"The thing that frightened me most about getting breast cancer was losing my hair. I know it sounds vain but going bald worried me more than the nausea, the night sweats and the aching limbs.
I’m a redhead. All my life I’ve felt defined by my hair. I hated being “a ginger’ when I was a kid because I got teased at school. But as I grew older I came to like the fact that I stood out. And I was lucky, because my hair was long, thick and shiny, one of my best attributes. I’d tried wearing it short but it didn’t suit me.
"I also wanted to carry on working as long as possible during my treatment and didn’t want to look like a sick person.
My oncologist reassured me that not everyone loses their hair doing chemotherapy these days. He recommended I wear an ice cap which freezes the hair follicles as the chemo drugs are administered intravenously. It’s painful but I did manage to hold onto about fifty per cent. Unfortunately, the other fifty per cent was on my crown, which left me with a large bald patch on top. It was not a good look.
At that point I started to investigate wigs. The first one I tried on at the chemo clinic was fake hair and it was bright red. I looked awful, like a cheap drag queen or a clown. Then I tried one which was fifty fifty. It was a little better but you could tell it was a wig and it was a lot of money. I was so depressed, I cried myself to sleep that night. How would I ever find a wig that matched my hair colour and made me look like my old self?
"Then a friend told me about Jennifer Effie’s Hair Solutions. From the moment we first spoke on the phone, I knew I was in good hands. Jennifer is like a highly trained counsellor as well as hairdresser. First we settled on real hair. It was much more expensive than the fake ones but worth every penny and after Jennifer had coloured it with highlights, it matched my colour exactly. She also told me to keep coming back until it was completely comfortable which I did. It takes a while to get used to wearing a wig but Jennifer and her team held my hand through the transition. Now I barely notice that I’m wearing one.
"The first time I wore my new wig in the office I felt self-conscious until one of my male colleagues asked me if I’d had my hair done. He thought I’d had a wash and blow dry. I nearly leapt in the air with joy. As my real hair began to grow back, the wig was adjusted into a hairpiece which sits on the crown of my head. I love it. I boast to my friends that I never have bad hair days anymore because I just pop on my wig and it looks great."
- Kirsty Lang