Gorgeous Chic & Fun Scarves Hats & Wraps for Cancer & Other Hair Loss
My Own Chemo Hair Loss Story
I Cut My Hair Off Before it Came Out on its Own And I Began Covering my Bare Scalp
I turned my journals into daily drawings during treatment. Knowing my hair would soon fall out I decided to subvert the process and slew it myself. I'd read too many stories of women waking up to a hair-pillow-cover.
It was easy to pull it out once the chemo med had snipped the hairs at their roots. It could have been a comic show for the results! *Try to resist following suit.
PHOTO CREDIT: detail from my Chemo Journal Drawings series. copyright 1999 by Leslie Sinclair - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - no use permitted
I forgot to douse my follicles in toner and ended up with breakouts all over my scalp. Chemo squashed my immune system so once my scalp was challenged it didn't recover for the whole 8 months.
Now that's something worth covering up! ***as a postscript - since my Rosacea dx wasn't made until years later, or more likely, I didn't hear my dermatologist's dx for a decade, no treatment worked. Now that I know about the nature of those devastating outbreaks and what measures free me from them, I can live mostly outbreak-free.
If that tidbit of my personal history left you queasy - begin breathing easily! The rest of this page will entertain you, educate you, astound you, and amuse you. Scarf-wearing can be necessary in some circumstances, like when the winter winds blow and you decide enough of this clear crystal cap from the icy deluges!
This is my Special Review of tips, techniques and items for the woman with hair loss caused by medical condition. When chemo cuts your hair cover it up using these tricks and resources.
A Scarf I Wore During Chemo
We have lots of choices now for how to cover our bald heads. From glitz and glam in hand-painted and gussied-up silk and viscose to gentle organic cottons. We can tie a bandanna at the back of the neck or softly wrap a turban. We can slip on a soft cotton knit undercap and top it off with a ball cap or spritely summer brimmed hat.
This could be the very one I had for treatment, and it is one of the styles I have worn ever since. It has the feel of featherweight fabric made of gossamer petals. I love this scarf and you will too. Mine has shades of cream and pink.
You'll Get the Knack for Scarf Wrapping
It can be puzzling, like when you position your laptop just right so you can glance back and forth from the scarf-wrapping videos to your mirror and decide there's some more practice to make.
It can also be by choice, like when you notice that the model's color selection reminds you of how you just could combine a filmy lilac wrap with your cinnamon sheath; and scarf-wearing can be a tease for your best friends to see the wild ways you learned to tie a scarf!
My Pro Tips for Covering the Bald - Anchoring your beautiful scarf to the baldness on top
Since my baldness began in Summer I first wore a tiny scarf under an old sunhat. It didn't fool anyone. I didn't even have eyelashes. My chemo took place long before I first entered the world of the Internet. Funny me! Several times during a walk I'd need to remove my hat and adjust my scarf to get it up out of my eyes. Today it's easy to find special gripper headbands such as I feature near the end. Slip on a headband and securely tie on a scarf or turban.
- NOW that we've got you covered - back to scarf-wrapping! Start with the soft, lightweight terry turban below. It'll cover you up with a snug feeling you need right now. Nothing can be easier than popping on a standby turban - get half a dozen different colors now - for when an unexpected visitor shows up with a chemo gift - or to keep you warm when you go out for an early weekend latte. Under a turban you control the flow of information during the day, and maintain the snuggle at night!
- Choose a lightweight cotton underscarf, a small square tied at the base of your neck - like a bright or muted color bandana (fold it into a triangle, placing the long end above your eyes, and the two ends at the back, then tie a knot). Cotton tends to stay put, creating an opportunity for expression of power over something in your life, at a time when you might feel a weenie bit powerless "Stay Put!"
- Try using a stretch headband over your late hairline, and pin your scarf to that. You can adjust the headband, up or down, depending on the look you are aiming for.
- Avoid those lovely silk scarves because they tend to retain head heat and you've got enough things to be hotheaded about already!
- Look for the soft cotton snug caps in links below. A lovely rayon scarf ties or pins beautifully to one of these comfortable undercaps. These are a lightweight cotton knit, more suitable for pinning a scarf onto, especially if you plan to use a series of hatpins or a heavier brooch. Please take a look at all the colors available.
If your scalp is strong and healthy, and you can bear the feel of a snug undercap, and you are confident pinning into a very thin cap (to hold your rolled or folded scarf on), get very inexpensive and lightweight wig caps that are made to confine the hair under a wig. If you simply must have silk, and you lost the poster putty, try to use it as a loose overscarf. Maybe choose a thin shimmer of silk to tie around a chic cap so you get the glam without the sweat.
- In the beginning, as you adjust to having a bare head, a soft turban is comforting and easy, and lightweight turbans even fit under the long turban wraps. You can even wear a turban over an undercap. Or, you can select a soft hat from the selections below. Tilt the turban or hat to the side for a flirty feel, even if it's only with your visage in the mirror! Treat yourself well - you're worth it!
- If a lace cap and an overscarf still don't feel like the cake's been frosted, then pop on one of a variety of these great hats!
My Friends and I Love This Cap
I wear this supple pre-shaped cap in many colors. It's so lightweight I scarcely feel it.
Sometimes I turn it to the side and wrap a folded scarf around like a ribbon, tying it in the back, with the ends knotted twice and hanging about 4" down. The great range of patterns and colors is so appealing I own several.
Luscious Bamboo Rayon Prestyled
Choose from a variety of colors, a styled wonderful feeling turban. I like how it looks like it's actually hand wrapped and the fabric is grand and smooth.
Does Breast Cancer Affect Your Life?
Do you have, or have you had, breast cancer?
Gorgeous Creative Bare Head Covers
Each long scarf is wrapped separately. The underscarf is stretchy and very long. It shows a great foundation. The outer scarf is a heavier textured patterned cloth. Enjoy!
These Would Have Been My Favorite Chemo Caps
Had I only known about Abbey Caps back when I had a bald head
I'm pretty certain
these would have been super handy hats to have on hand.
Chic Abbey Caps
If I'd discovered the Abbey Cap during chemo I would have bought a half-dozen. Although they are made of viscose I could have slipped a lightweight undercap on and then the perfectly wrapped Abbey Cap.
I wear them now in a variety of colors and patterns. They always stay put and hold volumes of hair.
Smashingly Easy Turban Tie
Ingeniously easy design makes looking great a cinch! You'll want to wear this style long after your treatment phase is over. It's fun and smart all at once.
Viscose Means Wrapping Finesse As Above
Here's how to wrap this stunner:
1. Hold one end 6" above fringe in left hand
2. Place over head, still grasping, as above, hold left end in place below l. ear
3. Wrap the scarf held in right hand around back of head and over forehead and back around to where you are holding l. end
4. Keep ends tight and tie knot below and behind l. ear
5. Arrange folds across head and at r. side, and pull any loose areas into knot or tuck them under along fold lines on head
6. Pull top end of tie down and to one side of knot, or tie double knot.
7. Let ends dangle! This wrap looks and feels elegant to wear.
Try a Superwide Stretchy Headband
A Clever Twist Tie
What could be easier than to finish off a back-tied long scarf with a bun finish in back!
Get Good Cover & Be Stunning - Pop a Sun Hat On & Dress It up with a Gorgeous Scarf
Each time I went out walking or on errands, during treatment and after, I wore a sunhat or rain hat on top of a lightweight and soft scarf - or I might wear a soft undercap under the hat. With breast cancer I became much more conscious of the need to prevent skin cancer, so I wear a brimmed hat to protect my face.
Use a square or a long skinny scarf to color coordinate with your outfit, to tie onto your hat. It gives a lift to your spirit and brightens your day
Back When I Had Breast Cancer............
Family death, separations, divorce, job hunt, financial crash, and breast cancer too. Sometimes I was just grateful to have too many distractions to focus on a single one so I tended to bounce from one to another - leveraging just so much stress to one thing, in passing.
Breast cancer - with me heedless to my high risk category - sat atop my worry hat like a bouncing tassle. Early onset menses, no childbearing,........and the third sign escapes me right now.........those three had earned me the HR designation, but it had run off me like Spring rain off a metal roof. I simply hadn't paid attention. It was only my second mammogram - and I had had my yearly provider exam within the month.
But intuition caught me by the throat when the "need for additional study" letter arrived, and I rushed off to take care of some of those other items on the list, still glowing like neon. The one bright and positive event I scheduled was the date for my "Shaddah", my conversion to Islam - two weeks (it turned out) before the pending surgery. From the conviction in my heart that I had found my spiritual home in Islam I claimed the strength I would need to face an uncertain future.
The next mammogram showed a mass with irregular borders and the radiologist rushed me into the Ultrasound Room - where her suspicions were confirmed, but I wasn't told. In the evening my Primary Provider called me with a question: "why hadn't I told her about the lump?" I didn't know about any lump until that phone call when she told me where it was...............and I folded my elbow and placed my index finger at the spot she described: "about 1 inch at 1 o'clock"!
No one else, no family members and no friends, knew about the likelihood of my having breast cancer. A chronically healthy woman, I truly believed I would be the exception to the 3-Strikes = High Risk rule. My Nurse Practitioner had called to schedule a "first-thing Monday morning" appointment to discuss surgery and the ensuing year as a breast cancer patient.
Covering with Bandana, Tichel & More
Overview of scarf fabrics and styles, including those for cancer and allopecia patients.
You'll Be Rarin' To Go In This Number
If I'd found a hat like this I'd have bought it in a minute. It's got allover coverage, even the nape of the neck.
It makes a take-charge statement, adding a fun touch to casual dress.
Her Beautiful & Creative Head Wrap!
ok, it's an exaggerated style, but it can be modified
.1. Use slightly stretchy fabric, over a well-fitting and comfortable chemocap.
.2. Stand up, and lean over forward with head hanging down towards the floor.
.3. Take 3 yards of fabric off the bolt, folded in half lengthwise.
.4. Lay the folded edge around hairline, tucking in behind ears.
.5. Keep wrapping in one direction, rolling shorter piece of fabric under longer piece.
.6. Now stand up and look in your mirror.
.7. Grasp the remainder of fabric strip, continuing the wrap.
.8. Gather the long tail of fabric to narrow it, and gently wrap it to the end.
.9. Tuck end under one of the wrap layers.
10. Trim it if you like, by wrapping a ribbon around it and securing with pins or tucking ends under.
“Turns out this video can't be embedded, so here is the link ”Super High Innovative Wrap
My Favorite-ever Chemo Hat
the first on the list belowl
It satisfied my every need during that Summer of Chemo
Fun Front & Side Stunner Styles - it's all in how you twist the ends
Do the first wrap. Secure it with pins. Do not tuck the ends in because they are beautifully trimmed, if you buy the scarf below. Artfully arrange the tasseled ends and secure them with pins if they moved too much. You may consider tucking a couple ends in, and just arranging two or three tassels.
Video shows one chic style after another. First don a lightweight turban or undercap, then play. It's sure to be enjoyable.
Decade Post-Breast Cancer Musings
Every aspect of my life has been colored by the breast cancer treatment I received in 1999. Yea! I'm a 12-yr survivor of this dread disease.
But the chemo and the radiation put such a high level of stress on my nervous, muscle, skin, respiratory, etc. systems that network in my brain.
Chemo hit me hard. Radiation pummeled my ribs, collarbone, lungs, heart, diaphragm, and scarred these parts.
Who ever heard of peripheral neuropathy or fibromyalgia or sleep apnea, or choosing your bra size for comfort of the sensitive tissues wrapping the ribs below the breast line.
Ha! I wrote the closing lines in this section with a bit of exaggeration because, prior to cancer, I'd never heard of the conditions, but docs have tagged them with a chemo/radiation-genesis in my case.
So, back to my realization this year that I've been 14-yr cancer-free ----- oops! not really, because thyroid cancer showed up 11 years ago! That's still a hefty chunk of time though.
Awareness of the impact of my mother's recent death at the same time that the 12-yr mark hit my consciousness, brings a sweetness to my life. It reminds me, that through a focus on natural foods, exercise, prayer, good works, sensitivity to others' situations, the severity of many of my conditions had lessened.
“I can equate joy in wearing a beautiful cancer cap or scarf, to dawning awareness of ways to effect the rest of my life.”
More about My Story
life before breast cancer
Six years prior to Breast Cancer knocking at my door I received an MFA in Painting and Drawing.
This was an exciting day. The ceremony took place in June, but my program culminated with my MFA Thesis Show at the end of September.
Since I taught classes at the university during the Summer I opted to continue with my body of work throughout that time.
A return to college concurrent with two of my children felt at times like my initial college years revisited.
Long summer days immersed in art production shared time with literal immersion in crisp river water that runs through a local swimming pond. I painted in the morning, and took off for an hour of swimming, to return refreshed for painting sessions that lasted deep into the night.
Although my gynecologist informed me, during those graduate school years, that I was High Risk for Breast Cancer, I shed that notion as easily as I shed lake water, after swimming. Had I had precognition of the reality of my own breast cancer, the one change I would have made would have been to begin eating organic and gluten free back then. Learn more about Me
My Head Has A Wonky Shape So Bald Wasn't My Favorite Profile
If you experienced chemo or allopecia baldness, did you wear a cover-up?
Visit your care center's chemotherapy beauty center
I felt transformed by the lovely Irene who provided scarves and hats and showed me how to use them. If that is not an option, many organizations provide scarves, and hats. Find several below.
More Headwear Resources For You
Find your style in cancer coverups. Modesty elegant and baseball-slamming team caps, tiny lace caps under gracious great rayon velvet wraps, and just the right look for every lady and gentleman who wears the badges of chemotherapy or just plain loves the feel of glorious scarves, caps and turbans.
- Caps and Scarves online
Headscarves and Caps designed for muslims work for everyone. Scarves and caps have no religion, but plug modesty and style. Click Accessories/Caps for great selection, find undercaps.
- Scarves, Caps, Turbans and Headbands
Selling head covers such as, Turbans and Bandanas, accessory scarf, alopecia, Bandanas, cancer head scarf, cheap scarf, cheap scarves, chemo head patient scarf, chemo shampoo, chemo swim caps, turbans
- Patterns for Caps and Hats to Make
Bev's Country Cottage patterns. Large selection of patterns for caps and hats to make as gifts for cancer patients. Also Josh Groban's "Beanie Brigade" project to make hats for children patients.
Breast Cancer Did a Number on Me
ChemoWraps is my first article on how to cover a bald scalp and do it in style. It is a well stocked scarf, headwrap, hat and cap resource, peppered with bits of my story, and others' stories. I include a short section on a complication I live with, from chemotherapy damage to my Peripheral Nerves.
If you, or a friend or family member suffers pain or numbness in feet and/or hands, please read my lens that describes what Taxol chemotherapy did to me. My purpose is to alert others to an often debilitating condition that lays me up worse than chemo ever did.
Unfortunately my medical oncologist glossed over "complications" of my particular chemo regimen. He didn't mention anything that could befall me, other than hair loss, which was a certainty. Well, I knew that chemo induced baldness was temporary --- especially because my version of ductile infiltrating carcinoma was rated at "Stage One!"
What medical oncologist didn't tell me was that I may succumb to something that would be a lifelong plague - that is, in the allopathic world. Since I didn't know what the symptoms of "complications" from my treatment "might" be, The medical oncologist also did not tell me what to do, if anything to prevent those symptoms.
The intention here is to alert others who have chemo to be aware that these symptoms can indicate Peripheral Neuropathy. My primary doctor told me that I have PN, years ago, a decade or so.
Because I had ocular migraines, so was already taking a med to prevent them, in increasingly higher doses, the neurologist and primary just kept upping the doses. Not a word was spoken about what the neuropathy really meant.
They each told me that the condition was permanent, and that "it only becomes worse." Today there is hope for recovery or improvement, and my natural treatment regimen is a success. Read about how I am impacted by Peripheral Neuropathy
Research & Education is Vital for Disease Prevention & Awareness
How do you support breast cancer research and awareness?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.