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Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

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Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

I was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive ductal carincoma breast cancer in October and I’m 23. Currently on Taxol and Carboplatin every week for 9 weeks then Epirubicin & Cyclophosphamide 3 weekly after. One of the first things I said to the doctor after he told me my diagnosis was what about my hair whilst crying and laughing because I couldn’t quite believe what he had told me. The nurse mentioned the cold cap which I was already aware of as my mother had breast cancer 10 years ago. 

 

Ive had the paxman cold cap every time I’ve had Chemo for the last 3 treatments and I haven’t lost any hair. It isn’t as bad as people think it is, it’s cold to begin with but just make sure you have paracetamol about 30 mins before and you’ll be fine. Put lots of water and condtioner on it and you’ll find you have icicles once it comes off haha, it’s very numb for a little while so make sure you bring a hat.

 

I don’t wash my hair half as much anymore because I’m terrified of losing it and when I do wash it (which is tops twice a week now) I only dry my front bits with cold air and let the rest dry naturally. When it starts to feel greasy I just put dry shampoo on it and put it up. If your hair is important to you definitely go for the cold cap, it’s tolerable! It’s just like your head being in a cold pool. I tell myself it’s a spa treatment to cope! Another thing I’ve found helps me is making sure I still do my make up to go for treatment, I just think it makes you feel better and positive. I hope this has helped anyone, we can get through this!!!! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 Positive vibes everyone Xxx

Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Hi.  I start my first ever chemo 21november. Every week 1.5 hours for 3months. I am told it’s a low dose

 

its all new to me. I am still not accepting it’s me we’re talking about. I just had a masectomy. 

I want to use the cold cap. I will have my layers cut slightly shorter as I have shoulder length long layered hair 

i have been told I might not loose my hair with it been low dose.  It want to take precautions

 what is TEC please 

 

Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Hi everyone,

 

Thank you for sharing your stories and best of luck with your treatment!

 

I have a family member who started chemotherapy less than two weeks ago.She is now considering using the cooling cap,but fears that it won't have much of an effect since she didn't use it in her first session.Her hair hasn't yet thinned more than usual though.Does anyone have any information about this? I know that the elasto gel caps website says that the caps shouldn't be used after the first course of chemotherapy,but I would like to hear from your experiences Smiley Happy

 

 

 

Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

I, too, kept my hair throughout chemo thanks to the cold cap.
Definitely worth giving it a try, even if nurses or oncologists suggest it probably won't work, but you MUST get a very short haircut before your first session. The shorter it is, the less you have to brush it, so the less pressure is put on the roots, which will obvoiusly be weakened by chemo.
Throughout almost five months of treatment, I brushed it only once a day, incredibly gently, first thing in the morning. If it's a pixie cut or short back and sides equivalent, you can get away with that.
Like feelthefear, I touched it as little as possible throughout six chemos (3 FEC, then 3 Taxotere).
Was advised by a lovely lady I met on my first chemo, who had kept her hair throughout, to take conditioner with you to each session. Then when they're ready to hook you up to the cold cap, zip to the loo just before that, wet your hair, put masses of conditioner on, gently stroking it through with your fingers (rather than a comb), then put on cold cap.
By the way, cold cap wasn't painful at all for me the first few times, but was quite painful last couple of times for abt first 15 mins, after which my head went pretty numb with cold and stopped hurting, thankfully ( a couple of ordinary painkillers 20 mins before also helped).
I didn't wash my hair till three days after each chemo (yes, felt pretty gross, but it means drugs not as high in your system by then).
Then I washed it every couple of days in
the shower. Normal hot water, normal shampoo. BUT don't rub it in with your fingers as you might normally do. I put a blob of shampoo in my palm then just dabbed it all over my head, rinsed and repeated this then rinsed again and it was perfectly clean.
Did find after 2nd chemo hair started coming out a bit for a week in the shower - then it stopped.
It did get thinner all over generally and pretty much stopped growing, but kept it all over
throughout treatment, and nobody at work noticed.
Las tip: don't bloody scratch your head!
As your hair starts to loosen, it will itch and tingle, but leave well alone. I scratched an itch once without thinking, and a thin strip of hair come off in my hand - bugger!
Managed to cover it up using a coloured root retoucher from the chemist and just a hairband for last two months. That strip grew back within 3-4 months post-chemo.
I was incredibly lucky to keep my hair and I know the cold cap doesn't work for everyone. But give it a go, touch your hair as little as possible and you might be lucky, too.
Good luck, girls. X
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Yes. Well done to both of us Melia. It’s brilliant isn’t it. 😀 I bet you enjoyed that first proper wash. What a treat. X

P.s. I’ll just add for anyone considering capping that in England most hospitals offer the paxman cold cap for free. No cost to us at all.
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Hey Melia I'm so pleased you did it and saved your hair too you and Angela were very lucky with the cold cap and got through treatment hope you are doing good xxx
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Hi just thought I woukd add to angelas (feel the fears ) advice.

I too have very successfully cold capped, I have done 5 x fec which is said to be the worst for hair loss. My initial nurse toldme not to bother capping as it rarely works, so glad I never listened to her! So don't be put off by anyone if you want to try it everyone is different.

I have been overly careful with my hair, I have just began washing it in the shower 4 weeks post chemo. I washed my hair once a week woth tepid water, with the help of my mam and a jug. I too used the paxman shampoo and conditioners. I would wait a week after chemo to way it the grease was horrific but it made me feel like I was giving my hair a better chance. I wore a hair net for bed and used a silk pillowcase. Only ever brushed when my hair was dry and with a wooden comb. I still haven't used a hairdryer or straighteners though I'm dying to get it dyed and straightened. I was maybe overly cautious but losing my hair was my worst fear I have kept all of my hair which I am still rather shocked about. No thinning or bald patches anywhere. I nwver expected it to be so successful though of course I'm delighted it was! Not going to lie I found the cold cap awful I was always aware of ot even after ghe first 15 mins and would make me feel dizzy and queasy. But glad I stuck with it. Good luck to all those just starting with it, I'm well aware it doesn't work for everyone but I am proof that it can and will work. I'd upload a pic if I knew how. And Angela..hooray we DID IT!! I would put a swear word in there but it would be blocked haha x
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

hi there-I just finished using the Penguin Cold caps thru 4 rounds of TC infusions--I have kept 85-90 % of my hair!- am 2 weeks out from last round and am still shedding about 25-30 strands a day but no widened part, no scalp showing, and no clumps--I look normal to myself though hair feels thinner and totally normal to everyone else. I usually flat iron my shoulder length hair but now just touch  up ends and let hair dry ntaurally- is naturally wavy and it looks fuller. the 7 hour capping process each time was long and grueling but so worth it- my daughter was my partner and really stepped up- I highly recommend capping and highly recommend Penguin--you rent the caps- it is expensive--495/month but you can rent used ones for 300 /month- you have to ask about this- they dont offer up front.=Go for it!

Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

I thought I’d bump this for anyone who is about to start chemo and is considering cold capping.

I’ve now finished my fec-t regime (Oct 17) and have kept all of the hair on my head (bald everywhere else) thanks to capping.
I had my long fine hair (lots of it) cut and layered into a pixie prior to treatment.
I used the paxman shampoo and conditioner. I washed it twice weekly in warm water using a cup and dried it on the lowest heat if I was going anywhere, otherwise I allowed it to dry naturally. I never washed it straight after chemo and always left it a day.
After my third fec I got a bit braver and started to wash it 4 to 5 times a week in the shower. I also started to use mousse.
It’s continued to grow throughout treatment and hasn’t thinned at all.
The cap isn’t the most pleasant experience and is pretty uncomfortable for about ten to fifteen minutes, then you forget you’re wearing it.
Drinking something hot when it’s first put on helps, also take 2 paracetamol an hour beforehand.
My hair is now over 3 inches at its very shortest and around 6 on top.
I’m so grateful to the paxman cap company I could shout it from the rooftops.
I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but I also know I’m not a one off as I know of others who have just finished treatment who have also kept all of their hair.
Also, I didn’t wear a silk cap for bed to protect my hair as some do as it was horribly sweaty and the same with silk pillowcases.

Some people worry that by using the cap you are stopping the chemo reaching your head. This isn’t true. It’s only your scalp that is effected and the chances of breast cancer spreading to it are extremely tiny and rare. Have a look on the paxman website for more info.
If anyone is considering capping, I definitely say give it a go. Any questions, just ask.
Angela
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Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Sorry chemo brain sowdril ahhhhh this predicted text, think you know what I mean though!!!!!
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Melia feel the fear is right! I lost all mine to first fec with the cold cap had one to and now got a fuzz all over just about so in my opinion fec is more harsh on the hair than T I think you should be OK Smiley Happy
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Hi soworridl. Docetaxel isn’t as harsh on hair. In fact, for a lot of people who lose their hair on the fec or EC it starts to grow again on T. The absolute best thing is that you only have to wear the cap for between 20 and 30 minutes after your infusion rather than an hour and a half. Hopefully you shouldn’t lose any more hair now if you continue to cap.
I’ve only got one left to go and can’t wait to take that ice off my head for the final time. It’ll all of been worth it though. I’ll be eternally grateful to the paxman family. X
Community Champion

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Hi Melia

Take a look at the cancerhaircare.com website, they have loads of information and advice. I'm fortunate to live a short distance from their saloon but the website is very helpful. X
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Hair loss experiences with docetaxel Anyone? X
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Thanks ladies.. I've still got the total fear of it coming out as soon as I scrub it in the shower... Angela your braver than me :/ I think because I know the fec is not vicious on the hair im more wary. Think ill wait a good 4 weeks before using the delightful hot water might wait until after radio to get it dyed! Some people havw advised 6 months before dying it but maybe if that's if they have lost a lot of hair I dont feel like my scalp had really been affected just my hair is more dry than usual xx
Community Champion

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Hi ladies, congratulations on persevering with the cold cap! I had my hair trimmed a few times during chemo to even it up and I had it dyed professionally at cancerhaircare.com about 6 weeks after I finished (3 x FEC and 11 x taxol).

I really can't remember when I used hot water but I carried on using naked shampoo for a while as I liked it! X
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

As you know, I’ve been washing mine in the shower nearly every day since my 3rd fec. And here I am nearly due my final T and my hair hasn’t budged. I’ve been drying it with the dryer as well and using styling mouse now and again.

As you haven’t lost any either, I honestly think you’ll be fine to give yourself a treat and wash it in lovely warm water. It feels divine after the lukewarm water with head over the sink treatment for so long.
Enjoy. X


Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Hi I've just done my 5th and last fec, just wondering when everyone started washing hair as normal. Dying to give it a good scrub. Also when did you first dye and or get it cut after cold cap. I'm getting so much differing info xx
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

 
Member

Re: Cold Cap - did it help keep your hair?

Aren't the look good feel good really nice you get to meet others in same situation x
It's a confidence boost as well x the goody bag is lovely
Yesterday I used the make-up as I was looking rubbish and everyone commented on how good I looked so yeah well worth it
If you do lose your hair like me (fec round 1)make up and nice scarf tying makes a difference
The kylie look for scarfs is really classy looking go on pinterest for different tips xxx