Alberta Cancer Foundation

The Case for Hats

The shop has been open for six years and, in that time, has helped many a cancer patient find the perfect fit. Headcase designer Sarah Deen talked to Leap about how to find the right hat.

Leap: I noticed there is a section of your website dedicated to hair loss. Do you get many cancer patients coming into Headcase?
Sarah Deen:
We absolutely do. We do try to carry some hats that accommodate what they are going through.

Leap: What kind of things should a patient who is experiencing hair loss due to chemo consider if they’re shopping for a hat?
SD:
Everyone goes through it differently. A lot of the time, your scalp is very sensitive, so people are always looking for softer fabrics, or hats that are lined. Women seem to want to cover their hairline because they don’t want to look like they’re actually going through treatment.
We’re just very sensitive about it. We’ve had customers who call ahead of time and we will do a private fitting. We will accommodate them by allowing them to try hats on in our office, as opposed to in the store, if they don’t feel comfortable. We don’t do refunds here, but we will do refunds for people going through cancer. We want to give them a break.

Leap: What should they look for in fit?
SD:
In fit, it’s all about your comfort level. Everyone has their own tolerance about what they can have on their head.

Leap: Are there any advantages to going with a hat over a wig?
SD:
Oh absolutely, it breathes. And a hat is easy, you just put it on, as opposed to a wig that you have to brush and style.

Leap: More generally, what’s hot for the upcoming season? What are you seeing for fall and winter?
SD:
What’s really big right now is the ’20s and ’30s, the close-style hats, where they come down on the side, the flapper-era. We carry a line from Parkhurst – it’s a Canadian company – that is very wearable. They’re not too fancy. In the fall, Parkhurst does them in wool. They can change from summer to winter. We also do a lot of unisex fedoras for ladies and men. They’re really big right now. And all kinds of cute little caps. Jewel tones seem to be really big in the colour category.