Should I buy a backup wig?

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From a customer e-mail:

I was wondering if you think I might need a backup one of my current wigs before I start chemo next Friday?

I think having a back up wig is a must.

I always have a few on hand, even when I am traveling. Even if I were packing light, I wouldn’t travel with fewer than maybe three, to put it into perspective. Now, that isn’t to say they’re all expensive. Most of the wigs in my collection are actually wefted or partially wefted. I only own two completely hand-tied wigs because I, like most people, like to save money when possible. 🙂

So yeah, I think you should get the spare. It couldn’t hurt. Whether or not you get the same thing that you already have is completely your choice! Everyone is a little different.

Some more things to consider:

  • It will take a little while for your hair to grow back even after the chemo is over. You may want to wear the hair a little longer than you are planning just to give your scalp time to heal and your hair some time to regrow.
  • Are you doing radiation too? I have heard from many clients and my aunt (who is a two-time breast cancer survivor) that radiation makes your hair come back a little lighter and more coarse than before. If that is the case, you may want to have the wigs just a little longer until you have adjusted to styling your hair after it comes back in.
  • New wig wearers are notoriously hard on their “helper” hair. You may want a spare just in case you accidentally ruin your wig for a lack of knowing how best to care for it. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve in effect here!

This is an excerpt from our CysterWigs Knowledge Base. Check it out on our private site to see over 500 articles all about our store, wigs, and how to wear the hair!


  1. Patricia Pritchett
    September 7, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    I always have a backup, and sometimes a backup for the backup. I started with the wefted wigs, then went to side mono, then full mono…NOW its getting rediculously expensive, but, the comfort of the full mono is so worth it. I dont have to wear a wig grip, or a cap, its just my shaved head and the wig. I have two rachel’s. One I wear down, the other I wear in a braid. I wear them every day, and the braided one at night when my friend stays over. I alternate them to give them a day of rest. It seems to work much better that way. But keep in mind that just because you get two, doesnt mean they will look the same. They dont. That is why one of my Rachel’s is braided. The second wig I got didnt even resemble the first Rachel, it was about 3 inches longer in the back, and the same on the sides, and the texture was more like a straight wig….so it looked like a completely different wig…I fixed that by putting in a side braid and have been wearing them for about 2 months now. They both still look new. So YES, get the backup if you can afford it. And if I could do it all over again, I would go straight to the full mono…I would have saved a TON of money if I had started with Rachel in the first place.

  2. Holly
    September 7, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    I was one of those people that thought I didn’t need a backup. I was so wrong! It was really handy having a second wig around when the first needed washed and set, it takes awhile to air dry. It’s also helpful to downgrade an old wig into my “doing chores” wig once it starts to frizzle. That way the nicer newer one doesn’t take as much of a beating.

  3. Sue
    May 24, 2019 / 2:06 pm

    I finished chemo 14 months ago. I never lost ALL my hair but it thinned and matted easily and I went from waist length wavy hair to stick straight wispy hair with patches of baldness. I wore scarves and hats at first because I had bangs and hair on the nape. Long costume wigs had served me for years for dance performances and when I put one on, though not appropriate for the office, I realized I could look like me again. I started with pixies since it was summer and bought styles and colors that my bio hair would have never been able to have. They were adorable. In time the stick straight short thin bio hair was replaced with tight curls. Now over a year later I am still growing a curly mop top and love it. And I love my short and mid length wigs I wear to work. When I perform I still have the long fashion wigs I started with 17 years ago (I took good care of them and only wore them for dance shows) and have added a couple of new ones. I plan to keep my bio hair short so I can wear it with headbands and ornaments if I wish or wear wigs if it suits me. My co-workers and friends and family know I wear wigs and never know what hair I will show up with. Strangers often compliment my hair and some ask me where I have it done. My hairdresser loves my chemo curls and also loves my wigs. I choose wigs in colors similar to my bio hair (dark auburn). When I remove my wig, I find that my bio hair curls are even more intense as the wig “sets” them during the day. Thank you, Heather, for not only selling great wigs, but writing about how women really feel and cope with hair loss.

    • Gina
      May 27, 2019 / 6:58 pm

      Oh Sue, I am absolutely giddy that you are loving the new you. That is sooooo wonderful! I can’t imagine going through what you did so I admire how you were able to grow with this HUGE life event. And by the way, girl…you must have some secrets of caring for costume wigs that have lasted you 17 years!! LOL! That is a celebration in itself! Cheers!

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