Choosing the right wig for you is a very personal decision. If you’ve never shopped for wigs before, it can also be overwhelming or stressful. But it doesn’t need to be. This guide is here to help you understand your options before you get stared.
Questions to Consider
Which wig will be best for you depends on your lifestyle and your preferences. We recommend doing some research and deciding what your priorities are before you get started. Here are some questions to think about:
- What’s your budget? Costs of wigs can be very varied.
- How soon do you want or need your new wig? Custom wigs are made to order, and therefore take more time to make. Some can take well over a year, so understand what to expect and what you need.
- Do you need your hairpiece to stay on during sport or physical activity?
- Do you want one style that you stick with for a long time, or would you rather mix and match your look?
- Are you able to take care of the hairpiece? Kids are especially prone to bring rough on their wigs, which can shorten the lifespan of the wig. Factor this into your budgetary decisions.
- Do you want to sleep in your wig? Sleeping in wigs can shorten their lifespan, so it’s not usually recommend. If you feel you need to sleep in a wig, be aware that it may need replacing much sooner, and factor that replacement cost into your budget.
- Is it really hot or humid where you live? Some styles of wig breathe more than others, and shorter hair styles can feel lighter on your neck.
When you’re shopping for wigs, it can sometimes seem that higher cost means higher quality and a longer lifespace. That can sometimes be the case. However, if the way you want to wear a wig might mean replacing it more often, or having multiple wigs that you swap around, it may be better value for you to go with a cheaper option. Choosing a wig should be able fitting into your lifestyle, not about buying the most expensive thing you can manage.
Costs and Financial Support
Children in Australia with a form of Alopecia Areata may be eligible for grants. AAAF’s Wigs for Kids grant program is available for children aged 17 or under who have a form of Alopecia Areata. You can find information about the Wigs for Kids program here. Variety the Children’s Charity also run a wig grant program and you can find information here.
Financial support for adults is a little more variable, but there are a range of other options which you may be eligible for. Several state governments run programs to assist in the costs of wigs. Eligibility depends on a range of criteria, including where you’re based, what kind of wig you’re looking for, and financial situation. There are also several rebates through private health coverage which you may be eligible for if you have private health insurance. We have a document on our website which summarizes all of the major programs and should point you in the right direction. You can find the document here. at https://aaaf.org.au/wigs/
If you’re looking for low-cost wigs, AAAF have a range of synthetic wigs which we sell as well below cost price and with free shipping Australia wide to give people a very affordable option. These are often very helpful for trying a wig and seeing what kind of options are right for you. You can find our e-store here.
Some individual wig providers may also be open to providing discounts or payment plans on wigs, but you would need to contact them directly to see if these options are available. We have a general list of providers on our website here and more state specific information on our state support pages.
Where to find more information?
If you’re not already a member of your local Alopecia Support Group, we’d recommend joining up. Support Groups can help you make friends with other locals, who can provide recommendations and share their experiences with wig providers in your area. You can find information about AAAF’s Alopecia Support Groups here.
If you’d like to chat with someone who knows all about wigs, get in touch with one of AAAF’s Support Ambassadors. These amazing volunteers all know exactly what living with alopecia is like and can share their tips and suggestions, answer questions, and share their experiences. Find our Support Ambassadors here.
Wigs are becoming more and more popular and many people with alopecia are sharing their experiences, reviews and tips online. Instagram has a huge and active alopecia community, as we’ve spoken about before. YouTube is a great resource for wig tips and suggestions. Even if you don’t feel like talking about alopecia yet, you can check out these resources and find out more about what is available for you.
All the Feels
Wigs and hairpieces are becoming really common, but wig shopping can still be a tricky and emotional time. Many people with alopecia can feel like it’s something they have to do, not want to do.
Wigs are always optional, and you don’t need to wear one if you don’t want to. But if you feel more confident with hair, like the look having hair, or just would rather not tell people about alopecia, wigs can be a huge help. Don’t let fear hold you back from wearing a wig if that’s what makes you feel most comfortable and confident.
It’s also not uncommon to have some concerns about wearing a wig. Many of us have heard a lot of jokes about wigs through our lives – that they’re fake, that it’s hiding something, that it’s going to fall off. I’m here to tell you that is not true. Wearing a wig is no more fake or hiding something than wearing clothes, makeup or shoes. A well-fitting wig is very unlikely to fall off, and if you’re worried, there are so many things you can do to keep wigs secure.
Wigs aren’t a shortcut to feeling confident with alopecia, but they can be an important tool in your toolkit – along with supportive friends, information, self-care and self love. If you want to wear a wig, go on and rock it. As Ariana says, “You like my hair? Gee thanks, just bought it.”