A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Positive Image Center Bookmark and Share

Positive Image Center

Looking good makes you feel better. The City of Hope Positive Image CenterSM  sees the evidence daily, with more than 5,000 visits a year from patients seeking to look their best.
 
For patients, the center can be much more convenient, and less stressful, than a salon. Many find that juggling daily life and cancer therapy doesn’t leave a lot of time for a trip to the salon. Others aren’t comfortable getting the pampering treatments that used to be relaxing. And still others are physically limited by their cancer or treatment.
 
At the Positive Image CenterSM, patients learn how to minimize the cosmetic side effects of illness or medical treatment. They consult with specially trained, licensed cosmetologists who offer guidance about skin care techniques, alternatives for hair loss and much more. The setting is typically more private and soothing than a salon, where they could be surrounded by people who might not understand their condition, concerns or even their physical needs.

Our Services

Here, patients receive advice about all aspects of image enhancement, including:
 
  • Cosmetic and skin-care techniques
  • Alternatives for complete and partial hair loss, including wig fitting and styling, and eyebrow kits
  • Optimal use of head-wraps and hats, as well as scarf-tying techniques
  • Premastectomy counseling and postmastectomy prostheses fittings
  • Comfortable clothing for use after surgery, including camisoles, bras and shirts
  • Haircuts

The center also operates a specialty shop with an array of merchandise such as wigs, head-wraps, scarves, radiation creams, cosmetics and skin-care products.
 
Look Good . . . Feel Better

City of Hope hosts Look Good . . . Feel Better, a free, national program sponsored by the American Cancer Society for women currently undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. Look Good . . . Feel Better provides a supportive environment in which women learn techniques to minimize the appearance-related side effects of cancer and treatment, get tips on make-up and hair loss, and receive free cosmetics. Please call the center at 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 63842, for more information, upcoming events and to R.S.V.P.
 
Making an Appointment

In the private, one-on-one sessions, a trained image consultant will show you how to enhance your appearance and minimize the visible side effects of medical treatments.
 
We invite you to visit our Positive Image Center and take advantage of the important services it offers. If you or a loved one can benefit from these services, or you would like to volunteer your time, please call us today at 800-535-7199.
 
To make an appointment for a private consultation, please call us at 626-301-8874.
 
Cassie Polchow
Cancer Resource Cosmetologist
 
Stella Sainz
Cancer Resource Cosmetologist
 

What People Say

"During my 10 months of almost continuous hospitalization at City of Hope, I was able to maintain my 'normalcy,' largely due to the approach of the hospital staff and the Positive Image CenterSM. They incorporated all aspects of my life into their plan of care. I dressed in street clothes every day, complete with wig, makeup, jewelry and even high-heeled shoes. The staff of the Positive Image CenterSM supplied me with nail polish, hair and skin care products, as well as washed my rotating wigs so I was able to wear them continuously. They offered advice on how to treat my hair and scalp in preparation for regrowth. All in all, they helped me have a 'positive image.'"
 - Micki, breast cancer patient

"The Positive Image CenterSM played an extremely important part in my victory over breast cancer. The word 'cancer' brings frightening thoughts and feelings to mind. I knew that it was vital for my recovery to remain positive and keep healthy thoughts. Losing my breast, all of my hair and not feeling my best could have been devastating to me. I firmly believe it would have been harder to recover if I had that state of mind. My experience with the Positive Image CenterSM was so uplifting to my spirit. It made me feel normal and healthy and gave me the courage to fight the disease and go on with my life in a normal way."
- Jill, breast cancer patient
 
"Treatment for cancer can leave an individual with many physical changes that can greatly impact self-esteem, body image and a sense of physical attractiveness - all of which can lead to difficulty adjusting to being a cancer survivor. The services and products at the Positive Image CenterSM at City of Hope assist individuals with improving their body image and enhancing the positive impact of their illness and recovery. Positive quality of life and well-being are very important goals of recovery, and can help lead an individual to living a fulfilling and meaningful life."
- Rhonda Sherman, Ph.D., supportive care psychologist, City of Hope

 

 

Positive Image Center FAQs

When will I start to lose my hair?

You may lose your hair about 10-14 days after your first chemotherapy treatment, unless told differently by your doctor. Patient experiences are unique; some patients do not lose their hair during treatment.

When should I shave my head?

It’s personal preference, but most patients will shave their heads or cut their hair really short, once the hair starts to fall out.

How much are haircuts/head shaves?

All haircuts/head shaves are free of charge.

When should I purchase a wig?

It’s best to have a wig while you still have your hair, so we can do our best to match the wig to your style and color.

Should I get a human hair wig or synthetic wig?

Synthetic wigs are less maintenance. You won’t have to blow dry, curl, etc. Wash once or twice a month depending on how often you wear it.  For human hair wigs, you will have to treat like your hair.

Can I curl a synthetic wig?

No, you cannot use heat at all, e.g. blow dryers, curling irons, etc.

How long does it take if I order a wig?

About 1-2 weeks.

Can I put lotion on my head if it gets dry?

No. Do not use lotion as it will clog the follicles. It's best to use a moisturizing conditioner. You should continue to use shampoo and conditioner after you have lost your hair. The conditioner will help with the dryness.

Do you bill insurance?

No, you would have to pay for the product up front and then submit the receipt to your insurance company.

Do you carry breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras?

Yes. We will fit you 6-8 weeks after your surgery.

Positive Image Center

Positive Image Center

Looking good makes you feel better. The City of Hope Positive Image CenterSM  sees the evidence daily, with more than 5,000 visits a year from patients seeking to look their best.
 
For patients, the center can be much more convenient, and less stressful, than a salon. Many find that juggling daily life and cancer therapy doesn’t leave a lot of time for a trip to the salon. Others aren’t comfortable getting the pampering treatments that used to be relaxing. And still others are physically limited by their cancer or treatment.
 
At the Positive Image CenterSM, patients learn how to minimize the cosmetic side effects of illness or medical treatment. They consult with specially trained, licensed cosmetologists who offer guidance about skin care techniques, alternatives for hair loss and much more. The setting is typically more private and soothing than a salon, where they could be surrounded by people who might not understand their condition, concerns or even their physical needs.

Our Services

Here, patients receive advice about all aspects of image enhancement, including:
 
  • Cosmetic and skin-care techniques
  • Alternatives for complete and partial hair loss, including wig fitting and styling, and eyebrow kits
  • Optimal use of head-wraps and hats, as well as scarf-tying techniques
  • Premastectomy counseling and postmastectomy prostheses fittings
  • Comfortable clothing for use after surgery, including camisoles, bras and shirts
  • Haircuts

The center also operates a specialty shop with an array of merchandise such as wigs, head-wraps, scarves, radiation creams, cosmetics and skin-care products.
 
Look Good . . . Feel Better

City of Hope hosts Look Good . . . Feel Better, a free, national program sponsored by the American Cancer Society for women currently undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. Look Good . . . Feel Better provides a supportive environment in which women learn techniques to minimize the appearance-related side effects of cancer and treatment, get tips on make-up and hair loss, and receive free cosmetics. Please call the center at 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 63842, for more information, upcoming events and to R.S.V.P.
 
Making an Appointment

In the private, one-on-one sessions, a trained image consultant will show you how to enhance your appearance and minimize the visible side effects of medical treatments.
 
We invite you to visit our Positive Image Center and take advantage of the important services it offers. If you or a loved one can benefit from these services, or you would like to volunteer your time, please call us today at 800-535-7199.
 
To make an appointment for a private consultation, please call us at 626-301-8874.
 
Cassie Polchow
Cancer Resource Cosmetologist
 
Stella Sainz
Cancer Resource Cosmetologist
 

What People Say

What People Say

"During my 10 months of almost continuous hospitalization at City of Hope, I was able to maintain my 'normalcy,' largely due to the approach of the hospital staff and the Positive Image CenterSM. They incorporated all aspects of my life into their plan of care. I dressed in street clothes every day, complete with wig, makeup, jewelry and even high-heeled shoes. The staff of the Positive Image CenterSM supplied me with nail polish, hair and skin care products, as well as washed my rotating wigs so I was able to wear them continuously. They offered advice on how to treat my hair and scalp in preparation for regrowth. All in all, they helped me have a 'positive image.'"
 - Micki, breast cancer patient

"The Positive Image CenterSM played an extremely important part in my victory over breast cancer. The word 'cancer' brings frightening thoughts and feelings to mind. I knew that it was vital for my recovery to remain positive and keep healthy thoughts. Losing my breast, all of my hair and not feeling my best could have been devastating to me. I firmly believe it would have been harder to recover if I had that state of mind. My experience with the Positive Image CenterSM was so uplifting to my spirit. It made me feel normal and healthy and gave me the courage to fight the disease and go on with my life in a normal way."
- Jill, breast cancer patient
 
"Treatment for cancer can leave an individual with many physical changes that can greatly impact self-esteem, body image and a sense of physical attractiveness - all of which can lead to difficulty adjusting to being a cancer survivor. The services and products at the Positive Image CenterSM at City of Hope assist individuals with improving their body image and enhancing the positive impact of their illness and recovery. Positive quality of life and well-being are very important goals of recovery, and can help lead an individual to living a fulfilling and meaningful life."
- Rhonda Sherman, Ph.D., supportive care psychologist, City of Hope

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Positive Image Center FAQs

When will I start to lose my hair?

You may lose your hair about 10-14 days after your first chemotherapy treatment, unless told differently by your doctor. Patient experiences are unique; some patients do not lose their hair during treatment.

When should I shave my head?

It’s personal preference, but most patients will shave their heads or cut their hair really short, once the hair starts to fall out.

How much are haircuts/head shaves?

All haircuts/head shaves are free of charge.

When should I purchase a wig?

It’s best to have a wig while you still have your hair, so we can do our best to match the wig to your style and color.

Should I get a human hair wig or synthetic wig?

Synthetic wigs are less maintenance. You won’t have to blow dry, curl, etc. Wash once or twice a month depending on how often you wear it.  For human hair wigs, you will have to treat like your hair.

Can I curl a synthetic wig?

No, you cannot use heat at all, e.g. blow dryers, curling irons, etc.

How long does it take if I order a wig?

About 1-2 weeks.

Can I put lotion on my head if it gets dry?

No. Do not use lotion as it will clog the follicles. It's best to use a moisturizing conditioner. You should continue to use shampoo and conditioner after you have lost your hair. The conditioner will help with the dryness.

Do you bill insurance?

No, you would have to pay for the product up front and then submit the receipt to your insurance company.

Do you carry breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras?

Yes. We will fit you 6-8 weeks after your surgery.
Quick Links
Living with Cancer

Here you will find tips, tools and resources to help you and your family cope with the issues that arise during and after cancer treatment.

Supportive Care Calendar
City of Hope | Duarte offers an integrated array of cancer support services and resources through the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center.
The Positive Image Center is where licensed cosmetologists support and assist patients with building and maintaining self-confidence in their appearance. Patients can access wig fittings and stylings and discuss cosmetic techniques.
 
City of Hope’s School Program helps children, teen, and young adult patients continue their education while undergoing treatment. For more information, please contact Kayla Fulginiti, M.S.W., School Program Coordinator at 626-256-4673, ext. 62282.
Advance Directive Information
 
 
Click here for more information about our program.


NEWS & UPDATES
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma facts: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system. Lymphocytes are in the lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissues (such as the spleen and bone marrow). Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the U.S....
  • Few clinical cancer trials include older adults – and yet, more than 60 percent of cancer cases in the United States occur in people age 65 and older. The result is a dearth of knowledge on how to treat the very population most likely to be diagnosed with cancer. Now, the American Society of Clinical […]
  • Scientists at City of Hope and UCLA have become the first to inhibit the expression of a protein, called TWIST that promotes tumor invasion and metastasis when activated by cancer cells. As such, they’ve taken the first step in developing a potential new therapy for some of the deadliest cancers, including ovar...
  • Upon completing her final round of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer earlier this month, Maria Velazquez-McIntyre, a 51-year-old Antelope Valley resident, celebrated the milestone by giving other patients a symbol of hope – a Survivor Bell. The bell may look ordinary, but for cancer patients undergoing chemothera...
  • Many Americans understand that obesity is tied to heart disease and diabetes but, according to a new survey, too few – only 7 percent – know that obesity increases the risk of cancer. Specific biological characteristics can increase cancer risk in obese people, and multiple studies have shown correlations betwe...
  • As breast cancer survivors know, the disease’s impact lingers in ways both big and small long after treatment has ended. A new study suggests that weight gain – and a possible corresponding increase in heart disease and diabetes risk – may be part of that impact. In the first study to evaluate weight chan...
  • Becoming what’s known as an independent scientific researcher is no small task, especially when working to translate research into meaningful health outcomes. Yet that independent status is vital, enabling researchers to lead studies and avenues of inquiry that they believe to be promising. Clinicians, especial...
  • 720 days. That’s how long Alex Tung, 38, had to give up surfing after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. For most people, even some surfers, such a hiatus wouldn’t be a big deal, but for Tung, surfing has been everything. The Southern California resident began surfing when he was in elemen...
  • There are few among us who have not experienced loss of a friend or loved one, often without warning, or like those of us who care for people with cancer, after a lingering illness. It is a time when emotions run high and deep, and as time passes from the moment of loss, we often […]
  • For the past four years, neurosurgeon and scientist Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., has been studying how breast cancer cells spread, or metastasize, to the brain, where they become life-threatening tumors. Known as secondary brain tumors, these cancers have become increasingly common as treatment advances have ena...
  • Cutaneous T cell lymphomas are types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that arise when infection-fighting white blood cells in the lymphatic system – called lymphocytes – become malignant and affect the skin. A primary symptom is a rash that arises initially in areas of the skin that are not normally exposed to sunlight....
  • There’s science camp, and then there’s “mystery” science camp. City of Hope’s new science camp for middle school students is of the especially engaging latter variety. From Monday, July 13, to Friday, July 17, rising middle-school students from across the San Gabriel Valley were presented with a “patient” with ...
  • Women diagnosed with breast cancer quickly learn their tumor’s type, meaning the characteristics that fuel its growth. That label guides the treatment of their disease, as well as their prognosis when it comes to treatment effectiveness. Sometimes, however, doctors can’t accurately predict treatment effectivene...
  • In years past, Bladder Cancer Awareness Month has been a sobering reminder of a disease with few treatment options. For patients with metastatic disease (disease that has spread from the bladder to distant organs), average survival is typically just over one year. Fortunately, things are changing. Academic inst...
  • Tina Wang was diagnosed with Stage 4 diffuse large b cell lymphoma at age 22. She first sought treatment at her local hospital, undergoing two cycles of treatment. When the treatment failed to eradicate her cancer, she came to City of Hope. Here, Wang underwent an autologous stem cell transplant and participate...