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
  • Valentine’s Day is synonymous with dinner reservations, red roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and — more often than not — unrealistically high expectations. Managing those expectations is great advice for all couples on Feb. 14 — and is especially important for couples confronting a cancer diagnosis. Focu...
  • With measles, what starts at a theme park in California definitely doesn’t stay at a theme park in California. Since the beginning of the current measles outbreak – traced to an initial exposure at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure during December – more than 100 people have been diagnosed with a diseas...
  • Even the most loving and secure relationship can be rattled by a life-threatening illness. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, research shows one of the most important factors in helping her cope is having a supportive partner. But that partner can struggle with knowing what to say or how to best supp...
  • It’s been more than a century since Nobel Laureate Paul Ehrlich popularized the idea of a “magic bullet” targeting disease. Cancer researchers ever since have remained in hot pursuit of targeted therapies that home in on cancer cells while leaving normal cells unaffected. Linda Malkas, Ph.D., associate chair of...
  • Cancer patients face a daunting journey marked by challenges and uncertainties. For those undergoing bone marrow, or stem cell, transplantation, one complication poses a particular threat — chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Now, one researcher may have found a better way to control that threat. GVHD res...
  • Michele Dahlstein, a 50-year-old breast cancer survivor from Upland, California, celebrated her last day of chemotherapy on Dec. 30. She shares her story in her own words: I was diagnosed with breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma stage 2) on Aug. 11, 2014, after my yearly mammogram at City of Hope’s W...
  • The treatment of urologic cancers, including bladder cancer, is rapidly evolving. Here, urologic oncologic surgeon and kidney stone specialist Donald Hannoun, M.D., an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at City of Hope | Antelope Valley, explains the changes in hi...
  • A woman confronting metastatic breast cancer faces challenges that, at the outset, seem overwhelming. Research tells us these patients are especially vulnerable to anxiety, depression, hopelessness and other sources of distress. At the same time, they are asked to make complicated choices about their medical ca...
  • California health officials are opting to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to e-cigarettes. The increasingly popular devices are a public health threat, according to a California Department of Health report released Jan. 28. The department is seeking statewide regulation of e-cigarettes, saying they  emi...
  • “Not beyond us.” On World Cancer Day, researchers and caregivers around the globe are embracing this refrain. Specifically, the day calls for action to support healthier lifestyles, early cancer detection, quality of life and access to care. In a time of impressive scientific discovery and narrowing...
  • With more advanced cancer treatments and therapies saving lives every day, it’s safe to say cancer is “Not beyond us,” the official tagline for this year’s World Cancer Day. This year’s World Cancer Day observance takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 4, and focuses on cancer prevention, detection an...
  • Does our environment increase our risk of cancer? What about plastic bottles, radiation, chemicals, soy products …? Do they cause cancer? With so many cancer fears, rumors and downright urban legends circulating among our friends and colleagues, not to mention in the media and blogosphere, why not ask the...
  • With this week’s World Cancer Day challenging us to think about cancer on a global scale, we should also keep in mind that daily choices affect cancer risk on an individual scale. Simply put, lifestyle changes and everyday actions can reduce your cancer risk and perhaps prevent some cancers. According to ...
  • If you haven’t heard the term “precision medicine,” you will. If you don’t have an opinion about access to it, you will. On Friday, President Barack Obama unveiled details of the Precision Medicine Initiative, an effort intended to accelerate cancer research in a powerful way, giving doctors new knowledge and n...
  • The lack of a practical way to produce and store enough stem cells for larger-scale therapies and clinical trials is creating a bottleneck in stem cell research. A new grant to City of Hope from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) will help solve that problem. The $899,728 grant, awarded T...