FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What causes alopecia?
Alopecia is an auto-immune condition. Current research suggests that something triggers the immune system to suppress the hair follicle. It is unknown whether the trigger comes from outside the body like a virus, or from inside the body. Recent research indicates that some persons have genetic markers that may increase their susceptibility to develop alopecia areata.
Best time to come for a Wig fitting
Although we have over a 1000 wigs in stock at all times, sometimes we may need to order a special or custom made piece. To minimize patient stress, earlier is always better for us to see your patients.
We can also advice them on some eyebrow options which can only be done prior to treatment starting.
Options for Hair Thinning and Cold Cap Users
We recommend that all patients who may experience hair loss or thinning come for a free consultation. The consultation allays patients fears about hair loss and they feel secure and relieved knowing that there are many great options available for them should their hair go.
- Hair Pieces can be attached over very fine or thinning hair with a hair band or gate clips (or double sided tape depending on extent of hair loss). The piece sits on the head and is not tight or warm, but does conceal limp hair or roots showing through coloured hair. It gives the person a perfect outer cover of hair while allowing them to use the ends of their existing hair
- For diffuse thinning hair, a sprinkle of hair fibers or camouflage cream colours the scalp the colour of the patient’s hair. This not only camouflages the colour of the scalp showing through but also creates the illusion of thicker hair.
Do Patients Need a Wig
Some people choose not to wear wigs and that is great once it's based on the patients own experience rather than another persons experience. Wigs are amazing these days and look and feel so natural. There are also many options to make wigs more comfortable to wear.
We recommend that all patients have a free wig consultation so that they can assess the wigs for themselves. No strings attached - our ethos is not to push at all. At least the patient sees their options and knows what's on offer and make the best decision for them. At the very least, patients will learn about what to expect with hair loss and hair regrowth, as we will cover scalp care during treatment and safe timing and products to use colouring hair after treatment along with options for brows, lashes and nail care in their appointment.
Most patients feel relief after visiting us and get a sense that they can get through this hair loss business with their dignity and confidence intact. So many patients drop in to us for hats and explain they were told wigs are hot or itchy or that other patients didn’t wear their wigs.
Unfortunately these patients may not have been fitted with the right size or type of wig and wig cap, or given the right advice on reducing scalp heat or irritation. There are solutions to all these problems and we’ve seen them all after 30 + years in this industry.… More often than not, patients who come to us convinced that wigs look awful or feel uncomfortable are pleasantly surprised with how good they look and feel.
The Costs of Wigs
Under €300: Our affordable range are made from quality Japanes hair fibre with machine wefted bases.
€300-€500: High quality Japanese fibre wigs on a range of bases from machine wefted to hand tied, lace and monofilament. The base construction of the wig and the fibre quality is what determines price difference along with length of hair.
€650-€950: Heat Resistant Fibre: Our favourites: The best of fibre hair and human hair rolled into one beautiful low maintenance wig that behaves and looks like human hair but has a style memory so will bounce back into place when washed. Price includes cutting.
€750-€1500: Human hair with different bases and lengths. Prices include cutting and styling. These wigs look great but do require maintenance
What to expect at your first wig consultation
We have over 1000 wigs and hairpieces along with lots of hats for hair loss and under-hat-hair,
We start by bringing the patient and their friends/family to our private fitting rooms where we welcome and settle them in. First thing its to find out is when their treatment is starting and what they are looking for. Most patients want to look like themselves so while they are describing their hair and what they do with it, we are also taking a good look at their hair too. We very often match the persons here with the first wig but we always insist on trying on a few more.
While we have wigs on display, we find that most people are quite overwhelmed with the thoughts of losing their hair and have no clue how to select a wig. You cannot choose a wig from a picture or a mannequin, you must try it on your own head. We select wigs based on what they’ve told us during the consultation. We talk them through the pros and cons of each wig in terms of hair type and cap construction but really the wig they feel and look most comfortable usually presents itself. We narrow down options and spend as much time as needed till the patient is sure. Sometimes a wig needs to be ordered. sometimes patients want to bring other family members before making their final decision. sometimes people take photos of the wigs and bring them home to review with friends and families. ITs quite an interactive process.
When the wig is selected, we cut and style it if necessary and explain both how put the wig on correctly and how to care for the wig.
We also discuss options for bed and give some advice on eyebrows. Once the wig is salected, we often discuss what they will do when the hair starts falling and we offer to cut or shave them free of charge. Many take us up on this offer, while others have already made arrangements.
It is a very interactive session and we try to answer any questions and allay their fears. Conversation will often veer to the hair regrowth phase, how long it takes and when can hair be coloured. We discuss allowances and advise if patients are entitled to any funding.
Most clients leave happy and relieved.
Pre Surgery Checklist
Preparing for Breast Surgery
- 2 post surgery bras (front opening)
- Cami Top with concealed drain holder
- A Good book
- Front opening PJ’s
- Mist Spray
- Comfy clothing to wear home
Allowances for Wigs and Mastectomy Wear
HSE Allowances for Hair Loss
Download printable version here >>
Allowances vary across the Country from €440-€767. We can advise patients on their exact allowances. Every patient with a valid medical card is entitled to their particular allowance every 12 months.
The patient needs:
1. A valid medical card number and expiry date.
2. A letter or prescription stating that the patient is experiencing medical hair loss and requires a wig or hair piece. This letter must be written on a prescription pad or headed paper and signed by a medical professional. Click here to access prescription template (sample wig script)
The patient needs to bring the above items to their fitting. We then apply to the correct HSE area on their behalf and they leave with their hair replacement option. No balance is required on fibre wigs, but human or heat resistant wigs will require a balance of anything from €50-€350 depending on the length of hair , the wig cap construction chosen and the patient’s HSE allowance.
If a patient cannot afford the balance, we are happy to offer payment plans over a 6 month period.
If a patient is waiting on their medical card, we can hold the wig until their medical card is approved. However, if as often happens, a patient needs the wig before their medical card is approved, then we accept payment for the wig and refund the amount paid once HSE approval is received.
NOTE: We don’t ever let a person go without a wig due to finance or HSE delays. We have our own fund here at Roches for those struggling financially so we always find a way to get the patient their wig when they need it.
Who to bring to your first consultation?
A person who is supportive of the patient and who is interested in the patient’s appearance.
It is important to feel comfortable and confident when wearing a wig or mastectomy wear. While we help with this, you can’t beat a friend or spouse commenting that the patient looks exactly like themselves.