Follea Lifestyle Wig: Hello! A Very Wiggy Week

by admin on May 27, 2012

This past week has been a busy busy wig week. Last Sunday I went to Milano Wigs in Los Angeles to buy the WiGrip. The WiGrip is this handy dandy little strap that ties around your head like a comfy headband and keeps a wig in place without the need for clips or a comb. Amen! I kid you not, this little invention is amazing. I’ve seen several other similar grips online, they all look the same and probably function exactly the same as well.

Whilst at Milano Wigs I was taken in by the massive amount of wig supply they had there, a showroom filled with a ton of wigs that you can just try on by yourself. At first I felt awkward, out of place and a bit timid, but pretty soon I was flinging those bad girls on my head left and right. I think the plastic wig head fumes got to me and I ended up purchasing 2 wigs, that quite frankly are likely not going to see a lot of wear time. The wigs are quality wigs, don’t get me wrong, but the color isn’t exactly right for me and they don’t look as good on me as my Freeda Wig (Rina), or my new Follea Wig… but more on that later.

I think what is pretty fantastic about Milano wigs is their partline, sharp and distinct, they look amazingly real. Also it doesn’t have that knotted tight hairline problem which I experienced with Rina. It lays quite flat and looks very real. I also found out that this shop does coloring, cutting and repair on any wig, not just wigs purchased from them, so I ended up taking Rina in to try and have the hairline knotty bundle smoothed out and perhaps be made to look more natural. I get her back next week, so we’ll see how that goes. I am thinking I might also have Rina colored to better match my hair color and also have some long side swept bangs put in.

I’ve been on a wig rampage, determined to find that perfect, ah hem.. “hair enhancement” aka wig. I was quite interested in seeing two particular brand of wigs because of their reputation for quality and awesomeness, Follea and Flora Wigs. Flora is located in NJ and also in NY and since I’ll be in that area soon I thought I would take the opportunity to set up an appointment with Flora which I did do, but ultimately ended up canceling it this past week because I bought a Follea wig and there really isn’t room in my budget for two wigs in this type of price bracket, but I’m still very interested in checking out Flora’s wigs at some point. I’m curious how it compares with Follea and what the pluses are to each of them.

This past Tuesday I had an appointment with the stylist at the Follea Salon in Beverly Hills, I was anxious, nervous and excited and I didn’t know what to expect. I decided to wear one of my Milano wigs to the appointment, you know get as much “wear time” in my wigs as possible to get used to the whole thing. So my fiancé and myself piled in the car Tuesday morning and let the voice of the navigation guide us to my wig destiny, er.. destination. We arrive at the salon, knock on the door and are greeted by the stylist Vicka and her assistant Geena. My first impression was that I really liked the intimacy and privacy of this salon. It’s definitely very comfortable and personable. Immediately after walking in, I had to excuse myself briefly to go to the restroom, my fiancé stayed behind in the salon. Upon returning he told me he had good news, which was that Vicka had thought my wig was actually my hair! Kudos to the Milano wig and point for the wig wearers of the world!

I removed my wig and let my thin tresses beneath be shown. Vicka had me sit in the salon chair and she started pulling out some of the Follea wigs to show me. On the phone with her I had expressed my desire to see their lace fronts so that is what we started with. The first thing I can say is that touching the Follea hair is an experience all by itself, silky silky smooth hair. Just amazing. This particular lace front wig on the other hand, not my thing. There is way too much volume in that wig and also the hairline seemed very harsh. Now granted, I didn’t have it put on exactly as it should, if you were actually going to be wearing this you would trim the lace to fit you etc., but from what I could see just putting it on, this was not going to work. What I did immediately find strikingly awesome was the fit of the cap. Holy canoli. This cap perfectly cups and cradles your head. In my very short wig journey I have yet to find a cap like this.

Onwards with more wig show and tell, and Vicka pulls out a wig from their luxury collection that is almost a spot on match for the hair I had once upon a time. This wig was supreme and very long, 21″ from top to tip I think. I was in awe of how amazing I felt in this wig, and how beautiful it was. I was looking at someone in the mirror who was someone I used to know a long time ago… me. My fiancé was incredibly impressed with the realness and gorgeousness of this wig and both Vicka and Geena agreed it was a great match. Vicka had also showed me a dark blonde wig that actually was from their previous collection, and even though this wig was blonde because it had darker roots it also blended quite well with my hair and I LOVED the way I looked in it. Absolutely loved it! I’m not a blonde, but I could definitely see myself as one now! I kept going back and forth between which one I should take, the shorter blonde wig or the long glamorous light brown one. Decisions, decisions…

Ultimately I ended up getting the luxury wig and wore this unnamed beauty out into the streets of Beverly Hills. I stepped out onto the street and felt like a new person, I saw my reflection in the mirror and was surprised that THAT was ME. My hair loss usually makes me feel very out of place wherever I am and especially in a place like Beverly Hills where everyone looks so pretty, so put together with perfect hair (whether it’s theirs or not). But for the first time, I felt I belonged, belonged to the world around me, not an outsider looking in. My fiancé and I sat outside at a close by Mexican restaurant, and I was in pure bliss. I would never ever normally sit outside with my thin hair, I usually prefer the table inside in the dark corner, but here I was, outside and being comfortable for the first time in a long time. We enjoyed lunch and ogled over my hair. We eventually found our way back to the house, I went upstairs to comb through this luxurious maven and it was at this point my super high was greeted with a bit of a low.

This glam hair was tangled and wasn’t untangling that easy. None of my other wigs really tangled and if they did get tangles they would easily came out. I was dismayed and bothered, this didn’t seem right. On further inspection it seemed the ends where a bit drier too which could account for the tangling. For the price of this wig, I didn’t feel it should tangle this way, especially not on the very first night. I did recall Vicka saying there was a 24 hour return policy, and had I actually read all the paperwork I would have known whether or not this was for exchanges only or also refunds. I wanted the hair so badly that day that for all I know the paperwork required me to give weekly blood donations :) Like a bad girl, I didn’t really read the forms I signed, I just found the dotted line and scribbled away. Of course now I had a bit of a sleepless night wondering if I would return this wig or exchange it for something else. While perfect in every other way, a tangled wig on day one is not the way to start off.

The next morning my fiancé called and spoke to a Follea rep, Holly, who was very nice and said that that it’s no problem and to bring it back in and we can see what we can do. I made another appointment for noon that day and soon enough found myself back in the salon explaining the situation to Vicka. She was definitely understanding and also saw for herself that the wig did have a bit of a tangle issue on the ends of it. She felt that a washing might be just what would be needed to resolve the issue, but that piece just wasn’t for me anymore, I needed something I knew was as close to perfect out the door as possible. I struggle enough with my own hair I don’t want to struggle with my wig too ya know? That morning I had looked at the Follea catalog and knew which wig I wanted to see, it was a medium length from their Lifestyle collection, I even had the color circled, #C5030. This wig was perfect, I think it suited me much better because the hair is shorter (15″ top to tip), the color seemed like an even better match, and the shorter length meant it was even lighter. The style was a style a wore many times in my life prior to to hair loss, long layers and all around yummy. I also did try on the blonde wig again and contemplated that for a bit, but ultimately at this time the right purchase for me was a wig that would be the most natural and undetectable to those who see me around. The exchange was made, the difference was credited back to my credit card and off we went again, hair in hand (literally) and off to another lunch in Beverly Hills and then back home for some wiggy playtime.

I knew I was keeping this wig so I decided to wash it. The wig had been in a bag so the top was flattened out, I wanted to see how it looked after a washing and comb through. I placed the wig on a styrofoam head and washed her gently in the sink, being careful to not put conditioner on the top of the head as Vicka had let me know that could loosen the knots. Afterwards, I gently towel tried the hair and combed it out… the tangles came out very easily as I would expect they should and I hung the wig upside down to let it air dry over night. I did’t think of the hang upside down trick myself, rather it was a tip Vicka had given me that allows the wig to dry in a great way and have a good look. The next morning I eagerly went downstairs to visit my new lady in waiting, and holy wigatoly this wig came to life after a wash and an upside down hanging. The hair laid perfectly from the crown and it had a really nice natural volume to the top… just spectacular. It was great when I bought it, and it got even better.

For the past two days I’ve worn the wig from morning till night, all day and all around everywhere. My parents stopped by the house the day before yesterday and they didn’t even notice anything. What? Right? My mom, the woman who gave birth to me didn’t even realize the hair that crowned me that day wasn’t my own. Of course the entire time I felt at any moment a question would be asked, but nothing, not even a glance up at my hair and my parents will often speak up when they notice something. I was surprised but my fiancé wasn’t, he said it’s the most natural thing he’s ever seen in his life and that he would never in a million years know I was wearing anything. He said people might just think I got highlights in my hair. At the grocery store yesterday a checker that a talk to frequently saw me and didn’t notice anything either. Is this possible? With each passing moment that I wore this beauty I began to gain more confidence in what it was achieving.

Knowing that I have this secret weapon by my side has even made seeing/dealing with my own hair more bearable. Knowing I am not at the mercy of my thin wisps for how I want to portray myself to the world has made all the difference. While I am not going to wear my hair 24/7 it has provided me with security, a confidence that I can go anywhere in this hair, any lighting, any place, anytime. I have often felt that my hair has held me back. I would try and get dressed up, only to be let down by my hair time and time again. No matter how pretty my clothes, or how perfect my makeup, my hair was the nail in the coffin every time, like wearing a gorgeous gown with birkenstock sandals. Now I have the hair that matches the clothes, it all comes together perfectly, to put together the me I have wanted to be for so long. It’s truly life changing. I’m not going to say wearing a wig is perfect because it’s not, lets face it it, it is still a wig and as such does have it’s limitations. The cap is the most comfortable cap I’ve ever felt in a wig, but I still do know it’s on my head, so there is that awareness throughout the day. But who cares? I would much rather put on the hair I want and know it’s there rather than to feel uncomfortable about myself and uncomfortable in my own skin, self conscious and less than. If someone figures out it’s a wig, yay for them, but they surely will have to acknowledge that it is in the very least, one fine ass looking wig. LOL!

So as I type this I don’t have my wig on, she’s getting her rest upstairs. I have my hair in a ponytail and I am feeling better about my current state of hair loss affairs than I have in a very long time. I feel hopeful, not that my hair is going to stop falling out or grow back, but that I now have some type of solution, a real tangible, guaranteed, reliable solution I feel good about. Gone are the worries of how my hair will look when I go out to dinner, I know exactly how it will look each and everytime I want it to look that way. Knowing I don’t have to fight with the blow dryer for hours to get my hair to look just “ok” is a huge weight off my shoulders. I’m still going to continue with my hair loss treatments that I do as I do want to try and keep as much of my own hair on my head as possible since I will have plenty of real hair moments without my wig, i.e. going to the gym, lounging around the house, grocery shopping etc.

I don’t have any delusions that I am not going to be called out about my wig at some point, by a friend or family member, but until they ask I’m not going to offer it up (or perhaps I will on a case by case basis).  I am certainly not going to deny I’m wearing a wig, I just want to see how many people figure it out for themselves. I can definitely see a lot of pluses to wigs that could in time end up being a lot of fun. Blonde one day, a redhead the next? Yes please! I still reflect on my brief time with my glam hair I had for a day, and I think eventually I’d want to get a longer piece for sure, but for day to day wear, the medium length hair was the way to go.

One thing I learned in my very short amount of time with buying wigs is to try not to get discouraged if the wig you are trying isn’t working out, keep looking and searching for the wig that best fits you in most every way that is possible, color, length, style. If clips hurt, use a WiGrip or a similar type headband to get the wig to stay in place. Also, no matter what, when that wig gets on your head the first time it’s going to resemble Cousin IT or something close to that, or perhaps that is just me. LOL. For myself I have to work the style in once I get the wig on my head, it doesn’t just land there perfectly, it definitely takes some finessing to get these girls in place and to look in tip top shape.

So is this the perfect solution? Well, I’m not sure if there is a perfect solution, but it is certainly a wonderful enhancement to my life and the best decision I’ve made in a long time. No regrets. I still hold the “bonded hair toppers” as the holy grail because you get to actually “live in” your hair. There is more of a commitment with bonded hair and I’m too much of a scaredy cat to make that leap just yet, for now I’m just loving my new hair and wondering why I didn’t do this before. Baby steps…

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

ImJena May 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

It looks AMAZING! Your fiance is right, I would have never guessed you were wearing hair in your pictures. It’s a gorgeous wig…I am so excited for you, you sound so happy and at peace! :)

Pat May 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

You look fantastic.
The wig is beautiful. I have worn wigs for 30 some years.
I do have alopecia areata. You are so fortunate to live on the west coast.
You have all the experts out there. And all the companies who distribute them.
I love my wigs and I order them wholesale from a company in
California.

Rachael Jean May 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Looks amazing !!! You are a beautiful woman too. I am so happy to have read your post. You do sound happy and your hair is georgeous! Think I sm going to look into one of these beauties :)

Jeni May 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm

This is great news! I have been following your blog and website since you started, and I am just about in the same boat as you too! I have a list of places in LA to visit, and Follea is of course on the top of my list. I didn’t know about that Wigrip headband thing so that is good to know. I read your last post about how uncomfortable the last wig was, and I was uncomfortable all day today just wearing a soft cotton headband, so I was thinking how bad it would be to wear a wig all day – but that’s great that the Follea wig is comfortable. Congrats on your new step, and your pictures look great!

Coco May 28, 2012 at 5:25 am

Hi
I can appreciate your story. I too was at Milano on Sunday and have bought 3 follea wigs from Vicka in bev hills. I love them! I have bonded and it’s a mess. Wigs r way better. Congrats on your purchase.

admin May 28, 2012 at 7:25 am

Thank you for all the support, I am beyond thrilled and impressed with my new Natalia. I have her on right now and all I can say is OMG, I keep looking at myself in the mirror because I can’t get over how real / natural / awesome this wig is. I feel very lucky to have been able to find Follea and this wig is particular. Me and her were destined to be together, it’s shocking how similar this is to my former hair (pre-hair loss) stunning. You know it’s a great wig when the moments you don’t have it on you keep actually thinking of PUTTING in on because you love how you look and feel. I don’t know if I illustrated this point in the post but what is amazing about this wig is how LIGHT it feels on your head. I know there is something on my head, but it isn’t bothersome or heavy, the cap is soft. and forms nicely to your scalp. Luckily I had my Milano WiGrip with me that day because I was able to see how well the 2 worked well together because the Follea wigs I saw didn’t actually have clips or combs in them, I think the person buying it decides the best way for them to attach it, which is nice – so there is nothing pulling or poking in the cap that would make it uncomfortable like my other ones.

@ImJenna – Aww thanks! I am SOOO happy. I never thought I would say the word “Happy” and the word “Wig” together, but life is funny sometimes :) I’ve struggled for so long and have come a long way in accepting my hair loss and it being what it is, but I had not been able to break the barrier of wearing hair. To be where I am today, this moment is wonderful, and yes I’d even venture to say “at peace.”

@Pat – Thanks so much. I read your words that you have worn wigs for 30 years and think I could have started this so much sooner and been so much happier. I don’t know what was holding me back. I am glad I had the Epiphany on my 34th birthday that things had to change. I didn’t want to wait another year, or 5 more years. But I suppose everything happens for a reason and perhaps things had to be as they were for me to be in the place I am today.

@Rachel Jean – Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m happier than I have been a really long time that is for sure. I see new possibilities with my new hair wearing life :)

@ Jeni – Definitely get the WiGrip – you can buy it through their site: http://mcwigs.com/accessories4.aspx – This WiGrip is part of what is making my experience with this wig all the better. The wig wouldn’t stay without some type of clip, comb, tape – I tried that. With the WiGrip it sits comfortably and snugly. So arm yourself with one of those (I bought 2) before going wig shopping. I have a very sensitive scalp and the type of cap in this wig with the grip is perfect, doesn’t hurt, doesn’t pull – I can wear this ALL day with no issue. So there is hope! I used the WiGrip on Rina and also the Milano Wigs and it also cushions where the clips actually are so they don’t hurt either when the band is on, but the cap isn’t the same, they are constructed very differently and the cap makes all the difference.

@CoCo – Wow we were at Milano on the same day! How funny! Small world. That is a great store, the woman that works at the front (not sure her name) is so wonderful and helpful. Are your Follea wigs all the same or did you get different lengths / color? Now that I have THIS wig I am in less of a hurry to bond because I love the freedom that the wig provides, and I’m so content with where I am at currently. Did I just say that? There must be pigs flying outside :)

XOXO

Bidi May 28, 2012 at 10:42 am

Awesome… Who in the world would have guessed this wasn’t your real hair ?

Fantastic ! I guess I just have to make my way to Munich… ;-)

admin May 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

@Bidi – I just let a comment for you on the other post you had commented on and just saw this one. Natalia is going places, we went to the grocery store, the nail salon and Coffee Bean today. No one looked at my hair at all. I saw another checker today who sees me all the time and he says, “you are in here all time huh?” which I am, I go there daily probably and he didn’t even notice ANYTHING. Not even that my “hair” has more highlights in it. Shocking. I’d suggest trying a bunch of different brand wigs before buying anything and figuring out what works best for you. I think everyone’s preferences are different and I’m not sure the crazy wig buying spree I went on was exactly the path I recommend for others. I think if you TRY a bunch of different types you’ll have a better understanding of why you actually like what you do when you find it. I look forward to hearing how your wig journey goes! The WiGrip, however, I think is a must for anyone with very fragile and thin hair because the clips are not a possibility, they hurt to much. I’d grab one of those beforehand and take it with you when shopping.

XOXO

Susan May 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm

So glad you found a great solution for yourself and that you’re feeling more confident! Woohoo!! So happy for you!

Kip May 29, 2012 at 5:30 am

girl it looks stunning and sooooooooooooooooooooooo natural it is astounding. Thank you for writing this.

suki May 29, 2012 at 10:51 am

beautiful! and so encouraging for all of us who are thinking of wearing hair! congratulations. i especially like what you said about focussing on the solution. i’ve spent decades — literally — checking to see if maybemaybemaybe the thinning had stopped. answer? never, not once. the solution we can control and there’s the wonderful difference! continued success and all the best.

Jen May 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Thank you so much for posting your wig adventures! Natalia looks sooo natural! I am really impressed. Reading your story makes me feel for the first time that wearing hair is possible for me. It is so hard to take that first step into wearing hair. I am 32 and have always had very thin hair. Over the past year, I have really started to thin all over, especially at the crown. Darn genetics! This is devastating, especially since I never had much to begin with. I have been getting by with Toppik and some creative hair placement. I also am on spironolactone and religiously take vitamins. However, it has been getting worse. I may as well just dump the whole bottle of Toppik on my head every morning at this point! LOL! It is just a matter of time before taking my own step into the world of wigs. Is Natalia a lace front wig, or are you able to use your own hair line? It looks so natural! Congrats on finding such a great piece!

admin May 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Thank you everyone for all the support. I feel so blessed to be around such an amazing supportive community of women.

@Susan – It feels SOOOOO good to have found this solution. In the short time I’ve had this wig it has helped me so much to just accept the way my hair looks on a day to day basis. I had a lot of errands to do today and smack in the middle of them I had an eyebrow appointment, wearing the wig was not an option today with the schedule I had so she sat on her resting post and my hair went into a ponytail, a style it’s quite familiar with, and I just looked at it for what it was… not great, still there, oh well. Moving on. :)

@Kip – It really took a long time for me to get to this point, I only wish my ship wasn’t so slow to turn. I moved like molasses on this, but even molasses gets there eventually!

@Suki – I think for many women there is plenty of hope that things can turn around for them depending on their hair loss and what caused it, I’ve seen it happen for many gals during the time I’ve run this site. But for someone like myself, I’ve known for quite sometime that the hair was not going to ever be what it used to. I was just really trying to buy myself time. Time for what? Who knows. For the most part I have accepted my hair loss, I have accepted it will continue to fall out and get thinner and thinner and thinner until it is no more. I was waiting for the “right time” to make that move to wearing hair. But then you have to ask yourself, when is the right time? When I have 3 hairs on my head? I think the right time is when you know you’ve exhausted your options, the hair has made it’s official exit stage left, and you find yourself missing out on life because you no longer feel like yourself, you no longer feel whole. Then it’s time, and based on my own criteria it was my time years ago. I wish I didn’t wait so long, I missed out on so many things, sat self conscious in many social gatherings and loathed my reflection daily. I read on the network you’ll be moving on a bonded topper soon.. Congrats!

@Jen – Wig adventures indeed! Wearing hair is possible for sure, it just has to be the right fit for you. If you read my prior post I had a bit of a meltdown one day and found myself lost in a bottle of chardonnay. :) I was someone who thought I couldn’t wear a wig.. in fact wig should be spelled like “WIGG” because I think in my mind it was a four letter word.
If anything I felt I had to move straight away in a bonded topper situation, or nothing at all, but I wasn’t ready emotionally for that yet. The wigs provide a much easier transition into wearing hair and less commitment. I’m swimming around in the hair wearing waters and getting comfortable. Natalia is not lace front, but I do pull a few strands (literally because it really isn’t much) out and integrate it that way. My hairline is thin and weak, there would be tons more hairstyles I could do if I had a bit of a stronger denser hairline. At some point I might show the wig off wig on process (before and after) in perhaps a video since I think it would be helpful for others to see the process/ transformation.

XOXO

Maisie May 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Oh my word, that is STUNNING hair. It looks so beautiful and has made me excited to think there could be such natural options, even though I might need to get on a plane to look at them. :) x

Bidi June 1, 2012 at 3:13 am

Well well well. I didn’t think I would EVENTUALLY say that concerning my hair issues but, hey : LUCKY ME !!!

I have made contact with FOLLEA Europe in Munich, Germany. Whithin less then 24 hours I had an answer. And, guess what ? They have JUST begin to extend the market to Belgium. AND there is a reseller in a range of 5 miles from my home !!! :-) If this is not a good news than what is it ?

This guy has even followed some kind of cursus called “coiffothérapie” which must be something between hair design and psychotherapy. Which, I guess, will work fine by me.

I only have to make the call to make an appointement. I will keep you posted ! Thank you for the pushing in the back (it really made a difference I can assure you) and, as I read on Facebook today : “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Bidi June 1, 2012 at 3:16 am

And yes, please : DO MAKE this video !

Debbie Kane June 5, 2012 at 5:10 am

Hello, I am a first time visitor to this website. I just finished reading your story and looking at the photos. All I can say is WOW! I am very impressed. While I probably am not your usual patron, I have unfortunately had to deal with hair loss due to cancer and chemotherapy treatment. Before being diagnosed with cancer, I did however had to deal with hair loss in that my hair was falling out in what I perceived to be abnormal amounts. I was told by many, some supposedly experts such as stylists, nutritionists and even medical doctors, that the amount of hair I was losing each day was within “normal” range for my age. I always disagreed in my heart, but debating the issue with them only left me feeling a little vain. Before cancer, I was losing what appeared to be a significant amount when I collected the fallen locks out of my bath tub (using a rubber hair catcher over the drain), my sink that I bent over while blow drying and my hair brush after styling. I always collected the hair and placed it in a quart sized baggie every day so that I could keep an eye on how much I was losing. Talk about obsessing! When I was younger, my hair (while never considered thick, voluminous or even very full), was my personal “glory”. Even though my strands have always been extremely “fine”, and the body considered fairly “full”, it was beautiful to me. Dark, midnight brown in color, straighter than an arrow, so soft and silky with a shine that would make a diamond blush! At one point in time it was so long that it reached my hips. I’ll never forget the time (I was living in Nassau, Bahamas during my youth), that a young tourist stopped me, thinking I was Cher, and asked for my autograph, LOL! Probably due to my then very skinny body and hippie apparal….it was afterall, 1971! But those days are long gone. But I digress. Two weeks after starting chemotherapy, I awoke and new that the day had come. I started my usual morning routine and when I put my brush to my head I knew instantly. I immediately stopped brushing, put my hair up in a clip and called my daughter. (who incidentally inherited my genes for long, beautiful hair with a plus….hers was very, very thick and fuller than mine ever was! Up until that day, she wore hers long too. Down to the middle of her back kind of long.) She and I had prepared for this day right after I was diagnosed. We had made previous arrangements with our favorite hairstylist to help with our plan. We were going to donate our hair to Locks of Love! Yes, even she was going to cut off her long locks into a bob-type length and make a donation in my name. (I am so blessed to have such an amazing daughter. Beautiful inside and out. As a matter of fact, her name is Shara which means “Beautiful Princess of God”. And that she is!) So, she had her hair cut off first and secured a 25 inch pony tail to donate. Then it was my turn. As I stated earlier in this post, I always felt like my hair was my glory. It was the only thing about my appearance that gave me self confidence. I thought I had come to terms with going bald, but my emotions got the better of me with the first pass of the razor. I can still hear the awful, ominous sound of that razor’s motor to this day! I couldn’t watch. So, I sat with my back towards the mirror. When my “ponytail” was collected, it was rather thin. At least compared to hers. But it measured about 16 or 17 inches, so I hope that some beautiful child is wearing it and feeling beautiful because of it. This all took place in June of 2010. I never really got used to being bald I must admit. Thankfully, I had gotten my eyebrows and top & bottom eye lids tattooed back in 2007. Because I lost every hair on my body from head to toe, including my eye lashes! (and yes, even the entire bikini area, lol!) I started this story intending to really tell about my experience with wigs. I received two synthetic hair wigs from The American Cancer Society. They looked OK for the most part. But you could easily tell they were wigs, they were extremely scratchy and unbearably hot. So, I decided to invest in a custom wig. We owned an advertising business at that time and I bartered with a local, upscale hair salon that also specialized in hair loss and high end, customized wigs. I wouldn’t have been able to afford a good wig otherwise. Cancer robs its victims in more ways than many realize. Finances are one of the first things to go. :-( Anyway, this wig I had made cost $1,800.00. To this day I do not know if this is considered a lot of money for a quality wig or not. I never checked. I only knew that this place had a very good reputation and so I trusted them. As I sat in their styling chair and sheepishly removed my colored cloth head covering, I was very nervous and felt extremely self-conscious. I still had trouble looking in the mirror. I just didn’t look like me anymore and it made me very sad every day. It got to the point to where I seriously stopped looking in mirrors. Anyway, I tried on several wigs that afternoon. My husband (and best friend) by my side, helped me decide on what we thought was the perfect choice for me. It felt luxurious. It was about shoulder length and had easy flowing, layered waves. Using some kind of saran wrap material and a permanent marker, my head was measured for a supposed “perfect fit”. I should tell you that they had this wig already made in the color, length and style I wanted. It was just too small. It was a size 20 and I apparently needed a 22. To this day I still wonder if that is unusually big. I guess I will always be self conscious about anything to do with my head and hair. To continue, my wig was sent over seas to be hand crafted. I should mention that the hair itself came from India. When it came in, we immediately went and picked it up. To my dismay, it looked awful! It just didn’t fit. The owner of the salon (who personally fitted me in the first place) asked if I had gained any weight. I told him that one of the chemotherapy medications was Prednisone. Infusions took 13 hours every 21 days. I always gained 13 lbs in the first 24 hours and a total of 24 lbs in the first week after infusions. Then over the next 14 days, I always lost all of the 24 lbs. That circle continued with each infusion and was a prominent side effect of the Prednisone medication that was reported by most of the patients who took it. The owner/stylist told me that the wig was fine and that it was my weight changes that were affecting the outcome. He suggested I “work” with it at home on days when my weight was under control. But truth be told, no matter what I weighed, it made me look like “Weird Al Yankovic”! I returned one more time to the salon on a day when “my weight was under control” and showed him again how awful the wig looked. He saw it. But instead of admitting that something had gone wrong with the measurements or the actual customizing of this wig, he said that it just needed to be styled using a ceramic, “Chi” Flat Iron. I already owned one and was thankfully experienced in using it and the special spray-on protector so that your hair doesn’t burn under the 400 degree heat. Using a styrofoam wig holder and pins, I spent about 3 hours one afternoon, carefully ironing the wig in very small sections. The end result was that the wig looked awesome on the styrofoam head, but when I placed the wig on my head…OMG! It was just horrible. Plus, this wig had a special feature wherein it was suppose to grip to your head. Supposedly, even if you tugged on the hair, it would not easily come off of your head. Rubbish! No matter how much I weighed, no matter how much I styled it, no matter what I did….it didn’t fit right and looked downright stupid. What a disappointment. What a waste of money that I really could have used for other needs. Or even if I were to spend it on something lavish….a relaxing cruise would have served a better purpose for me! I was very sick during all of this and actually died two times that year. My doctors were always impressed by my positive attitude and my sheer will to recover. It was obvious especially on those to near fatal days. Today (June, 2012) I am thankfully 18 months in remission. While the type of cancer I am challenged with (Diffuse, Large B-Cell, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, stage 3) has the potential for recurrence, (doctors do not consider this cancer as being cured until the patient has remained in remission for 10 plus years), I know….I mean it….I KNOW, that I will survive it! My hair started its regrowth after stopping chemotherapy treatments. Beginning January, 2011 the new hair started coming in. It is baby soft and has slight curls too! It is almost shoulder length and I have NOT cut it one bit as of yet. No scissors have been permitted anywhere near my head since that fateful day I had to have it all shaved off in June, 2010! Did any of you know that hair grows at different rates on our heads? I didn’t. So, my hair actually has natural “layers”! And it is as shiny as it was in my youth too! I really enjoyed reading the story that led me to tell mine. All of you should be commended for uniting together with regards to the subject of female hair loss. I for one understand your pain. By the way, I should inform you that the “hair loss” I was experiencing prior to my cancer diagnosis has returned in full force. I am once again losing more hair than I believe I should, every time I wash and dry it. I have no idea why, but I am beginning to sense it is a nutritional thing in my case. Regardless, I want to say thank you for this site. I believe in what you are doing with it. I pray that one day soon, there will finally be valid answers to this terrible issue. Until then, stay positive and at Peace with yourselves. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff as they say! Blessings, Debbie Kane

Elizab June 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Thanks so much for your blog posting, I’ve followed this site for many years now and my hair has worsened. You give me hope and strength. I am so proud of you, and it is so nice to put an image with the person who created this site – even if there’s no face! LOL Your Natalia looks gorgeous. I have been obsessed with the thought for YEARS that if I had nice hair, I’d look as good or better than this person, that person, my sister, etc. But hair is so important, this one thing defines me because I’m a woman. Can you advise if the wig was over $1K by any chance, so we have an idea of prices? Or shall I just google the company …. I’ll go google and see what I find. Thank you again!

Andi June 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

Does anyone know where we go to see the pictures? For some reason I can’t see any of the pictures everyone is commenting on–and I would really love to!
Thanks!

admin June 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Sorry for the delayed reply, been away on a trip and enjoying my wiggy life.

@Maisie – I’m so glad this helped you to realize there are natural options because there really really are, my biggest regret is just not having done this sooner!

@Bidi – Yay for local Follea contacts! I love that quote you saw on Facebook.. how true. Please keep us posted with your own hair finding journey.

@Debbie – Thank you soooo much for sharing your extremely heartful and encouraging story. Your story brought tears to my eyes that continue to slide down my face into my chardonnay. (It seems I always have a glass of wine in my hand when I come to write on this site, part of my therapy ya know! ) I am so glad to hear you are in remission! You have such an amazing daughter and you both did such a generous and loving act by donating your hair for another. All I can say to you, is thank you for taking the time so share your story… it is so meaningful and you share such an important message… Life IS to short. That is the truth. I made mine even shorter by depriving myself of living durning my entire 20s and some of my 30s. Hiding, feeling ashamed, less than, depressed…. on and on. I alway say hair loss is a journey because it has been very much so for myself, I’ve gone through all kinds of stages in dealing with this. I’m just glad I finally got to a good part!

@Elizab – I’m so glad that I’ve given you a bit of hope and strength! This wig was quite expensive, if I recall with tax it was $ 4,500. Follea has a downloadable catalog that has prices on everything. Of my small wig collection of 3 brands, for me this is the best one, but I do have to say that Freeda (mine was around $700 from sale section ) and Milano wigs ( around $800 ) are also really great natural silky soft human hair wigs. Freeda has a large discounted section which is nice. I will have to take pics in all of them so everyone can really get a feel for the different ones. Between Freeda and Milano, I liked the Freeda better. I really think it will also depends on your personal preference and what your former hair was like, since I think we try and compare it to that the most. For my hair type, texture and color the Follea was nearly a spot on match for my former locks.

@Andi – I sent you an email on this, but I’ll post it here too for others. I did take my photos down because I want to find a better more private way to share a lot of photos with anyone of you ladies who care to see them of me and my wiggy life. This site has been my journal since 2007 and I have and continue to share my inner most thoughts and feelings, devastations and revelations and while I did blur out my face, it’s easy enough for someone who does know me to see that that is in fact me! The other day I got an email from a relative who knows I have hair loss who sent me a link to an article on this site, for ME to check out. An article I wrote! I worried they would see my pictures and realize, gosh darn it, uh this is MY site. I’m at such a good place right now I didn’t want to deal with the emotions of knowing someone who knows me will read all my posts. That’s the whole reason I’ve been able to be so honest with my life and dealing with hair loss, because I run the site anonymously. Anonymity gives you freedom. I do know how important pics are though and don’t want to hide the wig I love from view from anyone who does want to see pics, so I will most likely put up a password protected flickr page and i’ll give the password to any of you gals who care to see it.

XOXO

WsHair June 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm

What amazing news! I know you know how happy I am for you. You have been our savior during our darkest moments and nothing makes me happier than to read such wonderful news. I can tell by your witting that you are beaming with joy. You my dear absolutely deserve this gift of feeling whole again. Thanks to you and all the other amazing women here I too found the courage to find a solution. I will be forever grateful!!! I’m sure your fiancé is just as thrilled to see wonderful you all happy again.

I can’t wait to see your pic, which I’m sure will have the BIGGEST, HAPPIEST, HEARTFELT SMILE!!!
XOXO

Ann June 14, 2012 at 10:00 am

These wigs are gorgeous! I went to the websites and took a look. I’m so happy for you that you are feeling pretty and happy again! I’d love to see your pictures. I’m still experiencing hair loss and have been following you and your posts (and everyone else’s) for almost two years, since this began for me. I know one day I will go this route as well. I’d love to see your beautiful self! If you care to send password for flickr, that would be great! Smiles!!! xoxo-Ann

Elaine June 24, 2012 at 5:32 am

Hi love to hear your story & would love to see your pic. I too have a follea wig – the gripper sport – love the way the cap feels & not having to use other methods to keep wig on. Want to order another one & debating between the short & the medium so would be so grateful to see your pic. Thanks for posting inspiring stories. Follea has given me a new lease on life! Some of the other wigs I’ve tried have been scratchy, diff to keep on & just looked awful. Looking forward to your password pic.

Julie July 7, 2012 at 8:49 am

Could I get a password to your flicker account thanks

Mrs.M July 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm

May I also see the flicker photos? thanks

Linda August 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

Really grateful for your post. After an expensive mistake, I discovered Freeda thanks to you. Just purchased one and cannot wait to get it!!!

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