cancer head scarves - women's head scarf options

Head Scarf Buying Guide

Losing your hair due to cancer, chemo or other medical conditions can be a stressful experience. Fortunately, there are many options for covering your head beautifully, including head scarves.Scarves are in vogue right now. You can see them being used to accessorize in fashion magazines including Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle and many more. You will see all kinds of fun styles and fabrics being used. Headscarves are a great way to take these styles and cover your head while accessorizing all at once.

Choosing the right head scarf can be challenging because there are so many fabric, size, and design choices. The great news is there are so many choices and the bad news is there are so many choices. This guide is going to help you sort through some of those choices and help you select the best option(s) for you.

Scarf Sizes and Shapes

Scarves can come in many sizes and shapes. Each can be tied in countless ways. You can get scarves in squares, rectangles (oblong) and triangles. The most common shape is a square. For a cancer scarf, you are going to want achieve full head coverage. Generally you would want to get a scarf that is at least 22 X 22 inches for a bandana and 28 X 28 inches for a traditional square headscarf. For those that prefer extra fabric to hang down their back, similar to a ponytail, there are oversized and oblong scarves available. Choosing a shape simply comes down to preference. The easiest way to determine the right shape is look at a headwear store like and see which style you like on the model. Here are some pros and cons to each:

square cotton head scarves for cancer chemotherapy patients

Swirled Tie Dye Square Head Scarf

Square Scarves

Square headscarves are the easiest to work with and the most popular. They offer many styling options and are more manageable than oblong scarves for most women. Square headscarves are a popular choice for those experiencing hair loss, such as cancer related hair loss or who choose to cover their hair for religious reasons.

Square scarves can be tied several different ways, offering a lot of versatility. For those who prefer to have a generous amount of fabric hanging down their backs (giving the illusion of hair), we offer oversized square scarves.

oblong scarves for cancer patients

Mesh Oblong Head Scarf

Oblong (Rectangular) Scarves

Oblong headscarves provide a generous amount of material, allowing you to tie the scarf in an infinite number of ways. The dimensions even allow the wearer to tie the scarf to resemble a headwrap to give a truly unique look.

Oblong scarves take just a little more practice, but they offer additional styling options. You can achieve the looks you can get with a square head scarf, but the dimensions also allow you to create an intricate headwrap or turban more easily than a square scarf. Multiple scarves can be used together to create intricate headwraps.

triangle headscarf for cancer chemotherapy

Reversible Triangle Scarf

Triangle Shaped Scarves

The triangle headscarf is a shape we developed for our customers. It is similar to a square head scarf but is the easiest of all to tie.

When you begin tying square head scarves, you must fold the square in half to create a triangle. By designing the scarf in a triangular shape, we have eliminated this step. The triangular shape creates two tails that are easily tied in the back. The disadvantage to triangle shaped scarves is that they offer fewer tying options.

Types of Scarves (Untied and Pretied)

Untied Scarves: Untied scarves offer you the ability to get many styles and looks from one scarf. There are many simple scarf-tying techniques. You can find scarf tying instructions online and YouTube videos or you can get creative and make your own style. We also include free tying instructions with every scarf purchase. When you are done with chemo treatments and no longer need a head scarf, your untied scarves can be used to accessorize in many other ways.

Pretied Scarves: Pretied headscarves are a great option for those desiring a quick, easy look. They give the appearance of a square scarf that has been tied by hand, with less hassle. Some pretied headscarves require no tying at all, and others simply require tying a simple knot or a bow in the back to secure the cap in place. These are excellent for individuals going through cancer or chemotherapy treatments or who simply aren't good at tying a scarf. Pretied scarves are also a great option for women who are suffering from arthritis or surgery or women who are experiencing fatigue or fine motor difficulties. They can be slipped on quickly and come in a variety of styles, colors and patterns. Pretied scarves are the perfect choice for women on the go.

pre-tied head scarves for cancer chemotherapy

So Simple Pre-Tied Scarf

Scarf Patterns and Colors

Prints:Scarves come in countless colors and patterns. You can find scarves in solids, stripes, paisleys, nature scenes, inspirational quotes, poems and just about anything else you can imagine. One thing to keep in mind is to be careful what patterns you choose. What looks good on a clothing rack may not be suitable for wearing on the head. All of our scarves are selected in patterns and in scale with what will look right when worn on the head. The designs are created to fall in place in a flattering way when tied.

Solids:Solids are versatile and can be combined or braided together to create truly unique looks. Another benefit of solid scarves is that you can decorate, paint or embellish them to create your own look.

Hand Made Scarves

cotton scarf for cancer chemotherapy patient

Woodblock Printed Head Scarf

Woodblock Printed Scarves: Woodblock scarves are created by an ancient technique of printing on fabric. This technique dates back to 220 AD. A design is drawn and then a carver carves a block of wood based on that design. This wood is then dipped in ink and used to print on the fabric. The process gives every scarf some variation and thus a “one-of-a-kind” scarf is created. As a result, the purchaser of a woodblock scarf literally gets a unique work of art. These scarves come in many different styles, sizes, colors and fabrics. Because each scarf is made by hand, there will be natural variations in print and color that add to the character of the scarf.

Tie Dyed Scarves: Many of our scarves are tye died by hand, creating fabulous works of wearable art. Because each scarf is made by hand, variations in color and pattern are inherent to the design and add to the character of the scarf.

Scarf Fabrics

Headscarves are available in several fabric choices. All of these fabric options are available in a variety of colors and patterns. See below for pros and cons to some of the most popular fabric types.

Silk: Breathable and durable, silk drapes beautifully and it feels soft and luxurious on the head. Because it is made of natural fibers, it breathes and absorbs perspiration at the same time. The bows tied on silk scarves are especially pretty. Silk can be worn in all seasons, depending upon the weight of the fabric. It can be more delicate than other fabrics so must be handled with care.

Cotton:Cool, comfortable, lightweight, durable, breathable, does not slip, absorbs perspiration. Appropriate for all seasons. Sometimes cotton can be too thick for tying on the head. The cotton scarves we offer are made of a lighter weight cotton that drapes easily. Does not dry as fast as synthetic fabrics.

Chiffon:Easy wash and wear. Low slippage, durable. Dressier look than cotton. Lightweight, dries quickly. Fabric drapes easily. Not a good choice for cold weather and some may not be as soft as other options.

Viscose & Rayon:Offers a nice drape and feel. Typically very soft. Most are machine washable, but check washing instructions. Does not wick away moisture like some other fabrics.

Wool & Cashmere: Lighter weight wool scarves are a great choice for cool weather. Wool resists moisture and is a natural, breathable fiber. Be careful not to select scarves that are too thick because they will be too bulky when worn on the head.

Plated Fabrics:"Plated" refers to garments with one fabric (e.g., cotton) on the outside face, backed with another fabric type (e.g., polyester) against the skin. This approach is designed to offer the best attributes of both fabrics. Many of our scarves and headcoverings are created with all cotton liners for a comfortable feel.

cancer scarf fabrics

Scarf Accessories

cancer scarf: scarves for cancer patients

Scarf Pad

Scarf Pads:

A scarf pad is a full cap made from soft organic cotton terry cloth that can be worn under a scarf or headwear. A scarf pad providesfullness and volume to the top of the head, giving the illusion of hair underneath. This is especially important for cancer patients or women with total hair loss to provide a flattering appearance.

The scarf pad prevents your scarves from slipping on your head when you tie them. This makes your scarves much easier to tie on the head. Because it absorbs and wicks away sweat, the scarf pad also allows you to wash your head scarves less often.

cancer head scarf accessory hair

Instant Hair Headband with Detachable Bangs

Hats with Hair Hairpieces:

To finish off your look, choose a hairpiece to accompany your head scarf.Hairpieces are a great option for hair loss and cancer patients. A hairpiece can be as simple as bangs that are worn under your scarf. Bangs are a great option for warmer climates or situation where you don't want to cover your entire head with hair.

Our patent pending Instant Hair Headband allows you to instantly attach bangs or other hairpieces and wear them underneath a variety of scarves and hats. The headband has a sewn in "hook & loop" or "scratch" fastener to easily attach hair.

You can wear various "hats with hair" hairpieces underneath your headscarves. They come in several styles and colors. You can choose a color that matches your own hair or have fun and go with an entirely new color. Many of our cancer patients choose to buy our "hats with hair" hairpieces instead of a wig.

Scarf Grippers:

Our unique creation, scarf grippers are a headband made of a lightweight gripable fabric that can be worn under a head scarf. The addition of this simple headband will keep the scarf from slipping on your head when you tie it. They are great for silk or other fabrics that tend to slide or move more easily.

Pins, Headbands, and Broaches:

Headscarves can be accessorized in order to accomplish a new look. You can dress up a scarf with a broach or clip. Or give it a new fun look with a flower pin or a headband. You can also use a claw clip to attach the scarf at the back to create a quick easy way to put on your scarf without having to tie it.


Scrunchies are used to simplify scarf tying. Many of our head scarves come with a free coordinating scrunchie. For cancer patients on the go, our scrunchies make tying a scarf very easy.


The days of one or two choices for cancer headwear and scarves are gone. Once you choose the type of headscarf you would like, the hardest part is narrowing down a color or pattern choice! So have fun, and remember there is always someone here ready to help. With so many headscarf options, there truly is something for everyone.

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Rate This Article
Cancer/Chemo/patient Review by Head Scarf Buying Guide
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Recently had to shave hair and convert to the new look for me. Purchesd wig :-(. And indeed looked like a wig so not for me. On line located the caps and scarves. So pleased to find a more suitable for myself. Seeing other ways to wear scarves and decorate the caps with scarves makes me smile. Thank all of that care and share. We need the "positive" when were fighting this diease and your a large part of it!(Posted on 10/25/2015)

mrs Review by Head Scarf Buying Guide
100 100

Very helpful tips!(Posted on 05/21/2015)

Scarf Tying Guide or Instructions Review by Head Scarf Buying Guide
100 100

Hello, Do you provide--on your site--a scarf tying guide or set of instructions? I see that some of the scarves list such with the purchase. Thank you, Vanessa(Posted on 03/25/2015)

  • Hi, Vanessa, Look for a scarf tying video, which has been filmed and will be posted on our site soon! With every scarf purchase, we do include free scarf tying instructions as well! (03/31/2015)
mrs Review by Head Scarf Buying Guide
100 100

This is quite interesting with many options to the wearer.(Posted on 03/16/2015)

  • Thank you for your comments! (03/31/2015)
Super Helpful Article on Selecting Head Scarves Review by Head Scarf Buying Guide
100 100

Thank you for this helpful resource! I am just beginning chemotherapy treatments for ovarian cancer and your articles have been a blessing to me. I am not sure if I will be able to tie a scarf correctly, but this article has helped me to understand my options better. It's good to know that there are pre-tied scarves available as an option.(Posted on 12/31/2014)

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