When a cancer patient loses their hair, it can often be a startling and difficult experience that adds additional stress to an already stressful situation. Wearing a wig is one way to cope with hair loss and help make cancer patients look and feel their best while undergoing treatment.  With all of the medical costs associated with treatments, finding the discretionary funds to purchase a wig can sometimes be a challenge.  

The first option for someone looking for a wig is to purchase one from a wig shop.  This offers the widest variety and choices.  Synthetic wigs are affordable and have come a long way in quality and style choices.  In fact, high quality synthetic wigs are incredibly realistic; It is often difficult to tell the difference between a synthetic wig and real hair.  Because synthetic wigs are low maintenance and so easy to care for, we recommend them over human hair wigs for those going through chemo treatments.  Finding an online retailer can often save you up to 50% off of the prices of a brick and mortar wig shop.  Many insurance companies will assist with part or all of this expense of your wig purchase.  Check with your insurance company and see if they offer this benefit.  

While some patients are able to purchase a wig with help from insurance, or through their own financial means, other cancer patients need more help and look for free wigs. The American Cancer Society is one great resource that provides free wigs for adult women who financially qualify and are suffering from hair loss due to cancer treatments.  While many of the wigs offered are donated items, some local American Cancer Society chapters purchase their wigs through our online store.

The American Cancer Society is one of the most well known cancer awareness organizations. They are volunteer and donation based, working to provide support to cancer patients, as well as to create awareness and support cancer research.

The American Cancer Society has offices and “Gift Closets” located throughout the United States. A “Gift Closet” is a location that is stocked by American Cancer Society donations with free cancer treatment related supplies for patients in need. These locations facilitate the American Cancer Society's free wig program.

Donations of new wigs with tags attached are accepted by many American Cancer Society offices in order to help provide free wigs to women who are experiencing hair loss and may not be able to afford a wig. These donations help keep their free wig program up and running. If you are looking to donate a new wig, you can call 1-800-ACS-2345 to find a local office that will accept your donation.

Each local location differs slightly in how they handle their free wig program. For example, some locations require an appointment to be fitted for a free wig, while others will take walk-ins. You can search for this information on the American Cancer Society's website at www.cancer.org under “Find Support Programs and Services in Your Area” and typing in your zip code or city and state.

This search will yield contact information for your local program, where to go to receive your free wig, and what your local program's specific program requirements are. Some locations require patients to be in active treatment, while others will have limits as to how many wigs one person can acquire per calendar year. The selection of available wig colors and styles will vary by location, as they are dependent on what wig donations are received.

In some cases, even hair salons participate in the American Cancer Society's program. Certain hair salons nationwide will fit cancer patients for a wig, facilitate the recipient receiving their donated wig, as well as trim and style the wig. When searching for free wig locations in your area on the American Cancer Society's website, these salons will be listed.

Some women prefer to wear hats or scarves instead of wigs. Specialty hats and scarves designed for women with hair loss are very affordable and can be a cost effective solution or compliment to a wig. A soft sleep cap is essential for keeping your head warm at night.

For tips on how to select the right wig, this wig buying guide contains a wealth of information.

You can find more information about all of the services that the American Cancer Society provides, including their free wig program, at www.cancer.org or by calling 1-800-ACS-2345.

 

Related Articles:

Frequently Asked Questions About Wigs

Wig Videos & Tutorials

Chemo & Hair Loss

Wig Buying Guide

Cancer Survivors Share Their Best Advice

10 Tips for Getting Through Chemotherapy

Hair Loss During Treatments: Money Saving Tips

 

Please take a moment to ask any questions and leave us your feedback on this resource below.

10 thoughts on “Getting a Free Wig: American Cancer Society Wigs”

  • Where do I find catalog, info on chemo now.. starting to lose hair.

    Reply
  • I'm currently going through chemotherapy treatment & I'm looking for a place to find a free wig because my insurance doesn't refund me & I'm currently not working right now. Need to find a place close to me in Hasbrouk Heights New Jersey or Hackensack that offer free wigs. Looking forward to hearing from someone soon. Thank you

    Reply
  • Sue Ann Antuna July 14, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I am in need of a wig. Lost my hair due to chemo and is an at awkward stage. Please help me find the resources to get a free wig or an online site that helps you get info. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Sue. I'm sorry to hear that you going through this. You are certainly not alone. You might want to read our Chemo and Hair Loss article for tips on getting through this transition. To get a free wig, we recommend contacting your local American Cancer Society as they will be able to refer you to the closest wig bank in your area. For more information on wigs, our Wig Buying Guide will get you started and teach you all of the basics.

      Reply
  • It's so great to read that cancer patients can actually get some wigs. I'm kind of curious to learn more if they are able to pick out their wig, or the color that they want. Either way, it's still great that this is an option for them.

    Reply
  • Can I get a wig? I have chronic leukemia ten years now. I take chemo pills daily and my hair is sparse and thin. I will be on the pills for life. Any suggestions where to apply?

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    • Hi Marlene. We would recommend contacting the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. They may have a wig bank or should be able to direct you to local resources in your area.

      Reply
  • Karen Karalekas October 7, 2017 at 1:30 am

    I am trying to raise money during tne month of October to be put towards the purchase of a wig for a breast cancer patient. Who can I contact to make the donation from my school?

    Reply