What fibre is used for the ‘hair’ part of a synthetic wig?
The most common man-made fibre used to make synthetic wigs is Modacrylic. It is a polymer fibre which is a stretched tube that is soft, strong and resilient and filled with colour. Read more about synthetic wigs.
How do I understand about the different types of wigs?
It can be really confusing as there is a lot of terminology that you won't be familiar with if you are new to wigs.
How can the different types of wigs be cared for, washed and styled?
All good wigs should come with washing instructions! If you do need further washing instructions, any wig supplier should be able to advise. Synthetic wigs are left to dry naturally and human hair wigs need washing like your own hair and styling to achieve the desired effect. Find out more about caring for wigs on our human hair wigs or synthetic wigs pages.
Are there products for covering small patches of hair loss?
Yes, Couvre and Mane are both products that colour the scalp and can disguise hair loss, also small hair pieces can be custom made for these areas.
Is any financial assistance available when buying a wig?
VAT of 20% should be deducted from the price for necessity wearers (alopecia, cancer treatment etc). If you need to wear a wig for medical reasons, you should not pay VAT.
If you have a referral from your GP to a specialist dermatologist you may get some help from the NHS towards the cost of a wig. Provision varies according to which Health Authority covers your area in the UK. Find out more about wigs and the NHS.
If you aged 24 or under, you are able to obtain one free wig from a charity called the Little Princess Trust.
Does Alopecia UK provide grants/funding towards wigs, hair systems, transplants or treatments?
No. Alopecia UK is a small charity that does not have sufficient resources to provide funding to individuals seeking financial support.
What other products are available for people with alopecia?
Apart from wigs a selection of turbans, scarves, hats, bandanas and sleep caps are available. See our tips on appearance for suggestions.
Is there such a thing as an NHS wig?
The NHS does not make wigs as such but has a list of suppliers around the country to which a hospital can refer you. They will offer a range of wigs provided by their suppliers, which may vary from hospital to hospital. A prescription is sometimes available to cover the cost. Unfortunately there is not a standard offering for all patients. It very much depends on where you live as to what you might be offered. Always ask your dermatologist to find out if you're able to get a wig on prescription. Read more about wigs and the NHS.
Are there special ranges of wigs for children and people with small heads?
Some children’s wigs are available and also petite ranges suitable for adults with smaller heads, older children or young teenagers.
How do I get over feelings of awkwardness about wearing a wig?
If you are new to wearing wigs, you may feel self-conscious about wearing them. The one important thing to remember is when it's in the box, it's a wig, but once it's on your head, it's your hair! Try not to feel uncomfortable wearing one. But equally remember, wigs aren't for everyone. If you struggle to get to grips with wearing a wig, consider other options such as scarves, bandanas or going 'au naturale'. An Alopecia UK Support Group is a great place to pick up tips about wigs, scarves etc.
Can I buy a good wig online?
Many people with alopecia buy their wigs online as it can be a really convenient way to purchase wigs. As overheads are less than wig salons, prices can be cheaper too.
We would always recommend going to at least one proper wig fitting to gain advice from a professional. They can show you how to put the wig on properly and advise about sizes. If purchasing a wig for the first time, it can be hard to know what you need.
Whether purchasing online or in person, ensure your supplier has a returns policy that provides a full refund for unsuitable items.
And finally, beware of websites claiming to be UK businesses but actually based overseas, often China. We have heard from individuals who have had problems with such sites. Check the website for a UK correspondence address and be sure to check out their returns policy. A reputable firm will have clear details on their website about how to return an item, including the address to return the item to. If you can't find this on the website, consider whether you should proceed with the purchase.