April 23, 2010

the better wig experience

today my dear friend g took me to william collier design, where i had a terrific wig fitting experience.

william and his wife judy own the salon and both spent an hour with me. they listened to my cancer synopsis, explained the different kinds of wig options, and tried several wigs on in each price point.

the synthetic wig fit okay but not great. the cap was too close to my ears and would irritate them. the "hair" appears overly shiny in both natural and artificial light and clearly looks like a wig.

i tried two human hair wigs. one had an entirely machine-made lining. the second one featured both hand-tied "scalp" with natural looking coloring (i.e. skin colored) and machine-tied hair. there is also an entirely hand-tied wig. (i didn't try that kind.)

of all the choices, the hand- and machine-tied one fit the best and looked the best. judy called the manufacturer to see if they had one in my color/cut in stock. indeed they do, and she will order it for me to check out -- at no charge and no commitment to me. that's what i call customer service.

the price, however, was much higher than at the first wig place i went to, which also sells human hair wigs but didn't have a sample for me to try on.

in discussing the options my doctor's office had asked me to get from wcdesign the CPT code to submit to my health insurance company. judy explained that they bill as "cranial prostheses for chemotherapy hair loss" under the category of durable medical equipment. we happen to have a DME benefit that would easily cover the cost of this wig, assuming pacificare will authorize it. the cost includes fitting, trimming to suit my head, and follow up appointment to learn about wig care. the first wash and style is complimentary.

apologies to rik, but i am clearly not a blonde. or a redhead if the red is the color of a new penny. the pixie cut is cute, and there was a brown shade with a hint of red that is very close to my natural hair color.

i was glad i already had my hair cut ultra-short, as it gave me a better sense of fit and feel for the wigs. they were warm, a little itchy and somewhat uncomfortable -- about what i expected. but at least when i want to look like i have hair, it will look like my hair.

and if i lose hair while my left arm is still in the brace, rik will have to learn how to put the wig on me. as he says, he didn't know being a woman was so complicated!

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