Before starting chemotherapy, many begin prepping for the possibility of partial or full hair loss. Wigs, caps, and head scarves for wearing during the day will likely be the first things you search for. However, there’s one item most people don’t think of right away, and it’s a big one - as in, “you’ll-probably-use-it-everyday” big. What is this fabulous item, you ask? A sleep cap!
If the term “sleep cap” brings words like “unflattering” or “poofy” to mind, it’s totally understandable. The old-fashioned sleep caps you’re most likely picturing are a prominent fixture in older TV shows, always showing something that appears to have the combined attributes of a shower cap and a bonnet.
Nowadays, sleep caps are more subtle, comfortable, and always worth the purchase. Here are the main reasons why investing in a sleep cap during chemo is a total win:
Why You Should Wear a Sleep Cap
1. Sleep Caps Help Regulate Your Body Temperature
Sleep caps give you the warm fuzzies. Maybe more warm than fuzzy, depending on your cap preferences. An individual may not realize how much warmth they lose through their head. Once a person loses their hair, nights may become uncomfortably chilly. Sleep caps allow you to stay warm and snuggly all night long.
But wearing a sleep cap at night does more than keep you warm—it can actually help keep you cool, too! If you choose a sleep cap in breathable bamboo, the fabric is cooling and will actually help to regulate your body temperature and keep you comfy.
2. Sleep Caps Prevent Scalp Irritation
Your scalp may feel more sensitive than usual during chemotherapy, which is a very common side effect. A sleep cap adds an extra layer of soft goodness between your scalp and pillow. The extra cushion of the sleep cap keeps you from feeling discomfort from your bed linen and pillow cases.
Think about it: You already have so much on your mind already and are possibly experiencing some sleepless nights. Pair this with the symptoms of chemotherapy, such as hair loss and scalp sensitivity, and you have a recipe for even more frustration. A sleep cap can at least help alleviate the symptoms of chemo, making you feel more comfortable.
3. Sleep Caps Are Fun
It's easy to find a sleep cap to match your style and personality. Do you like bold or bright colors? What about lace? Patterns? Your options are endless! Find something you love. Match the cap to your P.J.’s (try coordinating bamboo clothes and caps!) or just choose one that speaks to you - you’re only wearing it at night so it’s all good!
4. Sleep Caps Are Versatile
If you choose a more basic sleep cap, then it can easily be dressed up and worn during the day. In other words, you get two (or more) caps in one!
5. Sleep Caps Work for Those With and Without Hair
Sleep caps are (in our opinion) an essential for those with hair loss. However, they're also great for those with hair because they help prevent snags and tangles. That means you can keep wearing your cap after your hair grows back!
What to Look for in a Sleep Cap
Looking for the ideal sleep cap depends on two factors: the overall attributes you prefer, and your specific style. Below is a general list of features you should seek out in a sleep cap.
- Keep it Seamless: This is a big one. No seams=less discomfort. Whether a sleep cap is single layered or doubled up, the seams should be either gentle and minimal or completely covered. Seams can ultimately cause a great deal of discomfort for someone undergoing chemo, as scalp irritation is a common side effect. All of our sleep caps have soft, minimal seams, making them a great option for those with hair loss and sensitive scalps.
- Cloud-Soft Fabric: Fabric can make all the difference when it comes to a sleep cap. With cotton, you have a soft, breathable fabric to help keep your head warmth in check. Another option is bamboo. Bamboo fabric is soft, silky, naturally anti-bacterial, and easily holds its temperature. If you’re naturally cold-natured, fleece may be the way to go as it’s incredibly warm and plush. You may have to try out a few to find the right one or change them out during different seasons.
Why Sleep Caps are a Post-Chemo Must-Have
You will most likely begin to see hair regrowth within an average of 2 to 3 weeks of completing chemotherapy (this can vary based on the type of treatment). During these early growth periods, it’s a fabulous idea to continue using your sleep cap as it will protect the new hair coming in. As your hair continues to grow, you may find yourself still donning your cap every night to help with frizz, tangling, or keeping your pillow clean during overnight treatments.
As you can see, there are a ton of reasons cancer patients and post-cancer patients should wear a sleep cap. Do you wear a sleep cap? If so, what fabric or style do you prefer? Tell us in the comments section below! Click here to shop our full collection of sleep caps.