When you picture a person who is going through chemotherapy, you invariably envision a balding head. For better or worse, it is the image that comes to mind first, and there’s a good reason for it. The chemicals that make chemotherapy drugs so effective at killing fast-growing cancer cells – and sometimes the radiation therapy treatments – also do damage to hair follicles, which also grow very quickly. The result is that hair falls out from all over the body – sometimes slowly, but in most times in big clumps while showering or brushing our hair. The sight of hanks of hair on the pillow in the morning is often the thing that causes otherwise stoic patients to finally break down and cry.
Some cancer patients choose to proudly flaunt their hair-free look, and celebrities with cancer have even appeared on television and magazine covers in an effort to give strength and a sense of unity to those with whom they are sharing the experience. But not everybody embraces it. Many are self-conscious, saying that it contributes to people’s treatment of them as fragile or helpless.
If you are anticipating chemotherapy or radiation treatment, ask your physician whether hair loss is likely. Some of the newer drugs do not impact hair follicles, and other cancer treatments may only cause hair loss on the scalp, without impacting eyelashes and eyebrows or body hair. Generally speaking, you can expect that hair loss will happen about two weeks after the start of your treatment and will continue for a couple of months after the chemotherapy begins. Many chemo patients find regrowth beginning even before treatment ends.
Though some cancer patients choose to use wigs to mask their hair loss, there are a number of beautiful, soft, warm chemo hats and head wraps for cancer patients that are available. Scarves are also a wonderful accessory to help you feel more confident while experiencing hair loss and protect your delicate skin from the sun’s UV rays.
Chemotherapy and radiation treatments often leave cancer patients feeling self-conscious about their appearance, but cancer scarves, chemo hats, and head wraps can help you instantly feel more comfortable and beautiful. Here are some of our favorites.
Good Wishes was started by Laurie Erickson, the owner of a hair accessories company, who found herself at a loss after a long-time client came in seeking something for herself – a head wrap for cancer to cover her hair after she’s undergone chemotherapy treatment. Laurie held a brainstorming session with her staff, and they created a beautiful scarf to provide both comfort and style. From that humble beginning, Good Wishes was born. The organization became a 501(c)(3) charity in 2010, and since its beginnings have mailed out over 49,000 It’s a Wrap or Good Wishes square scarves to people experiencing thinning or loss of hair due to illness or treatment. The organization’s mission is to ease patients’ journey and provide comfort and to share their good wishes and the power of positive thinking. Those who are interested can select three different fabrics and then fill out an online request form. The scarf will be mailed in approximately three to six weeks.
Hats for you specializes in providing a wide variety of cancer scarves for patients, chemo hats, turbans, head wraps for cancer patients, and other headwear for those suffering from hair loss due to chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as well as other medical issues. They offer unique products for chemo and cancer patients such as baseball caps with hair and nightcaps to provide warmth and protection while you sleep. The company strives to combine both comfort and style with all of their offerings, and also makes it easy for family and friends to support cancer patients by offering gift cards and greeting cards.
TLC is a division of ACS Products, Inc., which is an affiliate of the American Cancer Society. The organization is not a fundraiser, though profits do get reinvested into the Society’s programs and services. They offer a wide variety of products specifically for cancer patients, ranging from head wraps for cancer patients, chemo caps and hats, and wigs to items such as bras and silicone breast forms designed for breast cancer patients and survivors. Their headcovers include turbans and head wraps for cancer patients, chemo hats for all seasons, scarves and kerchiefs, and even specialty items such as swim caps and sleep caps.
Headcovers Unlimited was born of the frustration experienced by Carol Galland, a hairdresser who was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer at the age of forty years old. Though she had assumed that as a professional in the beauty industry she would be able to locate head wraps for cancer patients, chemo hats, scarves, and other products to help her through her hair loss, she found that none were available. She and her daughter established Headcovers Unlimited, which today provides head wraps, head scarves, chemo hats, caps, and other items that are comfortable and flattering. Their clients include cancer patients as well as those suffering from other medical conditions and treatments that have caused hair loss. They also provide wigs, eyelashes and eyebrows, and even cosmetics designed for the needs of cancer patients.
Etsy is the go-to place for innovative, creative handmade products made and sold by entrepreneurs. There are several companies selling head wraps for cancer patients, chemo hats, scarves for cancer patients, chemotherapy turbans, caps and scarves in a wide array of fabrics, colors, patterns and styles.
Chemo Beanies is a family business that resulted after two sisters were both diagnosed with cancer. The sister who was diagnosed first had already experienced the frustration of finding an effective, stylish, and comfortable head wrap for cancer patients to use during her own treatment, and resolved that her sister would not go through the same thing when she was diagnosed five years later. The search for a chemo hat or head wrap for cancer product that would meet their needs led them to create their own, and the result was so popular and generated such interest that they started their own company to help other women to take the “Burden out of Baldness.”
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