We place so much emphasis on our outward appearance, that losing an accessory like your hair can be utterly devastating. Along with major self image and self esteem issues, hair loss from chemo also creates an obvious visual to others outside of your inner circle that something is going on. A woman wearing a head scarf or hat has become the calling card for Breast Cancer.
I wanted so badly to wear a wig, I tried, but one of the side effects I was having from chemo was a burning scalp. My head was so sensitive that when I put the wig on I felt like my head was literally on fire. I bought the wig anyway. I tried wearing the wig anyway, suffering through to try and look “normal”. Thank God for my husband Dave, he literally took the wig off of my head and convinced me that the pain was not worth it. We went out and bought bandanas and so began my nearly decade long love affair with head wear.
At that time, back in 2005, Amazon did not have the presence it does now. I purchased a lot of bandanas in various locations. Luckily in New England, knit hats are plentiful in the fall and winter at all major clothing outlets. I had to make sure that the fabric was soft and breathable, or I would suffer the same effects as if I was wearing the wig. Today, you can find a wide selection of head scarves, wraps and hats online for as little as $5 and up.
Losing my hair has been one of the most devastating aspects of my cancer journey. When I had to decide between suffering through additional pain by wearing a wig, or having to embrace other options, it created another level to that devastation. In time I began to embrace my choice in headwear. I realized that I had the ability to use my head wear as a fashionable accessory and not just as a means of covering my hair loss.
This journey is yours, and you get to choose how you accessorize. Choose what makes you the most comfortable, inside and out, but choose it for your true self and no one else.