HeadWrappers is a free hair-loss advisory service, focusing on alternatives to wigs and providing practical support for anyone experiencing hair loss as a result of cancer treatment. Their aim is to help people look good and to feel more confident about themselves as they undergo cancer treatment that may cause hair loss. Currently, the service is available to adults only and although they see predominantly women in their sessions, they also offer the service to men.
HeadWrappers was founded by three friends who met while volunteering for the Headstrong service of Breast Cancer Care, based at Guys Hospital. It was set up in 2002 after Breast Cancer Care had identified that there were limited services for clients who were going to lose their hair through chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Headstrong went on to deliver services nationwide. Following the closure of the Headstrong service in the summer of 2016, the HeadWrappers’ Trustees fortunately realised how valuable this type of support was to those who were undergoing treatment and they formed HeadWrappers.
HeadWrappers is a registered charity and currently offers regular hair loss support group or individual sessions and chemo scarf tying Workshops in locations across London and the South East.
Cancer patients attending a HeadWrappers session are each given a square cotton headscarf for free, which they choose from the lovely supply available. The team demonstrates several cancer scarf-tying techniques using the scarf, as well as using scarves of other shapes and materials. Throughout the session chemo patients are encouraged to take part to try the techniques themselves, supported by trained advisors.
Working with Chemotherapy Headwear and other cancer hat retailers, there is an extensive range of headwear that has been specifically designed for ladies with complete or partial hair loss available to try on at each session. This helps you to try on different styles in a friendly environment, really getting to see what suits you, and being able to feel the quality of the wide range of products available, before making a purchase. HeadWrappers does not sell stock, but everyone is given a list of the headwear they have had the opportunity to try, along with the contact details of the suppliers.
Additionally, during the session they provide basic advice on scalp care before, during and after cancer treatment and signpost cancer patients to other specialist hair loss support services if they need further advice.
The team want to grow and provide their services in more hospitals and cancer units so they can help more people during what can be a very distressing time in their lives. They would like to hear from potential new venues that feel a HeadWrappers Session could benefit their patients or clients and are always looking for volunteers who they can train to be HeadWrappers’ Advisers.