Cold Caps?

Hello ladies,

I was wondering if anyone could put me in the right direction re information on what I think is called a ‘cold cap’ for use during (or prior) to chemotherapy.

Its for my SIL who’ll probably start her 6 months of treatment next week and I would like to more about the cap. We live in oman and I don’t know if its something the hospital would provide or if its something the patient gets as an extra help for themself.

thank you

i tried the cold cap for my first FEC treatment but shivered throughout and the contraction in my veins meant it took an awful long time for the chemo to go in. This might have been me though as the later chemos did too and i ended up with a line. My base temperature is usually quite low too 34 degrees so I may just be a cold person. I opted not to go for the cold cap when I went back again as I was dreading the shivering and thought I had to destress the chemo as muchas possible to get through it. I’m on my 4th treatment and still have a covering of hair with 2 baldy patches so I supppose even a session delayed things a bit. but my appearance has gone down very low in my list of priorities in the past few weeks and it is actually the lack of eyelashes that I regret most. The nurses say one girl at my hospital kept a full head of curly head with the cold cap.

Your sister in law should give it a go. She might be absolutely fine and be tougher than me which isn’t hard. You get used to the cold on your head. I found the Dove shampoo and conditioner was great. There’s no shame if she packs it in though.

Hi Sharon,
I tried the cold cap or Paxman cap on my first treatment 3 weeks ago and as I have had virtually no hair loss I intend using it again tomorrow when I have my second. At my review on Friday my onc nurse commented that it seemed to be working as I would probs have had hairloss by this time if I hadn’t used it.
They are on the ward where you get your treatment and there are different sizes so she needs to make sure it is a tight fit. I cut my hair very short in prep so I wouldn’t be tempted to blow dry it and avoid all products apart from non perfumed shampoo and cond.
I was told that if I could stand the first 15 mins It would be ok but actually it was only the first 5 mins that was unpleasant and then it was just uncomfortable. It does make your app much longer though as it has to be on for 45 mins before treatment and an hour and a half after so you need a good book and possibly a warm scarf to put round your neck!
Good luck if she decides to go with it!
Lyn x

Hi, I have been using cold cap too. Had second treatment on Friday - and no loss yet. It is a bit unpleasant for the first 10 mins - but just cover yourself in a blanket and have hot drinks when you feel you need a boost in temperature. I have been ultra cautious - not washed or brushed hair once. I wear it under a wig cap and then put on a wig to go out. As I read that hair loss is made worse in the acts of washing and brushing.

Good luck if you use the cap.

Bright x

Thank you ladies, for taking the time to reply :slight_smile:

We’re back at the hospital tomorrow for a bone scan so I’ll nip into the oncology dept and ask whats, what. I have a feeling though that she won’t even consider it now that you’ve explained about how cold it is. My SIL feels the cold very easily, our winters are like a good uk summer and she always has a cardi on and thick tights under her dress. So I really do think this will be a none-starter. I’m planning on bringing her to the Uk to be fitted for a prothsesis and the main thing I’ve had to consider is - how cold will it be for her in such and such a month.

I think I’ll start another thread about chemo, would it be ok for you to nip over there and help me out please?

thank you and here’s to happy days for all of you


Hey Bright,

I’d rather shave my head than not wash my hair. And actually it’s a brilliant feeling, scrubbing your scalp in the morning shower etc. Really good, life-affirming stuff. You walk out and you feel refreshed and cleansed and ready for anything.

Cold cap kind of worked, hair cropped to a No. 2 after 3rd blast of EC and I liked the new look. Couldn’t bear wearing a wig: despite being tracked down and fitted by hospital Wig Police, it wasn’t for me. Was complimented often on shapeliness of cranium!

Hair has now grown back (a nice bright shade of grey) but have no absolutely no regrets about going commando during chemo. Also, I think, why not be a bit in-your-face about this crap that we all have to deal with? Why shouldn’t people see what’s up, and respond accordingly?

I might have hair, I might not have hair. It’s up to colleagues and clients to deal with that…and they all did, brilliantly.

There are some quite good things about losing your hair. Take heart: it’s not all a disaster story.

L x

Each to their own Lanterna - but for me doing as much as i can to keep my own hair is a priority. It took me years to grow (28 inches) - and if I can keep it then I will. I did not think I could stand not washing my hair but so far it has not really bothered me. I will probably rinse it through before the next cycle though, as there is a limit on how many times I can add leave in conditioner.

Hope everyone has a good evening.

Bright x

Hi Bright,
I had my 2nd session yesterday with cold cap and I have washed my hair every 2nd day since first treatment with no ill effects. However I did cut my hair quite short to make it more manageable. A friend of mine who had long hair went through the same process last year and even doing the cold cap she lost her hair by second session. Her hair is coming in beautifully now and the short style takes 10 years off her, so good luck with yours but it is not the end of the world, as it will grow back!
Lyn x