Garments, Bras, Wigs, and Scarves


Breast most cancers remedy can change how you feel and look. Whether or not it’s shifting what you put on or the way you resolve to deal with hair loss from chemo, you are still in cost.

Shopping for a wardrobe that matches and makes you’re feeling good is vital,” says Maryam Lustberg, MD, MPH, director of The Breast Middle at Smilow Most cancers Hospital. “However it’s actually vital to acknowledge the emotional and non secular facet of it, too.”

Listed below are some knowledgeable tips about garments, bras, wigs, and different headwear.

You possibly can seek for cancer-specific garments on-line. Or attain out to different individuals who’ve gone by means of the identical factor. You’ll find like-minded people by means of social media or organizations comparable to and the American Most cancers Society. 

You may:

Meet with a tailor. If doable, go to a cancer-focused store. They’ll measure you and offer you suggestions for find out how to gown your physique as it’s now, which can be greater or smaller than earlier than.

Put on cozy garments. You may need extra sensitivity in the event you’ve had intensive breast surgical procedure, comparable to a mastectomy or reconstruction. However usually, put on mushy clothes which can be straightforward to tackle and off.

Costume for remedy. When you’ve got a port, attempt a V-neck shirt or one thing with buttons or a zipper down the entrance, says Patti Frey, an oncology nurse with Northwestern Medication Most cancers Middle.

Brief sleeves are a good selection in the event you get chemo by means of a vein in your arm. And put on layers. You may get sizzling or chilly throughout remedy. “You by no means know the way you’re going to really feel,” Frey says.

Create your energy wardrobe. Put on garments that assist you to really feel “put collectively,” says Marissa Weiss, MD, founder and chief medical officer for 

Keep away from carrying issues which can be too tight. You don’t need to really feel bodily uncomfortable. “Gently-fitted” garments additionally offer you extra privateness. “You may need surgical drains or different asymmetries you don’t need to reveal,” Weiss says.

Ask for assist. Fatigue generally is a large a part of most cancers remedy. “In case you want issues to go to the dry cleaners and be picked up, inform someone else to do this for you,” Frey says. “Save your vitality for the issues that you just get pleasure from doing.”

It will depend on your remedy. Some folks can go with out further help for some time, Frey says. However examine together with your well being care workforce. You may have to put on a surgical bra.

“Medical-grade bras are sometimes softer and don’t have underwire,” Lustberg says. “They normally have a zipper up entrance. And in case you have drains, a few of these undergarments have a spot the place you may extra simply entry [them].”

Once you change again to a private bra, preserve consolation in thoughts.

“It’s notably vital to put on a seamless bra — one which’s easy on the within and out of doors — in the event you’re getting radiation,” Weiss says. Keep away from underwire bras, lacy bras, and any bras with elastic bands which have zig-zag stitches throughout this time in your pores and skin’s sake.

If you are going to get chemotherapy as a part of your remedy and it’s a kind of chemo that causes hair loss, you’ve choices about the way you need to deal with that.

The hair loss begins about 2-3 weeks after chemo begins. It doesn’t come out all of sudden. Many individuals get their heads shaved as a option to take management when that begins to occur.

Hair loss is an enormous deal for lots of people. Weiss even is aware of individuals who discovered it extra troubling than dropping their breasts.

“It wasn’t a part of your plan to clarify to folks, together with strangers, about why you don’t have any hair or why you don’t need to discuss that in a parking zone,” Weiss says.


If that’s true for you, a wig generally is a good option to protect your sense of self and shield your privateness.

In case you don’t need a wig and really feel OK about any hair loss displaying, that’s high quality, too. It’s a private alternative.

You should purchase a wig off the shelf. However ask your physician to prescribe a “cranial prosthesis” — a wig — and your medical insurance supplier ought to cowl the fee. Name your insurer forward of time to verify how a lot they’ll cowl.

There are execs and cons to totally different sorts of wigs, together with:

Human hair. These might look extra pure, however they are often pricey and a bit trickier to handle. “Over time, they’ll look form of boring in the event you put on them loads,” Weiss says. “They don’t have the pure oils” of hair rising out of your scalp.

Artificial. These are inclined to price lower than wigs made with human hair. And so they’re normally simpler to look after. “You possibly can throw them round extra they usually don’t get funky on you,” Weiss says.

You don’t have to put on your wig as-is. A specialist may also help you get a glance you like.

Go to “a hair stylist or most cancers boutique, the place they’ll body the layers to suit extra naturally,” Lustberg says.

Ask your physician about scalp cooling. “Chilly caps” might reduce chemo-related hair loss for some folks. Your most cancers heart may need a scalp-cooling unit. If you wish to purchase your individual, ask your well being care workforce precisely find out how to use it and what you may count on. And examine together with your medical insurance supplier to see in the event that they’ll pay for it.


With out your hair or a wig, your head might really feel chillier than regular. So you may want a cap or scarf for it.

Some firms make merchandise for folks going by means of most cancers remedy. However you don’t have to purchase particular chemo headwear.

You’ll need a head masking that’s mushy and safe. In the summertime, decide a light-weight materials that you just discover snug. You may like 100% cotton, rayon, silk, or bamboo. Fleece or chenille can preserve you heat in winter.

Choices embrace:

  • “Cranium cap” for below your wig
  • Sleep cap
  • Kind-fitting cap or beanie
  • Hats for various seasons
  • Pre-tied or slip-on head scarf

You possibly can wrap a shawl your self. It simply takes just a little follow to find out how.

Look Good Really feel Good is a program that gives group or on-line magnificence suggestions for folks getting most cancers remedy. It’s also possible to discover movies on-line displaying you totally different seems to be with scarves.

Some folks put on a baseball cap with a ponytail within the again. You’ll find headbands with artificial hair designed for this look.

Your medical insurance supplier most likely received’t pay for a shawl or hat. However there are native and nationwide teams that’ll assist you to discover free headwear. Ask your physician or name the American Most cancers Society at 800-227-2345 for more information.

Don’t overlook your scalp if you attain in your sunscreen. Radiation and chemotherapy could make you extra delicate to the solar.

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 or larger.
  • Put on a tight-woven hat with a 5-inch brim.
  • Hold radiation-treated areas away from the solar.
  • Cowl your arms and chest with an outsized button-down shirt.
  • Sit below an umbrella if you’re on the pool, seashore, or consuming outdoors.

Be mild together with your scalp when your hair begins to fall out. It may be tender and painful. Listed below are some issues you are able to do as you undergo remedy:

  • Use child shampoo.
  • Pat your hair dry.
  • Use a child brush with mushy bristles.
  • Don’t blow dry your hair.

Eyelashes can take a number of months after chemo ends to develop again in. And they may not develop again identical to they have been earlier than.

Some folks use lash boosters or synthetic lashes, Lustberg says.

Eyebrows can also come out with chemo. Some folks get eyebrow microblading, a kind of everlasting make-up, forward of chemotherapy. The primary purpose is to maintain the define of your eyebrows. “As soon as the hair is falling off, you’re much less certain in regards to the form,” Lustberg says.

It’s also possible to be taught from on-line magnificence tutorials or at an area make-up counter. Your well being care workforce might have recommendation on the place to go. “They know what’s good in your space,” Frey says.

Going by means of most cancers remedy isn’t straightforward. Coping with physique modifications can run loads deeper than switching out your garments or remembering to make use of sunscreen in your scalp.

Let folks near you understand how you’re feeling. It’s also possible to ask your physician to refer you a psychological well being skilled. “One-on-one help with a devoted most cancers counselor may be actually vital,” Lustberg says.

Or attain out to a breast most cancers help group. “Quite a lot of occasions, speaking to individuals who’ve been in your sneakers and have gone by means of it actually makes a world of distinction,” Frey says.