Chemotherapy and using a cold cap - Is it worth the effort?

Hi I will be starting chemotherapy with Herceptin just after Christmas and have been offered ‘Cold Cap’ - sorry if I am repeating previous questions, but how effective is this? Also positives and negatives please as I have to travel to a hospital much further away, petrol costs…not working so money tight, extra travel time etc etc. All advice apreciated
Karen x

Hi Karen. Have a look at the November starters thread, Hopaling had posted a link to an article in the daily mail. I’m using it and others on that thread, we’ve had 2 chemo sessions so far and holding on to hair. I think it’s worth a go - still got some thinning but at the moment it’s not noticeable to those who don’t know me.

Regarding money look at Macmillan website they have a leaflet on help with finances which depends on your personal situation

Good luck with your decisions x

Good for you. It’s tough, recommend you take painkillers half hour before and have hot water bottle, blankets. Layers ready as you get cold during it.

How about finances? Any help there?

Hi Karen,

At my first  session I asked the nurse for her honest opinion about the cold cap as figured she sees women daily and would really know the success rate or not. I asked her if she would use it and she said definitely would as makes a difference to the rate at which hair is lost e.i  without it hair gone for most around second session.  With scalp cooling some women actually manage to hang on to enough hair not to cover up. For me it felt like the sensation you get when eating ice lolly. Laterally brain freeze for the first half hour but the remaining two I really thought were not so bad.But glad to get it off all the same.

Here’s hoping we keep some no ALL of our locks xx


Hi all.Just had my first DEC this morning and used the cold cap.The first ten minutes were torture_ it felt like a lead weight on my head and neck and I got a headache straight away. Thought no way can I do this but after the initial ten minutes I was fine. It didn’t feel heavy anymore and my headache went away by itself. All the way throughout my head did not even feel too cold - but the rest of my body was shivering. This might have been with nerves rather than the cold cap. Will definitely be using next time on New Years Eve ! Good luck if you try it. Dee xx

That should read F E C.sorry

I’ve taken painkillers half hour before each time and think that helps. I use a head band to cover forehead and ears as they get cold, also hit drinks, lots of layers and a handy blanket. So far so good, but I’ll report back next week after hair loss day!

Hi had my 3rd session yesterday and used cold cap again. Doing really well with hair at sides and back thin at front but I now have a bald spot on top of head. It’s not too big and can
be covered with small bands of fabric and on Saturday I bought a headband from H&M. That will do the trick.
I’ve got a stretchy headband that I use to cover the back of neck ears and forehead under the cold cap, mine was £1.50 don’t spend a fortune because the nurses are good with gauze to stop you getting freezer burn. Like others have said take some paracetamol before your appointment time to ease initial symptoms.

I think for me trying the cold cap has benefited as I am not sat thinking what if. Hope things go well x

I’m coming into day 19 of FEC 2 and no hair loss this time, just thinning the first time round so definitely with it.

Hi, I cold capped throughout. Had my last chemo on 6 Nov and although I lost most of my hair from underneath at the back and it thinned at parting I still kept enough to be worthwhile. I found the hardest thing was that my hair looked a mess most days because it is naturally quite frizzy.
Since finishing chemo I’ve had it all cut short and it has thickened up a lot already. It doesn’t work for everyone but my hospital having been having good results with it recently. Does add a lot of time onto your treatment but I would say it’s worth it

That’s great news Karen. My concern is my 12 weekly sessions of paitaxel in the new year and can I bear it weekly!

That’s my problem. With it being short. Have enough length to comb over but then when encounter a gust of wind it all blows back to original place as nothing for it to cling on to. I think when I give my hair it’s weekly wash on Saturday I will be a member of the friar tuck cold cap club.

Hi, thought I’d pop in to this thread again. Just had 4th EL, and still got plenty of hair on sides front and back but my comb over ability has gone as my top bald spot is getting larger. Can only now go out with people 5ft4 or less!!!. The nurse on Monday put a hospital surgeons hat on before the cold cap due to bald patch and couldn’t feel any crown freezer burn. Am wearing wig more when I go out out if you know what I mean but don’t worry if going to supermarket or out with my good friends. Keep capping girls. X