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Category Archives: Wigs for Cancer Patients

Giving the Gift of Confidence and Dignity

Women battling appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment can benefit from the transformative impact of simple hair and makeup tips.

As a cosmetologist and a hair stylist, I work with wonderful clients every day. While I love the relationships I have built with my clients in my job “behind the chair,” my most fulfilling work is as a volunteer with Look Good Feel Better.This organization provides women with free workshops to teach them hair and makeup techniques to cope with the changes to their appearance that they experience while undergoing cancer treatment.

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Taking on Cancer, Heads Held High

“People come to me and say, ‘Why would you as a hairdresser want I to work with cancer patients every day; it must make you sad and depressed?’ I just tell them that I get the opportunity to help them deal with the situation and help give them the confidence that they can beat it,” says Eivind Bjerke.

Norwegians Bjerke and Hans Kalset, owners of the Eivind and Hans of Georgetown Salon and Spa in Washington, D.C. help women deal with cancer in their own way.
By offering makeovers and hair replacement, they give women dealing with cancer the spirit and help they need to keep fighting the disease.

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“Coping with Hair Loss”

This article by breastcancer.org gives some very practical insight about how women can cope with hair loss personally as well as coping when children and a partner are involved.  The impact of hair loss or baldness on our children is discussed in thoughtful ways with examples and ideas for coping together. Additionally, our relationship with a partner and how we should come to terms with changes in our bodies together is also an important part of this piece.

http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/hair_skin_nails/coping

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Put Your Best Face Forward: Beauty Tips for Women with Cancer

Photo: Hans Kalset

As a cosmetologist and hair stylist, I work with wonderful clients every day. While I love the relationships I’ve built with my clients in my job “behind the chair,” my most fulfilling work is as a volunteer with Look Good…Feel Better. This organization provides women with free sessions to teach them hair and makeup techniques to cope with the changes they experience to their appearance while undergoing cancer treatment.

I’m honored to play a small role in helping women face their cancer treatment with greater confidence and dignity. And I want to share with you some of the best tips from our workshops.

Makeup Tips & Tricks

  • It’s common to develop sensitive skin during chemotherapy and radiation. To reduce dry, flaky skin, wash your face with a creamy cleanser. Then dot a light moisturizer on your forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose, and gently blend. Also, be sure to always use sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher.
  • Cancer treatment can change your skin tone. Women often think foundation is the first step to a makeup routine, but for a woman with cancer, it is crucial to apply a concealer underneath your foundation to cover spots or discolorations.

Cancer treatment can increase vulnerability to infection, so keep hygiene a high priority. Use clean cotton balls, swabs, or disposable sponge-tip applicators for dispensing makeup.

 

  • One of the hardest things for women going through cancer treatment to cope with is losing their hair – and this includes eyebrows and eyelashes. When eyebrows become thin or fall out during treatment, choose an eyebrow pencil shade in your current hair or wig color (or just slightly darker) and use short, feathery, upward strokes to simulate the look of hair.
  • When using blush, use a powder blush in a shade that complements your skin tone. A beauty professional or cosmetologist can also help you select contour shades to offset facial puffiness or gauntness.
  • Cancer treatment can increase vulnerability to infection, so keep hygiene a high priority. Always wash your hands before using products. Use clean cotton balls, swabs, or disposable sponge-tip applicators, not your hands, for dispensing makeup.

Help for Hair Loss

  • Don’t be afraid of wigs. Wigs have come a long way! Just like you would for other big purchases, when choosing a wig, make sure you do your homework. It’s also good to bring a friend in for backup and support. Believe it or not, you can actually make wig shopping fun.
  • Once you have your wig, it’s important to get the perfect fit. Take it to your stylist or a trained Look Good…Feel Better volunteer for help with the fit.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix it up. There is no reason you need to stick with one wig. A variety of styles is now available to consumers. You can also purchase bangs or partial wigs separately to help change up your look.
  • Hats and turbans are also creative and cost-effective options for women battling hair loss. Your head or scalp may feel hot or irritated when wearing a wig, so you may want to consider these fun accessories.
Originally posted on ‘Coping with Cancer’.  See the full text at http://copingmag.com/
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As seen in the Washingtonian “Dealing with Cancer: Services”

We are very pleased that the ‘Washingtonian’ has mentioned us in its recent feature on services to help ease the lives of cancer patients.   For years, we have been providing wigs and hair replacement solutions to help cancer patients overcome the challenges of cancer related hair loss.

http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/health/dealing-with-cancer-services-to-help-ease-life/index.php

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“Why and How Hair Loss Happens”

This informative article by breastcancer.org describes the reasons for hair loss resulting from specific cancer treatments.  It describes what you can expect from cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapy.  The article also includes a list of chemotherapy drugs and their hair loss effects.

Notable quote:

There are studies that show that for many women, losing their hair is worse than losing a breast. That’s because you can conceal the loss of a breast, but hair loss is so obvious and apparent.     — Kutluk Oktay, M.D.

http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/hair_skin_nails/hair_loss

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“Hair loss, hair thinning and cancer drugs”

Cancer Research UK has created a comprehensive page about hair loss from cancer treatment which provides useful information on several issues including: coping with hair loss, reducing hair loss through cold caps, covering your head, hair re-growth and patient stories & suggestions.

The page provides straightforward information and suggestions to face hair loss and thinning due to cancer drugs while giving an honest view of expectations after treatments have concluded. Among the very practical and personal suggestions there is a 7 minute video were a cancer survivor named Sheena Almquist explains the use of head scarves, hats and coverings.  The video describes what scarves and fabrics will work while effortlessly teaching you how to place them on your head in very easy movements.

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/treatment/cancer-drugs/side-effects/hair-loss-hair-thinning-and-cancer-drugs

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“Chemotherapy and hair loss: What to expect during treatment”

The Mayo Clinic presents a thoughtful picture of hair loss due to chemotherapy while also providing recommendations for protecting your hair as well as treating remaining hair gently. Just as the suggestion for cutting your hair before treatment begins, other alternatives are presented in detail such as planning ahead for covering your head and protecting your scalp.

The article also describes hair loss resulting from radiation. While this hair loss is usually specific to the area being treated the doses will also affect skin which should also be cared for.

Most of all, the article instructs us to use our energy wisely, recognizing the importance of hair to our outward appearance but expressing the need to focus on our health.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hair-loss/CA00037

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1992 Washingtonian of the Year

Eivind Bjerke: Tender Touch and New Outlook

Several times a month, hair-dresser Eivind Bjerke goes to the Lombardi Cancer Cen¬ter at Georgetown University Hospital and talks to women with cancer. He is one of a team of hair stylists, makeup artists, manicurists, and others who take part in the Look Good … Feel Better program, which picks up where health professionals leave off, teaching people how to live with the side effects of cancer.

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