A medical wig provider is a person who creates artificial heads of hair that can be worn by people who are suffering from hair loss as a result of certain medical conditions. Providers of cranial prosthesis, the medical term for wigs, assist individuals with hair loss in regaining their confidence and reclaiming a sense of self.
Have it in mind that numerous medical conditions can lead to moderate or severe hair loss in both men and women, and one of the key features of a medical wig is that it is specifically designed in a way that doesn’t irritate the scalp.
Most often, medical wigs are designed from 100% real human hair. When compared to other wigs, medical wigs or cranial prosthesis wigs tend to have an incredibly natural look that is an ideal match for the patient’s own hair and skin tone. Also, note that the construction and quality of medical wigs set them apart from other types of wigs available at a wig store.
Medical human hair wigs are often prescribed by doctors for patients who are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment or dealing with other serious medical issues. Examples of medical wigs include cancer wigs, alopecia wigs, and trichotillomania wigs.
Note that all these wigs fall under the category of hair prosthesis or cranial prosthesis, and a good number of health insurance plans pay for the cost of these wigs.
Steps on How to Become a Wig Provider
Medical wig providers make custom wigs, especially for cancer patients. Some may also choose to make wigs for mass production. However, note that medical wig providers are often tasked with selecting base materials and hair fibers, measuring the size, and putting out particular hairstyles.
A unique skill set is required for this career, including an excellent understanding of fabrics and fibers, hairdressing skills, creativity, manual dexterity, and the ability to measure and cut fabrics and fibers. Nonetheless, if you are gunning to become a medical wig provider, here are steps to guide you.
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Obtain Hairdresser Training
The first step towards becoming a medical wig provider is to obtain hairdresser training. Generally, wig makers and providers are expected to have hairdresser skills and training. Note that individuals are allowed to learn these skills by earning vocational certificates or associate degrees in cosmetology.
These programs include coursework in hair styling techniques, coloring and tinting, contemporary styles, hair treatments, and hair styling tools. While completing a cosmetology program is not necessarily required to become a medical wig provider, the coursework will surely offer you a concrete foundation for the career field.
Seek Wig Making Courses
Once you have acquired hairdresser training, you should consider attending a wig-making course. Note that these courses are often offered by college drama or theater departments. These are meant to teach students how to design wig and hairpiece patterns, select hair colors, select hair textures, layering individual hairs, and style completed wigs.
Also note that students obtain training with wig maintenance, including cleaning techniques, storage protocols, and wig attachment methods. A good number of institutions offer such wig-making programs as part of a certificate program related to wig design, while some also offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs with wig-making concentrations.
Choose a Specialization
After you must have completed the above-mentioned steps, your next action will be to choose your specialty. Aside from choosing a specific wig industry, a good number of medical wig providers prefer to focus on particular styles. For instance, some wig providers choose to focus on making period wigs, like wigs that replicate hairstyles from the Renaissance, while some choose to focus on making wigs for only men, women, or children.
Regardless of the field you choose, you must get all the details related to that specialty, and this may involve carrying out independent research or taking extra classes.
Meet Licensing Requirements
Also, note that you have to obtain state-required licensure to become a full-fledged medical wig provider. A good number of states categorize Wig providers as cosmetologists, which are licensed hair and makeup experts. Note that licensing requirements for wig providers and cosmetologists tend to vary from one state to another, therefore you should consult your state’s licensing board for specific requirements.
Licensing requirements often include completion of a state-recognized cosmetology program and passage of state exams. Some states leverage written exams, while other states may infuse practical skills as part of the exams.
Certifications Needed to Become a Medical Wig Provider
In the United States, there are no specific certifications needed to become a medical wig provider. However, it is imperative you consider taking a course in a cosmetology school and also become a certified beautician as part of your training. Other certifications to consider include:
- Certified Sales Professional (CSP)
- Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM)
- Nationally Certified Medical Office Assistant (NCMOA)
- G Luxe Beauty Academy Medical Wig Certification
- Marcella Ellis Wig Makers 4 Week Certification
The process of making a medical wig can be daunting and challenging, so a medical wig provider is likely to spend a significant amount of time training to make wigs properly. However, note that extra services such as wig customization and maintenance can draw in customers with specialized needs.
Wig-style trends tend to mimic hairstyle trends, so whether you specialize in high-end human hair or cheaper synthetic wigs, always pay attention to current styles to offer wigs that your customers would love and want.