Cold Cap

Hi folks, I have had my appt. brought forward to see my consultant this Wednesday 20th July. I have already been told I will be receiving chemotherapy but have no idea of timescale at the moment. I have read various posting about the cold cap. I am really worrying about losing my hair and wondered if there is anything they can give you to withstand the pain of the cold cap? I have read/heard from other patients that it is very painful. Any advice greatly appreciated.

HI Kelly
It is only painfull for the first 10-15 minutes. Breathe deeply and try to relax at first and don’t panic. It does settle down.

The only thing is that your hair does still shed - mostly around the edges where the cold doesn’t quite reach. I have given up with the cold cap now but not because of the pain, I have got a wig instead but my hair hasn’t quite all gone yet.

At the beginning I was most upset about the prospect of losing my hair, but it seems less important now. See how you get on and good luck!

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Hi Kelly, lots of the ladies who had the cold cap when I had it used to take two paracetemol beforehand. One lady used to rub Tiger balm on her forehead as she reckoned that used to help. I only stopped using it after 4 sessions because my hair had thinned so much I didn’t feel it was worthwhile carrying on for another four sessions which would have seen my in the chemo unit for about 8 hours. Lots of other women have had good success with the cold cap and even keeping some hair that little bit longer made me feel better. Good luck xxx

Thanks Louplou, its interesting to get different opinions on this. I guess I will only be able to tell for sure once it starts. Just wish I knew when they were starting. This waiting is the worst part.

I tried the cold cap for my first chemo. The nurse wets your hair then puts on conditioner. Only problem with mine was that she faffed about so much with getting the right cap and getting it cold enough that my hair was drying out when she finally fitted the cap. The headache it gave me was intense for about 15 minutes but then became numb. My hair started to fall out about 2 weeks after the chemo and left with a big bald patch on the top of my head where I think the hair had started to dry out. Went for 2nd chemo session today and looked at the ladies all hooked up to the cold cap machines and decided that I had already lost a lot of hair and not prepared to stay an extra 2 to 3 hours in the unit just to save what I have left. I was in an out in 30 mins. Cut my hair really short (pixie style) last night and wearing a soft bandanna today with a colourful silk scarf twisted round it.

Everyone is different - give it a go and see how it is. Do you know what sort of chemo you will be having? It is the E that takes your hair away as is FEC or EC. Some oncologists don’t rate the cold cap but its got to be worth a go - some people have really good results, but unfortunately I wasn’t one of them.

HI supertrouper, I dont know what kind of chemo I am getting, will find out on Wednesday when I see the Consultant.

Hi Kelly, I go and see my oncologist on Weds too re chemo for the first time and also want to try the cold cap.

Hopefully we can compare notes etc on Weds night.

Good luck.

SGL xxx

My mum used a cold cap. She said it was bearable, her hair thinned, but she never lost it!

Good luck ladies xxx

Hi Kelly,

I’ve used the cold cap for 3 chemos so far and haven’t found it very painful at all. I have taken a couple of paracetamol beforehand and make sure I have a hot cup of tea when it’s put on - so maybe that’s why… It’s definitely worth a bash.


I’m having EC and used it for 3 sessions but lost most of my hair on top … Paxman have told me to continue as I have a fringe, sides and nape … but its shedding and I have to wear something on my head now as it looks so awful. Still, it may help with the regrowth … Good Luck x