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 determine 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 necessary,” says Maryam Lustberg, MD, MPH, director of The Breast Heart at Smilow Most cancers Hospital. “But it surely’s actually necessary to acknowledge the emotional and religious side of it, too.”

Listed below are some knowledgeable recommendations on 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 via the identical factor. You could find like-minded of us via social media or organizations resembling and the American Most cancers Society. 

You can even:

Meet with a tailor. If potential, go to a cancer-focused store. They’ll measure you and provide you with ideas for the way to costume your physique as it’s now, which can be greater or smaller than earlier than.

Put on cozy garments. You may need extra sensitivity if you happen to’ve had in depth breast surgical procedure, resembling a mastectomy or reconstruction. However on the whole, put on smooth clothes which can be straightforward to tackle and off.

Gown for remedy. If in case you have a port, strive 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 Heart.

Brief sleeves are a sensible choice if you happen to get chemo via a vein in your arm. And put on layers. You would possibly 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 provide you with extra privateness. “You may need surgical drains or different asymmetries you don’t need to reveal,” Weiss says.

Ask for assist. Fatigue is usually a large a part of most cancers remedy. “In the event 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 simply take pleasure in doing.”

It will depend on your remedy. Some individuals can go with out further assist for some time, Frey says. However test along with your well being care crew. You would possibly have to put on a surgical bra.

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

Once you swap again to a private bra, maintain consolation in thoughts.

“It’s notably necessary to put on a seamless bra — one which’s clean on the within and outdoors — if you happen to’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 on your pores and skin’s sake.

If you are going to get chemotherapy as a part of your remedy and it’s a sort of chemo that causes hair loss, you have got 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 . Many individuals get their heads shaved as a option to take management when that begins to occur.

Hair loss is a giant deal for lots of people. Weiss even is aware of individuals who discovered it extra troubling than shedding their breasts.

“It wasn’t a part of your plan to elucidate to individuals, together with strangers, about why you haven’t any hair or why you don’t need to speak about that in a parking zone,” Weiss says.


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

In the event you don’t need a wig and really feel OK about any hair loss displaying, that’s superb, 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 associated fee. Name your insurer forward of time to substantiate how a lot they’ll cowl.

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

Human hair. These could look extra pure, however they are often expensive and a bit trickier to handle. “Over time, they’ll look sort of uninteresting if you happen to put on them quite a bit,” Weiss says. “They don’t have the pure oils” of hair rising out of your scalp.

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

You don’t have to put on your wig as-is. A specialist might help you get a glance you’re keen on.

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” could reduce chemo-related hair loss for some individuals. Your most cancers middle may need a scalp-cooling unit. If you wish to purchase your individual, ask your well being care crew precisely the way to use it and what you possibly can anticipate. And test along 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 could really feel chillier than normal. So you may want a cap or scarf for it.

Some firms make merchandise for individuals going via most cancers remedy. However you don’t have to purchase particular chemo headwear.

You’ll need a head masking that’s smooth and safe. In the summertime, decide a light-weight materials that you simply discover comfy. You would possibly like 100% cotton, rayon, silk, or bamboo. Fleece or chenille can maintain you heat in winter.

Choices embody:

  • “Cranium cap” for underneath your wig
  • Sleep cap
  • Type-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 slightly follow to find out how.

Look Good Really feel Good is a program that gives group or on-line magnificence ideas for individuals getting most cancers remedy. You too can discover movies on-line displaying you completely different seems with scarves.

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

Your medical insurance supplier in all probability 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 neglect your scalp while you attain on your sunscreen. Radiation and chemotherapy could make you extra delicate to the solar.

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

Be mild along 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 smooth 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 similar to they have been earlier than.

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

Eyebrows can also come out with chemo. Some individuals get eyebrow microblading, a sort of everlasting make-up, forward of chemotherapy. The principle cause is to maintain the define of your eyebrows. “As soon as the hair is falling off, you’re much less positive concerning the form,” Lustberg says.

You too can study from on-line magnificence tutorials or at an area make-up counter. Your well being care crew could have recommendation on the place to go. “They know what’s good in your space,” Frey says.

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

Let individuals near you understand how you’re feeling. You too can ask your physician to refer you a psychological well being skilled. “One-on-one assist with a devoted most cancers counselor could be actually necessary,” Lustberg says.

Or attain out to a breast most cancers assist group. “Loads of instances, speaking to individuals who’ve been in your sneakers and have gone via it actually makes a world of distinction,” Frey says.