Coping with hair loss
For many people the thought of losing their hair during treatment for cancer can be distressing. We are able to provide a wig fitting service at the FORCE Support and Information Centre, provided by an experienced wig technician, who can advise on fitting and styling your new hair.
We also stock wig products and a selection of head scarves and headwear for you to purchase.
Our wig service takes place every Wednesday from 10am to 4:30pm. Our visiting technician from Browns More Hair Now, a long established family business based in Plymouth, is fully trained in the fitting, cutting and styling of wigs and is able to provide lots of advice and tips about wearing and caring for your new hair. In order to help you through the process we have answered some frequently asked questions. Please feel free to download or print our Wig Fitting leaflet.
If I have been diagnosed with cancer will I lose my hair?
Not necessarily but some chemotherapy treatments will cause considerable hair thinning and others will cause complete hair loss.
How soon will this happen?
Sometimes as soon as 3-4 weeks after treatment starts.
How do I get my wig?
Your clinic nurse will explain the process and generate a form to cover the cost of the wig. The form is for internal use and you do not need it to make your appointment. The clinic nurse will also give you written information on wig suppliers that have been approved by the hospital.
Do I have to pay for my wig?
If you receive treatment at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital which causes hair loss, the cost of your wig will be subsidised by up to £120 (inclusive of VAT). If you wish to have a more expensive wig, the difference in cost will be charged by Browns. The nationally set NHS appliance prescription charge will also apply. Your clinic nurse will expain the details to you. If you are being treated at another hospital you will not be eligible for funding although you may still see the wig technician at FORCE and cover the cost of the wig yourself.
What do I do next?
You will first need to phone the appliance officer in the hospital: Jos Dransfield 01392 402128 who will check your details and issue you with an order number. It is best to wait for about five days from speaking to your clinic nurse to allow the necessary paperwork to reach the department. You will then need to contact Shelley at FORCE on 01392 408535 to book an appointment with our wig technician. You will need to quote your order number.
How long does the process take?
The appointment with our wig technician will take up to an hour and you may well take your wig home with you that day. If the wig needs fitting or cutting, this will all take place during your appointment so it might be a good idea to take a friend along for a second opinion.
What if I don’t like any of the wigs in stock?
Although our wig technician carries a large selection of wigs, if you don’t find one that you like on the day, one can be ordered for you and should be ready for you to try on by the following week.