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Cancer Council’s wig fitting service boosting confidence for those going through cancer treatment

Our wig service provides complimentary wigs and headwear to Australians experiencing hair loss during treatment. Depending on the service, trained volunteers or experienced cancer nurses can help fit people affected by cancer with a wig that makes them feel most like themselves.

Cancer Council - life in a day of our wig service

Well-fitted wigs for improved self-confidence during treatment  

At just 13 years of age, Kaitlyn O’Kane experienced hair loss as a result of her cancer treatment and with it came a blow to her self-confidence. Thanks to Cancer Council’s wig service, and Cancer Council Victoria Program Coordinator, Molly Colussa, Kaitlyn was able to find a wig she felt comfortable wearing during her cancer treatment.  

I lost my hair when I was just 13 and that was a very tough time for me when I was sorting out my identity…It wasn’t until I tried on my first wig, I thought ‘it’s okay’."

Kaitlyn O’Kane
Cancer survivor

Our wig services are run thanks to the generous support of the Australian public and allowed us to provide 2,000 wigs and headwear to Australians experiencing hair-loss as a result of their cancer treatment in 2018. 

When I’m wearing my wig, I feel just like everyone else and I can be who I am. I’m not a label, I don’t have cancer"

Kaitlyn O’Kane
Cancer survivor

Personalised, private consultations  

It’s not about any wig, it’s about choosing the right one. Our services have an extensive selection of wigs, turbans, beanies, and scarves on offer, in a range of styles and colours. Kaitlyn took advantage of the personalised consultation to find the perfect wig.  

It’s in a private area, so you don’t feel anyone’s watching you, you feel comfortable, and I also got to choose what colours I liked and all different varieties."

Kaitlyn O’Kane
Cancer survivor

If someone is unable to attend in-person, some states and territories also offer a postal service. 

Staff and volunteers are trained to assist with choosing a suitable wig and fitting it correctly, as well as providing advice on wig maintenance and care. During Kaitlyn’s consultation, Cancer Council Victoria Program Coordinator, Molly, was quick to put her at ease with her friendly and personable approach.  

People can feel quite anxious about losing their hair so we’re there to make sure they find what they’re looking for that really suits their personality and you can see when they walk out of Cancer Council with that huge smile on their face and boost to their confidence."

Molly Colussa
Program Co-ordinator, Cancer Council Victoria

Not being defined by a diagnosis 

Cancer can have a big impact on identity which is often related to a changed appearance. Not everyone will feel that a wig or headwear is right for them, but giving men and women affected by cancer-related hair loss the option to borrow a wig or other headwear is so important.  Kaitlyn didn’t want to be defined by her diagnosis, or her hair loss and was appreciative of the safe and comfortable environment Cancer Council provided to find her perfect wig. 

It can be very hard finding a wig, there are a lot of different types and your hair is yours. It’s very unique, but once you’ve found the right wig, it just feels incredible and you just look in the mirror and it’s just a breath of fresh air."

Kaitlyn O’Kane
Cancer survivor

Thanks to the ongoing support from our community, Cancer Council is continuing to provide more self-confidence to people during cancer treatment. 

Availability of our services varies around the country. To find out about support services for people affected by cancer in your local area, get in touch with your local Cancer Council or call 13 11 20.

Looking Ahead

We won’t rest until we’ve dramatically reduced the significant impact cancer has on every member of our community.