cold cap - is it worth trying?

Am due to start chemotherapy later this week, everything I’ve read about using a cold cap during treatment seems to suggest it might work but then again is very uncomfortable and might be of no benefit. If it’s just going to delay the inevitable loss of hair by a couple of weeks I’m not sure it’s worth it, anyone used it with success?


I tried it for two of my treatments, however it did eventually come out so I bit the bullet and shaved it number 3 before the majority came out. For the third there was no point…But the girl I started chemo with(same day, same chemo regime) it has worked for!! Brilliantly!! You cant even tell, so we sit there in the waiting room with my bandana on and she sits there with a bob style haircut!

My thoughts were try it and if it works then its a bloody bonus!! if I dont, I will kick myself wondering if I had of tried it would it have worked.

Some ladies on here have tried it and its worked - its your choice.

Best Wishes.


I would give it a go if i were you and see how you go with it, i didnt find it a problem to keep the cap on but after my 1st treatment it started to thin big time so i cut it really short with scissors and it didnt look too bad for a while.

Then when it started to go patchy i got my wiggy quickly.

I also know a couple of ladies who had the cold cap and there only thinned a little but they kept it and it looked fine.

The problem is you just don’t know you may be one of the lucky ones who it works for you never know til you try.

Hope all goes well for you

Take Care

Before I started chemo, I debated this issue myself. I tried it once but before my 2nd chemo, my hair was starting to fall out in clumps and I made the decision to shave my head. I cried while my husband was doing it for me but as soon as it all gone, I felt relieved, 1 less thing to worry about. My son doesn’t mind it either , telling me that I do not have to put on a scarve when I am at home. Bless!

Thanx for advice, sounds like it’s worth a try then, was just thinking if it’s going to go then just get it over with, but now am thinking that’s a bit defeatist!!

Shall give it a go and leave the wig in the cupboard (hopefully for a long while!)


Hi Louisa07
Just a word of advice. I tried the cold cap three times and on my fourth time my hair had thinned so much that it was too painful to use. The nurse told me at this point that there was a very small chance of getting scalp mets by using it - nobody had told me this before so from that point on I decided not to use it. It’s important you make an informed choice before you go ahead - I would not have used it from the start if I have known this.
Good luck with whatever you do decide to do.

Hi RebzAmy,

Had read that there was small chance of scalp mets and that has been bothering me too, however the breast cancer nurses have both said the chances of that happening are tiny. Hard choices aren’t they - worried about losing hair, worried about tiny chance of restricting the chemo effectiveness. Shall give more thought to it perhaps.

Thanx for your kind thoughts,

Hi again Louisa
I have to tell you that I had really long hair and loads of it. I was always having compliments on it - it was my crown and glory. When it started coming out I was very very upset and emotional and touchy about any comments made regarding my hair BUT I got used to it and have learned to deal with it - you just do. I have some lovely hats and scarfs (some bought for me and some I bought). I have adjusted and now look forward to when my hair will grow back and experimenting and starting afresh.
Very best of luck on whatever you decide.

Generally speaking it is more heartache than it’s worth - the people who have success with it are in a vert small minority.

I tried the cold cap and, like many others, it didn’t work for me but I still I think it is probably worth a go. I have seen it working for another person on my chemo ward and heard about it working for a couple of friends of people I know … and I guess if you manage to keep your hair or keep it for a lot longer than you would otherwise have done, then it is a bonus. I personally didn’t mind the cold and actually bizarrely found it quite pleasant (I was beginning to doubt whether the setting they had it on was cold enough!), but then again I have a reasonably high pain threshold and I understand that a lot of people find the temperature just too much to bear. If you don’t like it, you can always just ask the nurses to take it off.

My hair started falling out just before chemo 2. It thinned generally all over and eventually I developed an unsightly bald patch at the crown so shaved it all off to a Grade 1 stubble. Frankly it was a relief. The loose hairs were really irritating me and it means now that I don’t have to be precious with my hair and worry about it falling out.

Hope it works for you - if you do decide to go ahead with it.


I too have used the cold cap - once I was told it would be totally ineffective but being the stubborn sort said I wanted to try. I have never lost my hair thru chemo. Used it for ECF and for Taxotere.


I have managed to hold on to mine after 3xFEC and 2xTAX. It has thinned, but I wear it up and no-one can notice. I was told it was not suitable for anyone with Secondaries (because of the scalp mets issue the girls mention above) but this was never put to me as a risk for me with Primary BC. One of the nurses reckoned by head was quite big (thanks…LOL!) and she reckoned that was why it worked for me. The better the hat fits, the better the results…makes sense I guess.
I dunno, it is a lottery and it can give false hope - but I was determined to try it out and I was lucky.

Good luck whatever you decide.


Hi there

I tried it for first chemo but hair started falling out 2 weeks later. I say it’s definitely worth a go, see Dawnhc, there is some success.

But if it does start to go it’s best to let it go and move on. It was really traumatic for me, I’m sure it was for all the others who lost their hair too. Good news is that I have never lost my eyelashes, in fact they are thick as ever, and eyebrows have only thinned. I have the full “hollywood” down below which is actually a bonus!

Best of luck to you whatever you choose to do, I say give it a try.

Cecelia. xx