Can you pull it off? appearance modifying behaviors adopted by wig users with alopecia in social interactions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the academic and medical literature on alopecia, wigs (hair prostheses) are typically recommended as a coping strategy: a device to camouflage, conceal, or cover hair loss, and cope with the psychological impact of a dramatic change in body image. This paper used Goffman's (1959) theory of impression management to demonstrate (a) the social significance of self-presentation, and (b) how adults with alopecia managed their wig use in their daily lives. Data from 14 interviews, two focus groups and six video diaries with 22 Caucasian adults (19 females, 3 males; 29–74 years, SD = 13.75) with alopecia in Scotland were analysed using discursive psychology. The analysis detailed how participants managed their wig use and behaviours in relation to social interaction with different categories of people. The paper raises concerns about health and medical discourse about wigs as a coping mechanism, and provides practical suggestions for wig users in social settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156–166
Number of pages11
JournalBody Image
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • alopecia
  • camouflage
  • coping
  • Goffman
  • self-presentational issues
  • self-presentation
  • wig

Projects

Exploring health-related hair prosthesis use and user requirements in Scotland

Wiggins, S., Moore-Millar, K. & Thomson, A.

1/08/1131/12/12

Project: Internally funded project

Activities

  • 1 Invited talk

Can you pull it off? How adults with Alopecia modify their behaviours and wig use in social settings

Sally Wiggins (Speaker)

12 Oct 2013

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Cite this