Cancer Wigs: Synthetic vs. Natural Hair

synthetic cancer wigMany women with cancer-related hair loss find it difficult to decide upon a chemotherapy wig.   In fact, the choices of wigs can seem overwhelming at first.  There are short hair styles, long curly wigs, wispy bangs and layered styles – all in a wide variety of hair colors.  But one of the biggest questions when buying a cancer wig is whether to get a synthetic or natural hair wig.

Synthetic cancer wigs

Synthetic wigs are recommended by most oncologists because they are less expensive and very easy to care for.  In many cases, they are lighter weight and more natural looking than natural hair wigs.  This is because technological advances have allowed manufacturers to create a synthetic fiber that looks and feels like the protein-rich fibers of natural hair.

Most women choose a shorter style because they are easy to maintain.  Wearing a longer style means you may need to comb the wig or use more styling products, but synthetic wigs are pre-styled and require very little upkeep. These wigs can be washed with cold water without changing the style.  However, with a synthetic cancer wig, you can never use heat styling.  Even an open oven can cause damage to a synthetic wig, so it is important to follow safety precautions carefully.

Natural Hair Cancer Wigs

More durable and natural looking than synthetic wigs, human hair wigs are versatile enough to be treated just like your own hair.  This means you can curl or style the wig in the same ways you would with natural hair.  The only downside is these wigs tend to more expensive than synthetic cancer wigs, and they can feel a little heavier on the head.  They may also need to be trimmed by a hairstylist to suit your facial features.

Unlike synthetic cancer wigs, natural hair wigs do not come in a pre-set style, so you can only expect them to hold a style as long as your natural hair would.  You can also have this type of wig custom-colored by your stylist.  If you don’t mind “doing your hair” every day, and dealing with “bad hair days” from time to time, a natural hair wig might be the best choice.


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