It’s been six weeks since I shaved my head and though I’ve gotten used to the feeling of being bald, I still startle sometimes when I pass a mirror and wonder who that person is looking back. Be that as it may, I have not rushed out to wig up like I thought I would and that surprises me.

The transformative power of a wig is amazing. Queen Latifah’s character, Carlotta, on the Netflix series, Star, is a prime example of that. How fun, one might think, would it be to have that choice and all that flexibility?

Wigs actually aren’t that much fun—they’re hot, there are a lot of bad styles out there, and they’re expensive.

Real human hair wigs can easily run $1,000 but you need to really trust the source. Some companies say “human hair” when in actuality the wig can contain some human hair but also animal hair and/or synthetic fibre. In some countries, there are reports of women being grabbed for their hair. Imagine that horror.

Most of the wigs sold in stores here are made of synthetic material and from what I’ve been told, a good one can be had for $400 or so. Some health care plans offer coverage for wigs, so it pays to check if you’re not sure.

In the Wig Salon at The Cross Cancer Hospital in Edmonton, a group of volunteers help women find a suitable style from amongst the vast inventory of wigs that people have donated to the cause. These wigs are on free loan to patients for as long as they need them.

A small portion of wigs on display at the Cross Cancer Hospital’s Wig Salon.

My first experience with trying on wigs at the hospital salon didn’t go so well. Nothing worked. I was cranky and unsure if I even wanted one. I left dejected.

Not feeling it.

But, people kept telling me to have a wig on hand for those times I want to go out to dinner or the symphony or shopping and just feel “normal”, so I went back when I was calmer and in a more positive frame of mind and had some fun.

I met some interesting woman, as a result, and I thought you might like to meet them, too.


Hello there, I’m Barbara! I’m a Reiki instructor (Usui Tibetan Master Level) on Gabriola Island and a long-time supporter of CBC radio. I wear a lot of linen, have a fantastic, natural fibre scarf collection, and will never turn down a dusty dry gin martini (extra olives). On a recent trip to Peru, I learned to speak Quechua, the language of the indigenous people who live in the Andean Mountains. Voted Top Recycler in my condo building, three years running. I have a Persian cat named Rumi.

My name is Deidre Dawson, and I’m a Data Entry Specialist for National Fastener Supply, Inc. Everyone at the office calls me Dee but at Pain & Pleasure on 4th Street, I go by Mistress Double D. My temper matches my hair colour and that’s exactly what the men at P&P pay for. I hate my office job. I sit in a cubicle next to a guy who clips his toenails every Tuesday during his lunch break. Today, I spent 6 hours inputting 126 cases of hanger bolts from China, so I might be a little more whip-happy than usual at the club tonight, just sayin’.

I’m Sam. People tell me I look like Alex Vause from Orange is the New Black. I get it. It’s the height, the hair, the glasses. We both have an androgynous name and I did some community bullshit service for selling weed…seriously WEED, like get a fucking grip. I believe in individuality, so I dyed my hair hot pink, got my tongue pierced and wear a lot of black. My favourite bands are Fall Out Boy and Weezer. People call me “emo”. Whatever. They suck. I want to move to my own planet.

And let’s not forget who I met in a thrift store in July.

I’m Cheyenne. I was conceived during Woodstock and grew up in Tennessee on a commune called The Farm. For the past seven years, my boyfriend, Icarus and I have been living near New Denver where we make cheese from the milk of our Toggenburg goats and sell it at the Farmers’ Market in Nelson. Ic is the son of Vasilios Papadakis, the Greek shipping tycoon (cha-ching!) who died in that freak column accident at the Temple of Poseidon in March. Shoot me a DM if you’re interested in the Toggenburgs because we’re leaving the Kootenays and buying the island of Skopelos; the only goats in my future will be roasting on a spit.

So, what do you think: am I a Barbara, a Diedre, a Sam or a Cheyenne? Do you have a similar wig experience? I’m curious to hear how it went.