— Style —


pin it

There’s only so long you can complain about an issue without doing something about it. For several years I’ve been bemoaning the ever-widening landing strips on my scalp. My hair’s so thin, even the invisible man couldn’t hide in there. When I point out the vast shiny spots, my girlfriends put on their sunglasses to block the glare and say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Your hair looks great.”

I finally decided to take my thin, receding hairline by the roots and find a solution.

Again, this photo doesn’t give an accurate look at my thin hair and how it just hangs flat against my head. We should have shot me straight on, but we were hoping to show the landing strips. Even they don’t look bad because earlier in the day I’d covered my grey with some root coverup powder… I know all the tricks! PHOTOGRAPH BY JENNIFER DENTON.

Thirteen years ago I underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy for breast cancer. As a result I lost every hair on my body. Until the hair on my head grew out, by a couple of inches, I wore an acrylic wig. At the time I thought my wig was better than some I’d seen, but it still looked like a wig. In the last couple of years the quality of wigs and hairpieces have improved to the point you can’t tell.

Until recently I didn’t realize how many of the high-profile women I meet are wearing hairpieces. When I told my New York celebrity hairstylist, Juan Carlos Maciques, I was tired of fighting bald spots, he suggested I see Helena at Helena Collection Wigs.


Helena instantly knew what I needed: a small human hair, top piece. The base that clips into my own hair is 4.75″ by 2.25″ inches. Very small. The base is also see-through so it looks like my scalp. Since I keep my hair mid-length, Helena trimmed it just a bit. Then Utah, the creative director and genius colorist, matched the human hairpiece I bought–perfectly–with my own hair color. Truly amazing!





Helena’s hairpiece is the best option for me. Since I’m allergic to most drugs–even chemotherapy–I’m going to pass on Rogaine, plus if you don’t keep using it, your hair stops growing. Then there’s Biotin… According to Dr. Margarita De L. Teran-Garcia, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois, there’s not much scientific evidence to support the theory that biotin–alone–is the only element necessary to help promote hair growth.


It was raining the day Jennifer and I took these photos, so my own hair is sticking out from the humidity.

While many women cruise through the effects of decreased estrogen and menopause with a thick, full head of hair… my mother didn’t do that and neither am I. I’m grateful Juan Carlos referred me to Helena and her fabulous hairpieces.

I wish I’d done this a long time ago… Someday I may be saying that about Botox!

Love, Brenda


  • Tammy Bogdany Carrington February 24, 2018 at 1:42 am

    Always so beautiful!!

    • 1010ParkPlace February 25, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you, Tammy! xoxox, Brenda

  • Mona Andrei February 24, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Stunning! I found out recently that one of my mother’s friends wears a hair piece – and has been for years. I never knew.

    • 1010ParkPlace February 25, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      Great validation, Mona! They’re certainly not the hairpieces from back in the day. Thank you, Brenda

  • January O'Connor February 24, 2018 at 10:23 am

    This also may be the ultimate fix for our regrowth root problem when we dye our gray hair blonde! Fabulous!

    • 1010ParkPlace February 25, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      Oooh… Brilliant. I hadn’t thought of that, January! Great idea! Thanks so much, Brenda

  • Joanna February 24, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I don’t have the problem of thinning hair, but have a friend on cancer meds that are having that effect. I’ll send this post along, if she likes.
    You have a lovely smile.

    • 1010ParkPlace February 25, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      Thank you for the compliment, Joanna, and for sending the link along to your friend. I hope she’s doing well with her treatment. Post cancer meds and menopause hit me at the same time, so my hair never fully grew back. Since then it’s continued to get thinner. Brenda

  • Deborah February 24, 2018 at 11:42 am

    You look lovely, with or without the hair piece! Thank you for always talking about the uncomfortable topics we often times try to ignore due to the fact we aren’t at ease addressing the situation whatever it may be. I hope you know that you are seriously helping a lot of people. Not to mention you are always enlightening and entertaining as well. Have a lovely weekend and keep posting, I look forward to your blog.

    • 1010ParkPlace February 25, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you, Deborah! My goal is to give a voice to all those things about aging our mothers’s never told us and warned us about, to address subjects we sometimes don’t even talk about with best friends and yes… I want to be entertaining and also share some of the chapters from my adventure-filled life. From your sweet and meaningful comment, I just may be doing that. Thank you, Deborah! I hope you’ll always look forward to my blog! Brenda

  • Beckye February 24, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Wow, Brenda, I would never have dreamt you had a hairpiece! Your hair always looks great, and I didn’t realize those were even a thing!

    I, too, lost all my hair from chemo, but recently realized the reason it didn’t all come back was I had that chemo drug there is a class action suit over. Evidently they knew it would cause permanent hair loss. So I have areas of super thin hair in big bald spots. My hairdresser told me about a keratin powder that comes in a variety of colors (like hair, not the rainbow! Ha!). It’s XFusion Keratin Hair Fibers. People have no idea I am practically bald up front! Only concern is that if your head gets wet, it comes off! So use an umbrella! Since my cancer was triple positive, I can’t have hormones, either, and won’t use Rogaine. So this has worked for me so far. Your idea sounds much easier!

    Not long after I started my job, I attended the company team building party and they had a water balloon fight. Yikes! Ha!! Gratefully, I didn’t show off any bald areas.

    Thanks for sharing this! I may have to do this!


    • 1010ParkPlace February 25, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      Hi Beckye, BTW, this is the first time I’ve been photographed wearing the hairpiece. All of the other photos of me on my blog and on social media, it’s just my hair, and you couldn’t tell. I’m not sure which one of the nasty chemotherapy drugs you’re referring to. Adriamycin… or Red Devil as some people call it, caused major damage to my heart: A-Fib and A-Flutter on top of Mitral Valve Prolapse I’ve had since my 20’s. Very ugly! Nearly killed me! I’ve heard of the Keratin Hair Fibers, but to my knowledge, I’m not sure I’ve seen someone using it. Our self-esteem takes such a hit when we lose our hair. I know where you live, so they ought to have some places where you can find great hairpieces. It might not be the same place you by chemo wigs. If not, pay a visit to the most la-de-da hair salon in town and ask… I guarantee you they’re getting a lot of hairpieces for their clients. xoxox, Brenda

  • Mamavalveeta03 February 24, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    It is truly worth it to pay for the very best hairpiece you can afford. My friend that had breast cancer got a wig, but it was acrylic and not well cut, and it just didn’t do her justice. But it was her “safety blanket and it made her more confident to go out and face the world.

    You look amazing! I’d never guess that you had a hairpiece, but then I didn’t notice problems before. It probably has something to do with your beautiful, genuine smile…it attracts people!

    • 1010ParkPlace February 25, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Val, One thing they don’t tell you when you buy an acrylic wig is you shouldn’t use the same kind of scissors used to cut real hair. It takes a special kind of scissors and the quality of the cut is so much better. I never wore a turban or a scarf, so my wig was my security blanket when I went out as well. Because my immune system was so low for seven months, about the only time I went out in public was to church, and I didn’t always feel up to that. These photos of me on this blog, wearing the hairpiece, are the first ones I’ve posted. All of the others it’s my real hair. I do a pretty good job of hiding the problem areas, except for the cowlick on the back of my head that’s almost bald. Thank you for the sweet compliment. xoxox, Brenda

  • Rena February 25, 2018 at 10:30 am

    My hair is thin on top due to an injury when I was a child. It’s always bothered me and of course, it’s the very first part to start graying out. I have to keep it dyed to give me the illusion of a thick head of hair. I used the wrong color last time and it looks as if I have a flashlight shining on the top of my head. Just purchased the right color to fix that screw up!

    • 1010ParkPlace February 25, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      LOL! I’m not laughing at your situation, Rena. Just the words you used to describe it. It doesn’t surprise me that an injured area is the first to go grey. I injured an oval shaped spot on my right calf… about the size of my computer mouse… and it never grew hair again! XOXOX, Brenda

  • Sandra Sallin-Apart From My Art February 25, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks, Brenda. What a beautiful solution. I will pass this post on to a few people who have the same problem. I’ve been using Rogain for years. I notice more hair loss after every surgery I had.

    • 1010ParkPlace February 25, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Sandra, Does Rogain work for you, and do you use it consistently? I’ve heard that traumas, like surgery, and anesthesia can cause us to lose our hair. One of my breast surgeons told me it takes a year for all of the anesthesia to work its way out of our system. If that’s the case… I also had 10 breast cancer surgeries, so it’s no wonder my hair is thinning, not to mention trauma, anesthesia and chemo can take it’s toll on our memory. Doctors call it “Chemo Brain.” xoxox, Brenda

  • Leisa Hammett February 25, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Brenda, this post makes me think of Nora Ephron’s wonderful LOL book, I Miss My Neck (and …I forget the subtitle but it was about aging). She talked about the part that begins to appear in the back and you don’t know it. And you can’t do anything about it. An no one tell you about it. I introduced itself to my head this last year. Guess I’m a member of an elite club….(LOL). xo

    • 1010ParkPlace February 26, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Leisa, Thanks for reminding me of Nora Ephron’s wonderful book! She hooked me on the first page… a sign of a great writer! Without going overboard and being critical of every little thing as we age, we need to be the ones to tell ourselves the truth about certain things. As I think we all know, there are some things we just don’t want to tell our friends. Areas where we should tread lightly because they are certain to remember those statements forever! I love your comment about being a member of an elite club!!! Life! Survivors and thrivers of what life throws at us! Not everyone makes it into this club. Many of us skid into it with our hands and feet splayed out to hold back the onslaught of bad things, but in the end… We’re all tougher and smarter than we ever thought possible. Look at your life! I’ve often wondered how you’ve stayed so strong and positive while guiding Grace through her tough trials. You are amazing, valued and appreciated! I’ll be in whatever club you’re a member! xoxox, Brenda

  • Donna February 26, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    You’ve inspired me once again, now I really can’t wait for my hair to grow longer!
    Your photo really captures your radiance… and your hair looks fantastic!
    XO Donna

    • 1010ParkPlace February 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      Dear Donna, I’ve inspired you? That’s wonderful!! Thanks for letting me know! xoxox, Brenda

  • TJ February 28, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Dear Brenda, just googling hair pieces now. Who knew?? So really all those ageing actresses with amazing hair that we see looking perfectly coiffed might be sporting a hair piece? It makes sense now… Thanks for your honest candour done with such class and beauty. Love it. TJ, Australia.

    • 1010ParkPlace February 28, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      Hi TJ, Ever heard the phrase, “If it’s too good to be true… It probably isn’t.” Yes… I would virtually guarantee that the vast majority of aging–and not so aging–celebrities are wearing hairpieces. Even the men!! You should see the hairpieces for men… even mustaches! Thank you for reading and for your generous compliment. Brenda

  • Eugenia Russell Hargrove February 28, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Hi! This post is excellent on how to manage thinning hair. I’m encouraged by the many options a professional can offer. Thank you for your transparency, it’s great to know I’m not alone.

    • 1010ParkPlace February 28, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Eugenia! Great to see you here! Thinning hair and baldness issues aren’t just problems men have. Women’s thinning and balding problems are generally lack of estrogen and menopause related, but stress, diet, genetics, even anesthesia from surgery can effect our hair. Except for diet, I can check off all of these boxes. If you have thinning hair, at least find a GREAT wig place and see what you think. When Utah finished coloring the top piece I bought, a friend went with me to pick it up… She was dumbfounded by how great it was. They sold her one as well. Thanks for reading and commenting, Brenda

  • peggy March 1, 2018 at 10:56 am

    You look wonderful! I finally got a hairpiece after dealing with very fine and thin hair all my life. (the only answer was perms that dried my hair out) I love having a wig. All I do is plop it on and voila! I didn’t realize how many people actually wore hairpieces until I got one. It is more common than you might think.

    • Brenda Coffee March 1, 2018 at 11:52 am

      That’s great Peggy! I’ve always had very fine, thin hair as well. It’s a curse, along with my ultra narrow feet. In my 20’s I permed my hair and would just “wash and wear,” which was very fashionable. If I did that now, I’d look like I crawled out from under a bridge somewhere. Hairpieces and great wigs are fabulous!! Loved your comment and so glad you solved your problem as well. Brenda

    You Might Also Like


    Sign up to our list and we’ll send you our sought-after guide “45 Ways To Change Your Life”
    I'm happy you've joined us! If you like what you read, I'd love for you to stay and subscribe to our updates by email. We have a great community of like-minded women, and your presence can only make it stronger.