Most women dread losing their hair and having to wear a wig during their treatment. It's really hard to accept losing such an integral part of your appearance and femininity - even if temporary. An added concern is how others will perceive that hair loss and treat you as a result of it. To add a fresh perspective to this important and sensitive subject, we conducted an interview with Cheri who's taken a refreshing attitude to wearing wigs, adding her own creative approach to making the experience more fun in light of a difficult situation.
Posts tagged ‘wigs’
“They share with us their story. We share with them their worry.”
Staff Member at Eve by Karkafi (Zalka Branch)
Karkafi Group was established in 1968 primarily as a retail specialist of wigs. As styling trends evolved, so did their products and service offerings. They now serve as the leading retailer of wigs, hair extensions (clips, fixed or removable) and other hair accessories in the Middle East with branches in Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Syria, Sudan, Qatar and the UAE.
What drew our attention to their wig boutique, Eve by Karkafi, was that many breast cancer patients inLebanon visit them prior to or during their chemotherapy treatment. During our meeting with Maggie Keshishian, Karkafi Group’s Marketing Executive, we learned that on average they have at least one new breast cancer patient visiting each day in addition to 2 to 3 women who come daily for general wig maintenance. “Unfortunately, lately there are many more cases of breast cancer inLebanon.. We get a lot of visits.. There are even children that come to get fitted” adds Maggie.
Alongside customized styling for wigs, Eve by Karkafi manufacture their own wigs and utilize fine mono fiber for the scalp area to give a more natural look. Wigs on average cost around $300, but breast cancer patients receive a special discount as well as a complimentary wig stand and a small gift (such as a comb or mirror).
Breast cancer patients, in general, are advised to go for 100% natural wigs (made from human hair) as opposed to synthetic ones as they last longer and are more versatile for styling. Maggie adds that “The wig needs to ideally be “her”.. She shouldn’t feel like she’s wearing anything and feel comfortable in her own skin.. Natural wigs definitely offer more options. They can be blow-dried, straightened, dyed and styled on demand for a special occasion for example.”
For any woman in this condition, choosing a wig can in and of itself be a very difficult experience. “A woman who’s undergoing treatment is emotionally distressed.. We do our best to replicate her wig in the exact style she had naturally so she doesn’t feel a difference.. This is one the best ways we can help them. Few women will make a drastic change in their look during this phase.. Our staff also give them lots of hope and share stories of other customers who had overcome the disease” Maggie shared. Some survivors additionally donate their wigs to NGOs through their store so that other women may also benefit from them.
To make the transition easier for new patients, the stylists at Eve by Karkafi also offer to cut the woman’s hair which, firstly, reduces the shock they may encounter once their hair starts to shed and, secondly, allows the wig fit better. The experience is made even more personal through various private rooms set aside for such occasions. Each styling booth also comes with curtains that can be sealed based on the customer’s preferences. That allows the woman to feel more comfortable in trying and finding the right wig.
What’s the true secret behind Eve by Karkafi, besides their unlimited assortment of wigs? It’s the staff. Good-humored and ready to help, they also have a tremendous responsibility to make their customers feel at ease especially if they’re going through such a drastic transition. “When she finally finds the right wig, she gets emotional and it’s our job to make her feel better.” shared a staff member who showed us around.
Below we’ve included a few quick tips on this topic that were shared to us during this visit:
How to Select the Best Wig for You:
- Choose your wig before you start chemotherapy that way you’ll have it ready when you really need it. It’s much harder to go through this process once your hair starts falling and you might not be feeling as well.
- Bring a picture of yourself with your hair at its best. Your wig specialist will have something to base the styling on so it comes out as close as possible to your natural hairstyle.
- Go for a wig that looks the most natural for you and makes you feel comfortable. Avoid drastic changes that you might regret later on or feel constrained by.
How to Take Care of Your Wig:
- Comb it on a regular basis to avoid tangling.
- Eve by Karkafi recommend you take it to your wig specialist every two weeks for cleaning and general maintenance
- Put your wig on a wig stand instead to preserve its style. It’ll last a lot longer if you take care of it.
For additional information on wig stores in the Middle East, check out our regularly updated directory here.
Poly, a talented singer and songwriter making a huge bang in the Lebanese music scene, knows how to stand out. Besides her vivacious stage presence, you’ll seldom catch her without one of her funky wigs – even on a regular day when she’s not performing.
One Wig Stand took a few minutes from Poly’s busy schedule to conduct this small one-on-one interview to get to know her (and her wigs, of course) a little bit better:
1. What’s with all the wigs? Tell us about your obsession with wearing them.
First off, I want to say that my wigs are not natural.
For me the point of wearing a wig is not about trying to make people believe that I have natural, colorful, awesome, funky hair – I wear them literally because I can. I used to get bored with my hairstyles very easily. I think having braids was the only hairstyle that took months for me to get over, so instead of messing up my hair every week with new colors and cuts, I figured, why not wear wigs? That way I can change colors and cuts whenever I want.
My wigs are an expression of my moods or what I’m feeling that day.
That’s why I’m called Poly; I have different sides of me and I have a wig for each of those sides! The wig world is a limitless one.
2. When did you first start wearing wigs?
Less than a year ago when I took out my braids.
3. How many wigs do you currently own?
Around 25, but I don’t always use all of them..
4. How do you choose which wig to wear during your performances?
To be honest, I rarely plan ahead when it comes to what I’m wearing, including the wig I’ll be wearing, which is something that really annoys my designer Farah Hourani! But I just want the way I look on stage to completely express the way I’m feeling that day (or week) so we usually grab a bunch of outfits and wigs and then we mix-and-match them backstage before the concert!
5. Where do you purchase or get your wigs from?
I get my wigs from Hair & More in Sin El-Fil but I always find a way to recreate them or cut them. My friend, and co-songwriter, Carl Ferneine once decided to play around with my purple ponytail and made it into my fauxhawk.
6. How do you take care of the wigs?
I brush and wash them, but I don’t take care of them nearly as much as I should..
7. Do you have a wig stand?
Yes I do! Waking up next to plastic heads wasn’t very pleasant in the beginning so I had to move all my wigs and heads to what we now call “The Wig Room”.
8. How do others respond to your wearing wigs?
Mostly I get people asking me if the wig is natural or not, and my typical answer is “It never is.. “ Or I’ll get people asking me why I’m wearing wigs and where I get them from. The intense staring never gets old of course, but that doesn’t stop me from experimenting with my wigs and fashion.
9. Do you wear them on a daily basis outside of your performances or public appearances? If so, please share why.
I wear my wigs whenever I feel like it – which is 80% of the time. It’s not just for entertainment purposes. For me, it’s like wearing a funky hat, or an accessory. I love my natural brown curly hair but I just get bored.
And basically, why not?
10. Have you met others who wear wigs for other reasons (such as breast cancer patients) and can you now tell when someone is wearing a wig?
I actually haven’t met anyone in person that wears wigs (for any reason), but yes, sometimes I can tell when someone is wearing a wig.
Don’t let all the wigs intimidate you – Poly’s one of the sweetest performers you’ll ever meet. Not only is Poly a singer and fashionista, but she’s a passionate human rights activist who supports causes close to heart. Who knows? Perhaps our unified obsession with wigs might bring forth an interesting collaboration for breast cancer awareness with the up-and-rising star in the future!
Follow Poly on Twitter:
Follow Poly on Facebook:
“What does your husband or boyfriend think about wigs?” This search term somehow lead to our blog and got me thinking. That’s a good question to ask and we’re always curious to hear how men react to issues related to breast cancer.
Wearing a wig is a big concern for any women going through chemo. She worries how her husband or boyfriend will react and that he may not find her as attractive as before. We want to assure these women that a wig will not affect her beauty in her love’s eye. Plus the wig is temporary until your hair grows back.
BUT I’m sure hearing it from men themselves will make a stronger impact. Boys – we want to hear from you about this. Be honest (but gentle please). Your responses will provide great insight for any woman asking herself that question.. and that will hopefully also her mind too:
“What do you think of women in wigs and would you be turned off if your wife/girlfriend/lover had to wear one?”
Responses (you can also read them in the comments section below):
Tokenminds: A friend of mine had to wear a wig whilst taking treatment for breast cancer and I can honestly say I didn’t notice it was a wig until she pointed it out. If a partner was undergoing the same treatment the wig wouldn’t trouble me at all. Neither would a patchy or bald scalp. If you love someone, and are in love with them, you find them attractive.
Johnny: Having to wear a wig, especially for a woman, is a serious matter, and any man with a sense of decency, sensitivity or respect will understand this. If it were my wife, the idea of a wig would be the least of my worries, I’d be a lot more invested in trying to make her feel better and would be looking after her. If it were my girlfriend, then I would definitely look past it, because there is more to this girl I’m dating than her looks, otherwise I wouldn’t be in a relationship with her. Being understanding and loving in such a time is the least that you can do for your partner or your friend.
Quoting what Tokenminds said in his comment, “If you love someone, and are in love with them, you find them attractive” and so having to wear a wig would not be something to sway my image of her.
Here’s one post we came across on the similar topic: Click here.
Did you think One Wig Stand would forget about the wigs? Of course not!
One of the main initiatives at the Sanad Group is distribution of wigs for breast cancer patients. Often times the women who come can’t afford to get their wigs elsewhere or are simply ashamed to be seen doing so. Sanad offers a safe place for them to come, select a wig color of their choice and try it on privately.
It’s a direct gift to the patients from Sanad who find losing their hair one of the most difficult parts of cancer treatment. They shared with us some anecdotes about first impressions of women coming to try on the wigs, one of which was the story of a woman who came with her husband to pick her wig.
As it came time to select the wig color and she was reaching for the brown wig, her husband stops her with a soft nudges to her arm. “Why don’t you go for the blond one?” he suggests with a wink in his eye.
The story made us all smile and shows how such a difficult process can be made lighter with a sense of humor.
Our little wig stand made some new friends that day too:
We came across three great videos by Beyond the Boobie Trap on synthetic wigs and how to care for them. The most important thing, keep away from any heat!
Hope these videos are informative and help with your wig selection process!
Check out our resources section for where you can get wigs in Lebanon.