig cap by hand and can be customized to look and feel more natural. Like machine-made wigs, you can also purchase this from a wig catalog or your local wig shop.

If you want your wig to be customized, you may have to wait an additional two weeks for customizing and alterations.

These are semi-custom or completely customized wigs that are specifically designed to conceal medically related forms of hair loss, such as side effects of chemotherapy.

Medical hair prostheses, or MHPs are created to look exactly like your natural hair in terms of color, style, texture, and hairline.

Custom wigs are handmade and are designed to fit the shape of your head and match your hair color. These are the most natural-looking wigs and are often worn by actors in films where they need to look a certain way for a role.

It generally takes four to eight weeks to produce these custom wigs, and prices may vary depending on the designer and the quality of hair that is used.

Don’t Lose Your Hair to Chemo

Some people would suggest cutting your hair short as soon as you know you will start chemotherapy because wearing a wig would be easier with a shorter hairstyle. However, if you want to save your long hair, you might be interested in our yourHAIRx’s patented design.

yourHAIRx Medical Hair Prosthesis

Our patented design process involves harvesting a portion of your hair before you begin your chemotherapy treatment and incorporating this into the hairline of your hair prosthesis.

We believe that nothing looks more natural than your own hair. This method helps us create hair prostheses that perfectly blend with clients’ natural hair before they experience hair loss.

Attaching Medical Hair Prostheses

To ensure that our hair prostheses remain secure even in adverse conditions, we offer three methods of attachment:

For normal wear, most of our clients find our transparent double-sided tape sufficient to secure the MHP to their heads. This option is available for patients who have shaved off their remaining hair.

We offer many options of tape that are of medical grade, in different shapes, sizes, and strengths to meet your individual needs. If you happen to have an allergy to the standard tape, we also have a latex-free option. Here are some things to keep in mind when using this method:

  • Special tape patch areas should be added by the wigmaker to the base of the wig.
  • Never apply tape directly to the foundation because it will cause the wig to lose hair from pull stress.
  • To protect the integrity of the lace foundation, use a large piece of foundation tape before applying the double-sided tape on all skin patch areas. This will prevent the lace from tearing.
  • Place small pieces of double-sided tape along the hairline in select areas. Typically, no shine tape should be placed in the entire front lace area, 2 small pieces in the back of the nape area, and one piece at each temple. Make sure to save the backing from reapplying to the tape when you are not wearing your wig, and it is resting on the block.
  • Tape can last anywhere between 3 to 5 days before it needs to be changed.

To achieve a natural-looking hairline, our MHP may be attached using a combination of double-sided tape and a special liquid adhesive. This will secure the transparent foundation material to your skin and allow you to pull your hair back and style it off your face with confidence.

You may choose to clip the foundation of your MHP if you have enough hair. The benefit of this method is that you can continue to wear the MHP until your hair grows in enough to be cosmetically acceptable to you on its own.

We use a special type of clip with a low, flat bite that does not cause pull stress on your hair or scalp when clipped in place.

Removing the MHP Hair System

Here’s how you can safely remove your MHP hair system without damaging the lace or hair of your wig:

  1. If you use clips, release them first before you release any taped areas. Using the 99% alcohol and the Q-tip/sponge applicator, gently release the tape from your scalp from the back of the neck and sideburns before you release the hairline.
  2. Use a Q-tip/sponge applicator with 99% alcohol and gently swab and lift the lace of the hairline until the system is removed. Be careful not to stretch or pull to prevent stretching or rippling of the lace when removing.
  3. Once removed from the head using the same alcohol and a paper towel/sponge tip applicator, gently remove the double-sided tape from the foundation tape. Foundation tape can be changed once a month from the hair piece.
  4. Once you have removed all of the tapes, you can then place the wig on your head block.
  5. You must use the proper-sized head block that corresponds with your head measurements to avoid shrinking or stretching your wig.
  6. Pin the wig onto the block and use corsage pins only. The proper way to pin your wig is to place a pin every ½ inch apart all along the hairline. This way, your wig will stay in place, and the lace does not rip while being handled.

Cleaning Your MHP

It is important to clean a wig regularly to keep it looking natural for a long time. Here’s the proper way of maintaining your MHP:

Human Hair

The following method is solely for 100% human hair MHPs:

  1. Using a rinse sprayer like you might have in your shower or at your kitchen sink, rinse the hair from about an inch away from the knot in the direction of the hair toward the ends and in the same direction the hair falls. Do this with cold water and avoid getting the foundation of the wig or the knots wet. Human hair is porous, so it expands when it gets wet, which causes the knots to unravel and the hair to fall out more quickly.
  2. Pin the wig to a canvas wig form using corsage pins. If the wig has a lace foundation, pin the material every 1/2” around the base so that it will keep its shape while drying.
  3. Take 1/2” thick sections about 3” wide between your fingers, and apply shampoo to the hair, working from 1” above the knot and working the shampoo towards the ends of the hair. Do this until all the hair is shampooed. Only use a shampoo designed for color-treated hair and dilute it with water.
  4. Let the shampoo sit for no more than 60 seconds and repeat the rinse process. Take note to rinse out all the shampoo.
  5. Once the shampoo is rinsed out, blot the excess water away from the hair with a towel.
  6. Lightly wipe the inside of the base of the wig with a terrycloth towel and then again with a sponge or cloth soaked in 99% alcohol. The alcohol will draw out any excess water or shampoo that has reached the knots allowing them to dry quickly.
  7. Put the wig on your head while it is still wet, making sure that the hairline is the width of four fingers from the top of your eyebrows and that the temples are approximately three fingers’ width from the corner of your eyes. Then, slowly comb through the hair, starting at the ends and working toward the roots. Comb and style it as you normally would.
  8. These steps will ensure your wig will come out as you desire, without any surprises.
  9. To preserve the color of your wig, it is recommended not to shampoo your hair more than once a month.

Synthetic Hair

The cleaning process for a wig with synthetic hair is much simpler since it doesn’t absorb water like human hair. Just keep in mind to avoid using warm water on curly and wavy hair because it causes the hair to lose its curl. This is how you clean your synthetic hair MHPs:

  • Before shampooing, gently brush through the hair using a wet brush, remembering to always start brushing from the ends and working up towards the root area.
  • Dip the wig into a bowl of cold water mixed with a teaspoon of shampoo designed for color-treated hair. If you use a lot of hairsprays, add a teaspoon of ammonia to the shampoo to remove any buildup.
  • Allow the piece to sit in shampoo for 60 seconds and then rinse with cool water. Once rinsed, the wig should be towel blotted to remove any excess water. With a spray bottle filled with 99% alcohol, spray the entire inside of the wig. It should be saturated with alcohol.
  • To comb the hair, it is important to use a wide-toothed comb and gently begin combing at the ends of the wig and work up towards the roots until all the hair is completely combed through. Style as needed.
  • We recommend that you apply 99% alcohol into the foundation of your wig weekly to maintain a clean, bacteria-free environment in your hair system.
  • To prevent hair loss, it is recommended to purchase a knot sealer. It is applied in 3 separate applications. Apply the first coat of knot sealer onto the roots of the wig, let dry, and repeat two more times.
  • Once dried, the wig can then be placed back on the scalp (Note: Make sure to use knot sealer in a well-ventilated area).

Got Questions? Let’s Talk!

For more information and general concerns about our hair replacement systems, reach out to our staff.