Many women who go through breast cancer treatment have to deal with the loss of hair. We all know that a woman’s hair is truly her glory. So when a woman has to let go of something that makes her feel beautiful and like a woman, it’s a heartbreaking experience. But according to Flora Shepelsky–a highly-respected beauty entrepreneur, talented wig designer, and the founder of Design by Flora, a wig, fall, and topper design and manufacturing company, devastation is not always the first emotion cancer patients experience when their hair is no longer growing from their scalps. Flora says, “I work with a lot of brave women who instead of pondering and feeling sorry for themselves use their hair loss as a sign of strength. Some shave their heads prior to their hair loss, put on a wig and have no problem sharing their experience with others.”
Don’t misinterpret, just because these women are brave doesn’t mean they’re comfortable with the process of having to “shop” for hair. Flora says, “It’s not easy to tell people you are not well and that you will be losing your hair. Watching these women empower themselves by sharing their stories is an amazing feeling.” Flora never stops learning valuable life lessons from her amazing patients. Her favorite lesson? “Vanity is not everything. My health comes first,” Flora boldly states.
We got a chance to chat with Flora and she shared six incredible tips for any woman who is suffering hair loss because of cancer treatments. Check out her tips below:
TIP #1: Always use a professional wig designer or stylist.
Flora Shepelsky: Choose a realistic looking part and also a professional wig designer and stylist. Look for a proper fit and the best possible hair in your price range.
TIP #2: Do not use glue!
Do not go to hairdressers who have never worked with wigs before. Do not get a machine-made top. I do not recommend glue-on wigs for chemo patients because when the hair starts coming back it’s hard to keep the wig on and it also interferes with regrowth.
TIP #3: Make an appointment right after you’re diagnosed.
FS: At Design by Flora, all consultations are free. We always suggest making an appointment as soon you get diagnosed and before any hair loss. Do not cut or alter your hair in any way as this makes for an easy transition. During a consultation, we help you pick out a wig that is similar to your hair or a style of your choice. When cancer patients come to me, they still have hair. So, it’s necessary for me to find the right size cap and to predict how the fit will be when they do lose their hair and to be able to adjust it after the hair loss. I always recommend looking for a wig that has the same texture and color of your own hair. The fit is also extremely important.
TIP #4: Invest, invest, invest!
FS: Like everything else, you get what you pay for. Chemo patient needs a wig for at least a year if not longer, even if treatments are only four months long. It takes a while for hair to grow back. So, it can be considered an investment. A good wig will outlast a cheaper one.
TIP #5: Do not focus on your hair loss.
FS: Their challenges are getting well and to not focus on the hair loss. We will take care of the wig. As for the scalp, we have designed a Flora wig band that is worn under the wig to both protect the scalp and serve as a grip to keep the wig from sliding or having to glue it.
TIP #6: Don’t be afraid to use product in your wig.
FS: Put the product in the wig right after the wash and always let the wig dry overnight before styling. At www.DesignByFlora.com, we have dozens of videos on how to wash and style your wig at home.
Design by Flora is sponsoring a seven hundred member team with Sharsheret for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 20th.