When you’re being treated for cancer the changes in your appearance can have a big impact. Look Good Feel Better is the organisation providing workshops for women to offer advice on make-up, skincare, and a little bit of pampering, because sometimes what you really need is a bit of a makeover and a chat over a cup of tea. Here they give their guide to wig alternatives …
Many women find that a new head of hair can give a massive boost to morale. But if wigs don’t appeal, headcoverings provide an easy alternative and a pair of sunglasses can be a very useful complement to hats and scarves while also providing helpful protection from wind and sun.
Hats and scarves can provide a quick and comfortable alternative to wigs, and some women simply prefer them. We lose 90% of our body heat through the scalp so, if you lose your hair, it’s a good idea to find a few styles that you like – even if you normally prefer to ‘go naked’ or wear a wig – until your natural hair returns. A hat or scarf is also essential in hotter weather to protect the skin from over-exposure to the sun. If you decide not to cover your head, use a high protection factor sun cream (SPF 30 or above) on your scalp whenever you go out.
For many women, hair loss can also have a huge effect on self-confidence. Colourful hats and scarves can help you to feel less ‘different’ and give a real confidence boost.
Kate Tijou, a LGFB supporter who has been through treatment herself, has developed some quick and clever tricks with scarves and headbands and knows from her own experience how important it is to be able ‘dress’ your head in a way that reflects your own unique style:
1) For a simple and warm covering, try wearing a ‘buff’; these multifunction stretchy tubes now come in a huge variety of colours and designs and are soft and comfortable to wear.
2) If you want to wear a conventional hat, try a buff or scarf underneath so you can remove the hat with confidence if you need to. It also covers the areas around your ears and neck that a normal hat often leaves exposed.
3) Place a mirror on the wall behind you as well as in front when tying scarves and buffs; this makes it much easier to check what’s going on at the back.
4) Collect as many different scarves, buffs, and headbands as you can find so that you can experiment with different colours, fabrics and textures: long ‘crinkly’ fabrics can be particularly useful as they provide useful ‘body’ when twisted and tied.
5) If you’re wearing plain colours, a bright or patterned head covering can complement your outfit well. If you are wearing patterns, try to match one or two of the colours in your head covering.
6) Try combining more than one covering (eg a scarf and a stretchy headband) to provide volume and interest.
7) When removing head coverings, don’t worry about undoing the knots until they are off your head; it’s much easier this way.
8) For really special occasions, adding a ‘fascinator’ to a headscarf can provide a stunning and contemporary look: fascinators (which can now be found in most department stores) can be attached with headbands or clips.
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