A Mother and her Two Daughters

27 February 2010

Cancer Patient Kicked out of Wig Store

Three things I was told this week:
  1. You should shop for a wig BEFORE your hair falls out.
  2. Hair loss should happen 14 to 18 days from the start of chemotherapy. 
  3. Central Arkansas has a great wig store, which will go unnamed for purposes of this true story. 

Today my college friend Mary Ruth took me to the wig store.  We were hoping to make this a fun trip, something we would remember with a touch of seriousness but also a little fun.  MR picked me up around 3:00 and we proceeded straight to the wig store that had been recommended by a very credible hairdresser.  When we arrived we were blown away.  There must have been several hundred wigs in the shop – every color, shape, ethnic style, and human or synthetic hair.  Unbelievable.  I’m almost certain that this was my first visit to a wig store. 

Rule #1 – You cannot try on wigs without first purchasing a wig cap.  This is probably a good idea for sanitary reasons, and to guarantee only serious shoppers are tampering with the wigs.

MR and I buy the obligatory wig cap for $5 each plus tax (NOTE:  My dear friend is committed to helping me feel at ease today by participating in this necessary exercise).  Besides, we’re very serious - seriously taking our first look at wigs, with the idea that “the magic wig” should be purchased within the next ten days to two weeks. 

We put on our wig caps and began trying on the various locks of hair.  It was definitely more fun because MR played the game with me, even though I'm certain she's likely not going to buy a wig anytime soon to wear to her office. 

After a few fun wigs for Mary Ruth, it's now my turn.  I have to admit it was rather difficult at first.  Nothing I put on seemed to remind me of myself.  Too long, bad color, not my hair style.  In fact, what I finally realize is that I really don’t have a style.  My real hair kind of just sits on my head unless it’s a special day that requires a real hairdo. 

At this time, the store clerks have been very nice, helping us find what we’re looking for, brushing the wigs to try to suit my style.  After trying on several wigs that almost made me cry, and with MR giving me a few hugs along the way, we finally find one that seems to work rather well.  It’s about my color, about the same cut. 

We take a few photos, but with a price tag of $300, I'm definitely not buying the first wig that I sort of like.  Instead, I want to make sure my girls think it looks like me, that they like the rug I’ll be sporting around for the rest of the year.  So, I’m thinking, instead of coming back to the wig store and trying to find this ONE WIG among the hundreds of wigs in this store, I'll write down the manufacturer’s name, wig model and the color.  This seems like a very logical thing to do, don’t you think?  As I’m writing down the information, the wig store owner comes over to my chair and snatches the wig from my hands.  She proceeds to scold me and tell me about Rule #2.

Rule #2:  You CANNOT write down the details of any wig in this shop.  You can buy a wig but you CANNOT write down the manufacturer's information found on the tag.  HUH?  What’s up with that?

The wig store owner storms off with the wig and places it behind the cash register.  She then realizes that MR has another wig in her hand that was another possibility for us.  She then snatches that wig from MR’s hands.  Again, she marches to the cash register and hides the wig behind the counter. 

We are incredibly perplexed.  MR even asks, “What did we do wrong?”  Again, she repeats rule #2:  “You cannot write anything down about the wigs.”  She takes away my chair, then removes the mirror.  We’re still confused, a little embarrassed.  So we move over to the hat section, still trying to figure out what went wrong.  As we're talking in hushed tones in the hat section, we're then told about rule #3.

Rule #3:  We cannot try on any hats without wearing the mandatory plastic hair net.  Obviously we are no longer welcome in this wig store.  Nobody is trying to assist us anymore.  

I’ve never been kicked out of ANYWHERE that I can recall.  Even when I was young and single and frequently about town, me and my friends were never even kicked out of a popular restaurant or bar.  My parents taught me how to behave when out in public.  And today, I’m basically kicked out of a freaking WIG STORE!!  What happened?  What did I do wrong?? 

As we left the store headed to MR's car, we finally figure it out.  It’s called price comparison shopping.   We access the Internet on my phone, key in the manufacturer's information, and there it is – the very same wig on sale at one web site for $144, less than HALF the price of the wig shop.  

Today was the my first time to basically be kicked out of a retail store.  Should I be embarrassed?  Probably not.  I’ll consider it a lesson learned.  Oh the perils of cancer and the reminder that I’m definitely moving through unfamiliar territory that has many unwritten rules.  Wig Shmig!  I think I’ll spend some time tonight searching online for some very cool turbans. 


  1. hahaha! Stacy, you will certainly have some laughs to enjoy from that experience in the future. Sounds like they may need a little PR consultation on the importance of customer service and word of mouth. Do you watch Brothers and Sisters? Calista Flockhart was sporting some great turbans on the show. Sending good thoughts your way.

  2. Stacy, this was a riot. You're writing is wonderful, thanks for sharing all of this.

  3. Unbelievable! I knew markups were high in stores because Mom always ordered online, but that's no way to do business.

    Your blog is a wonderful outlet for you and information source for the rest of us. Keep it up..

  4. Wow. I'm sorry you had this experience, but it's truly a great story. I'd have never been bold enough to IMAGINE the conflict, which shows that life is always stranger than art. Thanks for sharing this very special blog.

  5. Snicker. If someone told me this story without names, and said, Imagine who it was that was kicked out of the wig store--yours *would* be the first name I think of. :)

    Rock on girl!

    One of your hats will be on the needles tonight and shouldn't take long. :)

  6. ps--Academic2 is Barb of Sarah and Barb. :)

  7. Stacy, I was laughing while reading this (hoping you were laughing while writing it!) and thinking "sneak out your camera phone, put the shutter on silent and snap a quick photo of the brand/style name! Yep - comparison shopping -
    My mother shopped around for a little while before finding two she adored. Jeremy's mom had an adorable baseball hat that was actually part of a wig and it was very cute for weekends! I know you will find something that will work for this stage until it is over and new hair grows back more beautiful than ever!
    You are in our constant prayers and we are believing in your 110% (who do 100% when you can do 110%) recovery~ We love you!
    The Lasiters ~

  8. Got plenty of information from the post shared above! The service provider is enough capable that he/she can fulfill the demands of individuals regarding quality based wigs cancer patients. These days, many renowned firms are easily reachable to us who can provide their finest quality elements.


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