Head Scarves for Hair Loss

Cotton Batik Headwrap for Women with Cancer, Chemo, and Hair Loss - River Bed



Head Scarf

Buying Guide

Losing your hair due to cancer, chemo or other medical conditions can be a stressful experience.

Fortunately, there are many options for covering your head beautifully, including head scarves.

photo above: Cotton Batik Headwrap


Scarves are in vogue right now.  You can see them being used to accessorize in fashion magazines including Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle and many more.  You will see all kinds of fun styles and fabrics being used.  Headscarves are a great way to take these styles and cover your head and accessorize all in one.

Choosing the right head scarf can be challenging because there are so many fabric, size, and design choices.  The great news is there are so many choices and the bad news is there are so many choices.  This guide is going to help  you sort through some of those choices and help you select the best option(s) for you.


Scarf Sizes and Shapes

Scarves can come in many sizes and shapes.  Each can be tied in countless ways. You can get scarves in squares, rectangles (oblong) and triangles. The most common is a square.


For a cancer scarf you are going to want achieve full head coverage. 

Generally you would want to get a scarf that is at least  22 X 22 inches for a bandana and 28 inches X 28” for a traditional square headscarf.  For those that prefer extra fabric to hang down their back, similar to a ponytail, there are oversized and oblong scarves available. Choosing a shape simply comes down to preference. The easiest way to determine the right shape is look at a selection of head wear and see which style you like on the model. Here are some pros and cons to each:


Square Scarves

Square head scarves are the easiest to work with and the most popular. They offer many styling options and are more manageable than oblong scarves for most women.  Square headscarves are a popular choice for those experiencing hair loss, such as cancer related hair loss or who choose to cover their hair for religious reasons.


30.5 Inch Square Solid Cotton Head Scarves for Cancer Patients - Indigo

30.5 Inch Square Solid Cotton Head Scarf

Square scarves can be tied several different ways, offering a lot of versatility. For those who prefer to have a generous amount of fabric hanging down their backs (giving the illusion of hair), we offer oversized square scarves.


Oblong (Rectangular) Scarves

Oblong headscarves provide a generous amount of material, allowing you to tie the scarf in an infinite number of ways. The dimensions even allow the wearer to tie the scarf to resemble a head wrap to give a truly unique look.

Mesh Oblong Head Scarf for Women with Cancer, Chemo, and Hair Loss - Faded Black Mesh


(Above) Mesh Oblong Head Scarf

Oblong Scarves

Oblong scarves take just a little more practice, but they offer additional styling options. You can achieve the looks you can get with a square head scarf, but the dimensions also allow you to create an intricate head wrap or turban more easily than a square scarf. Multiple scarves can be used together to create intricate head wraps.



Tulle Triangle Scarf for Women with Cancer, Chemo, and Hair Loss - Denim Tulle


Triangle Shaped Scarves


This shape is similar to a square head scarf but is the easiest of all to tie.


Photo: Tulle Triangle Scarf


When you begin tying square head scarves, you must fold the square in half to create a triangle. By designing the scarf in a triangular shape, this step has been eliminated. The triangular shape creates two tails that are easily tied in the back.

The disadvantage to triangle shaped scarves is that they offer fewer tying options.



Types of Scarves (Un-tied and Pre-tied)


Un-tied Scarves:  Un-tied scarves offer you the ability to get many styles and looks from one scarf. There are many simple scarf-tying techniques. You can find scarf tying instructions online and YouTube videos or you can get creative and make your own style. When you are done with chemo treatments and no longer need a head scarf, your untied scarves can be used to accessorize in many other ways.


Suggested Reading:

That’s A Wrap

29 Easy and Elegant Head-Wrapping Styles for the Tressless Chemo Babe






Pre-tied Scarves:  Pre-tied headscarves are a great option for those desiring a quick, easy look. They give the appearance of a square scarf that has been tied by hand, with less hassle. Some pre-tied headscarves require no tying at all, and others simply require tying a simple knot or a bow in the back to secure the cap in place.


So Simple Scarf - Pre-Tied Head Scarves - 100% Cotton Cancer Scarfs for Chemotherapy, Chemo Scarves



So Simple Pre-Tied Scarf

These are excellent for individuals going through cancer or chemotherapy treatments or who simply aren’t good at tying a scarf.

Pre-tied scarves are also a great option for women who are suffering from arthritis or surgery or women who are experiencing fatigue or fine motor difficulties. 

They can be slipped on quickly and come in a variety of styles, colors and patterns. Pre-tied scarves are the perfect choice for women on the go.



Scarf Patterns and Colors


Prints: Scarves come in countless colors and patterns.  You can find scarves in solids, stripes, paisleys, nature scenes, inspirational quotes, poems and just about anything else you can imagine.


Chiffon Printed Head Scarf ffor Women with Cancer, Chemo, and Hair Loss - Felicity

Chiffon Printed Head Scarf

One thing to keep in mind is to be careful what patterns you choose. What looks good on a clothing rack may not be suitable for wearing on the head. Select the patterns and scale with what will look right when worn on your head. The right design will fall in place in a flattering way when tied.


Solids: Solids are versatile and can be combined or braided together to create truly unique looks.


Oversized Solid Cotton Head Scarves for Chemotherapy

Oversized Solid Cotton Head Scarf

Another benefit of solid scarves is that you can decorate, paint or embellish them to create your own look.


Hand Made Scarves

Woodblock Printed Scarves:  Woodblock scarves are created by an ancient technique of printing on fabric. This technique dates back to 220 AD.  A design is drawn and then a carver carves a block of wood based on that design.  This wood is then dipped in ink and used to print on the fabric. The process gives every scarf some variation and thus a “one-of-a-kind” scarf is created.  As a result the purchaser of a woodblock scarf literally gets a unique work of art.


Oversized Cotton Woodblock Head Scarves for Chemo Patients - Tahiti Florals - Teal

Oversized Cotton Woodblock Scarf

These scarves come in many different styles, sizes, colors and fabrics. Because each scarf is made by hand, there will be natural variations in print and color that add to the character of the scarf.


Tie Dyed Scarves: Scarves can be tie dyed by hand, creating fabulous works of wearable art.


Cotton Batik Tie Dye Head Scarf for Women with Cancer, Chemo, Hair Loss - Sunburst Tie Dye - Multi

Cotton Batik Tie Dye Head Scarf (I love this one!)

Because each scarf is made by hand, variations in color and pattern are inherent to the design and add to the character of the scarf.


Scarf Fabrics


cancer scarf fabrics


Head scarves are available in several fabric choices. All of these fabric options are available in a variety of colors and patterns.

See below for pros and cons to some of the most popular fabric types.

Silk:  Breathable and durable, silk drapes beautifully and it feels soft and luxurious on the head. Because it is made of natural fibers, it breathes and absorbs perspiration at the same time. The bows tied on silk scarves are especially pretty. Silk can be worn in all seasons, depending upon the weight of the fabric. It can be more delicate than other fabrics so must be handled with care.


Cotton:  Cool, comfortable, lightweight, durable, breathable, does not slip, absorbs perspiration. Appropriate for all seasons. Sometimes cotton can be too thick for tying on the head. The cotton scarves we offer are made of a lighter weight cotton that drapes easily. Does not dry as fast as synthetic fabrics.


Chiffon: Easy wash and wear. Low slippage, durable. Dressier look than cotton. Lightweight, dries quickly. Fabric drapes easily. Not a good choice for cold weather and some may not be as soft as other options.


Viscose & RayonOffers a nice drape and feel. Typically very soft. Most are machine washable, but check washing instructions. Does not wick away moisture like some other fabrics.


Wool & Cashmere: Lighter weight wool scarves are a great choice for cool weather. Wool resists moisture and is a natural, breathable fiber. Be careful not to select scarves that are too thick because they will be too bulky when worn on the head.


Plated Fabrics: “Plated” refers to garments with one fabric (e.g., cotton) on the outside face, backed with another fabric type (e.g., polyester) against the skin. This approach is designed to offer the best attributes of both fabrics. Many scarves and head coverings are created with all cotton liners for a comfortable feel.


Scarf Accessories


Scarf Pads:

A scarf pad is a full cap made from soft organic cotton terry cloth that can be worn under a scarf or head wear.

A scarf pad provides fullness and volume to the top of the head, giving the illusion of hair underneath. This is especially important for cancer patients or women with total hair loss to provide a flattering appearance.


Scarf Pad - Padding & Liner for Head Scarves - Terry Cloth - Cream

Scarf Pad

The scarf pad prevents your scarves from slipping on your head when you tie them. This makes your scarves much easier to tie on the head. Because it absorbs and wicks away sweat, the scarf pad also allows you to wash your head scarves less often.


Hats with Hair Hairpieces:

To finish off your look, choose a hairpiece to accompany your head scarf.  Hairpieces are a great option for hair loss and cancer patients.

A hairpiece can be as simple as bangs that are worn under your scarf. Bangs are a great option for warmer climates or situation where you don’t want to cover your entire head with hair.

This patent pending “Instant Hair Headband” below allows you to instantly attach bangs or other hairpieces and wear them underneath a variety of scarves and hats.

Hats with Hair Headband - Attach Hair Instantly to Any Hat - As Pictured



Hats with Hair Hairpieces:

To finish off your look, choose a hairpiece to accompany your head scarf.  Hairpieces are a great option for hair loss and cancer patients.

A hairpiece can be as simple as bangs that are worn under your scarf. Bangs are a great option for warmer climates or situation where you don’t want to cover your entire head with hair.

Instant Hair Headband





This patent pending “Instant Hair Headband” below allows you to instantly attach bangs or other hairpieces and wear them underneath a variety of scarves and hats.

The headband has a sewn in “hook & loop” or “scratch” fastener to easily attach hair.

You can wear various “hats with hair” hairpieces underneath your head scarves.


The Instant Hair Headband come in several styles and colors. You can choose a color that matches your own hair or have fun and go with an entirely new color. Many cancer patients choose to buy our “hats with hair” hairpieces instead of a wig.

Scarf Grippers:

A unique creation, scarf grippers are a headband made of a lightweight gripable fabric that can be worn under a head scarf.


The addition of this simple headband will keep the scarf from slipping on your head when you tie it. They are great for silk or other fabrics that tend to slide or move more easily.


Pins, Headbands, and Broaches:

Headscarves can be accessorized in order to accomplish a new look.  You can dress up a scarf with a broach or clip.   Or give it a new fun look with a flower pin or a headband.



Maikun Scarf Ring







Maikun Circle Scarf Ring


TA Ballet Girl Scarf Pin Brooch with Rainbow Colored Rhinestone Embeded On The Dress

Ballet Girl Scarf Pin


You can also use a jaw clip to attach the scarf at the back to create a quick easy way to put on your scarf without having to tie it.



Scrunchies are used to simplify scarf tying. Many of our head scarves come with a free coordinating scrunchie. For cancer patients on the go, scrunchies make tying a scarf very easy.


The days of one or two choices for cancer headwear and scarves are gone.  Once you choose the type of headscarf you would like, the hardest part is narrowing down a color or pattern choice! So have fun and remember there are always someone here to help. With so many headscarf options, there truly is something for everyone.


Recommended: Chemo: Secrets to Thriving

You may also be interested in:

Best Wigs for Chemo Patients

Wigs to Cover Hair Loss


Most women who are faced with hair loss opt for at least one wig and alternate wearing the wig(s) with hats and scarves.  If you or a loved one will be losing hair due to disease or chemotherapy, you may want to think about wigs.  I have put together a buying guide for wigs to help you find just the right wig(s).


What should I do to prepare for hair loss?


  • Make sure you will need a wig. Not all chemo causes hair loss.
Fever Women's Mesh Wig Cap, Beige, 12 pack
Women’s Mesh Wig Cap
  • If your hair is long, consider having it cut short so that switching to a wig or other head covering will be less noticeable.


  • Hair generally falls out 2-3 weeks after your first chemo treatment.


  • Once it starts falling out, consider having your head shaved (use an electric shaver to avoid cuts).  This can make you feel more in control and keeps you from waking up to find itchy hair all over your pillow.


  • If you still need something to catch the hair, you may want to buy a Mesh Cap.


Hair usually grows back about six months after chemotherapy ends. Your new hair may be curlier or straighter, thicker or finer—or even a new color. Usually this change is short term; with time your hair will very likely go back to the way it was before treatment.



Wig Buying Guide


Raquel Welch Sparkle Wig (R10 Chestnut)
Raquel Welch Sparkle Wig
Finding a wig doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you are losing your hair due to cancer, alopecia, chemotherapy treatments or other medical conditions, or if you simply want a new look, this buying guide will help you to choose the right wig for you.
The encouraging news is that no one will be able to tell that you are wearing a wig. Typically when women start wearing their wig for the first time, their friends will tell them how great their new haircut looks, not realizing it’s actually a wig.

If you have always wanted a different hair style or color, there couldn’t be a better time to experiment. Maybe you have always wanted to be a redhead. Or maybe you always wished your straight hair had curls. With wigs, the options are limitless.
Although many women do not choose to wear wigs by choice, they do find that there are unexpected benefits. One is that your morning routine is much, much simpler. You will also save money on hair styling, cuts and coloring. Best of all, you will never have a “bad hair day.”











Choose the Correct Wig Size



Just like shopping for clothes, you want to start by browsing in the right size or section of the store. If you are 5’10” tall and you are shopping in the petite section, it will inevitably be a frustrating experience. Therefore, the first step in selecting a wig is to determine your head size.

For women’s wigs, there are 3 basic sizes: Petite, Average and Large. Most women (90-95%) will wear an average sized cap. For those who do not wear an average, the majority will wear a petite cap. A small percentage of women will wear a large cap. To achieve accurate measurements, it is best to have someone else help you. The tape measure should be snug but not tight or pulled when the measurements are taken.

While average size wigs tend to fit most people, you will find that quite a few wigs also come in petite and large sizes. Consider that many also have adjustable straps that give up to 1/2″ so that you can achieve a comfortable and secure fit.

To determine the right size wig for you, measure the circumference of your head from the front hairline, behind your ear, to the nape of your neck, to your other ear and then back to the front hairline. Jot down your measurement, then consult the table below. Please note that sizes may vary slightly by brand and that not all wigs are available in all cap sizes.



Cap Size Chart



Hair Type


While you may have preconceived notions about human hair and synthetic hair, the truth is that they both have advantages and limitations, which make them the right choice in different situations.

When considering composition, or how a wig is structured, think about the hair type as well as the cap construction.


Many cancer patients want a human hair wig.


Asifen Medium Length Wigs for Women Human Hair Wigs Mixed Real Human HairHuman hair wigs offer the same styling versatility of real hair. This feature is both the pro and the con of a human hair wig. Because human hair wigs are made of real hair, they require much more maintenance, styling and upkeep. 

Photo:  Asifen Human Hair Wig

Without the natural oils from your scalp to condition the wig, they can get dry and brittle without proper maintenance. Just like your own hair, they will lose their style in the rain or humidity and must be restyled. They are also much more expensive than synthetic wigs. For this reason, experts don’t generally recommend human hair wigs for cancer patients or first time wig wearers.



When you are not feeling well, one of the great benefits to a synthetic wig is that your hair always looks good with almost no effort. With so many things to worry about, why not simplify your routine as you go through treatments? This being said, if you want the versatility of a human hair wig, there are many to choose from. Human hair wigs can last a year or more (if worn daily) with proper care.



Human Hair Synthetic Hair
offers the most natural look & feel

presents the most styling versatility

requires more styling – especially after washing

typically more expensive than synthetic hair

very durable – can last over a year with proper care*

higher quality synthetic hair offer a look and feel quite similar to human hair

offers limited styling versatility (hot tools cannot be used)

requires little maintenance & can usually be worn right out of the box

typically more affordable than human hair

less durable than human hair — 4-6 months with proper care*

Premium & Remy Human Hair are the highest quality human hair available

hair cuticles kept running in uniform direction resulting in less tangling

more careful collecting and processing techniques result in higher quality product and contribute to higher price

the most durable hair type

Heat-Friendly Synthetic Hair offers more styling versatility (hot tools may be used – max 350°)

can be more challenging to style than human hair

special care must be taken to avoid tangling

colors may vary from non-heat-friendly synthetic hair

less durable than regular synthetic hair — 2-3 months with proper care*



Many people who have not seen a high quality synthetic wig think that they need a human hair wig to get a natural look. This is simply not the case.  High quality synthetic wigs will be virtually indistinguishable in appearance from a human hair wig.

Synthetic wigs have the benefit of retaining their shape, so they require very little styling. Simply spritz the wig with a spray bottle of water and the hair will return to their original style.

The negative to synthetic hair is that it cannot be exposed to heat sources as it will permanently damage the fibers. This means that care must be taken when putting your casserole in the oven or barbecuing.
It also means that you cannot use a curling iron, flat iron, hair dryer or other heated styling tools on the wig.

Synthetic wigs typically last from 4-6 months (if worn daily) with proper care. Keep in mind that most women do not wear their wig every day.

Synthetic wigs that can be styled with heated styling tools (maximum temperature of 350 degrees) are known as “Heat Friendly”. They allow you to change the look from curly to straight.

For women who find it important to have this versatility but do not want a human hair wig, a heat friendly synthetic wig may be a good option.

One negative to heat friendly synthetic wigs is that the hair can be a little more difficult to style than human hair.

If (when wearing the wig) the hair is pressed against the back of a chair or pillow for a period of time, it can become matted around the nape area. Using your flat iron or curling iron on a very low setting can restore the shape if this happens.

Average life span is 3 months if worn daily. If you only wear your wig occasionally this will of course extend the life span.




Wig Cap Type


Wigs have come a long way in recent years. The advancements in the technology are so incredible; it is hard to determine the difference between a high quality synthetic wig and a human hair wig. These are NOT your grandmothers’ wigs anymore!

Let’s get down to basics. It all begins with the wig base, referred to as a cap. This is the material to which the hair is attached in order to create the wig.

The new cap constructions are lighter, more durable, and so much more natural looking! When choosing a wig, it is important to consider the cap construction – each approach has a specific method of attaching hair to the cap and offers its own set of advantages.



Example: Raquel Welch “Showstopper”

100% Hand-Tied


100% hand-tied monofilament caps allow each hair to move freely for the most natural look. Other designs referred to as ‘hand-tied’ feature a combination of hand-tied and machine-attached hair. This means that some areas (generally the part or crown) are hand-tied, but the rest is machine-attached. If you want the entire cap to be hand-tied, make sure to look for 100% hand tied!








capMonofilament caps offer a very natural look with parting versatility. The mesh material gives the illusion of hair growth from the scalp and allows for individual, hand-tied hair. As a result, hair can be parted and combed in different directions.

Monofilament wigs can be monofilament at the part, crown or entire top of wig.

Double monofilament wigs also happen to be a good option for sensitive scalps as the cap is soft. Of the monofilament caps, the 100% hand tied cap is generally the most comfortable.



Lace Front


Lace front wigs create the illusion of natural hair growth along the hairline. This adds to the natural appearance of a wig and allows for styling away from the face. Some come pre-trimmed and are ready to wear while others will require some personalization.



Scene Stealer by Raquel Welch
Lace Front
Bravo by Raquel Welch


Basic Caps


cap cap


Basic caps are the most common and affordable design. Wefts of hair are sewn onto the cap, which has a closed lace layer at the crown. The hair is cut and styled into a specific style and the crown is often teased or crimped so you cannot see down through to the cap. This type of cap often gives the hair volume at the crown.

Some wigs are referred to as capless. This is a bit of a misnomer as there is a cap, but instead of the closed lace layer at the crown, it has vertical lace strips with open spaces between the wefts.


Wig Style

 Once you have decided on your size, your hair type and the cap type(s) you would like to consider, now you can have fun. Browse through your options and decide which style you like. For women who have very long hairstyles before their hair loss, it is often best to go a bit shorter. A shorter wig will be easier to manage, and less of a transition once your hair begins to grow back.

It is important to choose a style before you choose a color because each wig will only come in a selection of colors from the full color range. You cannot choose the color first because you will have to choose from the colors that the particular style is made in. Many women worry that if they don’t start with color, they won’t find the right color. Do not worry. Each wig comes in a large selection of colors and there will most likely be a suitable color in any style you choose.

If you would like to match your style to your existing hair, detailed length measurements are included with our wigs. Measuring your own hair lengths before you lose your hair can provide helpful information as you make your selections.



Wig Color



As most styles offer a range of color choices, this is a good final step. As you zero in on styles you like, you can begin to review the colors available.

If you’re new to wearing wigs, consider staying close to your natural shade to ease the transition.

If you are torn between two color options, I recommend choosing the lighter hair color. Chemotherapy treatments can wash out your skin tone. Your skin tone can develop a grayish, greenish or yellowish tone. A darker shade will provide more contrast, accentuating a paler complexion; a lighter color will soften the effect for a more flattering look.



My Recommendation:  Raquel Welch Wigs



Upstage by Raquel Welch
Wig Style: Upstage
I recommend Wigs by Raquel Welch because they are lightweight, comfortable and so natural looking; people will never know you’re wearing a wig.
These wigs are truly the best in quality and style, and are consistently rated highly by consumers.
Raquel Welch Wigs for are exceptionally flattering. The styles are on trend yet completely timeless too! 
It’s fun to be fabulous and change your look as often as you change your mind. Raquel Welch Women’s Wigs go from chic and straight to easy waves to high-octane curls.
These wigs come in a large variety of styles to meet anyone’s taste.
Her wigs utilize the innovative technology of Memory Cap® construction – wig caps that are lighter, thinner and completely secure. Wear it for an hour and the patented Memory Cap® shapes to your head for a custom wig fit.
The Raquel Welch Freeform Lacefront Wigs offer an invisible natural hairline and synthetic heat-friendly fibers for total styleability.  The comfort and versatility of her Monofilament wigs is in a class by itself.

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.






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