Listen to the Cancer.Net Podcast: Look Good...Feel Better, with Mary Jane Massie, MD , adapted from this content.
Cancer and cancer treatments may change your appearance. It is common to feel anxious or distressed when these changes, such as hair loss  or skin problems , happen. The Look Good…Feel Better program is a resource dedicated to helping you create an appearance that you feel good about so you can approach cancer treatment with even greater confidence.
Look Good…Feel Better offers free beauty technique workshops to women affected by cancer and provides information on appearance-related side effects to teens and men. Developed by the Personal Care Products Council Foundation and supported by the National Cosmetology Association and the American Cancer Society, Look Good…Feel Better has helped more than 750,000 women in the United States with cancer.
Cancer treatment and emotional well-being
Look Good…Feel Better is based on the belief that a person’s feelings about his or her appearance while coping with cancer has a dramatic effect on a person’s quality of life. Cosmetic tips and solutions offered by the program help with many of the physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatment so that patients can look beyond their cancer.
Although some people with cancer plan for possible side effects and body changes, such as cutting their hair short or shaving it if it begins to fall out from treatment, others may desire to portray the physical image they are used to. Deciding how to manage your appearance after such changes is a personal decision and one that should make you feel comfortable.
How Look Good…Feel Better works
Volunteer beauty professionals (cosmetologists), who are trained and certified in the Look Good…Feel Better program, lead groups of five to 10 women in makeover sessions. Each woman receives a free makeup kit with brand-name cosmetics and is guided through a 12-step skin care and makeup application lesson. The women also learn techniques to care for nails, which can change color or become brittle or grooved during treatment, and have the opportunity to experiment with wigs, scarves, and accessories.
In addition to providing useful cosmetic tips, the workshops allow women in various stages of cancer treatment to share their emotional and physical concerns with each other in a comfortable, supportive setting.
More than 14,000 workshops are offered nationwide in 3,000 locations, including cancer centers, hospitals, and other community settings. Spanish/English and Spanish-only language groups are held in some cities. The program is also offered in 22 other countries around the world. An individual consultation by a cosmetologist may also be available to women who are unable to attend a group.
Search for a Look Good…Feel Better workshop near you by using the website’s program finder . Or call the toll-free information and referral line at 800-395-LOOK (5665), which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Spanish-speaking specialists, as well as translators for many other languages, are available to callers.
Look Good…Feel Better tools and resources
Several helpful makeover tools and resources are available on the Look Good…Feel Better website .
- The In Style Makeover Tool, a virtual (on the computer) makeover software that allows you to upload a photo and experiment with different makeup and hairstyle options
- A step-by-step guide to makeup, skin care, nail care, wigs, and head coverings
- Beauty tips and tricks from celebrity stylists
- A video workshop that provides makeup, skin, and styling ideas
- A section dedicated to hair looks, including information on hair care, hair loss, wig selection, and scarf and turban techniques
- Virtual workshops that can be watched the day they are held or at any time you choose
If you do not have access to a computer, call 800-395-LOOK (5665) to request a self-help video or DVD and instructional booklet.
Support for teens and men
Look Good…Feel Better also offers group sessions for teen girls and boys, ages 13 to 17, at cancer treatment facilities and children’s hospitals in 17 cities across the United States. The sessions help teens cope with the appearance-related and emotional side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.
The program also produces 2bMe , a website where teens can read valuable tips on all of the non-medical aspects of cancer care, such as hair and skin care, fitness, and friendships. The site offers interactive style finder quizzes, how-to demos, fashion slide shows, and more.
For adult men undergoing cancer treatment, Look Good…Feel Better for Men  is a brochure that gives practical advice on how to cope with some common cancer and cancer treatment side effects, including skin changes, body changes, hair loss, and stress. You can print the brochure from your computer, or call 800-395-LOOK (5665) to receive the brochure by mail.
Last Updated: October 11, 2011