The Talk Peach guide to all things hair

Why does chemotherapy cause your hair fall out? How can I prepare for this? Are there any special tips for taking care of my hair during chemotherapy treatment and  long until it grows back!? 

For many individuals one of the most daunting things about chemotherapy is the thought of losing their hair. Understanding the process and being prepared for hair loss is a great way to minimise the anxieties around it. 

Below we have made a list of frequently asked questions about hair loss and chemotherapy. 

Questions and Answers


How to donate your hair

If you would like to donate your hair, Freedom Hair in Dunedin welcomes the opportunity to purchase high quality hair.

Requirements in order to donate: 

Not all hair is suitable for wig-making. The hair must:

  • Be uncoloured, undyed and not permed or hennaed. It must not have been processed in any way.
  • Be longer than 14 inches (35.5 cm) long.
  • Not have been dropped on the floor after cutting. (When cutting tie it in a ponytail with all the hair pointing in the same direction.)

They regret that they cannot accept salt and pepper coloured gray hair.

They  do not accept gifts of hair. If you do not wish to be paid for your hair, they will donate the amount they would pay you to a charity of your choice, or they will subsidise a customer whose financial situation makes buying their freedom hair difficult.

For further information: 

Freedom Wigs Ltd, Dunedin
PO Box 575, Dunedin 9054
62 Vogel Street
Dunedin 9016 

Phone: 03 477 7575
Email info@freedomwigs.com

Wigs and hairpiece subsidy

The Wigs and Hairpieces Service Payment is a payment to people who suffer from serious hair loss because of a medical condition or from certain cancer therapies. The payments are to reduce the cost of purchasing and maintaining a wig or hairpiece or other related products.

The Wigs and Hairpieces Service Payments notice sets out the terms and conditions on which the Ministry will:

  • pay any provider for providing wigs, hairpieces or other headwear (‘the Services’) to any eligible person; or
  • pay any eligible person for the purchase of the services by that eligible person from a provider.

Who can claim this service payment?

You may claim for this service payment if you:

  • are a New Zealand citizen, or are ordinarily resident in New Zealand; and
  • have a medical condition that has caused you to lose your hair (like treatment for cancer, alopecia or other scalp conditions that cause hair loss). Your specialist or general practitioner (GP) needs to give you a current medical certificate with your NHI number, details of the hair loss condition and whether it is permanent or temporary.

What can I use the service payment for?

The service payment is available to cover the cost of the following items only:

  • wig or hairpiece
  • headwear (eg, hats, turbans)
  • eyebrow wigs and associated products.

Your entitlement

If you are an adult (18 years or over), the amount you are entitled to depends on whether your hair loss is permanent or temporary. If you are under 18, your entitlement is the same whether the hair loss is temporary or permanent.

For adults (with temporary hair loss)

Your entitlement is $408.88 (GST incl) over a 1-year period. You can claim all of or part of your $408.88 entitlement at any time over the 1-year period.