For many people, losing their hair is almost as distressing as finding out they have breast cancer. Our hair is a part of who we are and how we see ourselves, and losing it can affect our self-esteem. It also makes the cancer diagnosis public.
Coping with hair loss is a very individual thing. Some people want to wear a wig, hat or scarf, while others don’t feel the need to cover their heads at all. There are no rules about what you should or shouldn’t do.
The most important thing is that you do what’s right for you.
Wigs can be made from synthetic fibres, real hair or a combination of both. Prices range from $80 up to several hundred dollars. Wigs are an alternative to wearing hats, turbans, scarfs, and beanies.
There are many specialty wig suppliers in Australia who are experienced in fitting wigs to people undergoing chemotherapy.
If you would like further information on wigs, have a chat with your oncology doctor or nurse. Alternatively, you might like to contact the Cancer Council Cancer Helpline on 13 11 20 to find out where to get a wig. Some Cancer Councils also offer a free wig loan service. BCNA's local services directory may include wig providers in your local area.
Look Good Feel Better is dedicated to teaching cancer patients how to manage the appearance-related side-effects caused by cancer treatment.
Women, men and teens can participate in a free practical workshop covering skincare, make-up and headwear demonstrations, leaving them empowered and ready to face their cancer diagnosis with confidence.
Workshops are available at over 180 venues around the country. Alternatively you may like to attend a Virtual Workshop, especially if there isn’t a venue close to your home.
Registration is essential by visiting Look Good Feel Better or calling 1800 650 960.
Look Good Feel Better also offers a free home-delivered Confidence Kit for people not able to attend a face-to-face workshop. It contains skin care products and information that is covered in a workshop, including links to practical guides, and is ideal for people who register for a virtual workshop.
Visit BCNA’s My Journey for more information about hair loss related to treatment.
Join BCNA’s Online Network if you think that talking to others online and sharing experiences will help.
For a wide range of head scarves, caps and turbans, visit Treat me Treasure me's online store.
Lisa is a Consumer Representative for BCNA. She shares her story and experience with living with metastatic breast cancer.
Treatments, side effects and the resources and support available
How to improve the way your body copes with side effects of treatment
Impacts of breast cancer on sexual relationships, self-confidence and body image
Managing daily challenges around living with metastatic breast cancer
The challenge of feeling excluded from the wider breast cancer community