choosing hats for hair loss or cancer, choosing a flattering hat

How To Select A Hat

For over 20 years, we have been helping women cope with hair loss following cancer or chemotherapy treatments. Many women are afraid of wearing hats or think they do not look good in them. But the truth is that the correct hat can actually enhance your appearance by balancing out your face shape and frame. By learning which hats work well for you, a whole new means of self expression can be opened up. We have prepared the following guidelines to help you as you discover your unique headwear style. Whether you are a cancer or chemo patient who is buying a hat for the first time or a seasoned hat wearer, the following guidelines will be helpful.


PROPORTION:  Your facial structure and overall shape are important factors to consider when selecting a hat. If you have a small face, you should choose a smaller hat. Conversely, if you have a large face, you should choose a larger, more dramatic hat.  No matter what your size or features, a hat should be no wider than the width of your shoulders. Here are a few more tips. If you are:

Petite: Choose hats with a low profile crown and a small brim. Avoid big hats which can overpower you. Many cloche style hats are particularly flattering on a petite frame.

Tall: Hats with a wide brim and a shorter crown are most flattering. Stay away from narrow and angular shaped hats.

Full Figured: Full brimmed hats that are wide can help balance your shape.

Sharp Angled Features: If your face has sharp angles, you should choose hats with asymetrical lines. Look for hats where the design features folds. Pleating or curves, which will help soften your face. Some suggestions: Gathered Newsboy Hat, Trinity Turban.

hat buying guide



Turbans are a form fitting type of hat that can be worn by almost anyone. They feel especially secure on women who are experiencing hair loss. Some foolproof suggestions include: Three Seam Turban, Cozy Cap, Cotton Knit Snood and the Double Braid Turban.


If a hat isn't flattering when you first try it on, you may need to adjust how it is placed on your head. You may not be wearing it far enough forward or back. The hat should be angled to its best advantage. Try tilting it slightly to the right or to the left. Angle it from every direction and view it from every angle. Experiment until you find the optimal look.



Scarves can be tied in many ways. Consider the guidelines on this page when choosing how to tie your head scarf. Visit our Scarf Buying Guide for more details.



hat accessorizing with earrings


Glasses:  If you have glasses, try upturning the brim of your hat for a more flattering look.

Hair: If you have hair, try tucking your hair behind your ear or putting your hair up for the best look.

Earrings: Experiment with different earrings to add interest. For women with hair loss, large statement earrings can help balance your look and focus attention back to your face.

Hat Pins: Give your hat a whole new look by adding an interesting hat pin or flower.

Scarves:  Dress up your hats with colorful scarves. Tie a scarf around the perimeter of a hat or turban for an upscale look.

Ribbons & Trim: Adornments from your craft store can be used to personalize your hat. The possibilities are endless.

Hairpieces: We offer velcro bangs and a wide variety of hairpieces with open tops that can be worn underneath your hat. They add the appearance of hair without having to wear a full wig. Visit our hats with hair page for more details.




Selecting the optimal hat style for your face shape can help you look and feel your best.  There are a few ways to determine your face shape:


Mirror Method: Stand in front of a mirror and pull your hair back.With a bar of soap or lipstick, trace the outline of your face onto the mirror. Compare the outlined shape on the mirror to the pictures below. 

Tracing Method: Trace the outline of your face from a photograph. Observe to see what shape is revealed.

Measuring Method: With a ruler or measuring tape: 
    1. Measure across the tops of your cheekbones.
    2. Measure across your jaw line from the widest point to the widest point.
    3. Measure across your forehead at the widest point.
    4. Measure from the tip of your hairline to the bottom of your chin.
    5. Compare measurements to the guide below.    


face shape and hats




 Oval Shaped Face

Description:   When you measured your face, your length was equal to about one and a half times width.  Your face is only slightly narrower at the jaw line than at the temples, with a gently rounded hairline.  

Best Choices:   Because of your face is balanced and in even proportion, you can wear almost any style.  

Avoid: The crown of the hat should never be narrower than your cheekbones. Hats should be no wider than the width of your shoulders.                                                                  




Round Shaped Face

Description:   Your face is approximately twice as wide as it is long.  You have a round chin and a round hairline.  The widest point is at the cheeks and ears.      

Best Choices:   Styles that add fullness and height at the crown.  Select hats with sharp lines, tall crowns, high brims and asymetrical shapes. Straight brims should be slanted to create flattering angles. Wear your brims on an angle whenever possible. The crown of the hat should be at least as wide as your face. A hat with a higher brim will help lengthen your face.

Avoid:   Rounded crowns, circular or floppy-shaped hats.             




Heart Shaped Face

Description:   When you measured your face, it was narrow at the jaw line and wide at the cheekbones and/or forehead.  Your face appears wide at the temples and hairline and narrows to a small delicate chin.

Best Choices:   Medium brimmed hats are ideal because they do not accentuate a wider forehead or a narrow chin. Heart shaped faces look good in almost any hat style. Hats with asymetrical brims are a good choice. When you have a wide forehead and a narrow chin, the brim of a hat can help balance a wider forehead. If you go too wide, your chin will appear even more narrow.

Avoid:  Avoid hats with brims that are small because they will make your forehead look bigger. Avoid wide brimmed hats or hats that are too full as these will make your chin look more narrow.                




Square Shaped Face 

Description:  Your face is about as wide as it is long.  You have a strong, square jawline and a square hairline.

Best Choices:  Wear your brims on an angle whenever possible.  Wide brimmed hats with a rounded crown can help soften a wider square jawline. Choose hats that sit high on your forehead to elongate the bottom half of your face. Feminine hats with curvy lines will help soften the lines of your face. Round and asymmetrical hats will contrast a sharp jawline.

Avoid:   Hats with a flat top or a tapered crown.                                




Diamond Shaped Face

Description:  Your face is the widest at the cheekbones, with a narrow forehead.  Your forehead and jaw line are approximately equal in width.  Your shape is a cross between a heart and an oval.   

Best Choices:  Almost everything works with your balanced face shape.  Try a variety of styles.  

Avoid:  You can wear almost anything.                                                                                          



Oblong or Rectangular Face Shape

Description Your face is longer than it is wide.  It is about the same width at the forehead and just below the cheekbones.  Individuals with oblong shapes may have a very narrow chin or a very high forehead.  Your face appears long and slender. 

Best Choices:  Choose wide hats with short crowns. Hats with wide flat brims or curled/floppy brims work well. Try pulling the brim of your hat down to your eyebrows to shorten your face. 

Avoid:   Narrow brims and hats with high crowns, which will make your face look even longer.                                     



Pear Shaped Face Shape

Description Your face is characterized by a narrow forehead and is widest at the jaw, with a round chin.

Best Choices:  The best styles will create width at your forehead and temples, giving the illusion of an oval face.  They will draw attention to the upper part of your face.  Choose hats with a full (but not tapered) crown and a wide brim.

Avoid:  Hats with tapered crowns, which tend to accentuate a wide jaw.                                                                                            


For more helpful tips and shopping, visit the following pages:

Chemo Hats and Turbans

Cancer Hat Buying Guide

Head Scarf Buying Guide


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We encourage and welcome direct links to this page, but please do not redistribute, copy, alter or create derivative works from our content without express written permission.

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Thank you for the helpful tips on selecting the right hat. This is the best resource I have found and I feel better prepared now to choose something flattering for me.(Posted on 12/31/2014)

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