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Knit Chemotherapy Hats for Cancer Patients

by Jamie Littlefield
The Challenge

Hand-knitted chemotherapy hats are needed to help cancer patients during one of the most difficult parts of their treatment. Many of the hundreds of thousands of patients who undergo chemotherapy each year face the heart wrenching side effect of chemotherapy hair loss during treatments meant to help them recover. Not only must these cancer patients face a life-threatening illness, they must also learn to deal with seeing a different person in the mirror.

Wearing special chemo caps can help suddenly-bald cancer patients feel like themselves again. Hats fend off the cold, as well as unwelcome stares. But, many cancer patients have a hard time finding hats that work. Hats sold at retail stores are often scratchy to bare skin because they are designed to be worn over a full head of hair. Also, standard headgear often fails to cover the entire back of the head, exposing the skin to the cold and making baldness obvious. Worse still: a lot of hats sold at retail stores contain wool, which can be harmful to highly sensitive cancer patients.

What these patients need are chemotherapy hats designed just for their situation. Attractive, hand-knitted chemo hats for cancer patients allow them to go out in public feeling less self-conscious or cold. When cancer patients receive handmade chemo caps, they know that someone cares. During a time in a cancer patient's life when everything else seems to be falling apart, your caring can make a world of difference.

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You can help cancer patients deal with chemotherapy hair loss by knitting chemo caps.

First, find a few hat knitting patterns that suit your abilities. You can find simple patterns online by:

Be sure to choose chemotherapy hat patterns that will cover a person's entire head and are attractive enough for every day wear.

Next, follow the hat knitting patterns to create your hats for chemo patients. Use soft yarns, such as those made out of cotton, in upbeat color schemes that are appropriate for outdoor wear. "Baby" yarns make a good choice for chemotherapy hats, since they tend to be soft and light. Avoid using any yarn that contains wool in your chemo caps, as it can be harmful to some cancer patients.

Finally, donate your chemotherapy hats to the patients that need them. Look in your phone book to find hospitals or cancer organizations in your area and give them a call to see if they are accepting cancer hat donations. You may also want to try contacting a local Head Huggers group. If you would rather mail your chemotherapy hat, be sure to include a chemo cap tag.

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