Meet Compassionhat – A Fashionable Fix For Dealing With Hair Loss
Dealing with hair loss can bring on a host of complicated feelings and questions. Among them, the obvious: When will my hair grow back? What wigs are ideal? And the most common question: What can I wear on my head during the transition?
Enter head wraps and scarves. If you’re not into wigs or a fan of fashioning your own scarf look (check out this video for inspo!) you might consider a Compassionhat (think the convenience of a hat with the trendy look of a scarf).
We chatted with Roxanne Richards, one of the women behind the brand, which hails from South Africa.
HOW DID THE IDEA OF COMPASSIONHAT COME ABOUT?
A family member was diagnosed with Leukemia and it was a real struggle for her to find soft, comfortable, suitable headwear to wear during hair loss, while experiencing a very sensitive scalp.
To make this journey easier for women in South Africa, where I am from, my aunt started Compassionhat selling a range of uniquely designed headwear from an online store. She had success in selling her headwear in the USA and Canada but getting the items to her clients took very long. When I decided to immigrate to Canada, I offered to run an Etsy shop as I love the product and the idea of making a difference to women on a very difficult journey.
WHO CAN/SHOULD WEAR COMPASSIONHAT ITEMS AND WHY?
Although anybody can wear a Compassionhat, our items are designed to be worn during hair loss, instead of a wig. They are sized to fit heads with little or no hair and they are designed to cover the entire natural hairline, making hair loss less obvious.
We take great care when selecting our fabrics and buy only soft fabrics with a high natural component which makes our hats suitable to wear during chemo induced hair loss, which can result in a sensitive scalp.
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH THE STYLES IN THE LINE?
At the start we made hats in the style of woollen beanies, but from Cotton Lycra. Since then the range has expanded as we received feedback from our clients. We also enjoy taking a known, traditional style, like for instance a beret, and modernizing it by adding a band with a bow.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR MATERIAL AND SOURCING PRINCIPLES?
The comfort of our clients is of utmost importance to us. Our fabrics are manufactured in a factory, which follows environmentally friendly practises and the fabrics contain no harmful chemicals which can cause irritation to an already sensitive scalp.
All our Cotton Lycra has a SPF > than 50. Although we do not sell the items as sun protection and encourage our clients to wear sun protection whenever they are outside, they can rest assured that the fabric does offer some protection to the areas it covers.
90% of our fabric is bought from a cotton mill in South Africa which comply to EU standards in the manufacturing process. We buy the printed fabrics we use for the scarves which are sold as accessories with our hats, from various retail outlets.
WHY IS PHILANTHROPY IMPORTANT TO YOUR BRAND?
I think our name “Compassionhat” says it all. Giving back has always been very important to us as a simple act of kindness can lift a spirit and make somebody feel valued. As I’ve mentioned before, we have a project whereby we donate 1 sleep cap to a lady in need, for every order received. A massive percentage of South Africans are unemployed and can’t afford to buy a hat for themselves. Many of these patients battle to pay for the transport to get them to their treatments and can’t afford to take a family member or a friend along. They often go through a chemo treatment completely alone.
When volunteers from the non-profit organizations we work with hand out the Compassionhat sleep cap donations it affords them the opportunity to connect with the patient. The exchange is so much more than a mere hat, it is making somebody feel noticed, supported and not alone.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF COMPASSIONHAT?
My wish is to grow awareness around my brand so that women or family members of someone affected by hair loss know about Compassionhat before losing hair. I hope to remove some of the headache and anxiety caused by hair loss. I want to restore dignity and confidence and make women affected by hair loss feel beautiful and feminine.
For more products on coping with the side effects of chemo, visit Give A Care.