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Styling wigs with Gary Kavanagh

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

We are joined in studio by Phil Scanlon who is currently receiving treatment for breast cancer. Phil has never found a wig that suits her, our expert hairstylist Gary Kavanagh is hoping to change that today. Gary is going to style a wig specifically for Gwen and fill us in on how anyone can find the right wig for their style and price range.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, we wanted to highlight some of the issues that these courageous women face on a daily basis. Finding the right wig can be a very difficult task but it is a small thing that can make a huge difference to their confidence and self-image.

Our fantastic breast cancer survivor is:
Phil Scanlon

Phil is from Kildare town. She is married to Martin who is a pillar of strength and has three children Wendy 25, Colin 15 and Keith 11.
Wendy has moved out of home, Colin is doing his Junior Cert this year and Keith will be making his confirmation, so it is a very busy time in the household.

Our Hairdresser is:

Gary Kavanagh - Hair stylist to the stars
Gary Kavanagh is undoubtedly one of Irelands best known hairdressers. He works constantly in the world of fashion and creates many of the fab looks in our Glossy mags. He has worked with most of the Supermodels, like Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Christy Turlington, Sophie Dahl, and all of Irelands top models . Gary is regular face on our television screens, and is considered by many as the Master of "Make-overs ".
Gary is kept very busy, dividing his time between looking after his many clients at Peter Mark, and looking after the tresses of many of our best known celebrities.
Gary is constantly in demand by many of our visiting celebs, and has worked with them all, from Kylie, to Westlife, Girls Aloud, Denise van Outen, the list goes on. . . .Gary currently is based at Peter Mark as their Creative Director, and is responsible for the development of their up and coming young talent.

Where does he get the wigs from?
I go to Hairspray on Wicklow St for my clients because they have a very good range of styles and hair types. We are also using wigs from Roches Hair Solutions and Snips. We have a list of regional wig suppliers below.

What are the different options for hair wigs?
There are a few different types of wigs made of various types of fibers which are very good and realistic, and of course there are wigs made with natural hair.

What is your advice to people looking for their first wig?
When getting your first wig, rule number one is to stay as close to your usual hairstyle and colour as possible. This will look much more realistic than getting a different or extreme new look.

When is the best time to look for a wig?
Choosing the time to get your wig is an individual thing, but generally as soon as you notice your hair beginning to shed is a good time to go, as you can get a wig that is similar to your usual style. Your doctor will probably give you an indication of when to expect hair loss. My advice is to start looking around as soon as possible.

Is it different cutting a wig compared to real hair?
Cutting a wig should be left to someone with experience. Cutting a wig too short is disastrous.

How do you maintain the look and what aftercare is involved?
Maintaining your wig is very straight forward, there are shampoos and conditioning lotions to use and these come with clear instructions and directions.
I always recommend you keep your wig on a block rather than throwing it in a drawer.

What is the psychology involved in hair loss, it very much defines a person and they cannot hide it, how do they feel when they come in after seeing themselves bald or perhaps beginning to lose their hair.
The stigma that used to be attached to loosing hair is very much a thing of the past. People are better educated on the reasons for hair loss, however it is still a very traumatic event in a woman's life .It should be dealt with in a very discreet and professional manner .

There are some very positive aspects to having a wig. In my experience a lot of women who start life with very poor hair get used to looking fab in the wig and sometimes are very reluctant to give up wearing it even when their hair has started to grow back. Another big advantage is that your wig will always look great with a lot less attention given to it.

Wig's featured on today's show:
Wig 1: Roches: Raquel Welch Natural Hair: Victory: Mocha Mix €875
Wig 2: Roches: Raquel Welch Natural Hair: Victory: Champagne mix €875
Wig 3: Snips: Raquel Welch Acrylic, Short Blond wig: prices start from €690 including services
Wig 4: Snips: Trendco Acrylic, Short Red Brown wig: prices start from €690 including services.
Wig 5: Hairspray: €190
Wig 6: Hairspray: €390
Wig 7: Hairspray: €700

30 Wicklow Street
Dublin 2
P: 01 6339004

Roches Hair Solutions
153 Lower Kimmage road
Dublin 6w
Tel: 01 492 6829
Mob: 087 205 3464

Note: Roches offer a full range of services. Included in their price is the consultation, shaving if applicable, cut & styling and the first trim.

Snips Wigs
113 Middle Abbey Street,
Dublin 1
Tel: 01 873 3443
Mob: 01 873 3251

Note: Snips offer a full range of services which is included in the price.
They create a hair piece which is custom measured to fit your head and custom coloured to suit your skin tone. It will be styled and personalized to suit your requirements and as a result, you will look natural and normal.

Other Stockists:

Wigs Medical
Viewmount House,
Dunmore Road,
Tel: 051 879 651
Mob: 086 389 7739
Contact: Bernie

Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre
Georges Street
Co. Louth
Tel: 041 9805100
Fax: 041 9805101

Provide wig fitting services every Monday from 10.00am - 1:00pm. (except bank holidays)

Wigs by Rapunzel's
Carrick Street,
Co. Meath
Tel: 046 - 9293822

B Plaza - No. 6
South Ring Business Park
Kinsale Road
Cork City
Tel: 021 496 7474

Upper Level
Private Treatment Clinic
175 Lower Kimmage Road
Dublin 6W
Tel: 01 4900570

Tresses Hairpiece Boutique
23 Upper Water St,
Co. Down
BT34 1DJ
Tel 048-3026-7925 (from Republic of Ireland)
Tel 028-3026-7925 (from Northern Ireland)

Tresses Hairpiece Boutique
64 Lisburn Road
Tel 048-3026-7925 (from Republic of Ireland)
Tel 028-3026-7925 (from Northern Ireland)

Additional / Misc' Info:

Information from Roches Hair Solutions

There are two types of wigs that you can buy:

Fiber / Acrylic: (E400 - E420)
. These wigs are already styled so that after washing they return to the same shape.
. They are usually cheaper than human hair and require less maintenance.
. You cannot use any heated devices such as hairdryers or any hair dye or product on this type of wig.
. These wigs come in all shapes, colours and lengths.

Human Hair: (E800 - E850)
. These wigs need a little bit more maintenance.
. After washing it is important that they are blow-dried.
. As it is human hair it is possible to use straigteners, rollers and hair products.
. These wigs can be coloured, but it is better to use low tones rather than blond tones.

Human Hair comes in two different types: European, which is finer and softer and Asian, which is stronger and coarser.

On some wigs there is a monofilament on the top, which allows you to see the scalp and this gives the wig a more natural look.

The wigs can be washed every three weeks depending on how often they are worn.

The wigs can be stored on a wig stand or a head bust.

At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and choosing the wig that is right for you.

For more information: