Cold Cap

Hi can anyone help me decide what to do, I start chemo next week and have asked if I can try the cold cap,as Im told it minimises your hair loss.  Not sure what to do with my hair, I have shoulder lenght hair at the moment, and I am off to the hairdressers Tomorrow, shall I go even shorter? Should I still have it coloured as well?

Hi Angela I’m going to try cold cap too and I don’t know what to do with my hair either ! It’s long and thick , no layers and dark brown but really it’s grey ! One of the chemo nurses told me not to bother cutting it if I didn’t want to but I can’t see how the cap can work unless it’s shorter and layered . I’m going again for a pre chemo check on weds so will ask more . I quite fancy a complete change whether or not I manage to keep or loose my hair . I think colour and be damned ! Let me know how it goes x

Hi ladies! I started chemo in March and completed it in July. I used the cold cap and found that I kept a lot of my hair, though it did thin a bit. I did lose hair on the top of my head, which I think may have been due to the cap being too small at the first session. To be honest, I was so stressed and anxious about the chemo that I didn’t really pay as much attention to finding out about the cold cap before treatment. My advice would be to make sure the cap fits well onto your head and is in contact with your scalp. The info booklet for Paxman (the system used by the hospital I attend) gave good advice on this, saying go for the bigger size if between 2 sizes. Unfortunately I only saw this info after my first session, by which time I had lost the hair! However, what I found was that I hardly lost any more hair over the next 5 sessions, so it’s definitely worth getting the fit right. With hindsight, I would definitely have spent more time checking this out on my first session!  The good news is that the hair on my scalp has now grown in really well, and again I think the scalp cooling has helped with this.


I had shoulder length hair when I started my treatment and was told that I didn’t need to get it cut. It’s a personal preference I think. It may be easier to manage a shorter cut, but long hair can be tied back/pinned up.


Something I found helped was picturing myself on a lovely warm sandy beach during the first 20 mins/half hour of treatment. I also sucked mints, and I had magazines which I could flick through, as I couldn’t concentrate on reading much. 


Hope this helps (and makes sense!). Good luck to you both. 


Love and hugs xx



Thanks cheery 13 . Did u damp ur hair & slick conditioner on ? I’m confused about the cap making contact with scalp how can it if u have a full head of hair ? Help ! Thanks for the beach tip club tropicana all the way !! X

I have thinish hair anyway, and decided to lose my hair and enjoy a luxurious wig. In the warm weather it gets hot, but I couldn’t cope with headaches and lengthened time in the day unit.
Being baldish also reminds me and others that I am battling something. I have however clung onto eyelashes and eyebrows with a product from spacenk. Talik

Hi yes I’m having a lot cut off first then have yo dampen and slather on conditioner will advise how it goes . I am keeping the hair in case I want extensions made with my own hair x

I used the cold cap for my first two chemo sessions. I had think shoulder length hair and lost quite a lot after the first time as I think my hair was so thick it didn’t get through enough. After that session I had my hair cut shorter and used it the next time and hardly lost any more really - it is considerably thinner but if you didn’t know me you wouldn’t notice! However I have to say, the first 10-15 minutes was extremely painful, to the point I was crying. I decided not to use it this time as to be honest I’m not too fussed about the hair loss thing and realised I was doing it more for everyone else to stay looking ‘normal!’ . Everyone’s experience will differ, good luck whatever you decide. Xxx

I used as had thin hair and a wig just seemed way too much hair. Loved my weave and it saved my sanity. Just having some hair poking out of my hat was enough for me. Take care ladies…



I’ve just finished four sessions of Taxotere and cyclophosphamide with Herceptin. I wore the cold cap each time and although I shed a lot no one would notice (except my family) and I haven’t needed hats. IFound it uncomfortable for about ten mins and then your head goes numb. Make sure hair very damp and put on conditioner. Also make sure the fit is tight. I think it very much depends on your treatment regime too. Good luck xx


Just wondering how your getting on with the cold cap - I have my 2nd chemo on Tuesday (all being good with me bloods). I’m having Fec-t having the t part first. My hair has really started to come out over the last few days - but I don’t think its noticeable yet .

I am now on day 6 after first chemo session and having used the cold cap.  Is it typical to still have a niggling headache/thick head?  I only really expected for the first few days but it just seems to keep lingering around.  It isnt bad, just constantly there… But at the same time I am now wondering if it is worth it?!?  Feel like I am carrying a hangover (I wish! Lol) with no guarantees that it is going to work.  Also wonder if mother nature is telling me to forget the cold cap s headaches aren’t worth the hassle?!? 

How are others getting on with the cold cap?

Hi Tanz

I have also used the cold cap and am now on day 15 of my first chemo. I have still got the headache but not sure if I would have had it as a normal side effect.  On my 13th day I have started to shed quite abit of hair and the itching is so annoying.

I am due my next chemo next Wednesday and am not sure if I will do the cold cap again changing my mind all the time, I think if much more falls out there is no point and I will have it shaved. My hair has been the hardest thing to cope with but it would be so much easier to go in get the chemo and come out, not having to sit with the cold cap on.

I wish someone could decide for me but life is not that simple. Let me know how you get on x

Hi Girls - had my second (T) on Tuesday - and my hair seems to have slowed down with the shed - not sure if it will speed up again but not as bad as before. I didn’t get a headache from CC - but my head did feel tingly - good luck girls xx

Hi girls.  I used the cold cap before my first chemo treatment and changed it out every 30 minutes and kept it on for 3 hrs after and 30 minutes before.  I am now 20 days post first chemo treatment and the last 2 days I am losing too much hair.  I followed the directions of the cold caps and wet my hair and used a plastic cover to protect the scalp.  I wonder if I will lose all of my hair.  I go again in 2 days for my second chemo treatment and will go ahead and use the cold caps again.  My husband is my ice man and changes out the caps for me as we bring dry ice to the oncologist.  I have been using baby shampoo but rinsing my hair in warm water because when I went on line and listened to the Penguin cold caps he said to use warm water.  I see on some other posts that people are using cool water.  Wonder which is correct.  I have a wig and will probably start to use it after my second treatment but since I purchased 4 of the cold caps will go ahead and use it till the end as I only have to have 4 treatments in all.  I think even if I lose patches of hair the cold caps will help to preserve what hair if left and maybe won’t be so bad when it grow back after the last treatment.

Any suggestions from anyone would be greatly appreciated.  Good luck everyone it helps to be able to post what is going on and hearing support is great.  Thanks. 

Just wondering how cold caps are going - I’ve had 3rd tax now - still got hair - thin - but it’s there - move on to Fec next

Hi everyone in new to this thread in on oct chemo thread at moment. Had my first fec on oct 20 and used the cold cap all was good and didnt start losing any hair till day 19. Bit only strands as i brushed.
Had second fec this mon 10 nov again used cold cap. Wed this week washed it and all changed - for some reason my hair matted together and as i washed it over the bath it stuck to the top of my head. My lovely hairdresser who has been through BC herself came and had to chop it out im now left with thinning over the top of my head and very concious. I think i will carry on reading some of your comments its helped me.
I have 1 more fec for around 1 dec then move to t for last 3. Xxxx

Can’t remember if I have commented on this thread before. I am day 17 post first EC and cold capped mine is the refrigerator unit type (walk the walk) I also hate the way my hair looks at minute to me it’s really greasy and makes me feel dirty am being good and only washing once a week/ wide comb use. Am starting to shed lots today only have to move my head and it falls on to face and shoulders. Am wearing my towelling turban to bed tonight. And wondering if it is worth continuing becausr i really dont like the way i look at the moment. Went to supermarkets in a scarf and felt more confident than when i went with greasy hair. seen by a lovely wig lady today and she had a really good look at hair and said it was doing well and no bald patches and to keep going and you will know if it works after 2nd more than 1st. She said the key to its success is the fit/tightness of the cap.

Hi hopalong i was day 19 first fec when my started sheding. had 2nd fec this mon and by wed had to wash my hair and it all matted together so had to have it cut shorter to shoulder and its now loads thinner was lovely and thick up to this week. Im now wondering whether to carry on just cant imagine losing all my hair but hate it how it is now as cant do anything with it. Keep going with yout next fec and cap sounds like its helping. X

Hi Girls,  I had my worst shed just before tax 2.  I’m now 11 days past 3rd tax and my shedding has slowed down.  I’m still loosing every day but not to bad.  My hair is very thin but I’m keeping it in a pony tail everyday and am able to hide the bald patches.  To others it doesn’t look that bad.  I’m only washing once a week and I think my hair has started to get used to it now.   I change to Fec for the next 3 chemos , so I wonder what will happen then?  Good luck girls xx 

Morning the towelling turban was definitely a good move. I am in hospital at the moment with an infection and I think the stress drugs etc haven’t helped matters. Head really itchy and tingling and painful when I put head on pillow. Will definitely give it another go before giving up but really don’t want patchy bits hair is a long pixie cut if that makes sense. So can’t really hide it if it does happen. Will keep an eye on this thread and let you know how I progress. Take care all x