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What is a 'Cancer' Hat?

Friday, 5 January 2018 12:33:33 Europe/London

young woman wearing cancer hat and smiling

A simple answer would be a hat designed to completely cover the head (hair line to nape of neck) and disguise hair loss.

However in our experience the real question behind this question is - why should a hat for chemo hair loss be any different to a hat you’d wear everyday?

The principal difference is that you need to wear your hat indoors, as well as outdoors. Therefore cancer hats are best made from lighter weight fabrics that have some give in them, so that they are super comfy to wear over longer periods of time.

‘Outdoor’ hats are often thick to keep us warm, or seasonal such as a straw hat to protect us from the sun. We might wear them for a couple of hours but then we’ll take them off. Many hats are just a bit too warm to wear indoors with the central heating on and they can look out of place when worn in the office, or out socially.

The cut of the hat is important – not all hat styles fully cover the head i.e a baseball cap with a cut out at the back would leave your neck, lower head exposed. By contrast a cloche hat with a small brim may annoy after a while if it keeps brushing your collar or restricting your view. Cancer hats should cover the head fully and easily i.e. you do not need to pull the hat down to achieve the coverage and spoil the shape of the hat. The only way to figure out what you’re happy to wear and what styles provide you with confident coverage is to try on as many different styles as you can find; tuck your hair up inside and see how the shape suits your face.

young woman wearing blue chemo cap

Certain styles are synonymous with hair loss – scarves and turbans for cancer patients in particular. There is a good reason for this – scarves fit any size of head (read on for more about sizing), they add volume to the head. Once we lose our hair our head shape is clearly defined – scarves and turbans wrap heads in layers of fabric giving the head back a ‘fuller appearance’. It is a fact - the fuller the hat style the easier and more flattering it is to wear. As an example to illustrate this point not many women feel confident and comfortable enough to wear a simple ‘sock’ beanie that hugs the head, if the beanie is then wrapped around with a scarf or layered with a head band, the overall impression is a softer, more flattering profile. Once you’ve got use to wearing hats you’ll begin to quickly realise certain hats make you feel more confident, or you have ‘favourites’. This is also an important consideration – hair loss may last for a period of 6 months and beyond, it really is worth investing time to develop ‘your look’, rather than making do with the purely practical – a head covering.

 young women wearing chemo headwear

Adjustable hat styles are another good idea – our heads heat up and cool down throughout the day, so stretch fabrics, elasticated styles or re-tie-able scarves can be much more comfortable to wear over longer periods of time.

Sizing is important. Many of us have a regular head fitting (the High St. works to a 56-57 cms head fitting for women), however if your head is a non-standard size, fit will make all the difference as to how comfortable the hat will be to wear and will dictate what you can buy to wear. Not all retailers supply hats in all sizes, it is worth measuring your head and knowing your own head fitting size.

Here is how to - place a tape measure ‘sweatband style’ around your forehead. The tape is placed just above your eyebrows at the front and around the bump at the back of your head i.e the widest circumference of your head front to back; remember to keep the tape level all the way round the head.

Once you have established your size, what hat styles suit you and provides the level of coverage you’re happy with, then you have pretty much defined what your ideal chemo hat should be. It is also important to remember that you don't have to look like 'a patient'; armed with this information there are High St. fashion outlets that can provide fashionable 'on trend' headwear options.

Chemo hats link and smart, elegant evening hats for hair loss link

© Suburban Turban 2018 - Suburban Turban has been online for 11 years and now sells its headwear range in 11 countries worldwide. Our designs are produced solely under our own label.  Bridal and special occasion bespoke headwear is also part of our service.


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Do I have to pay VAT?

If you are experiencing hair loss you may not have to pay the VAT on some of our products. Headwear we have designed and manufactured specifically for hair loss wear is exempted. ‘Standard’ items of headwear such as scarves, brooches, some winter/summer hats by other designers, skincare are not eligible. They have not been ‘adapted’ for special wear. The ‘status’ of items will be displayed in your basket, before ordering, once a short health declaration is completed.

During checkout you will be asked to confirm that you will be using our products for your own personal medical purposes.

It is a legal requirement stipulated by HRMC that Suburban Turban Ltd can justify our customers’ VAT exemption status. Please be aware that these details maybe verified at a later date.