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.  

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.  

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. 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.

Each local 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 www.cancer.org 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.

Some women prefer to wear hats or scarves instead of wigs. Specialty hats and scarves designed for women with hair loss are very affordable and can be a cost effective solution or compliment to a wig. A soft sleep cap is essential for keeping your head warm at night.

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 www.cancer.org or by calling 1-800-ACS-2345.

 

Related Articles:

Frequently Asked Questions About Wigs

Wig Videos & Tutorials

Chemo & Hair Loss

Wig Buying Guide

Cancer Survivors Share Their Best Advice

10 Tips for Getting Through Chemotherapy

Hair Loss During Treatments: Money Saving Tips

 

Please take a moment to ask any questions and leave us your feedback on this resource below.

29 thoughts on “Getting a Free Wig: American Cancer Society Wigs”

  • Betty

    Where do I find catalog, info on chemo now.. starting to lose hair.

    Reply
  • Wanda L Soel

    I'm currently going through chemotherapy treatment & I'm looking for a place to find a free wig because my insurance doesn't refund me & I'm currently not working right now. Need to find a place close to me in Hasbrouk Heights New Jersey or Hackensack that offer free wigs. Looking forward to hearing from someone soon. Thank you

    Reply
  • Sue Ann Antuna
    Sue Ann Antuna July 14, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I am in need of a wig. Lost my hair due to chemo and is an at awkward stage. Please help me find the resources to get a free wig or an online site that helps you get info. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Danielle Yates

      Hi Sue. I'm sorry to hear that you going through this. You are certainly not alone. You might want to read our Chemo and Hair Loss article for tips on getting through this transition. To get a free wig, we recommend contacting your local American Cancer Society as they will be able to refer you to the closest wig bank in your area. For more information on wigs, our Wig Buying Guide will get you started and teach you all of the basics.

      Reply
  • Taylor Bishop

    It's so great to read that cancer patients can actually get some wigs. I'm kind of curious to learn more if they are able to pick out their wig, or the color that they want. Either way, it's still great that this is an option for them.

    Reply
  • Marlene

    Can I get a wig? I have chronic leukemia ten years now. I take chemo pills daily and my hair is sparse and thin. I will be on the pills for life. Any suggestions where to apply?

    Reply
    • Danielle Yates

      Hi Marlene. We would recommend contacting the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. They may have a wig bank or should be able to direct you to local resources in your area.

      Reply
  • Karen Karalekas
    Karen Karalekas October 7, 2017 at 1:30 am

    I am trying to raise money during tne month of October to be put towards the purchase of a wig for a breast cancer patient. Who can I contact to make the donation from my school?

    Reply
  • Karen

    I have numerous wigs and hairpieces I’d like to donate. Is that acceptable? Please advise

    Reply
  • Renee Boucher

    I will need to start wearing a wig in the next 2 to 3 weeks. I need to keep working while on chemo and i work in retail. My apperance is important to me.

    Reply
  • Carol Howells

    I have chronic leukemia and must take tasigna for the rest of my life. It is causing gradual baldness. I need a wig very soon. Please advise where I can go.

    Reply
  • Dacaira Harrison
    Dacaira Harrison December 2, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I have no hair at all

    Reply
  • Jeannie

    How do you get help getting a wig I have stage 4 : : colon Cancer and I have Lost a lot of hair

    Reply
  • Carrie Shepherd

    I just wanted to help my sweet friend out and get her a wig.she has now lost all her hair. my heart is.Heavy the cost for a wig is so high I can't afford to buy her one..If anyone knows were I can get help for her please let me know.God bless

    Reply
  • Theresa Berona

    I donated my hair to the American cancer society in 2015 and in May 2016 I lost my hair due to acute myeloid leukemia. I lost it two more times in July and again in October. I would like to get my hair back if I can... or someone else's hair?

    Reply
  • DIANA COOPER

    I'm looking for a short wig

    Reply
    • Sandy Williams
      Sandy Williams June 10, 2018 at 5:12 am

      Are you still looking for a short wig? What color? I am a cancer survivor and would love to give my wig to someone going through chemo hair loss as a gift. Where do you live?

      Reply
  • VTS Bharath

    Good idea free wigs for cancer patients.

    Reply
  • Tom Wood

    My, son cut his hair and would like to donate it to someone who makes free wigs for cancer patients. We don’t know where to send it. It is about 13 inches long thick and curly and banded and ready to send. Do you know of such a place? We sent it to Pantene but had the package returned unopened.

    Reply
  • Josie L Fox

    What's the best method for the smoothest shave? I just gave myself a burr....but now, instead of long hair everywhere, I have little short/somewhat sharp pieces evwrywhere!! But my scalp is tender...wasn't sure if there was something that would help with that and would like to get it all shaved smooth so I won't have to worry about poking breakfast and having hair in it. ?
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  • Anetta

    I have Lupus and I'm losing all my hair and I am ashamed to go out 3 years ago I had a major heart attack I am very miserable and depressed and I don't go out I wish I could have a wig but I can afford it :(

    Reply
  • Robin flournoy
    Robin flournoy April 27, 2018 at 5:06 am

    How do I purchase a free wig. I am taking cemo an loosing my hair fast. I would like to send a pic of what it looked like before cemo

    Reply
  • Esther

    Looking for information on wigs, hats and care now that I am losing my hair.

    Reply
  • Rosaura Nagai
    Rosaura Nagai May 17, 2018 at 10:11 am

    This site is absolutely fabulous!

    Reply
  • Mikki Roberts
    Mikki Roberts May 30, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    I have a brand new red hair wig that I would love to donate to a cancer patient it’s shoulder length I never wore it . I was trying something different when I ordered it as to having longer hair but it did not work out for me. Hopefully someone would be willing to use it .Im from New Jersey and I would be willing to mail it to you .Its actually in the same box it came in all tags attached .Feel free to contact me and I will send it out on 1st come basis .Thank You

    Reply
  • Darlene Daland
    Darlene Daland June 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Just wondering if there is a site that offers free wigs for men that are going through chemo. My best friend is going through chemo now and he won't go out of the house because of losing his hair and since he is no longer able to work and his insurance will not cover a wig I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me where in Milwaukee WI a place I could take him to get a free wig? Thanks for any help here

    Darlene

    Reply
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