Coping with Cancer Hair Loss: Wig or Scarf?

To an outsider, it may appear that women struggling with cancer have more important things to worry about than their appearance. On the contrary, women in treatment are no different than other women—they like to look pretty. It’s a proven fact: when a woman feels that she looks good, her mood improves. This is especially important for cancer patients in treatment who need all of the positive energy they can get to stay strong. Outsiders may not get it, but the choice whether to wear a wig, a scarf, or no head covering is an important one for many women undergoing cancer treatment.

When a person is exposed to the harsh chemicals of chemotherapy, it is not uncommon for his or her hair to fall out. Many men can cope with this—lots of men look fantastic bald—but for women, hair loss is a serious issue. One way women in chemotherapy try to add a bit of normalcy to their lives is to cover their heads with wigs or scarves. Most cancer patients choose wigs because they feel that they look more socially acceptable with a full head of hair and it makes them look more like they did before they began treatment. When selecting a wig, aesthetics is not the only factor to consider. Many wigs can feel itchy, can cause sweat, or don’t fit properly. Many women choose to have a wig custom-made to suit their individual looks, style, and head shape.

If a wig isn’t for you, try wrapping your head in a beautiful scarf. Scarves are breathable and lightweight, so they are sometimes more comfortable for hyper-sensitive chemotherapy patients to wear than wigs. What’s more, scarves are less expensive than wigs so a patient can purchase a variety of looks.

So, is a wig or a scarf (or both) the right option for you? Only you can make that decision, and it helps to be well informed as to your options. Check out websites designed for cancer patients struggling with hair loss: they often feature both options and detailed advice from stylists and other patients.