When do I decide if I want a head covering?

By Chris Breton, Assistant Executive Director of To Life!

One of the side effects for breast cancer patients whose treatment protocol includes chemotherapy, is hair loss. Sometimes hair loss is a gradual process with hair falling out a few strands at a time, and other times the hair may fall out more quickly or all at once. There is no hard and fast rule about when or by what means breast cancer patients will lose their hair and because it is not a one size fits all situation, it’s a good idea to decide how you want to handle it early on.

While losing your hair may be expected, it can still be difficult to process and accept. It can also catch us off guard when it happens. We are so busy focusing on other things related to our breast cancer diagnosis, that preparing for hair loss is often put on the back burner. Once you have been informed that you will be undergoing chemotherapy, it really is best to be proactive and not to wait until the last minute to explore all your options pertaining to your hair loss. Since we are still in the middle of a pandemic, it is probably a good idea to take care of as many appointments as you can (such as a wig appointment) before your breast cancer treatment starts and before your immune system becomes compromised. You will also feel much more in control if you address this situation before it happens. Below are some options to help you through the decision-making process.

Start by giving some thought to whether you want to wear any sort of head covering. It is a personal choice for each of us and there is no right or wrong answer as you decide if a head covering is right for you. You may decide to go in one direction, such as wearing a scarf, and then decide that you want a wig, and that’s ok. The important thing is that you begin to plan.

There are several options available for a breast cancer patient to address hair loss. You just have to determine which is the best choice for you.

Here are a few suggestions:

Go natural

You do not have to wear any sort of head covering just because you have lost your hair. Many women decide to not cover their head at all and love the freedom of going the natural route.


Wigs come in so many styles and colors. There really is a wig for everyone. You can get a wig with highlights or lowlights, in any length, and in any color. You can opt for a wig that is very similar to your own hair prior to treatment or go with a style that is totally out of your comfort zone and funky.


A hat is another great option. Most hats come in a cotton material and some have a touch of spandex for a more snug fit. There are also fleece hats available for the colder months. Hats come in a wide variety of color options including solid or patterned prints, or with an embellishment.

Hats with hair

The most popular model of a hat with hair is a baseball cap. These hats come with hair that is attached to the hat and the hair comes in a variety of colors and hair lengths. You can choose a bob or long, down the back hair. Hats with hair are super convenient and provide a sporty, stylish, and fun look.

Scarves/Head wraps

Scarves and head wraps usually come in vibrant colors and patterns and are a light weight material. They also come pre-tied or self-tie and with long or short tails. You can add a pair of big hoop earrings for a very chic look!


We can often feel like we have lost control over so many facets of our lives after being diagnosed with breast cancer, but I personally found that the more tasks I was able to take care of before starting treatment, the more I felt like I could maintain a little bit of that control. Giving some thought early on to your hair loss and how you want to handle it is another small part of your breast cancer journey that you can take control of.

No matter how you decide to handle your hair loss, To Life! can help. We carry a wide range of wigs, hats and scarves to meet your needs. Our fitter, Alice, will be able to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

To make an appointment in our Delmar boutique, please call 518-439-5975.

Posted in: Emotional/Mental Health, In Treatment, Wigs/Prostheses