Getting a Free Wig: American Cancer Society Wigs

When a cancer patient loses their hair, it can often be a startling and difficult experience that adds additional stress to an already stressful situation. Wearing a wig is one way to cope with hair loss and help make cancer patients look and feel their best while undergoing treatment. With all of the medical costs associated with treatments, finding the discretionary funds to purchase a wig can sometimes be a challenge. 


Where Can Cancer Patients Get Wigs?

The first option for someone looking for a wig is to purchase one from a wig shop.  This offers the widest variety and choices.  Synthetic wigs are affordable and have come a long way in quality and style choices.  In fact, high quality synthetic wigs are incredibly realistic; It is often difficult to tell the difference between a synthetic wig and real hair.  Because synthetic wigs are low maintenance and so easy to care for, we recommend them over human hair wigs for those going through chemo treatments.  Finding an online retailer can often save you up to 50% off of the prices of a brick and mortar wig shop.  Many insurance companies will assist with part or all of this expense of your wig purchase.  Check with your insurance company and see if they offer this benefit.  Speaking of buying a wig, just how much do wigs cost? Learn more here.

While some patients are able to purchase a wig with help from insurance, or through their own financial means, other cancer patients need more help and look for free wigs. 


Free Wigs for Cancer Patients

The American Cancer Society is one great resource that provides free wigs for adult women who financially qualify and are suffering from hair loss due to cancer treatments.  While many of the wigs offered are donated items, some local American Cancer Society chapters purchase their wigs through our online store.

The American Cancer Society is one of the most well known cancer awareness organizations. They are volunteer and donation based, working to provide support to cancer patients, as well as to create awareness and support cancer research.

The American Cancer Society has offices and “Gift Closets” located throughout the United States. A “Gift Closet” is a location that is stocked by American Cancer Society donations with free cancer treatment related supplies for patients in need. These locations facilitate the American Cancer Society's free wig program.

Donations of new wigs with tags attached are accepted by many American Cancer Society offices in order to help provide free wigs to women who are experiencing hair loss and may not be able to afford a wig. These donations help keep their free wig program up and running. If you are looking to donate a new wig, you can call 1-800-ACS-2345 to find a local office that will accept your donation.


How to Get a Free American Cancer Society Wig

Each local ACS location differs slightly in how they handle their free wig program. For example, some locations require an appointment to be fitted for a free wig, while others will take walk-ins. You can search for this information on the American Cancer Society's website at under “Find Support Programs and Services in Your Area” and typing in your zip code or city and state.

This search will yield contact information for your local program, where to go to receive your free wig, and what your local program's specific program requirements are. Some locations require patients to be in active treatment, while others will have limits as to how many wigs one person can acquire per calendar year. The selection of available wig colors and styles will vary by location, as they are dependent on what wig donations are received.

In some cases, even hair salons participate in the American Cancer Society's program. Certain hair salons nationwide will fit cancer patients for a wig, facilitate the recipient receiving their donated wig, as well as trim and style the wig. When searching for free wig locations in your area on the American Cancer Society's website, these salons will be listed.


Quality of Free Wigs for Cancer Patients

Each chapter of the American Cancer Society is operated independently so the quality of the free wigs you will receive can vary greatly. Most often, you will be provided with a budget quality wig. What can you do if your free wig is disappointing? We recommend having your wig thinned out and cut by a professional hair stylist. You will be surprised at what a good cut can do to improve the look! You may even be able to find a stylist who will do it for free or at a reduced price. Here are more expert tips on how to make your wig look natural.


Free Wig Alternatives

Some women prefer to wear hats or scarves instead of wigs. Specialty hats and scarves designed for women with hair loss and not only fashionable, more comfortable and beautiful but they can also be a cost effective solution or compliment to a wig. A soft sleep cap for keeping your head warm at night is essential. Many women find them much cooler and easier to work with as well.

For tips on how to select the right wig, this wig buying guide contains a wealth of information.

You can find more information about all of the services that the American Cancer Society provides, including their free wig program, at or by calling 1-800-ACS-2345.


Related Articles:

Frequently Asked Questions About Wigs

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Wig Buying Guide

Cancer Survivors Share Their Best Advice

10 Tips for Getting Through Chemotherapy

Hair Loss During Treatments: Money Saving Tips


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