Soft Hats Designed for Women with Hair Loss
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Buying Guide

How to Select the Best Cancer Hat

The following are some basic guidelines for finding a good hat to wear during chemotherapy — or everything I wish I knew when my hair first hit the floor.

Hats for Women With Hair vs. Hats for Women With Hair Loss

Hats worn to conceal hair loss are very different from those you wear when you have hair. When you lose your hair, a hat is an essential piece of clothing instead of an optional accessory.

  • Hats for women with hair are sized for hair under the hat, usually making them too big for women with little or no hair.
  • Hats for women with hair may not cover the entire hair line — or what used to be the hair line when you had hair.
  • Hats for women with hair are usually designed for have a specific function or occasion — to stay warm, to protect from the sun, or to be worn to church or synagogue. They are never designed to conceal hair loss.


Special Features Required for Headwear for Hair Loss

  • Comfortable enough to worn all day
  • Sized for a head without hair
  • Total coverage of the hair line
  • Appropriate inside and outside
  • Compatible with current wardrobe

Fabric Choice

  • Natural fibers are best because they breathe, avoid heat build-up and usually have more natural "give" which makes hats more comfortable.
  • Fabrics that are not 100% natural fibers, such as blends with synthetic fibers, do not have all the benefits of natural fibers.
  • Choice of natural fibers include cotton, linen, wool, and silk.

Selecting the Best Design for Your Lifestyle

To choose the best style for you, consider your life style during chemo. Will you be convalescing? Going to work? Walking the dog? Shopping? Doing house work? Going out to dinner? Going to church or synagogue?

Headwear can be fancy or tailored, elaborate or simple. The style of headwear you select should be appropriate for the places you go and the clothes you own.

When considering a certain style of chemo hat, use your mind's eye to envision that style on your head in the context of where you will be. Does it look "right" or a little forced? Your mindÂ’s eye tells you if, for example, a fancy hat looks a little out of place or not while you are doing the dishes. Don't try to talk yourself into or out of any particular hat. If you think it "works," it does, by definition. Trust your instincts. There are no rules here but your own.

It's All About the Crown

Most women look better with a little lift at the crown of their head. Once a women loses her hair, she may appreciate just how important this little height at the crown can be. Some are disappointed to discover that without any hair their head looks flat — not good. Others may be relieved to see, even without hair, their head has a nice shape. If you are in this last category, lucky you, no need to read on.

A woman with hair loss who sees that she has a flat crown and does not want to wear a wig should look to hats with some fullness at the crown for a more flattering version of a cancer hat. At the same time you may want to find a hat that is versatile enough to be worn both inside and outside the house. A straw hat with a raised crown or a bucket hat with a brim might look fine when taking a walk, but might not look quite right while settling in to watch TV for the evening.

The FOLD-UP in the Just In Time collection is one example of a hat that offers a lift at the crown and is equally appropriate inside and outside.

Fold Up
Another possibility for adding a little height to headwear is to put something under the hat. The SCARF PAD in the Just In Time collection is designed for that purpose. The Scarf Pad may be worn under scarves and hats to give some body at the crown — perhaps not as much as a full head of hair, but enough to eliminate the rather severe look one gets from a flat crown.

Selecting the Best Color

There are only three considerations:
  • What colors do you like?
  • What colors are most flattering around your face? If your skin tone is a little washed out during chemotherapy, it might be best to avoid bright, sharp colors such as canary yellow or lipstick red.
  • What colors combine best with your wardrobe? If you wear a lot of black, then select a black hat or a color hat that is compatible with black, perhaps beige or a deep color. If your clothes are mostly pastels, then select a light colored hat such as ivory or light blue. If you're always in denim, then you might enjoy a denim hat.


Keep It Simple

Treatment for cancer can be complicated enough, especially in the beginning when there is so much to get adjusted to. Getting dressed should take as little thought and energy possible. Having a selection of cancer hats at the ready that you can throw on without much consideration allows you to coordinate the hat easily with your outfit or your activities. Basic hats that go anywhere with anything can be as essential as underwear.

Sleep Cap
Sleep Caps

Sleeps caps used to be something from centuries ago, irrelevant today. However, with hair loss during chemo, the sleep cap becomes relevant again. Women in chemotherapy soon learn that, without hair, a head can get cool, especially at night, in bed when everything but the head is under the covers. Fortunately, there is a solution. The concept of the sleep cap has been revived!

Sleep hats are now available for women with hair loss who want to keep their heads warm while sleeping.

There is an added advantage of wearing a sleep cap at night when your hair is just beginning to fall out. The hair loss can be contained in the sleep cap and is more easily disposed of in the morning.

The Just In Time collection includes a 100% cotton SLEEP CAP designed specifically for women in chemotherapy.

Optional Accessories

Cancer Hats can be as Subtle or as Interesting and Personal as You Desire

Once you have acquired a basic wardrobe of chemotherapy headwear and still have the time and inclination do more, you may want to explore accessorizing or personalizing your cancer hats.

Reversible Hat and Overlay Ties Set
Here are some ideas to get you started .

Overlay Ties

An overlay tie is anything wrapped around the bottom of the hat. Any rectangular, light weight piece of fabric long enough to wrap around the base of the cancer hat will do. It should be long enough to have enough length left over to be secured with a knot. Ends may hang down or be twisted under.

Reasons For Using Overlay Ties

An overlay tie provides an additional layer, thus increasing the volume of the hat.

An overlay tie frames the face, making cancer hats more flattering.

The personalized look of an overlay tie can add interest to what might otherwise be a more ordinary looking piece of chemo headwear.

When the overlay tie is a color that contrasts with the cancer hat, it "tricks" the eye into looking like more volume than if the overlay tie was the same color as the hat. To demonstrate this "tricking the eye" principle, just imagine wearing black pants and a black top. Now imagine wearing black pants with a white top. Which will look more slenderizing? If you're so thin that you have never had to consider dressing to minimize your weight, I'll tell you the answer — all one color is always more slenderizing than two different colors worn together .

While many women may want to minimize the volume of their bodies, most women want to maximize the volume of headwear during hair loss. Using an overlay tie in a contrasting color will help.

An example of a style in the Just In Time collection that incorporates the concept of overlay ties is the REVERSIBLE HAT AND OVERLAY TIES SET.

How To Make Your Own Rectangle Scarf Into An Overlay Tie

A square silk scarf is great for an overlay tie. But it must first be folded into a long skinny shape to be wrapped at the base of the cancer hat. This is more complicated to explain than to do, so be patient.

Bring the diagonally opposite corners of a square scarf so that they meet in the middle of the scarf. Continue folding the rest of the scarf in 3 to 4 inch folds until you have transformed a square scarf into a long narrow shape along the diagonal of the scarf. The diagonal fold of the scarf provides both "give" and "memory" to the fabric making it a neater and more comfortable fit.

Special Note — Importance of Borrowing Scarves

Friends and relatives probably have scarves they bought impulsively and seldom wear. Ask to borrow the scarves. They can give you lots of colorful alternatives. If the scarves are not something you like, just be gracious, keep them a while and express gratitude for the loan. Your friends will feel good for being able to help.

Additional Items To Add A Bit Of Flair

Find a broach or decorative pin — consignment shops and Salvation Army stores are great sources — and pin it on your hat for interest.

Create your own accessory to pin onto your hat — anything that can be pinned will do — a ribbon bow, a feather, etc. Craft stores offer a range of possibilities. The more unexpected the better.

Selecting the Best Fit

Hats are usually "one size fits most" or sized to accommodate the vast majority of heads. If you have never been aware of having a very large or very small head, then chances are that you, like most, have an average head.

However, if you have always had trouble finding hats either big enough or small enough, then you have reason for concern. You should not assume a "fits most" size will fit you. Make inquiries about specific styles best for your size before you buy.

If you have an average size head but find that some styles that technically "fit" feel good at first but just don't feel good after a few hours, you have a pressure sensitive head. If you are uncomfortable with anything fitting close to your head, it might be best to avoid any hat with elastic and select instead a hat with a looser fit that has no elastic. Even though elastic has "give," it will always fit a little closer than hats without it.

There are Many Choices. They All Allow for Concealing Hair Loss with Ease and Dignity.

View Collection

All cancer hats are original designs by Just In Time.


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