hats and scarves

I’ve been looking around the shops for hats and scarves in preparation for when I start my chemo in a couple of weeks time. I live in the Bournemouth and Poole area and everywhere I seem to have looked only have the very long narrow scarves to tie round necks. Beales and Dingles used to have a hat and scarf department but no longer and only have a few of the above scattered around the ladieswear department. I have ordered one off an American website and managed to buy a funky hat in Accessorize the other day.
Anybody any ideas where else to look?

Dear Diddly

Topshop are doing a range of turbans and scarves at the moment. Also does your hospital have a shop? Many of them sell scarves and turbans also. Alternatively you can maybe check out Trendco’s website, I’m not sure if they have a shop in Bournemouth but I would have thought they would do mail order. Trendco.co.uk. They have an amazing range of wigs, pre-tyed scarves, hair pieces such as fringes etc.
Good luck

Cecelia. x

Hi Diddly

I’m sure you will get lots of info from the users of this site, but you may like to have a chat with someone from BCC’s Headstrong team who may be able to help you in locating where you can get appropriate headgear from in your area. If you would like to give the Helpline a ring on 0808 800 6000 the staff here will be able to put you in touch with the Headstrong team covering your area.

Hope this is of some help to you.

Kind regards

Breast Cancer Care

Lot of people use buffs - they are very soft cotton. Hopefully someone can give you the web address or try googling buffs - not sure what that might bring up though!!!
I bought cotton material and sewed squares on my sewing machine so they would match my clothes.

Patra Silk had turbans which I used - comfortable and come in several colours. They have a website: patra.com/

Hi I’m starting up my own business because I can’t find anything out there that I like. It’s under construction at the moment but I am making things. www.bandanasrus.co.uk

hello i used sarongs from matalan or peacocks there very cheap and come in loads of colours and have beads on for evening wear. hope this helps good luck with your chemo. love lynn xx

I also found good size scarves in Accessorize but that was some months back. I mainly used regular bandanas that I would sometimes wear with a hat. I found a whole range of colours from a small alternative dress shop - you know the kind that has incense burning and jangly bells over the door! But to be honest I found it really liberating going without anything at all! I would just get too hot. And it’s an amazing feeling - to feel the wind on your scalp… Good luck with the chemo. Monique x

And Paula - what a great idea! Good luck with your business.

hiya diddly

it pends on what your looking for really. you can get bandanas from most places these days … try Claires Acc’s, International (fashion store for youngsters) but great acc’s. big square scarves from tie rack or stores similar. there are a few websites too.

headcovers.com - a great US site but excellent and kwik delivery too
headscarves.com - another US site
www.bohemia-fashions.com - great site, prompt delivery too - london (i think) based.
just put head gear or head scarves into google and you;ll be suprised at what comes up

good luck with your chemo hun, just keep posting and we’ll give you as much advice and support as we can

sending you big cyber hugs hun

loadsa luv me xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ebay is great for scarves and hats if you haven’t found much in the shops.

However, I’ve found the best thing is to make my own. I use a piece of cotton or silk roughly 80 cms square, cut one of the corners off across the diagonal (but not as far as half way), and roll the cut edge round a bit of padding about 5 cms wide. A quick hem on the sewing machine and there you are! Cheap, limitless choice of colours, the padded edge gives a bit of weight round the face and they are really easy to tie as well. And sooooo Pirates of the Caribbean!

Hope this helps. Have fun! Stockbeck

Thanks for that tip Stockbeck, I am wanting to run a couple up on my machine too.


Thank you for all your suggestions. I’d never heard of a Buff before but found a really good website and ordered a couple which came in a couple of days of ordering and also a DVD on how to wear them. I never realized that a seamless tube of material could be worn in so many ways. The site I ordered from was www.buffwear.co.uk. My teenage daughter and I had a few giggles as we attempted to follow along with what the chap on the DVD was demonstrating. No seriously they are really easy and if I can work them out then anybody can.


Hello Diddly

I found some lovely Indian cotton scarves on theindiashop.co.uk. They are in a lovely soft cotton which I found very comfortable to wear especially when my head was sore. They send each one with a matching piece of silk which you can tie around it to make it look a bit different. I also wear mine with a little cotton skull cap bought from headlinehats.co.uk and this gives the scarf more shape and makes your head look less flat.
I received lots of compliments on my scarves especially when I wore them to chemo and one of the nurses likes them so much she has bought some for herself even though she doesn’t have cancer.
Good luck with chemo
Love Anthi

Apologies to anyone wearing them or selling them, but I’ve seen few bandanas, headscraves etc. that didn’t immediately shout out “cancer patient”. They are, in my opinion, hideous and tend to be made from nasty synthetic fabrics or cheap cottons that shed colour in the wash.

I’ve had two hats made to fit from a pricey Vogue pattern by a local dressmaker. The first hat is very pricey (around £50) because of it being the first time you bought the pattern, petersham, fabric, leather trim, liner etc. Then for the second one, you have loads of leftovers and it seems much cheaper. My first was in corduroy for the winter and in second in lightweight suiting for the summer. Both are washable.

The trouble with off- the- peg hats is that they are too loose once you have less hair and liable to blow off in a high wind. They are also not safe when driving if they are slipping down towards your eyes or restricting your side vision. If you choose a floppy style of hat make sure you can pin up the sides.

You can buy fake fringes to pin under hats (either at the fringe or the nape of the neck).

Hi all

Don’t forget charity shops - I have found quite a few scarves and sarongs which I cut down. I prefer the square folded into a triangle and just tied at the back - but I put on a wide cotton headband first as it helps hold it in place and also absorbs the sweat - I also wear it under my wigs (which i don’t wear that often as it is just too hot). I have tried to wear the longer scarves tied in funky ways, but I am just too self conscious.


I tried soft fleece caps at first .I bought them from Primark and they were fine for wearing in bed etc but they were a bit on the warm side for indoor use -and not quite secure enough for outdoor!
So I cut one of them up and tried using it to line the wig but it was just too bulky and I gave up on that idea.

Bandannas were next -with some lovely colours and I found a few market stalls that sold them -I just steered clear of the ones with pointy leaves on them. But keeping them on was a nightmare . I’m the sort of person who cant wear a necklace without having the clasp forever at the front and somehow the knot at the back was always where I would rest my head when sitting or lying. I never mastered the art of folding and tucking without knotting and I can’t sew ,so my choice was limited to what was ready to wear.

I don’t do hats personally but envy those who do - so my best find was the Buff which I wore most of the time. Soft ,comfortable ,lots of colours and patterns to chose from and easy to wash n wear ,I kept it on when I put my wig on. Before I realised how to do that I hated the wig but with the buff underneath the scratchiness disappeared and the wig felt much more secure.

I’ve met lots of other women in the Chemo suite and the variety of choices they make are as individual as they are. I usually pass on the Buffwear address to those who are looking for alternatives to what they are using.


Hi Diddly
I too live in B’mouth area and my daughter has BC. She found the same problem as you in the shops but then we went around the charity shops and found lots of bigger scarves for under a £1 each. She also bought a couple of hats from Accessorize and liking the Baker Boy style hats, because they cover the neck area , she has decided to stick with these most of the time. She found some corduroy ones really cheap in TJ Hughes, Boscombe … £2 each I think. Also a sleep hat and a cotton hat from America, www.headcovers.com Also try Ebay. Did you know that you can also get a wig referral from Hospital … both B’mouth & Poole hospitals do this. Beales do excellent wigs and a lovely lady called Pauline will help you although Beales don’t do the NHS ones. Lynne Lavender from Oceans hairdressers in Parkstone do the NHS referral range … although you can choose a more expensive one and pay the difference. My daughter has just had her 5th chemo and so has no hair at all and is only 33 but she really suits the Baker Boy hats… Hope this is some help. I expect you have now had your 1st chemo … Hope it went Ok. Good Luck with everything. Lisa ( daughter) has had very few side effects and has been pleasantly surprised.