questions for those who decided not to cold cap

There are lots of posts,  threads about cold capping but for those who decided not to from the outset can I ask how/why you made that decision  and did  you regret it?  I am starting FEC-T next week and need to decide before the pre assessment.  I am leaning towards not but it’s giving me brain ache thinking about it!

Hi, when I was first diagnosed I thought the hair loss would be the bit that got to me and thought hard about the cold cap. A couple of people put me off the idea when they mentioned that anything which restricts blood flow also restricts the chemo drugs and if the cancer had spread (I’m having chemo before a lumpectomy) the last thing I wanted to do was restrict the drugs… Quite a few people have also said the cold cap doesn’t prevent hair loss, just lessens it. As it was it didn’t really come up as an option with the oncologist anyway.

when it started to fall out it was ok, a couple of days later it was bad, I had a receding hairline and it was coming off in clumps, in retrospect if I had the guts I know I should have got it cut short as it was past shoulder length, the most annoying thing was it coming out everywhere, very messy! I cut the length off and then shaved my head myself and felt so much better for it, it’s not as big a deal as you might think and i’m now contemplating a much shorter cut in the future- mornings are so much quicker! I have just finished the chemo and my hair is beginning to grow back although after years of colouring it looks very grey!

anyway good luck with your treatment, I hope things go well for you…

I type this from the chemo chair on my last session. I started chemo on Nov 9th last year and decided not to cold cap as I didnt want the extra time in the chair, to be honest it wasnt mentioned at all to me by any staff and the hospital I am under has a hard time getting through the hundreds of patients a day they need to treat without cold cappers taking up treatment chairs for longer ,I doubt if I had requested they would have said no but they dont push it or advertise it as an option. But I had already decided I wouldnt bother I am not my hair and it isnt me

I lost my hair on day 16 it was just below shoulder length,I had literally just got my hair to a length and style, colour I loved so I decided I would keep it as it was till it went , it went pretty much all in one go overnight so I shaved down to a grade 1 I cried for around 5 mins but see it as a necessary step in getting better so just got on with it, I now happily walk round in my hat outdoors and bald indoors I have never worn my wig I dont regret my decision chemo is enough hassle without being stuck there even longer

Hi Helly. I’m glad you finally came to a decision about chemo. I’ll be a bit behind you due to my wound misbehaving but when I saw the oncologist they did ask me. I have had a friend who tried it and couldn’t stand it but I know others do well. However it’s not guaranteed and my hair is fine anyway. I’ve decided I don’t want to sit for two hours longer and like Jen my hair doesn’t define me so if it goes it goes. I think I’d rather cope with all my hair or no hair than very thin hair. Good luck deciding looking forward to hearing how you’re getting on as we’re so close in dates and diagnosis. Tbh I’m more worried about being sick as I have a vomit phobia ?

Hi, I’m a non-cold capper too!
My decision was based on the fact that I used to dye my hair every 5-6 weeks, wash, blow dry and straighten my hair every day. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that during chemotherapy and my grey roots would need covering anyway. I also hate the cold!
I had my shoulder length hair cut short before treatment and got a short wig on the basis that at some point I’ll need to make the transition from wig back to my own hair. When my hair started falling out about day 13 of first cycle, I had my hair cut to a grade 3 (scissor cut not shaved) By 3rd cycle my hair had pretty much fallen out alrhough I do still have a find layer of hair all over (I’m day 8 of 4th cycle) I have a large selection on headscarves I wear at home because I find them more comfortable but once I’m back at work in July, I’ll be wearing my wig.
My chemo unit doesn’t seem to offer the cold cap generally. I did ask one of the nurses there if anyone used it and she said rarely and the only one she remembered was a young girl.
I do admire anyone going through the cold capping process and completely understand why but once I decided it wasn’t for me, I think the process of losing it was easier.
Good luck with which ever way you decide and with your treatment :slight_smile:

Girls,  thanks ever so much.  My hair is cut/colored 7 weeks (just pizzed off as hes just got the colour right lol)e and washed and blown everyday,  everything everyone had said really echos what I have been thinking.  I don’t want  to sit any longer or be more uncomfortable and i think the not being able to do it normally (bit high maintenance  me ?) and the shedding/thining worrying about sheding/ thinning will upset me more than losing it tbh.  I just thought I was being a bit abnormal as alot of people seem to go for it!

On the vain moo side the thought of losing  my eyebrows  really does freak me out so my pre chemo treat is new semi permanent ones ? 


Bottyboo, didnt have a lot to decide about the chemo, lovely  oncologist went through it all straight to the point  “you need chemo, but at the end of the day  the descion is yours”,  decision made where do I sign lol. Hope your wound starts to sort itself out soon and your feeling more comfortable 

Hi Helly. I didn’t even consider cold-capping, mainly because I’ve always hated my hair!  My hair started to fall out around 2 weeks after my first chemo, so that’s when the clippers came out.  I had already bought a wig for work and going out, and at home I just went for the Kojak look, or wore a hat. It’s a very personal decision for each of us to make - mine was easier because I wasn’t too upset about losing my hair.  I suppose you could try the cold cap for your first treatment to see how you get on with it? You could always change your mind if you find it too uncomfortable xx

Tweasal, I thought I would more  upset than I seem to be  (still time to wobble!) Which was making me feel that I was a bit odd so reassuringly hear  that other felt the same x

Same here Helly the oncologist was so much more definite. Thinking about it I remember the other thread where we talked about it…sorry…I think my chemo brain is happening before chemo. I do think I might be a bit odd because I wasn’t bothered what they did to me surgery wise, or anything else as long as I got the other end. But then working with littlies and being covered in unsavoury child secretions of one sort or another has made me much less vain. Wearing make up to work is a no no and so I now find it a faff and can count on one hand the amount of times a year I do wear it. My one beauty vice is my perfume though lol. I can live without hair or a boob but don’t even consider removing the perfume!!! Xx

??Bottyboo chemo brain is really worrying me as at the moment I can’t remember what I did or said a couple of hours ago! 

It’s funny what makes us tick and is important to us. No one in work has ever seen me without a full face on and hair done and before the kids  the debenhams beauty counters used to be rubbing their hands when I walked in, I have such a bewilded look on my face when one if the girls in work is off for a twice yearly haircut it makes them howl laughing.  Just to say I ain’t in the beautiful  people club (i wish :relaxed:) think it’s a bit hereditary as my mum is the same.  The two things that stick in my mind when she had her stem cell transplant was her crawling (literally)to the loo for a fag and putting her eyes on everyday.

I am very partial  to a nice perfume also x

Oh my life Helly I hope she had the fag before putting her eyes on else her hands may not have been too steady. You’ve brought to my mind a picture of a little girl I work with. As we sat in circle time at the end of the day we sent them in groups to get their stuff for home time. It’s always a big deal with water bottles going missing etc. Finally they all had their stuff, we looked up and this girl had circles around both her eyes of bright vivid blue like a panda. Worse still so had the little girl next to her. It looked like they’d both fallen headfirst into a pot of eye make up. Turns out the first child had raided her mums makeup bag and brought the eyeshadow into school. Luckily the girls were good friends so the mum of the other girl could see the funny side ? Do you mind me asking what your mum had her stem cell transplant for? Was it successful? X

Awh, Ali good luck with whatever you decide, I am going for headware and a wig, I just can’t be bothered with the extra faffing around with 2 kids,  a hubby who isn’t coping very well.  On the plus side i had my eyebrows done yesterday and am delighted with the result,  think losing those bothered me more !

Bottyboo, my mum had non hodgekins lymphoma 16 years ago.  They said it her case it would not cure her and it will come back would but give the best chance in the long term, which it has. She was so ill when finally diagnosed  the Dr said that if she hadn’t responded so well to the first round of chemo we would have lost her.  Tough birds in our family :slight_smile:

Hi there,
I am a secondaries lady and was just looking around the forum and came across your thread.
I had 6 cycles of docetaxol for liver mets from Nov 2014 -Feb 2015. I used to have hair length half way down my back and loved it! However I had heard that the cold cap was freezing, painful and gave you a headache and didn’t always work in keeping your hair so I decided to not try it. I had hair cut to a short bob the week before first chemo and it started to fall out on day 13. On day 14 I shaved it all off, cried for 5 minutes and then laughed! I found it very liberating. I chose 2 mid-length wigs and 10 different coloured turbans/scarves. Ended up loving the turbans! My hair started to come back pretty quickly but very grey -dyed it after 5 months. Just over a year later it has a reasonable style to it but I keep wanting it to grow quicker! Eyebrows thinned but ok now, didn’t lose eyelashes.
Wanted to wish you all the best for your treatment.
Take care, love Helen x

Helen, that’s encouraging  the thought if loosing eyelashes makes me cringe! 


Sue, I have had semi permanent  tattooing done and I have to say I am delighted by the result ?


Evening ladies. I have 2nd Chemo on Tuesday and used cold cap on cycle 1. I’ve had some minor shedding over last few days but tonight my scalp is feeling sore and tender. Is this a sign of further hair loss to come? Helen x

Hi deb, I had mine done by an aesthetic nurse who would not  do any treatments pre/post 4 weeks of a general anaesthetic.  I managed to get eyebrows  done and healed (they can go slightly dry and flake) before the start of chemo but have been told that if the pigment needs retouching in areas which sometimes it can I will have to check with oncologist. Looking at them i wont need retouching but my bcn did reiterate that I would need to check the best time to do it.   I didn’t have reconstruction, was fully healed and not in active treatment so I think you would be better  asking your bcn/surgeon /oncologist for advice to be on the safe side.  Good luck I am pleased with the result  but wouldn’t have gone against  medical advice or delayed treatment x