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Custom Wig Maker Brings Comfort and Dignity to those Fighting Cancer

essentialTOPtempCustom Wig Maker Brings CFSEM-123-OaklandCounty115-digital-ad_v2Comfort and Dignity to those Fighting Cancer

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Jan. 25, 2015)

Sometimes people don’t want to let the world know they have cancer. But loosing hair is can be a tell-tale sign of chemo. “Cancer sometimes brings on negative attention and awkwardness, when people just want to feel like their normal selves while they go through it.”

That’s why Heather Darwish and her family at Raydiance in West Bloomfield have focused on dda_ad_01creating custom-made wigs that replicate a person’s natural hair with such precision that even doctors are confused by what appears to be a lack of hair loss.

“When you go to a regular wig shop, they’re not going to look like you. Wigs have a wiggy appearance, and sometimes the only option may seem like a drastic change,” Darwish said.

Creating a custom wig is an art, and a detailed process. It’s also not cheap, with the process starting at $3,500.ctechad

The care put into the process makes it worthwhile for those who want to feel completely supported through the process. The wigs are also made from the lightest, highest quality materials so they don’t feel heavy or unnatural.

The woman ideally comes in when she learns of having cancer, so that she can be photographed and her hair examined while it is at its best. The team begins working on the wig early in the process so that it’s there when the customer is ready for it, usually about 2-6 weeks into treatment.

“We make the wigs by hand, using a blend of natural and synthetic hair that is thickened or sidebar01sponsorthinned to match theirs. We do custom color blends to be an exact match,” she said.

Most people understand that hair falls out with chemo, but they don’t know the ins and outs of how or why. Raydiance explains this to their clients so they’re best prepared to handle it. “You know how when your hair is in a ponytail all day and you take it out and your head hurts? That’s how it feels. The chemo opens up the pores on your head to release the hair.”

It generally happens in patches, and there comes a point where the woman comes in to have her head shaved.

“We make it as luxurious as possible. We go to a private room, like a spa, with heated towels and gardenfreshADa gentle scalp massage,” Darwish said. “When they have their wig on their eyes light up because it looks like them.”

Customers come in about once a month to have their wigs washed and styled, and to make sure they are satisfied. At times their head may need to be shaved more. Even when radiation treatment stops, the hair that grows back is unhealthy for quite a while. Once healthy hair does come in, it grows approximately ¼ – ½ inch per month or 6 inches per year. So having a quality wig through treatment and re-growth can be important.

Darwish grew up making and styling wigs, being the third generation of wig makers in her family. “My grandmother owned a salon in the Book Cadillac Building in 1956 and my grandfather Candlewickshop_May2014perfected a Tru-Fit wig that was for women with thinning hair,” she said. Then the family had a salon in Birmingham, where Raydiance wigs were perfected. They moved to West Bloomfield 19 years ago, to a nondescript location in an office park where clients can feel comfortable coming in and out.

Darwish’s mother and other family members continue to work on site, crafting, cutting, and cleaning the wigs in a large back room where they all work together.

“I really like doing this because it makes a difference in people’s lives,” Darwish said.

Raydiance also helps women who have natural hair thinning or hair loss due to other reasons. To learn more visit their website at

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