Hair loss from radiation therapy and chemotherapy might not be permanent, but while it's happening, it's certainly no fun. If you've decided to try wearing wigs in the meantime but have found them to be too itchy, don't give up. Sometimes all it takes is a small adjustment in what you wear or how you care for it.
Check the Type of Hair
People dealing with hair loss due to medical conditions often try to wear wigs made with human hair — those are seen as higher-quality wigs — but human hair can become very itchy because it hangs on to shampoo residue. Remember, you have to wash the wigs regularly, and just as your hair can experience build-up, so too can those human-hair wigs. You might want to try synthetic wigs, which can also be of very good quality. Those don't hold on to shampoo residue quite as much, making them less likely to cause itching.
Care for Your Wig Carefully
Again, you have to wash your wig. If you're wearing it daily, wash it at least every few days, and be sure to give it time to dry. It's OK to use baby shampoo if you can't find special wig shampoo. Let it dry and brush it out daily, looking for hairs that might be coming loose or that might be poking back through the cap. Those are also causes of itchy wigs.
Newer wigs often have more breathable caps that let more air reach your skin. You should also check the type of skullcap you're using under the wig. Cotton and silk may be less itchy on bare scalps.
Get the Right Size
Wigs are not a one-size-fits-all deal. If the wig is too tight or too loose, it can dig into your skin or slip around enough to create irritation. Go back to the wig store and check other sizes; if you ordered the wig online, take it to a wig store and see if they know how to modify it to make it fit (note: they will likely charge you for this if you didn't buy the wig from them).
It is possible to wear wigs while undergoing treatment without experiencing a lot of discomfort. Take some time to chat with people in the treatment unit to see if they've heard of particular stores or wigs that other patients seem to really like. For more information, contact local professionals like Firelands Regional Medical Center.