Women’s wigs with short hair in the west side shop of Guangzhou City Affiliated Cancer Hospital (Photos)
In downtown Guangzhou, a wig shop took root in the shopping street opposite Sun Yat-sen University Affiliated Cancer Hospital for three years. Cancer patients walk in here looking for a replacement for the hair they’ve lost from chemotherapy. Here, most of the patrons and services are women. You can say that they are ill and still want to love beauty, but what they want is actually more humble.
The main road hits the west side of Sun Yat-Sen University Affiliated Cancer Hospital , where women with short wigs and short hair split into Dongfeng East Road and Xianlie South Road, one south and one north, separating the cancer hospital into an independent area. Guangzhou people refer to this hospital as “Zhongzhuan” for short. From the satellite image, the hospital looks like a sand dune in the middle of a river.
The shops closest to the hospital are to the north of the hospital, across Xianlie South Road and across from the hospital. A five-person-wide overpass connects the two banks.
All those who can survive on this pocket-sized commercial street are the stores that are just needed for hospital patients. Hotels, fast food restaurants and pharmacies live the longest. There used to be a flower shop. Three years ago, online flower shopping started in the hospital. When no one noticed, this flower shop was replaced by a wig shop. Wig shops cater to cancer patients’ quest for appearance—something that few even the doctors who know cancer know about. In the past 3 years, this wig shop has not closed down, proving that this demand is real.
Passing through the door, you can smell the fragrance of the shampoo and conditioner wafting from the store. Customers don’t need to cover up the fact that they have cancer from the store staff – the four words “medical wig” on the signboard and the store name provide the first hint, and another line is added, and the smaller font reads “after chemotherapy” and “increased issuance volume”. “”Gai white hair”.
This is the idea of the store manager Lin Caiping: “It is written that it is a wig worn after chemotherapy, so customers don’t have to hide it and pretend to be a healthy person.” However, some patients were very thoughtful and insisted that it was a wig for a friend, so that The clerk can measure the size according to your own head circumference. Lin Caiping also instructed the clerks not to expose it.
The glass windscreens along the street are decorated with colorful strips that read “Welcome, Happy Mood”. The store is not big, 15 square meters, with shelves scattered on the wall and 60 wigs. There are only 3 long hairs, which are displayed on the innermost shelf of the store. Lin Caiping does not want customers to notice them.
Lin Caiping insisted that he was working for others. Five years ago, she went to a wig factory to apply for the sales department manager, and successfully passed the interview with the boss. On her first day on the job, she was taken directly to the hospital ward by a colleague. She didn’t understand until she realized that she was helping a cancer patient measure the head circumference. What I have to do is not to go to the clothing market to convince the store owner to buy a wig for the model. , but custom-made wigs for cancer patients.
At that time, the entire department responsible for retail had only counters in pharmacies. Every day at work, Lin Caiping and another colleague went to various hospitals to sell wigs in the ward. “But you don’t have a storefront, so it’s hard for people to trust you.” Under Lin Caiping’s suggestion, the storefront was chosen opposite “Zhongzhuo”.
Women living in different families will be treated differently after suffering from cancer. After 5 years in this industry, Lin Cai is used to seeing each other, and everyone has their own destiny.
Among Lin Caiping’s customers, there is a Chaoshan woman accompanied by her son. She does not speak Mandarin. The boy who is still in school bravely pretends to be mature and bargains with Lin Caiping. A wig that won’t reveal the stitches no matter where the wind blows. A new mother was not so lucky. She noticed abnormal breast swelling and pain while breastfeeding, and went to the hospital to find out breast cancer. When she returned home on the day of the diagnosis, her mother-in-law would not let her touch the baby again: you will not need to feed the baby in the future.
People with the same roles as husbands have different personalities. Compared with the woman who leaves her impatient husband on the street outside the store and insists on entering the store to see the wig, a woman who has a husband who patiently helps to advise on new hairstyles is much happier. While visiting the store, Lin Caiping silently rated the visiting husbands in his heart.
Within more than 20 minutes after Efen, who came from Longyan, Fujian, entered the shop to wash her wigs, her husband was waiting for her under the tree at the door of the wig shop, playing with his mobile phone.
She took off the wig and handed it to the clerk, and immediately took off the silk scarf around her neck to wrap her head. After tying it, she looked in the mirror and gently adjusted the edge of the silk scarf to cover the hairline. No one made a sound, and the wig shop was quiet. After A Fen tied the silk scarf, she turned around and saw Sister Ling, the clerk, stop to comb a wig in her hand, and tore off a few white hairs from the top.
“Can you help me pull out my white hair?” A Fen took off the turban, and Sister Ling asked her to sit in front of the mirror. On A Fen’s scalp, the hair was growing again, and the clump of hair was only one knuckle long. If you didn’t look carefully, you thought that A Fen was bald. In the clump of hair, a short silver-gray hair thicker than black was rooted in the deepest part. top.
The saleswoman, Sister Ling, pinched the silver hair with her index finger and thumb nails, and tugged it vigorously—the silver hair was not pulled down, it was rolled into a small curl, and it was still standing on the scalp. Affin couldn’t help laughing: he is much more tenacious than black hair. Lin Caiping was amused when he heard their conversation behind the cash register. Afterwards, Sister Ling found a pair of scissors from the drawer, carefully felt 7 or 8 white hairs on A Fen’s scalp, and cut them off against the scalp.
For women like A Fen, the wig shop receives nearly 20 people every day, most of them are old customers who come to the store to maintain their wigs. Most of the wigs are women with cancer. Sick customers endure pain and need to talk. Lin Caiping insists on recruiting only female salespersons, which is written in the recruitment notice. The only two male employees in the wig shop are hairdressers. Lin Caiping rented a small shop next to the shop. Usually, the men stay next door and help with the wigs waiting to be trimmed.
One day this week the men came a little more, there were 5. Aside from the three sons who came with his mother and the husband of a customer who was resting in the store, the only real customer was an old man who was over the age of 10. He was suddenly told by the doctor that he would come back next Monday for a brain examination and surgery. To shave. “It’s so sudden. I shaved my head all of a sudden, how can I meet people? I still have to meet people. Hey.” Women who received chemotherapy for cancer “absolutely will not” accept bald heads, said Lin Caiping.
The deepest impression is that a year ago, a girl in elementary school was brought by her mother to pick out a wig. The mother and daughter seem to be in good economic conditions, but they insist on buying the cheapest styles. The clerk helped the little girl measure her head circumference, choose a good model, and before making payment, the woman said she had to make a phone call first, and the clerk knew that the child’s father did not agree to buy a wig for her daughter from beginning to end.
The man scolded his wife on the other end of the phone and asked her to give the phone to her daughter. He coaxed his daughter: “Daughter, let’s take good care of the disease and don’t need to wear a wig, okay?” He heard his daughter’s promise and hung up. Lin Caiping guessed that the girl was actually very unwilling. When she left the wig shop, Lin Caiping saw her wipe her tears without making a sound.
Mothers are often keenly aware of their children’s emotions. There was a woman who brought her hair loss daughter to get a custom wig. The girl was depressed and ignored her mother and the clerk, and Lin Caiping read from her demeanor “what’s the point of doing this”. After picking out the wig, the woman goes to the cashier to check out, and her daughter walks to the door of the store to wait for her.
Outside the store is Xian Mare South Road, where cars come and go. My mother lowered her voice and told the clerk next to her, “Help me go out and watch her, and don’t let her rush into the road and crash.”
The female clerk who has been sick for a long time
The red fine-toothed comb combed through the woman’s hair, and hung a strand of short black hair as long as two index fingers. Sister Hong’s hand didn’t move. Under the action of her own weight, the black strands of hair fell off the comb and floated to the ground.
The woman who shaved her hair the first time she came to the store, the clerk Hong Sister has handled three this year, and she realized that she is about to have a fourth. I have been in contact with many cancer patients, not only Lin Caiping, but also other shop assistants who have been sick for a long time and become a doctor. Women who choose to undergo chemotherapy will begin to lose hair around the 16th day after the first injection of chemotherapy is injected into the body. Within 3 days, the patient will see the entire head of hair fall out. For a woman with cancer, it’s an added torture that spreads from the physical to the visual, rubbing the heart. Sister Hong has worked in a wig shop for 3 years, and she is more aware of this than a patient undergoing chemotherapy for the first time.
“You have serious hair loss, shave it,” she said in a calm, but fast-paced voice, not giving women time to hesitate, “the store can borrow a wig for you to wear, and pick it up when your hair is ready. can.”
The woman stretched out her hand to catch the falling strand of black hair in mid-air, twisting it several times in her hand. The hair was finally twisted into a small black mass and fell to the ground, and the woman got up and sat in the barber chair.
Women who work in wig shops have short wigs and have a lot of cancer knowledge in their minds. They have not specially learned the medical knowledge of cancer, nor have they used search engines to search for relevant information. They have heard and observed from customers.
As long as they want, they have enough time to contact customers, because after a wig is sold, the follow-up work in the wig shop is very long. Some women have to undergo eight rounds of chemotherapy, 21 days apart each time, from the diagnosis to the end of chemotherapy, at least 10 months in and out of the “medium swelling” across the road.
Without chemotherapy, patients also come to the hospital. Sometimes I come to check, sometimes I just wait for the report, I don’t know where to go while queuing and waiting for the result, so I come to the store to sit and chat with the clerk. The knowledge of these diseases was memorized by the clerks through chat.
A few days after the chemotherapeutic agent circulates in the patient’s body, some people may experience a sore scalp. Lin Caiping once met a customer who told her that when the scalp is touched, it will feel like being pricked by needles, and it hurts when touching the pillow at night, and when it is severe, it will hurt when the wind blows. This kind of pain does not know when it will end, and women are afraid that it will accompany her for a lifetime. Lin Caiping reassured her: I had a client with you before with a symptom, don’t worry, it will be fine in about 7 days.
Some of the panic that Lin Caiping saw was not even noticed by the doctor. A doctor who once worked across the road said that the doctor did know that chemotherapy would cause such pain, but from the position of a doctor, who was dedicated to treating the disease and saving his life, he naturally seldom thought of telling the patient about this small degree of pain. When she was working in the hospital across the road, she passed by Lin Caiping’s wig shop every day. She never noticed that the patients left the hospital, turned around and entered here to seek beauty. She never thought that some patients would worry about suffering from scalp pain for a lifetime.
I don’t want her to know too soon, too direct
When a person has cancer, in addition to devoting himself to treating the disease, he will also give part of his energy to the wig shop. You can interpret it as the pursuit of beauty. Lin Caiping prefers to use a low-profile statement-want to change back to the self before his illness.
Occasionally, there are customers who customize wigs purely because of hair loss or the pursuit of new styles. Lin Caiping found that they often pursue trendy and glossy styles. And people with cancer often pull out photos from the past and ask for the same hairstyle as before.
It was Thursday, and the three long hairs finally moved their positions. A woman who tried 4 short haircuts was still dissatisfied. The salesperson took off another short haircut and wanted to try it on for her. She kept the posture of sitting in the barber chair with her chest covered and refused.
The woman explained to the clerk that her face with short hair is not good-looking, and her tone became impatient: “I have gained weight on hormones, and short hair looks good on other people’s heads, but it looks ugly on me.” She pulled out a selfie from the mobile phone album , half-raised to let the clerk standing by her side look at her, trying to prove that long hair really suits her.
The long hair parted on the side of the bangs hangs down to decorate her oval face, with slender eyebrows and eyes. The clerk looked at the photo and said, you used to have a classical and beautiful temperament.
It was a pre-cancer selfie. At that time, she was working for a chain real estate agency and gave birth to a pair of baby boys after marriage. Later, cancer was found in her body. A long hair fell off under the effect of chemotherapy injections. Her left breast was not preserved, hormone drugs had added fat to her body and face, and her apple muscles had bulged upward, squeezing her eyes into longer slenderness.
After coming out of the tumor hospital, the woman passed by Lin Caiping’s wig shop. After trying on 4 unsatisfactory short haircuts, she told Lin Caiping that she used to have long hair and wanted to find a wig similar to her previous hairstyle. Lin Caiping had no choice but to take off a long hair from the model doll’s head, walked back to the woman, and combed out the woman’s previous hairstyle according to the photo.
After combing her hair, the woman looked left and right in the mirror, her fat cheeks pushed aside the hair on the side, and her previous self did not appear in the mirror. She didn’t speak anymore, took off her long hair, put on her hat, and left sadly. Lin Caiping felt that the woman’s fantasy about beauty had ended, and she had extinguished the woman’s fantasy.
Of course, Lin Caiping can help women try on long hair right away, but he just hopes to prolong it as long as possible. With the same hairstyle, women had a good look before they got sick. At that time, the skin tone was good, and they occasionally wore some light makeup. During the treatment, hormones caused obesity, and the complexion turned yellow. They did not consider makeup, and their appearance could not go back for the time being. “I don’t want her to know so quickly, it’s too direct.” Lin Caiping couldn’t bear it. She tried to help a woman choose a short hair that she liked, so that she could forget the idea of trying on long hair, but she failed.
Many of the women who came to the store to buy wigs were silent alone, and seldom took the initiative to speak up.
Not so with Amy. She came from Guangxi. She had just finished the first injection of chemotherapy, and her hair was still growing. When talking to the clerk and other customers in the store, her slender eyes were lifted up and her cheeks were flushed. It wasn’t until after Amei left that day that the clerk on the side told Lin Caiping that because Amei had chatted with another customer the night before and chatted endlessly, she ended work half an hour late. In Guangzhou in October, the weather was cool at night, and when the store clerks packed up the store and were leaving, Amei and her new friend who met by chance were still chatting under the tree at the door.
In the beginning, Lin Caiping and Sister Hong were helping Amei get her hair, while listening to her one after another. A Mei started talking and said that the disease was discovered at a banquet at the village chief’s house. At the banquet, she drank some wine and had a stomachache, and she couldn’t pull it out from the toilet. When she went to the town hospital for an examination, the doctor said that she could not rule out the worse possibility and let her go to a large hospital. In Guangzhou, doctors discovered that cancer cells had invaded her ovaries. “Why do you think it’s so sudden?” Amei asked.
When it came time to check out, Amei only said one thing: be cheaper. The wig of 880 yuan, Sister Hong all the way down to below 500 yuan, explained to Amei that it was already close to the cost price, Amei still said: “I know, if it is cheaper, I spent a lot of money on treatment.” He added. Qi’s youngest son, who is alone at home in Guangxi, said: “Oh, I just want the weekend to end soon. He goes to the school for boarding, so he doesn’t have to stay at home alone.”
“Then how much did you tell me to sell it to you?” Sister Hong said.
Amei said a price. Sister Hong couldn’t be the master, so she asked Lin Caiping for help with her eyes. Lin Caiping thought about it: give it to her.
Seeing Lin Caiping hand the wrapped wig to him, Amei didn’t reach out to pick it up. Lin Caiping is still instructing himself: In the future, when you get better and your hair grows back, don’t throw away the wig if you don’t wear it. When the gray hair grows back in old age, you can still use it to cover the gray hair.
Amei replied to her: “Change the bag, I don’t like black, black is not good.”
Lin Caiping went back to the cashier and found a purple eco-friendly bag in the drawer. She shook Amei: “Is this color agreeable?”
The first time Lin Caiping knew that cancer would recur was two years after opening the store. A former customer returned to the store two years after leaving “Zhong Swollen”. That day, she came in with the wig she bought during chemotherapy, and asked Lin Caiping to shave her head again. Lin Caiping didn’t understand what happened. The woman explained to Lin Caiping that it was because the doctor told her that the cancer on her body had recurred, so she came back for chemotherapy.
It turns out that the disease will recur. Lin Caiping said that this is an individual case, not all. In the past two years, she has known that 4 customers have encountered this situation. After that, when another customer came to the store, Lin Caiping would say, don’t lose the wig in the future, it will be used to cover the gray hair when you are old.
to the dunes
At the beginning of this year, Lin Caiping also took a walk in the sand dunes across the road.
After two consecutive years of physical examination, the same index was abnormal. The doctor instructed Lin Caiping to do further examinations.
During the five years she has worked in a wig shop, Lin Caiping’s family has been persuading her to change careers, fearing that she will get sick because of her work. There were times when she found out that she was actually afraid – 3 times, when she cut her hands while helping a client trim her hair, and when blood beads came out, she couldn’t help but wonder what kind of cancer the client had and whether it could be transmitted through blood. . In theory, wearing gloves can isolate most hidden dangers, but wearing gloves is a bit clumsy, so Lin Caiping has been working with bare hands.
When her husband heard the news, he persuaded her again: Don’t do it. In the first year of their marriage, Lin Caiping was sent to the hospital due to an ectopic pregnancy, lost several bags of blood, and almost never came back from the gate of hell. At that time, he had already experienced the terrifying feeling of losing his wife. Although the abnormal indicators have nothing to do with Lin Caiping’s work, he still wants to persuade his wife to quit the job that deals with cancer all day.
Lin Caiping didn’t know it before, but it took a lot of courage to admit that there was something wrong with his body. Her husband took a good leave and wanted to accompany her to the “Zhong Swollen” examination. The day before he left, Lin Caiping thought, let it go, it might be better not to know anything. It was dragged on until bedtime, when her husband supervised her to sign up, so she didn’t let her escape.
It would take a week for the inspection report to come out. When he returned to the store, Lin Caiping worked like no one else. On the contrary, Sister Hong is more anxious than her, and always asks her: Ping, how are you feeling, and how are the test results?
On the day the results came out, Lin Caiping walked over the overpass alone and went across the road to get the report. Precancerous lesions, but not cancer. The doctor didn’t greet Lin Caiping much and let her go. Judging from the doctor’s attitude, Lin Caiping guessed that he was fine.
Nothing has changed. Lin Caiping said that at the beginning of this year, several media reported the story of the wig shop, and the situation of the wig shop was the same as before. Turnover has not risen or fallen significantly, and recruiting is as difficult as ever. At first, there were people who thought of working in the store after reading the report. Lin Caiping took someone to the hospital to help the customer measure the head circumference. After returning, the other party retreated. It was only then that Lin Caiping realized that people who were born with no resistance to exposure to illness were already unattainable. Therefore, when she first opened the store, a candidate came out of the ward and escaped before Lin Caiping noticed, she expressed her understanding.
“Precancerous lesions”, Lin Caiping sometimes pondered these four words, unaware that cancer cells had quietly sneaked into her body. “It is impossible to guard against it,” said Lin Caiping. If the disease is looking for you, there is no way to escape it. The most important thing is not to leave regrets.
In the past six months, there is no sign of her resignation. For Lin Caiping, it’s just another example of comforting customers in the future.
After taking the wig, Amei didn’t leave, standing at the cashier counter and chatting with Lin Caiping for more than ten minutes. Someone turned on the hairdryer, and in the small wig shop, she unconsciously raised her voice.
Amei said that she has not finished her hard work in her life, her eldest daughter has not graduated from university, and her youngest son is still in primary school. The two in-laws came to Guangzhou to see a doctor. The weekend was coming. The youngest son came home from the boarding school, and he had to stay in a five-story home in the countryside for two days. Again, I don’t know how the disease will develop.
There is no further talk here. Lin Caiping took out his mobile phone and swiped attentively, pretending to be replying to WeChat. She saw that the tip of Amei’s nose was red, followed by red eyes.
“If I cry, she won’t be able to hold back. She doesn’t know how to end it?” Lin Caiping thought about it, not knowing whether to comfort Amei or herself.
*A Fen and A Mei are pseudonyms.
This article recommends: Society defaults that the elderly do not need sex, but the reality is that desire has not shrunk due to the aging of sexual organs. After the old man Che Qinglin got divorced, no woman wanted to look at him. Single for many years, he was involved with some stray women. He got AIDS because he was ashamed to take the condoms that the community gave out for free. The WeChat public account True Story Project (ID: ) replied to the keyword “AIDS” in the background to extract the story “Elderly People with AIDS, Old Age Destroyed by Desire”.
– END – Written by | Wen Lihong
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