Wigs, turbans, scarves and hats

Some people choose to wear a wig, hat, scarf, turban or beanie after losing their hair, others prefer not to wear anything on their head.

The important thing is to do whatever makes you feel comfortable and gives you the most confidence.

  • Scarves usually need to be at least 50 cm long to cover the scalp. Cotton, lightweight wools or blends are the best fabrics to use as nylon or silk tend to slip off the head too easily. Scarves can be tied in lots of different ways.
  • A beanie, soft cap, or turban is often a comfortable choice.
  • Bucket hats are popular and they offer more protection for the face.

Learn more about:

Choosing a wig or hairpiece

Wigs are made from real hair or synthetic materials. Both can look natural.

  • Human hair wigs – tend to be more expensive and need to be washed and styled like normal hair with hot rollers, curling wands and straighteners. They can be trimmed and coloured darker but not lighter, they are heavier and will last longer.
  • Synthetic wigs – are less expensive, lighter, dry quickly and need less care. They can’t be restyled or recoloured but they can be trimmed. Synthetic wigs will only last about nine months but this may be all you need.

Before selecting a wig

Take a friend or family member along with you for support and to help you choose your wig.

  • Check if your treatment centre or local Cancer Council has a wig loan service or donated wigs at a reduced price. This can be an economical alternative to buying a new wig.
  • Ask your hairdresser or speak to the consultant at a wig salon about a style of wig that would suit you. There may be a cost involved for a wig consultation. Remember to ask about the cost when making an appointment or a decision.
  • Visit specialty wig suppliers who are experienced in fitting wigs for people receiving chemotherapy. Look in the Yellow pages for suppliers or contact Cancer Council 13 11 20.
  • If you want to match your wig to your own colour and style, start looking for it before hair loss begins or take a photo from before losing your hair. Some people like to try something different and choose a different style and colour.
  • Look for a wig that adjusts to any head size to allow for variations as you lose your hair.

Paying for a wig or hairpiece

You may be able to get assistance with the cost of your wig or hairpiece.

  • Treatment in a public hospital – you may be entitled to financial assistance towards the purchase of a wig. Ask your nurse or social worker for information.
  • Health insurance funds – some will cover part of the cost of a wig if you are losing your hair due to disease or treatment. You will need a letter from your doctor to accompany a claim. Check your entitlement with your particular fund before you buy your wig.
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs – will cover the total cost of a synthetic wig if you have full entitlements as a veteran.

Look Good Feel Better workshops are dedicated to teaching men and women techniques to help restore appearance and help maintain self-image during treatment for cancer which can improve self-confidence. Look Good Feel Better workshops are held regularly in metropolitan and some regional areas.

Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for support and information about services, resources and Look Good Feel Better workshops, or visit lgfb.org.au.

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on Hair Loss.

Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059


To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in February 2015
View who reviewed this content
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