Confidence & cancer: How to look and feel great

Looking and feeling your best doesn’t have to be a minefield… Spell’s got you!

Photo credit: Ashe London

Cancer is a battle that demands immense courage, resilience, and strength. For women facing this formidable foe, maintaining self-confidence can be a daily struggle. The physical and emotional toll of cancer treatments impacts self-esteem, but it’s crucial to remember that confidence is not something external; it resides within you. With the right mindset and strategies, you can boost your confidence and feel empowered throughout your cancer journey.

Specialist salons

Raoul, one of the first wigmakers to offer wigs through the NHS in 1949, specialises in making, fitting, styling and repairing wigs for cancer patients. A Raoul wig is not only discreet and natural-looking, but also texture-inclusive, with the brand catering for curls, coils and kinks – and even protective styles. For afro-haired clientele who have lost their hair to cancer treatment or illness, this London salon is a must-visit.

Support the cause

This October sees the return of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with it, ghd’s annual campaign supporting breast cancer charities worldwide. Pick up a limited edition collection of soft peach pink hair tools embossed with ‘Take Control Now’ and £10 from the sale of every product is donated to Breast Cancer Now.

Philip Kingsley is also raising awareness with an unscented shampoo and conditioner pairing, originally created in 2006 for the use of the founder’s wife while she was undergoing cancer treatment. Every sale (made at any time of the year) sends 50p to the Look Good Feel Better charity.

In addition, Jo Malone (who was diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2003) will be donating £20 from the sale of every Peony & Blush Suede Cologne 100ml to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation throughout October 2023.

Cancer-safe spa treatments

“Massages offer many mental and physical benefits, and cancer patients deserve to reap the rewards of a relaxing massage,” says Roberta Griffiths, spa director. If you have a type of cancer that has formed a solid tumour, it is recommended that when receiving a massage, you tell your therapist where it is so they can avoid it. “We recommend against deep tissue massages if you are experiencing or recovering from cancer. Massages that use ancient Chinese tuina movements offer an alternative to the constant kneading and pressing associated with general massages. It translates to “pinch and pull” and focuses on rebalancing your energy,” says Griffiths. The notion behind tuina is that it releases tension to unlock your channels of qi (positive energy) and allow it to flow freely through your body.

Exclusive to Armathwaite Hall in the Lake District. Book a calming exfoliation, mediation and massage session, £135.

Best wigs for chemo

Wigs provided by the NHS only have so much mileage. Finding the right texture or colour has proven to be a minefield for women of all backgrounds. To find a winning wig, houses premium human hair and synthetic brands offering superior comfort. Top of the list is the Outre Quick Weave, a versatile half wig kind to the hairline and adaptable for updos and full coverage. The featherlight mesh cap provides 24/7 ventilation, ideal for those receiving on-going treatment. For full creative control – from the budget to the base colour – The Feme Collection Full Lace Wig Cap will facilitate in building the wig of your dreams.


“Re-building doesn’t mean that it needs to look the same as it did before, the fact is that it just won’t … but the new body image that you find will be so much more powerful than it ever was.”

Cancer survivor and founder of the Black Women Rising, Leanne Pero

Featured image c/o Ashe London

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