How can my grandmother cover her head?
January 1, 2012 8:05 PM   Subscribe

My grandmother is going to be going through chemotherapy soon, and I want to find a great head covering for her. I'm looking for personal recommendations.

My grandma is 87 and will soon be starting chemotherapy. A couple of years ago she had to have her head shaved to remove some growths on the top of her scalp, and I remember how self-conscious she was about being half-bald. I'm sure it will bother her again this time around.

I want to buy her some things to cover her head...I want to consider both scarves and hats. However, my grandma has limited finger dexterity due to arthritis. I've found scarves and hats online, but I'm not sure if they're easy to pull on (she really won't be able to tie them on) and if they stay on (she won't be able to easily bend down and pop it back on her head if it falls off).

So, if someone has some experience with head coverings that...

1. Are very easy to put on
2. Stay put
3. Are somewhat fashionable for a lady her age (not a ski cap)

...I'd love to hear about them.
posted by christinetheslp to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Especially if she'll be out in public, she would probably appreciate the style of regular brimmed hats, or cloches. (You know: Red Hats without the Red Hat-ness.) The important thing is to make sure they are lined with something soft that won't irritate her scalp. If you go with this style, make sure they come down far enough on the sides.

An easy way to keep them on is to use a long strap/cord with a toggle bead of some sort that she can pull up and down. It's visible but less obvious than, say, elastic.
posted by Madamina at 8:23 PM on January 1, 2012

Best answer: Check out Alternative Design Studio in San Francisco, their rollup hats are really soft and perfect for women who've lost their hair. When I bought one for a friend and mentioned it was for a cancer patient, they gave me a discount. They cashmere ones seems nice too. Avoid hats with scratchy tags.
posted by shoesietart at 8:33 PM on January 1, 2012

My grandmother liked wearing a wig - has your g'ma considered that? She also liked turbans like these because they were easy to put on, stayed in place, had several colors, were inexpensive and easy to wash/dry.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 9:15 PM on January 1, 2012

My mom definitely preferred a scarf over the wig - she had problems with the wigs itching her scalp and making her head too hot. With a pretty silk scarf, she had a versatile head covering that she could accessorize with. She was really self-conscious at first, too. She felt much better after she found some vibrant scarves that helped her reclaim her 'peppy' personality! Hats worked, but could also be itchy (with chemo, her skin was much more sensitive), so she found the best solution was to wear a do-rag underneath. It's easy to slip on the head without fiddling, it keeps the hat in place, and nobody actually sees it, so she won't be mistaken as a 80 year-old biker babe :)
posted by genekelly'srollerskates at 10:09 PM on January 1, 2012

These turban-type things are pretty attractive and comfy-looking, I think.
posted by houseofdanie at 11:09 PM on January 1, 2012

Best answer: My mom hated scarves and refused wigs, instead going with some kind of a soft blue hat (sort of similar to the J Rollup hat from Alternative Design Studio that shoesietart mentioned) and several similar varieties. The hat she wore seemed snug and easy to put on.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 4:16 AM on January 2, 2012

Best answer: Have you searched specifically for "chemo cap"? They do tend to look like ski caps, but that's because many people want them to fit snugly and be warm. Lately I've been seeing more of the turban and scrub cap styles, too.

Etsy has some cute handmade ones, or if you are or know a knitter or crocheter they're pretty quick to make. Then you can be really specific about requirements like color, shape, etc.

A friend of mine says whenever she has offered to knit a chemo cap for someone they've chosen one like this. Why not have blue "hair" if you can't have your own hair?

Also, you didn't ask this but I've had chemo and one tends to get cold during the sessions -- a pretty shawl or shoulder wrap might be a nice gift for her if she doesn't have one already.
posted by camyram at 11:17 AM on January 2, 2012

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