Run for cover

Do you know someone who is about to undergo treatment for cancer? One of the worst and most feared side effects of chemotherapy, is losing all your hair. Partial or total hair loss can have a devastating effect on how people feel about themselves. On looking for suitable headwear, women often find that they are disappointed with the range of hats and scarves available. Last year, a friend asked me if I could recommend somewhere to buy some stylish headwear for a friend undergoing cancer treatment. I just wish I’d known about Feelgood Scarves sooner…

“One of the shocks of losing your hair temporarily to chemotherapy is not the sudden, rather French gamine look you acquire, but that your newly-bald head is a) unexpectedly soft and fuzzy and b) apt to feel cold. A wig will provide instant coiffed perfection for the outside world; at home, a soft but-not-too-hot hat or scarf will no doubt be the more useful and comfortable.

Catherine O’Sullivan, having mastered her own crash course through chemotherapy two years ago, recognised a gap in the Irish market and has started an online business selling five different styles of snazzy headgear for women that help to avoid the pirate-in-distress look. Made in a selection of soft, washable, cheering and good-looking fabrics (including velour, velvet, cotton, chambray and viscose), the scarves arrive artfully packaged in tissue paper, which makes them a great gift for a friend or loved one going through the various sorts of hair-raising ordeals. Now someone needs to figure out how to compensate for missing eyebrows. See feelgoodscarves.com Prices range from €25 to €39.”

Credit: Patsey Murphy, Editor, THE IRISH TIMES magazine.

9 Responses to Run for cover

  1. magnumlady says:

    That looks like a great site. My mum had chemotherapy seven years ago, luckily she didn’t have much hair loss. The other ladies in the ward did though, this would have been wonderful for them.

  2. Grannymar says:

    The scarves are a great idea and not scratchy like the wigs are!

  3. Steph says:

    magnumlady – I love the concept of sending a hat/scarf to a friend who’s going through the trauma of hair loss. People have enough problems trying to deal with their treatment without having to worry about finding ways to look and feel their best. A gift like this, would show enormous understanding.

    Grannymar – If I ever lost my hair, I know I’d hate to wear an itchy wig. The time I had my head opened from ear to ear, I had to wear a tight support bandage (continuously) around my head for several weeks post-operatively. I brought a cotton bandana with me to the hospital to disguise my heavily bandanged head on the way home. I got used to wearing it eventually and it proved a great way to protect my healing head from sunburn!

  4. JBBC says:

    Terrific information Steph! I didn’t bother with a wig when I lost my hair through chemo – it felt far too hot and itchy and unnatural. I actually wore wooly hats a lot because it was a cold winter and now I know it’s true that you loose all that body heat through your head! I would love to have received a nice thoughtful gift like this through the mail – what a great practical idea.

  5. Steph says:

    JBBC – I had you in mind when I wrote this post. I’m happy to hear that it pushes the right buttons 🙂

    Did you find that you needed to wear a hat in bed too? I know you can get lightweight cotton hats especially for this purpose.

  6. Annb says:

    What a lovely idea thanks for letting me know, I will squirrel that away for whenever, if ever I need it – hope all well with you.

  7. Baino says:

    The sad thing is that hair falls in clumps rather than all at once. My dad shaved his head for that reason but warm enough here not to be too vain about baldness. Plus he was a bloke I guess. Nice link for those who need it. How are you poppet? I see you on Skype but I’ll leave it to you to feel you want to chime in. Feel free.

  8. JBBC says:

    Oh my goodness yes Steph – the wooly hat never left in my head even in bed!

  9. Steph says:

    Hi! there. Did you think I’d done a runner? No such luck.

    I’m run off my feet trying to meet the demands of the insurance company. It seems they derive pleasure from making me jump through hoops in order to secure funding in time for the op next week.

    Annb – I sincerely hope you never have cause to avail of this service but I agree, it’s nice to know that help is at hand if it’s required.

    Baino – I’m doing fine thanks though have picked up a horrible viral infection this week which has hit my head and chest hard. I’m so croaky at the moment, you’d not want to hear my voice!

    As regards bald heads, blokes can get away with it a lot easier than women! For many women, their hair is their defining glory so hair loss can be a really big issue.

    When I was preparing for the big op on my head (3 years ago), I happened to attend a cancer care conference which had trade stands selling wigs, headwear etc. I went in search of something suitable to cover my own head post-op and came away disappointed. I couldn’t believe how boring the range was and many of the fabrics used were synthetic. I ended up using simple cotton bandanas instead. It’s good to know however that the range of headwear has now improved.

    JBBC – 😆 I can picture you sitting in bed wearing a flannel grandfather nightshirt and matching nightcap!

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