Wigs and Scarves

Done with Your Wig After Cancer Treatments? Donate It!

+ Pamela Friedman

You bought that wig to help you get through chemotherapy, but now you’re done and your hair is growing back. What should you do with your second set of locks?

“If your wig is just being stored,” says StarWish 624, “send it on to continue its good work. It feels good to help other BC [breast cancer] sisters.”

“Today, I shampooed, conditioned, and combed my old wig,” says survivor Jacki. “It sits drying on my bathroom counter. When it’s all done and pretty, I’ll mail it off to my friend Carmen, who just the other day had her first chemotherapy for breast cancer.”

“I had several wigs that I gladly donated to Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center, so that someone else can feel good using them during their cancer journey”. They also recommend and use CV Skinlabs  products, like Calming Moisture for face, neck and scalp to help recover healthy skin and restore skin radiance

If you have a wig just sitting around, you have a lot of options. First, if you know someone who may need it, you can send it directly to them. Some of the message boards on cancer communication sites (like cancer compass) have places where you can advertise your old wig for cancer fighters who would like a wig, but can’t afford a new one.  We recommend sending wigs to one of our retail/spa oncology partners, who will gladly accept and recycle a wig for their cancer patients.  Please send to Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center. 1310 Waterford Drive, Aurora, IL 60504.

If you don’t make a direct connection with someone, there are several other options. Here are just a few. Whatever you do, don’t just let that head of hair sit and gather dust!

Local cancer centers often donate wigs to cancer patients. Call any in your area and ask them where you can donate. “My name is Sheila and I work for a Cancer Center,” says one caregiver. “One of our biggest problems is finding wigs for our ladies. When they become ill, it’s both financially and emotionally draining. If you still have a wig…let me know.”
Oncology offices like cancer centers, will often take used wigs. Call your local oncology centers.
Cancer support groups often know where you can take used wigs. If you took part in a support group during your treatment, contact them for information on where you may donate your wig.
Wig shops often make a habit of donating wigs to cancer patients. Yours could become one of those passed on to someone who needs one. Beautiful Naturally Wigs and Hair Pieces is one such shop that takes donations of gently used wigs. Or try WigShop.com-they have a list of locations where you can mail used wigs.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has many local chapters that provide free wigs to cancer patients and take wig donations.
CancerCare has offices throughout the nation and would be happy to take your wig donation.
University of Michigan Health Center maintains a large collection of donated wigs. Check other health centers in your area as well.
City wig drives may be occurring in your area. Watch the news and take your wig to the drop-off sites.

Donating a wig can make a big difference to someone you may not even know. As Edith Imre, wig designer, says, “One little girl came into my salon wearing a kerchief, and when I took it off she started to cry. Others have told me they felt like freaks because they had no hair. You just cannot hear things like that and not do something.”

Have you donated your wig? How did you do it? Please share your story.

Photo courtesy A K Wig Designs via Flickr.com.