cold cap on Afro hair(?)


I will begin the Fec-T regimen on Tuesday. the oncologist tells me I will totally lose my hair unless I try the cold-cap, even then it’s 50-50 on whether I’ll keep my hair. I’ve also read that people can still have thinner hair any way.

For the most part I’m fine with the idea of losing all my hair. I’ve bought some fabric for African head wraps and I got semi-permanent eyebrows, just in case! However, the cold cap business intrigues me a little.

So, the Paxman website says it’s less successful on afro hair - but that’s all it says. I don’t know if that’s due to the thickness of afro hair or the assumption that all black people chemically straighten their hair…

my own hair is quite big when all combed out, so I’m thinking of cornrowing it flat before Tuesday and maybe leaving my hair alone for a week or so after. I am interested in anyone’s advice/opinions particularly for afro and/or thick hair.

HI there, what a great question and sorry to say I am not going to really have any answers…one of my friends had a really really successful cold cap experience with really thick curly but not afro hair, but I know some people feel its not worth the extra hours in chemo unit and the pain of the cold on your sclap…guess its a personal decision. I really was Ok with being bald during my FEC-T - in a way it helped people to know I was ill and I was indeed feeling pretty bad…
if you do go bald try the suburban turban website for really cool hats…I went hat mad!
very best of luck and I hope someone can jump on to help you - Nicola


I can’t comment on Afro hair specifically but I had thick curly hair. I used the old cap for all 8 of my chemo sessions and my hair thinned alot but because I had so much hair at the start it wasn’t terribly obvious. It was thicker than one of my friends when I finished chemo!!

For me, I didn’t want people to know I was i unless I told them and I didn’t want to be screaming ‘I have cancer’. I felt so uncomfortable with the diagnosis and didn’t want to being attention to it.

Yes, you have to spend a bit longer on the ward, but nothing compared to how long it takes to grow back! And it seems some people are able to tolerate it better than others. I didn’t have a problem with it but my husband only managed to keep it on for a couple of minutes. It is such a personal decision.

Hair does make an appearance very quickly after chemo so you could always have extensions…?

Good luck. Hope it all goes well.



I have very coarse thick hair and have had 2 treatments of fec with cold cap so far so good. The treament is unpleasant but is do able

good luck

love pops

Hi, OP back again with a small update:

I didn’t have any chemo today! there was an error somewhere so Oncology told the chemo ward that I’d refused the drug trial. However, no one informed the ward that I was still going to have FEC-T! Therefore the nurse had thought I’d refused all treatment.

To cut a long story short, (I’m not speaking to my CNSs if I can help it) the lead chemo nurse gave me the pemilimary chat despite being short staffed and booked me in for Thursday.

My first assumption was correct: the cooling cap is less effective on very thick hair because the scalp is so well covered. I had cornrowed my hair last night in order to expose the scalp and make my hair flat and she said that was the best thing. I’ve decided to still keep my hair in scarves or wraps when I can, so that I don’t have to undo the cornrows too often even if they don’t stay tidy.