I’ve just had my first oncologist appointment following a mastectomy and full axillary lymph node clearance, for breast cancer 4 weeks ago. Ive had a lot of problems with fluid needing draining regularly though it does appear to be improving. I now need chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy.

To be honest I’m just scared, especially as I have other health issues meaning I’m in a wheelchair most of the time, and have blood clotting issues as well.

What I wanted to ask anyone who has had it, before my pre-chemo appointment with the Nurse next week, is what experiences have people had with the ‘Cold Cap’. Most people I’ve mentioned it too have been very negative, with comments such as ‘it’s only hair’, ‘it’ll soon grow back’, ‘probably wont work anyway’, but if anyone has actually had it during chemo I’d be very grateful for their advice.



Hello Sue ,welcome to the forum I am posting you a link to a thread that has lots of discussion about the cold cap. forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy/Cold-Cap-did-it-help-keep-your-hair/td-p/720335       I’m presuming the  " helpful " comments are coming from people who have never actually  faced losing their hair ???    You may also find the chemotherapy monthly threads helpful for advice and support when you begin your treatment .Best wishes and good luck with your treatment .Jill xx

Hi glad to be able to say it can work and it did for me . I kept most of my hair and I just do not get why the consensus still is you are going to have to have the trauma of hair loss as a given . I was also discouraged by a BCN but I wasn’t having it . I was actually told by a nurse you have to ask because it is costly and adds time on the ward therefore not offered as a matter of course . For me the thought of being bald was horrific - my mother had chemo and lost her hair when I was 28 ( am 61 ) and I just didn’t want to have to deal with it . I was lucky and it does not work for all but it gets a bad  press . The first 10 minutes are horrid but then it is bearable . I had 12 chemo treatments survived with head hair intact and 8 weeks after finishing I almost have a full head of hair restored also in the bits at the side where it went . Go for it ! 

I had great result with the coldcap. I did a cut and paste from when someone asked why I got such good results, here it is:


Wash once about a week after chemo with cool water and NOT under a shower.

Pat dry DO NOT RUB.

Give about 4 squirts of a leave in conditioner.

Comb with a wide tooth comb

THEN LEAVE IT ALONE until the next week and repeat.


The more you fiddle with it the more it sheds. Do that routine even after your last chemo and only go “back to normal” as in under a shower, more than one wash, wash out conditioner, hair dryer, straighteners or whatever a good month after your last treatment - but I left it 6 weeks.


If you can fast before your chemo the side effects are less there is a thread on here about it and lots of us have fasted. The best results are had if you fast for 48 hours before and 12 after. However the before is far more important if you struggle. Lots of us have had chemo and we were all afraid of it but once you crack on with it things get better xxx