4 Alternatives to Wigs

By Diana Bierman
Reviewed by Lillie Shockney, RN

  • 4 Alternatives to Wigs

    The good news: Chemo is doing a bang-up job treating your cancer.

    The bad news: Your hair has fallen out as a result—and you're not into wearing a wig.

    "Some people find wigs to be hot or itchy," says Kimberly Stump-Sutliff, MSN, RN, AOCNS, associate medical editor at the American Cancer Society, Los Angeles. If a wig isn't on the radar for whatever reason, don't worry—you still have plenty of options. Don one of these instead!

  • Hats


    Whether it's a baseball cap, wide-brim sunhat or fedora, hats can be great wig substitutes. And they help reduce the loss of body heat during the winter months, adds Stump-Sutliff. If you're longing for the feel of hair, try a hat with hair or a "hair visor," which aren't as uncomfortable or expensive as a wig. Still hot or itchy? Wear a headband under your hat. Look for one made of a wick-away fabric, like Lycra, which provides good moisture control to keep you cool, dry and comfortable.

    Where to find one: Hats with Heart

  • Scarves.


    Head scarves come in all different colors and styles, so you'll have no problem pairing them with different outfits. And many come with detailed tying instructions, too, to avoid any confusion. Hint: Go for breathable fabrics such as soft cotton and viscose, especially helpful if you've been having hot flashes (common during chemo).

    Where to find one: BeauBeau®

  • Turbans and Head Wraps

    Turbans and Head Wraps

    Like scarves, turbans and head wraps come in many different shapes and sizes, so you're bound to find one that fits your personal style. Just check the tag before buying: "Cotton items tend to stay on your smooth scalp better than nylon or polyester," says Stump-Sutliff.

    Where to find one: American Cancer Society

  • Hair accents.

    Hair Accents

    Small hair accents can be used with these other head covers. "For instance, sideburns cover the naked spot in front of the ears—without the irritation of a wig," explains Stump-Sutliff. Also look for "add-a-bang" pieces, which give a natural look under hats, head scarves or turbans.

    Where to find one: American Cancer Society

  • Go au naturel!

    Go Au Naturel!

    Embrace your beauty and confidence by going out without a hat, wig or scarf. One caveat: During warmer months, make sure to "use sunscreen or sunblock to protect your scalp from the sun," advises Stump-Sutliff.

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