Cold Cap - Hair Loss and Hair Regrowth


I have just had my 2nd FEC chemo with the cold cap - hair has been coming out for a couple of days now and although it seems a lot and maybe because I have quite thick hair it only looks like it is thinning and my parting is widening so with a bit of hairdressing magic (not! :-)) I am able to hide this.

The questions I have are:

If the hair is falling out like this - is it worth carrying on, or should I just bite the bullet and clipper off the rest of the hair and go commando at the next chemo and start from scratch

Carry on with one more coldcap and see if bearable - which could potentially give me another couple of weeks with hair?

Also for those that have perserved with the cold cap and it worked for them was their a noticable difference in the new hair that grew through? Part of my thinking is that as I am thinning at the top would I be able to go through a couple of months of growing potentially grey hair on the top and having brown hair round the sides and back?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance

Justine xx

Hi Justine

I had a very successful outcome with cold cap. Now that is not to say that i did not have continual shedding, because i did.The first two cycles were bad and i lost a lot but not enough for anyone to really notice, i just changed my parting to cover thinning. On my 3rd the chemo nurse suggested leaving cap on for 3 hours after and this we did for the rest of the cycles. On one occasion the cap did not touch the back of my neck at the sides and i lost all my hair there but the hair on top covered it so not noticable, so do make sure the cap is well fitting every time and as tight as you can bear it. I too have thick hair and i think it does make the shedding appear worse. I am so glad i persevered with it as 12 weeks after my last chemo my hair is strong healthy and growing at a very fast rate.

As to the hair that grew back, that has grown back in my normal colour , not grey and is strong and soft, where it thinned along my parting it is tufty but that cos its not as long as the rest of my hair but you cant tell .

Do make sure nurses wet and condition your hair thoroughly every time too!
I cant bear the smell of Dove conditioner now !! :slight_smile:
Any questions you have do please ask, as i say the extra time i have spent in the chemo unit was nothing to how long my hair would have taken to grow back to this length!

Good luck with it,


Hi Justine,

I’m using the cold cap and have used it for 6 of 8 sessions so far. It is now thinning (and the roots are grey!) but I can still get away with it with pretty little headscarves and clips (so don’t look too chemo-ey as my hair is still on show) but will have to see if it lasts for the next couple of sessions (I’M SOOOOOOOOO CLOOOOOOOOSE!!).

Anyway - I asked your exact question a month or so ago as undoubtedly my largest hair loss was 25 days after my first chemo and I thought that was it. My scalp was sore, loads of hair came out (so much so that I was surprised when I looked in the mirror and still had loads left!). I came on here and asked advice and other ladies said they’d had the same thing - one big “sheddage” and then it slowed down to a gradual thinning. So I would continue to see if this works for you rather than chopping off all of your hard work so far - if that’s what you feel like doing.

If you search the forums for cold cap threads there’s lots of really useful and helpful threads out there. Lots of people have had success (and some haven’t) - but those who have did seem to have a molting session followed by gradual thinning.

I’ve also been considering post-cold cap hairdressing options and what it will look like once the bits that fell out start growing back. Haven’t really reached a conculsion yet. I will dye it with natural dye as soon as I’m able (Paxman cold caps reccommend some dyes that you can use 2-3 weeks after your last cold cap) and then I’d have to see if my hairdresser could work some magic integrating my little short and curlies (head hair!) into my longer bits!!!

Good luck with either persevering or biting the bullet!!


Hi Justine

I used the cold cap and it was very successful. I lost quite a bit just before my second EC and thought “uh-oh, here it goes” however it did not continue like that. My hair did thin but it was not noticable to others, I just wore wide hairbands most of the time to cover my parting and hats when I couldn’t be bothered fiddling. Because I had plenty of hair round the sides it looked quite normal as long as my parting was covered.

I would persevere with the cold cap if you don’t find it too bad (I thought it was okay but I know others have found it unbearable). Even if you lose a bit more I still think it helps to have a bit of hair poking out from under scarves etc.

My hair is growing back now and it is exactly the same as before. I have heard people say theirs grew back a different colour or texture but mine is no different and is now blending in nicely with the existing hair. You would honestly never tell to look at me that I had chemo - and that’s the way I like it!!!

There are lots of threads about the cold cap, I will bump one I was chatting on recently. Best wishes to you and hope all goes well.

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