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
  • It was 2009 when a City of Hope patient in her 40s learned that the cancer she had been fighting for several years had metastasized to her lungs. Her medical team ran genetic tests on the tumor, but none of the drug therapies available at the time targeted the known mutations in the tumor cells. […]
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by a rapidly-developing cancer in the myeloid line of blood cells, which is responsible for producing red blood cells, platelets and several types of white blood cells called granulocytes. Because AML grows rapidly, it can quickly crowd out normal blood cells, leadi...
  • Rachel Divine is a yoga therapist and patient leader for the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center. She’s also a former City of Hope patient. When someone you know has cancer, even the word “cancer” can make you feel nervous, sleepless, depressed or more. But, as a yoga teacher for 15 ...
  •   Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 9 years old, Gina Marchini accepted the fact that she would need insulin the rest of her life. Every day, she injected herself with the lifesaving hormone. She also carefully controlled her diet and monitored the rise and fall of her blood glucose with military...
  • The defeat of cancer will require a team effort. Nowhere is this more necessary (or apparent) than in efforts to combat two of the most deadly forms of the disease  – pancreatic cancer and triple-negative breast cancer. It’s the approach City of Hope is taking with its newly launched multidisciplinary teams, br...
  • It’s a reasonable question: Why is the National Cancer Institute funding a study on preventing heart failure? The answer is reasonable as well: Rates of heart failure are drastically high among childhood cancer survivors — 15 times higher than among people the same age who were never treated for cancer. T...
  • Many teenagers take a break from academics during the summer, but not the eight high school students enrolled in the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Creativity Awards program at City of Hope. They took the opportunity to obtain as much hands-on research experience as possible, learning fro...
  • About one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. In fact, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, behind skin cancer. Although women can’t change some risk factors, such as genetics and the natural aging process, there are certain things they can do to lower thei...
  • As genetic testing becomes more sophisticated, doctors and their patients are finding that such tests can lead to the discovery of previously unknown cancer risks. In his practice at City of Hope, Thomas Slavin, M.D., an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics, sees the full spe...
  • And the winners are … everyone in the San Gabriel Valley. The recipients of City of Hope’s first-ever Healthy Living grants have been announced, and the future is looking healthier already. In selecting San Gabriel Valley organizations to receive the grants, City of Hope’s Community Benefits Advisory Council ch...
  • Barry Leshowitz is a former City of Hope patient and a family advisor for the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center. It’s been almost seven years since I checked into a local hospital in Phoenix for a hip replacement, only to be informed by the surgeon that he had canceled the surgery....
  • When it comes to science, the best graduate schools don’t just train scientists, they prepare their students for a lifetime of learning, accomplishment and positive impact on society. At City of Hope, the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences goes one step further – by preparing students to...
  • Cancer affects not just the cancer patient, but everyone around him or her, even after treatment is complete. The challenges can include the fear of cancer recurrence, coping with cancer’s economic impact and the struggle to achieve work-life balance post-treatment. Family members and loved ones of cancer patie...
  •   Bladder cancer facts: Bladder cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the bladder. 2015 estimates: 74,000 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed 16,000 deaths from bladder cancer (about 11,510 in men and 4,490 in women) Risk factors for bladder cancer: Smoking: Smokers...
  • Women with ovarian cancer have questions about the most promising treatment options, revolutionary research avenues, survivorship and, of course, the potential impact on their personal lives. Now, together in one place, are experts who can provide answers. On Saturday, Sept. 12, the 2015 Ovarian Cancer Survivor...