Continuing to use cold cap after hair loss



I finished my second round of FEC 10 days ago.  I used the cold cap on both the first and second sessions.  I am not convinced that it was on properly the first time as I had no pain and actually asked if it was cold enough.  The second time it was very painful for the first 15 minutes.  I have lost a large amount of my hair.  Probably 70% and it continues to shed now so I am not convinced I will keep any of it.  This has been very difficult for me and worse in some respects to cope with than the surgery.


My oncology nurse has said to continue with the cold cap even if I loose my hair as she said it makes hair regrowth quicker.  Did anyone find this please?  It adds a further 3 hours to my treatment so if it is not going to work then I may forget it.


Thank you very much for any help on this.

Hi Cots,

I’m sorry you haven’t yet received a reply to your post and hope you get a response soon. 

In the meantime it may be useful to have a look at these threads where other members have been discussing the use of cold caps:

All the best,

Helena at Breast Cancer Care

Maybe if you didn’t feel the coldness the first time in comparison to the second time could be the reason you have lost so much hair. About 12 days after my first chemo I started to shed a lot, it wore off eventually but started up again this week after my third. It is all individual and no one can predict what we’ll lose. I was shown photos of previous patients hair loss with the cold cap. I have shoulder length hair and have now lost a lot on top and a bit down the sides. I wear a funky little crochet cap which I accessorise, and do a Trump top. Bring the top bits to the front so that it frames my forehead and the rest of my hair looks thinly normal so it’s not at all noticeable to any onlooker. It is very overwhelming to see the hair in the brush but at least it’s only shedding and not completely gone. Being a hairdresser and knowing what was coming was still not without a tear. I wonder why it takes an extra 3 hours with the cap. I only stay 1 1/2 hours extra. I have a sedative to cope with the first 20 minutes, combined with the anti allergy steroids from the day before, resulting in a sleepless night I completely zonk out to it all. Next thing the staff are waking me up saying ‘you can go home now’. The good thing is, having the cap promotes a fast regrowth. I’m hanging on to that thought.

Hi I’m from the October monthly thread and had my last chemo (fecx6) two weeks ago. Are you sure you’ve lost 70% already. I felt like that but my partner reckons I’ve lost less than 50%.


I cold capped through all my sessions and had fairly good results. I did cut my hair short prior to starting. I had the most loss just before and after fec 2. Like blondy mine thinned quite a bit on top to the point where you could see my head but I wasn’t completely bald. The sides and back thinned but not as much as the top and I kept a good fringe. If I was 6ft I don’t think anyone would know but unfortunately I’m only 5ft 2. I haven’t worn a wig either.


Anyway, just to let you know that I’m now 2 weeks after last fec and both me and OH think my hair is growing as my head (although still visible) doesn’t look quite as visible. However, other ladies on oct thread who didn’t cold cap have also reported their hair growing back prior to last chemo session.


Hope this helps you. If you want any more info then either pm me or pop on oct thread and I will pick the message up. Good luck, I hope the cold cap works for you I am glad I persevered with it.

Glad I could cheer you up RosieH. Ive chosen a real hair wig that is almost similar to how I wire my hair and I still do have the length to my shoulders. I cut a few inches off the length. Luckily my health fund pays 80% of it. I’ll wear it for special occasions and gigs. I was amazed that they were cheaper than done of the synthetic wigs I’ve bought wholesale. I often wear wigs for stage work but the real hair are made especially for hair loss and will be a lot lighter and more comfortable. Positive vibes for your treatment.

Hi. Am a new member here and started my 1st FEC chemo let Thursday with cold cap do no idea yet if it worked. While it was ok at the time I’ve suffered side effects of my head feeling “spacey” since and not sure if it’s effect of the cap, chemo or steroids.

My 4-6 cycles will be T herceptin and pertuzamab so as I’m likely to lose my hair any way I’m considering not using the cap again on my 2nd cycle but am unsure as reading comments it can help with regrowth.

Have fairly thick shoulder length hair so am assuming I will lose a fair amount by next round xx

Hi Cot, for sure the different chemo mixtures will affect the hair but if your mix is a certainty to lose hair regardless I don’t think they would have suggested the cap. Obviously as they have then there is a chance to not loose it all. Without the cap mine would be all gone. I had my fourth and last chemo last week so will probably lose a bit more. As I have shoulder length hair the hair is still looking reasonable and with a little cap or beret you would have no idea that it’s quite sparse on top. Overall a better outcome than losing it all. I can feel a bit wobbly on the walkers for a few days after but would not put it down to the cold cap. After the initial freezing of the head I am not even aware of the cap. As you have thick hair you are already streets ahead for when it sheds. Mine isn’t thick but covering the top of the scalp with a cap or scarf and leaving my hair out at the bottom looks really good and makes me feel better. Persevering with the cap is a personal choice but I’m glad I stuck with it. I read earlier that it takes a further 3 hours with the cap whereas I am given one and a half hours extra (different country).