The primary aim of chemotherapy drugs is to attack cancer cells, which are known to multiply and divide rapidly. However, one problem associated with these drugs is that they also affect other rapidly dividing cells, such as hair follicles, and this will most often result in hair loss.
Note that some chemotherapy drugs are more likely than others to cause hair loss, but complete hair loss is most often the norm rather than the exception for people getting adjuvant chemotherapy. And while not a health-affecting issue, hair loss remains one of the more difficult side effects of chemotherapy.
A good number of women undergoing treatment note that losing their hair makes them feel less confident, while some may feel self-conscious or not comfortable by such a notable reminder of their disease. Scaling through the many effects of cancer most often is propelled by confidence, and something as small as a wig can go a long way in bolstering that.
A good number of people can barely afford wigs and are losing their hair, and as such a pre-loved wig can mean the world to them. The rate of new cases of cancer is 442.4 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2013–2017 cases).
Most often costing from $400 to $5,000, wigs are not covered by insurance and they can be very high-pressure to obtain for women in remote geographic locations. A good number of organizations have sprung up to help people with hair loss have access to wigs if they want them.
Places to Donate a Human Hair Wig for Cancer Patients
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Wigs for Kids (WFK)
While they accept wig donations, they focus their offerings on people 18 years and under (sometimes older if still in school) who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, burns, and other medical issues, worldwide.
They make available hair replacement systems and support for children at no cost to the children or their families. They also provide complimentary, custom-made hairpieces. However, candidates are expected to be referred by their doctor, nurse, or social worker.
The Wig Exchange
Note that the primary mission of this organization is to provide women undergoing chemotherapy with high-quality wigs and practical tips for handling issues concerning cancer-related hair loss. Aside from accepting wig donations, they also offer a cool and confidential environment for newly diagnosed women. At this time, they are only accepting brand new wigs that have never been worn.
This organization makes available brand-new hats and wigs for cancer patients and other medical patients who lose their hair owing to a disease or the treatment of a disease. Note that they offer wigs and hats to individuals and hospitals to help the patients feel confident about themselves and to give them the needed courage and hope to scale through their fight.
Life with Cancer
Well renowned as a program of the InovaSchar Cancer Institute, Life with Cancer offers a vast range of programs and services for patients, survivors, and their family members to help individuals deal with cancer, its treatments, and survivorship in the best possible way. You can drop off your wig at:
Life with Cancer Family Center
8411 Pennell Street
Fairfax, VA 22031
Locks of Love
Locks of Love provide hair replacement and wigs for children who have suffered from medically related hair loss. To return a sense of self, confidence, and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss, these organizations accept brand new wig donations and also leverage donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.
Look Good Feel Better
This is a non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that features resources and hands-on workshops on skin and nail care, cosmetics, wigs and turbans, accessories, and styling. Although primarily channeled towards women, teens and men can find helpful information on the website and also get free wigs and hair bonnets. Their website also offers an online “Program Finder” to search in-person workshop locations; virtual workshops are offered as well.
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is known to accept donations of wigs, which they collect in wig banks at their local chapters. Have it in mind that these wigs have been cleaned and kept ready for use. Individuals who have no health insurance and need help can contact their local ACS office and request for them. A good amount of the wigs are distributed through ACS itself, while others are given out at local Look Good Feel Better meetings, along with cosmetics and head coverings.
Note that they receive and also offer a wig free of charge to children 18 years old and under with a medical hair loss condition. Once you are over 18 years, the free wig will be offered based on financial need and approval. The organization strives to help maintain dignity, confidence, and self-esteem for those affected by medical hair loss.
This organization strives to improve the quality of life of women undergoing chemotherapy treatments via the implementation of their Wig Exchange Program and Hospital Partnership Program. EBeauty’s main objective is to provide all women, irrespective of economic status or geographic location, access to wigs. To donate, you just have to sign up on their website, and then write your information on their donation page. They will advise you on how to package your wig.
TLC Tender Loving Care
According to their website, their mission is to help women cope during and after cancer treatment by providing wigs and other hair loss products, as well as mastectomy products, all at affordable prices. Many of their offices receive wig donations and also distribute free wigs to women who are experiencing hair loss due to cancer treatment. They just have to call 800-ACS-2345 to see if an office near them participates in this free wig program.