Managing your life with breast cancer has significant challenges, and for women who experience hair loss due to chemotherapy, these challenges can feel even harder. Many women do not realize how much their hair is tied to their sense of self and losing their hair can take a significant toll on their confidence.
One way that you can boost your self-esteem is wearing a soft Chemo Beanie head covering that can disguise hair loss and make a fun accessory to add to your wardrobe. But, before you buy a Chemo Beanie, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Does it Provide Enough Coverage?
When shopping for a Chemo Beanie or a Hat with Hair, it is important to consider the level of coverage they provide. Ideally, you want something that offers full coverage for all areas where your hair usually grows.
Chemo Beanies extend from your hairline down to the nape of your neck to fully disguise hair loss and give you a sense of security. While hats with hair predominantly cover your head lower over the forehead and the hair extension offers varying levels of coverage depending on the length. You also have additional coverage and sun protection from the visor of the cap.
2. Is it Comfortable?
For many women, hair loss can cause their scalp to feel itchy or tingly. This is due to the inflammation of the hair follicles that precede hair loss. So it is crucial when choosing a head covering to select a material that is soft, breathable and will not irritate your sensitive skin.
Chemo Beanies are constructed from a special polyester/spandex blend that is designed to fit snugly over your head without constricting, and the knit allows for optimal air circulation to make you feel more comfortable.
Hats with Hair by Henry Margu are designed with your comfort and convenience in mind combining an easy to use cap with a stylish wig. The interior of the cap features lightweight mesh that extends down the nape of the neck for a more secure fit while still allowing for ventilation to keep your scalp cool.
3. Is It Seamless?
Because the skin on your scalp is highly sensitive after hair loss, standard caps and beanies can cause irritation due to raised seams that rub on your scalp. To avoid any discomfort while wearing head coverings, choose a Chemo Beanie that is seamless or a Hat with Hair that features a lightweight woven mesh panel.
4. Is There Enough Volume?
As different chemotherapy drugs have different effects on your body, many women do not experience complete hair loss during chemotherapy and want to add volume to thinning or patchy hair. Look for a head covering that offers volume around the crown of the head to give the illusion of thicker hair.
For women who experience total hair loss, the lack of hair can enhance the shape of the head and make your head appear smaller than it actually is which can play with the proportions of your body. Look for a head covering that offer all-over volume that does not provide a loose fit or features layers or ruffles that disguise hair loss.
Chemo Beanies give you the volume of a knotted headscarf with the convenience of a beanie. Ruched, pleated and ruffled design elements give the beanies texture and add volume to your scalp while the knotted design feature at the nape of the neck adds interest and draws the eye down.
5. Will It Protect My Scalp?
Your hair helps to naturally protect your scalp from UV rays and wind exposure, not to mention that up to 80% of your body heat is lost through your head which your hair helps to moderate. Scalp protection and temperature regulation are vital factors to consider when choosing a head covering. Look for head coverings that are lightweight and breathable but still over ample coverage.
You also lose a lot of heat through your head while you sleep, but because a Chemo Beanie is constructed from soft, breathable material that is ideal for use as a sleep cap to keep you warm and cozy while you snooze.
6. Shop for Every Occasion
Different head coverings are better suited to different situations. For everyday wear, you need something that slips on easily and doesn’t require constant tying and readjusting. Chemo Beanies offer the look of an elaborately styled headscarf without the hassle; simply slip it on and off you go.
For special occasions, Chemo Beanies also come in a range of styles and patterns such as the whimsical boho Audrey Chemo Beanie with its feminine floral print. Or, the elegant champagne colored Megan Chemo Beanie that features soft ruffles and matches well with any outfit.
For the active woman, Hats with Hair are a great way to accessorize your sporty wardrobe featuring a range of different caps and hats that you can customize with the hair color of your choice to suit your personal style.
7. Find Your Style
At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, we understand that every woman has her signature style, so we carry a huge range of Chemo Beanies and Hats with Hair to complement your mastectomy wardrobe.
For understated chic, try the Donna Chemo Beanie in delicate blush pink with soft ruffles, or the wavy knit Amy Chemo Beanie in black that complements any outfit. If you love to add a pop of color to your outfits, we stock the bold but feminine Abigail Chemo Beanie which comes in eye-catching ombre fuschia with a fun ruffled texture.
If your style is more active and athletic, Hats with Hair has you covered. Hats with Hair come in a variety of hat and hair colors to suit your skin tone, and in varying lengths to suit different activities.
8. Find Your Size
Most women have a standard head size, approximately 22-23 inches; however, for women with non-standard head sizes or non-symmetrical heads finding the right size cap or hat can be difficult.
Chemo Beanies are created from lightweight stretch fabric that adjusts to your head size without uncomfortable pressure or the risk of shifting throughout the day. The single size available is suitable for all women’s head sizes and can help to disguise non-standard and non-symmetrical scalps.
9. When to Shop
The best time to start shopping for Chemo Beanies and Hats with Hair is after you start to experience hair loss, typically 2-3 weeks after you begin chemotherapy. While this can make the experience less pleasant, shopping for Chemo Beanies and other head coverings while you still have hair might mean that they won’t fit or feel the same after hair loss. On the other hand, trying head coverings on before you lose your hair can mean you are better prepared to cope with the loss of your hair in a constructive way.
It is important to try on a variety of Chemo Beanies or Hats with Hair to find out how they feel against your scalp, and whether the hair length or color suits your complexion and face shape.
10. Where to Shop
One of the biggest mistakes that many women make when shopping for head coverings is not going to a specialist store. A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe not only offers a wider variety of products specific to your needs as a cancer patient, but our staff also have extensive knowledge and experience about the types and features of Chemo Beanies and Hats with Hair that can help make your decision easier.
What Causes Hair Loss During Chemotherapy?
The drugs used in chemotherapy target rapidly dividing cells such as cancer cells. Unfortunately, another type of rapidly dividing cell is your hair follicles, which are some of the fastest growing cells in the body due to the need to continually regenerate hair.
Women going through chemotherapy will lose their hair at different rates. However, the extent of hair loss experienced depends on the type and strength of the chemotherapy drugs administered and the length of treatment.
Studies have indicated that there are some effective ways to minimize hair loss, such as cooling caps, but these methods may not be suitable for all chemotherapy patients. It has been shown that cooling caps were effective for approximately 65% of patients. So, even if you do try preventative methods, being prepared both mentally and physically for hair loss is important.
Tips for Coping with Hair Loss During Chemotherapy
Be Gentle with Your Hair
As you begin to lose your hair post-surgery, it is essential to be gentle with how you treat your hair and the hair products you use. This can also help to protect your scalp and hair follicles from damage as they are more sensitive and prone to breaking.
Use mild shampoo and condition no more than a few times per week and use a wide tooth comb to detangle your hair when wet. Avoid blow drying or using curling or straightening tools as the heat can cause your hair to become more brittle.
Contrary to popular myth, wearing a Chemo Beanie or Hats with Hair will not prevent your hair from growing. They are an important addition to your wardrobe to keep your hair and scalp protected while going through chemotherapy.
They are just as important as your mastectomy bras and breast prosthesis to helping you on the road to recovery after a bilateral mastectomy or double mastectomy. Rather than drawing attention to your surgery they display your personality and enable you to be creative with your post-surgical wardrobe, even after reconstructive surgery.
When your breast tissue is sensitive and the scar tissue itches or the surgical drains are a hassle, a gorgeous chemo beanie or a hat with hair can boost your spirits. So when you choose a soft bra to wear following surgery, also choose a Beanie or two!
Regain Control Over Your Hair
For some women undergoing chemotherapy, hair loss is inevitable, which can lead to feelings of despondency and helplessness. This is why some women choose to take back control of their looks and self-esteem with a short haircut.
A short haircut or shave can help to minimize the impact of losing your hair over time and finding it on your pillow or in your hairbrush. It can also help to promote even hair growth once your hair begins to grow again and reduce the itching sensation you may feel during hair loss.
Be aware that your hair may not grow in the same color or texture as it was previously. This may only be temporary, and in the meantime, while your hair is growing, you can continue to wear your Chemo Beanie as the light material will not overheat your scalp.
Scalp Care During Chemotherapy
In addition to protecting your scalp from the elements with a Chemo Beanie or hat, it is important to care for the skin on your scalp to keep the skin supple and soft which can encourage new hair growth after chemotherapy.
Cleanse your scalp daily with a mild shampoo to avoid stripping the natural oils out of your skin. Do not use hot water as this can dry and irritate sensitive skin. Alternatively, use a non-comedogenic organic oil such as almond oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil to gently massage your scalp when showering. This acts as a moisturizing barrier to prevent dry skin and can stimulate the hair follicles.
Chemotherapy can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. So, apply a high SPF sunscreen to any exposed skin including your scalp whenever you are outdoors. You can also wear your Chemo Beanie for sun protection whenever you go out the door as it can easily slip on and off.
Hair loss during chemotherapy can feel devastating but is important to care for your scalp to encourage new hair growth after treatment is finished. A Chemo Beanie not only protects your scalp and offers a comfortable wearing experience, but it can also give you a boost of confidence and allow you to express your unique style.
Wearing a bra and breast form can help you regain your body image if you have a flat chest, but a Chemo Beanie or Hat with Hair restores your confidence.
Many women continue to wear their Hats with Hair once their hair grows back, especially if it lacks volume. Instead, consider a trendy short haircut or treat yourself to hair extensions.
Call A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe on (954) 543-1262 to talk with one of our friendly staff to book a professional fitting and talk about our wide range of post mastectomy wardrobe items.