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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?

Thank you riversidedawn Smiley Happy I took painkillers half way through this time which was better and I will ask about tramadol. Do you have any advice for afterwards? In terms of washing hair and the type of shampoo and conditioner - I was thinking of trying the paxman. Also, do you have any tips for styling hair without damaging it?

 

Thanks again x 

 

 

 

Community Champion

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

Hi melia, take a look at cancerhaircare website for loads of tips.

I washed my hair immediately after each chemo (and weekly between 3 week fec) although I've read on here that some people have been advised against this.

I was very fortunate that I had a good result - I am hairy with very thick eyebrows which thinned but not disappeared during chemo!

I'd recommend a wide headband to protect your forehead and ears, lots of hot drinks, layers, hot water bottle, blanket, food, music / book / someone to talk to as it takes a long time. Also put cap on unfrozen then freeze it on your head for a better fit.

Good luck, I'm here if you need any Moore tips / talk x
Member

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

Also when should I wash my hair as soon as I get home, or leave it a few hours or days? Should I use tepid water or cold as read so much different info x
Member

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

Hi ladies im due to start treatment next week and cold capping. Im trying my best to think positive that im going to keep it but having total anxiety over it now. No one data suggest a wig to me as I'm so adamant im going to keep it. I think I'm prepared as I'll ever be, will pillow case, wooden comb, neutral shampoo etc but keep thinking I've forgot something important. Any additional tips please. Has anyone used a little cocunot oil to style hair just a little on the tips of my hair i was thinking to stop frizz. And should I be using a leave in conditioner after the cold caps over x
Member

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

Thanks riversidedawn. I like the idea of scrunch drying my hair to disguise the short bits and having layers put in. I'm already getting a bit of a lift on my parting from the hair that I lost originally and has now started growing back.
In this hot weather, it's a nightmare only washing my hair once a week. I'm so anxious to move on from my cold capping routine but am going to stay with it for a few more weeks I think, just to be safe.
Community Champion

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

Hi blue2, well done for getting to the end of chemo! I found that by the end of chemo I already had quite a bit of new growth. I've always had shoulder length hair all the same length but found my new natural layers looked good so after chemo I had it cut to a short bob with layers and it looked so much better. I was able to scrunch dry it which made it look even thicker.

It took me a long time to get confident to go back to my old hair care routine. I carried on using herbal essence naked range for a year and very little hair drying etc But I do think you can get back to normal quite quickly - I rather enjoyed my new speedy routine!!
Member

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

I'm looking for some advice please......i had my last chemo last week, EC-T, and used the paxman cold cap, and want to know, when can I reclaim my hair?!!
I've got about 40% of it left after 5 months of treatment, its patchy and i have a few almost but not quite bald patches but have managed to get away without wearing a wig. I can use hair filler powder and a wide headband and look relatively OK. It's bob length at the moment.
I've been following all the cold capping hair advice - washing it just 1-2 x week on chemo with simple shampoo, once daily combing with a wide tooth comb etc etc, but wondered when I can start using proper shampoo and washing and combing it more often? I don't want to make a mistake right when I'm almost there and risk loosing it!
Also, when my new growth comes in, has anybody any tips on how to blend it into my pre treatment bob length hair as don't want to have to cut the remaining hair short and start from scratch. How do others manage the long bits and short bits?
Member

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

I had my hair cut by a volunteer hairdresser at our local Hospice. My hair had been falling out all over while using the cold cap but as you say unless people knew - they wouldn't have known the difference.  I had really long wispy bits which looked a mess. As soon as it was trimmed up - it looked so much tidier and much thicker looking. If you feel you need a trim then go for it - it's the little things that make us feel better when going through treatment.

I had my last chemo in January and now my hair is starting to thicken up on top but thin on the ends - I had it trimmed by my hairdresser four weeks ago to neaten it up before I started my phased return to work. People have been amazed at well my hair has coped with all the cold capping and chemo - it may not work for everyone but it does grow back quickly - I'm so glad I stuck it out. 

 

Member

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

Thank you for all the excellent suggestions! Could you please elaborate on the type of supplements that you took, and the hair growth products that you mention as being "best friends".

 

Thank you.

Community Champion

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

Tramadol
Community Champion

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

Hi Linda, sorry you're getting that pain, I can't advise on that as I found it got easier the longer the cap was on - I even asked the nurse to check it was still working!

I took strong painkillers before hand -petramadol so may be that's why I coped well.

Are you wearing a wide head band to protect your ears and forehead? If not you may find that helps. Also lots of warm drinks and something to occupy you to keep your mind off it.

Hope it's easier for you next time x
Member

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

Hi, I am new to this forum and have just had my first chemo treatment with the cold cap (which I wear for 4 hours in total). I've found that the last 2 hours are the most difficult due to migraine pains and being uncomfortable. I took paracetamol beforehand but this doesn't seem to help the last couple of hours. Does anyone have any advice for me? My next session is in a weeks time and I was going to give it another go. Thanks in advance Smiley Happy 

Community Champion

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

I had my hair cut during chemo Tink. It was so fine it needed a trim, also it got too long to wear my wig. Can't see any problem with cutting?
Member

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

Hi Rach,

Thank you for sharing your experience. I am having the same experience. I'm losing it all over and it and you can't really tell unless you know me and can see the difference. 

The company I used said not to cut my hair for 2 months afterwards and I really don't know why that would matter. I need to cut it because it is fine like yours and I just think it will look much better and be a lot more manageable. I noticed that you did cut your hair during treatment and wonder if it seemed to affect it at all and if the company you used said it was okay.

 

Thank you so much! I hope everything is going great for you!

Member

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

I have done 4 treatments of AC. I already did Taxotere previously so I am done with the chemo, hopefully for good. I used the Arctic Cold Caps and kept my hair until the last round and a month out I am still shedding. I don't have any noticeable bald spot but my hair is very thin and I am wearing a wig sometimes because it just looks so much better. I am afraid the shedding will continue and I will lose all of my hair but it looks like that will not be the case according to some of the responses to this thread. I am so grateful for the hope that gives to me. And it is reassuring to hear that my hair should come back faster. I have done everything I was told to do and I am still doing it. I was wondering if anyone used a dry shampoo to help with the oilness between washes. I am only washing my hair once a week because the most shedding occurs after I wash it and it starts looking pretty bad toward the end. 

Community Champion

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

Hi melia I used an organic, colour free, scent free shampoo and conditioner from the health shop. About £5 each for a small bottle but as I only washed my hair on chemo days it lasted about 6 months. I then moved on to herbal essence naked range. I can't comment on paxman products as I didn't use them.

I wore bobble hats in winter and sun hat/baseball hat when the weather warmed up. If the hairs going to fall out it will so I wouldn't worry about hats making it worse.

I fashioned a nifty comb over to cover thinning scalp and tied hair into a loose ponytail with soft scrunchies from boots. I'm definitely not a scarf person either!!
Member

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

Melia, I wore bobble hats in winter and then struggled as soon as the warmer weather arrived. I do have a sunhat and baseball cap but am loving these headbands at the moment - much cooler than a hat! My balding is across the top of my head and my crown and wearing a headband covers the worse bits and does a sleepover type effect on my crown!
I don't know how to paste a link but if you put China flower retro hair band on Amazon, it will come up!

Member

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

Hi ladies did any of you use the paxman shampoo and conditioners whilst cold capping and for normal washing or is their something better out there? Can I wear a baseball cap to hide bald/spots and shedding or is wearing hats not recommended. I am not a scarve kind of girl x
Member

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

I did great with the cap. I used the Penguin Cold Cap May 2015-August 2015. My treatment was TCH. The way my oncologist set up my. He I mess, I only had to do it 4 times. I did everything they (The Penguin Cold Cap Company) told me to do and I continued this regiment for 10 months after I completed chemo, just to be on the safe side. I also had 6 weeks of radiation treatment. I had a little shedding but in all actuality, the strands I did loose weren't much more on a day to day basis than I have had throughout the rest of my life! When my hair fell out everywhere else, yet still upon my head, it was absolutely the greatest feeling. My eyes filled with tears because I could see the proof that it really really worked! It was also very nice to have a goal, something to focus on, something positive that I could do for myself. Something other than focusing on the cancer diagnosis. My husband and daughter got into it too. It gave them a way to be helpful, something they could do to help!  As far as the temp (30' below C), well, that wasn't an issue either. I swear, it was only a few minutes of cold. Your head gets so cold, you don't feel it and there it is... problem solved! A little Ativan (0.5mg in my IV) did the trick and I stayed alert and talked with my friends and relatives while they capped me every 30 minutes! I recommend it and i's a shame so many people don't know about it. I work in the medical field as a nurse and as far as I know, it still isn't FDA approved here in the USA. I think the cost of renting the caps ($1600) was well worth it. It would take me years to grow my hair back and the cool thing was I had something positive to focus on and people didn't question me and tell me stories of loved ones with cancer etc when they saw me. It was my business if I wanted to talk about it, not someone else's. 

Member

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

Hi ladies,
I just wanted to give you all a big high five you are all doing amazingly well.
I had four FEC and four Docetaxel ending on December 22nd I used a paxman cold cap and had the most amazing team of nurses only my two lovely ladies touched my hair as I trusted them. I knew I'd lost a fair amount of hair but I lost it all over and havevthock hair so it wasn't that noticeable. Now only four todo entries months on I have full brows, lashes although not as thick and hair which is insanely thick and curly I'm in love with it 😍 Oh and as a blonde my hair eyebrows and lashes are now really dark it's like being a new person!!!
I will say I've found I still have nightmares of my hair falling out and count the hair in the shower, I shudder if my head gets cold but then I take a moment and realise I'm so lucky to have tried the cold cap and have kept my hair as I now go out curl my hair and no one knows I've had anything wrong with me this helps me. Although I have noticed the buzz cut is becoming very fashionable!!!
I would say my tips for cold capping is as follows;
1. Try and go somewhere else for those ten mins when it hurts your oncologist can prescribe meds to help with this they do help and I have no idea why I didn't get them from the first session!!!!
2. Use paxman products if you can they are expensive but work like a dream!!
3. Check your own cold cap after the nurses have and if your not happy with the fir get them to recheck it they really don't mind.
4. Wide toothed wooden combs are your best friend at the end you can go onto a tangle teaser but they are scratchy during chemo if you have any bald patches.
5. Don't believe everything you read - I did and convinced myself that I was shedding in a way I would go bald and that the tingling you feel means your losing your hair at that moment.... it dosent mine is still attached and no tingling scalp now woop!!!
6. Use Teppid water to wash your hair and don't rub it with a towel it will create a nest of attached and non attached hairs so you lose tons more.
7. Coconut oil on your scalp will help but be careful as it clogs the scalp of not washed off properly which is hard with teppid water.
8. Don't use a conditioner when cold capping that you want to use afterwards the smell will make you feel nauseous and remind you. I used a deep conditioner from lush and now want to vomit when I smell it which is unfortunate as it was my fave!!!
9. Watch the time don't let the nurses start treatment early as this could compromise your treatment and at the end let your head defrost. I always nipped to the loo as I was too scared to unplug the machine during treatment got my stuff sorted then gently checked befor taking it off.
10. Ask if there are supilments you can use that helps I took tons and my growth furring chemo was insane!!!!
11. Sleep Ina silk pillow case because you are a damn queen and deserve the very best oh and it will stop your hair drying and knotting. Also use a soft bamboo cotton cap (I still use mine to dry my hair and as a comfort love my little skull caps).
12. Get someone to pour water gently from a jug whilst you wash like you would with a baby it stops knots and causing trauma also itsvthenone time you may want some moral support if those little curls of doom start coming out!! Having a reassuring voice telling you it's fine and taking the hair out of your hand helps!!!
13. Use gentle detangler with your bamboo comb when wet bit then leave it alone!!! Comb your hair morning and night but try to just leave it be!!!
14. Bandanas are also a friend they keep the falling hairs off your face and cover your scalp if it's hot as burning is easy with the shiny patches I can only imagine this would hurt!!!
15. Afterwards hair growth products are your best friend!!
16. The cold cap doesn't work for everyone- this isn't fair but is the bottom line.
Sorry if this is long but I kind of wish I'd have had it laid out for me from the start.

I wish all of you the best outcome possible in every aspect of your treatment. I found this thread a lifeline so like to pay it forward. Xxx
Member

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

Hi all

I went today for my third FEC , I have lost 90%of hair and resemble Gollum now too, I was thinking I could no longer do the cold cap but they said carry on as changing to Tax next round and nurse advised it is not as harsh on the hair so my hair should start growing back so after reading comments on here I carried on. it was much colder this time couldnt wait to get it off , however painkillers took the edge off , I wear my topper to work  and thats all good and hats and beanies at home . Like someone else said I was really disappointed in my results as other ladies I saw still had so much hair but it growing back quicker motivates me to carry on

 

Community Champion

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

Hey billy bear thank you for commenting - hopefully our thread will help others through their treatment.

I didn't lose as much as you (probably 50% all over) but like you it started growing back during treatment. Had my last chemo 10 April 2015 and 6 weeks later had cut and colour and 2 inches of new hair growth filling in the gaps.

Many ladies had commented similar experiences, it seems that even if you do have hair loss with cold cap it appears to help re-growth to be quicker. X
Member

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

Hello ladies. I'm a bit nervous because this is the first time I have added to a blog but I found others peoples' comments useful when I was considering using a cold cap.  Like many of you I struggled through 6 chemo sessions using the cold cap and found the first 10 minutes or so the worst part but despite the tears I persevered and am glad I did.  I'm not sure if anyone has experienced the same results as me but I lost more than 90% of my long hair by the time I finished chemo but found that "new" hair has continued to grow! Now just 5 weeks after finishing chemo I have a full head of hair that is 3 to 4 centremetres in length and 2 days ago trimmed of the last of my long hair so I now sport, what my best friend cals, my pixie look. 

Member

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

Hi Everyone, I am going to have my 3rd AC Treatment next Tuesday, I have been using the

 Paxman Cold Cap.  I am shedding loads and I'm now on Day 20,  I have another 6 treatment to go.  I Am following all the guidelines about how to take care of your hair during Treatments and using the Cold Cap. I would like to know if my Hair Shedding will slow down?

Thanking you all in advanceSmiley Happy

 

Member

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

Hi Amoyart, I am using Paxman too fingers crossed to you get to day 14 !!Mine was ok until then and now is shedding heaps ! My hair grows very fast and they said i might lose up to 70% but it will grow back faster so I am continuing with it-they will have to put some gauze or a paper hat on to protect my scalp from frost bite lol hope I got hair in 4 days as more chemo..Good Luck hun xx

Member

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

Hi Ladies I started the Paxman cold cap -the nurses use it -about two and a half weeks ago and as they do everything I hope its all ok, but in the last 2 days its coming out and 6 hairs together in clumps it just wont stop!! They say if your hair grows fast that you could loose up to 70% but that it will grow back quicker and to not shave it off-I am tempted but am wearing a hat all the time to collect the hair thats falling.The ladies using their own cold caps and ice seem to have better results as they monitor the temps more closely. Baldom here I come lol I am getting a wig as I will need one, I have some turbans but need a wig for work. Sharon.xx

Member

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

There are 2 reasons you may be losing hair on your crown. The cap may be too big and not getting a proper seal to the top of you head. Make sure that bit is really wet and has plenty of conditioner. Go down a cap size. And tighten chin strap.
Also make sure you defrost. Pulling the cap off to soon will break the hair as it is frozen to the inside of the cap xc
Member

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

You're not alone! I've done everything perfect according to the cold cap directions and lost a ton of my hair days 11-21 leaving a bald spot on my crown that I could have gotten away with hiding with a combover however the thinning grew and and grew over the next few weeks down the sides. Right now I could get by with a clip on topper instead of a full wig but I still have 2 more chemos to get through and shedding continues daily. It's at a lesser rate but that can add up over the next 6-8 weeks. I'm devastated. My expectations were such that Zero wigs or hair pieces would be needed in this process and I am totally depressed about it. I k kw I should be greatfyl for the hair I still have in the back so trying to focus on that. Love and hugs dearie. I share your woes and send you the best wishes.
Member

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

I am about to have my 3rd FEC on Monday and using cold caps, too.  I have been fortunate.  I had a lot of hair to begin with and only shedding a bit more than usual, but nothing noticeable.  I start 45min before, but continue it for 6 hours after.  I know it's a pain, but it's worth it to me. my hair has not changed at all.  I'm not sure if it's me or what, but I only feel a bit of discomfort the first few minutes.  I will pray for you.  I know it isn't easy.  xoxo 

Member

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

I am about to go through chemo #3, and thankfully, I still have all my hair.  I am using Arctic Cold Caps.  i start 45min before infusion and continue 6 hours after.  I wash my hair 2-3 x a week, but do use organic conditioner or cur activator everyday.  I have curly hair, so I cannot go a day ala natural Smiley Happy  i still have my eyebrows, my eyelashes are thinning, but still have my hair.  a Bad hair day is better than no hair day for me.  Good Luck, all. 

Member

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

I have had two fecs using cold cap but 80 percent gone now and what's left looks terrible so I got a hair topper which I have to say is so much more comfy than a wig I just need to hold on to my small bit of hair as it clips on I had loads of Thick hair too which I constantly had to blow dry so that's one consultation I guess as all I have to do now is clip on my hair
Member

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

Many thanks riversidedawn, that's a good idea. I will suggest it, that's made me feel better about tomorrow.
X
Community Champion

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

Amoyart, my nurse put a layer or two of gauze on the top of my head when I thinned, to prevent ice burns. It was still effective through this x
Member

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

Hi everyone,
I am just about to have my 3rd FEC tomorrow. I have had a cold cap so far. I had no hair loss in the first cycle and then in the last 3 weeks it hasbeen persistent generalised hairloss. I am quite disappointed and I had to wear a wig yesterday as my parting is now quite wide and my crown quite sparse. I wished to know if the cold cap will be bearable or not. I was ok with the first 2 treatments with doing deep breathing. I was lucky not to get a headache. I am due for 3 docatexel next which involves a much shorter time with the cold cap so I am going to try to keep going. I know I feel better having some hair.
Xx to you all
Member

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

 
Member

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

I've had 5 out of my 6 chemo treatments (docetaxel and carboplatin) so far and have been using an ice cap throughout. The first fifteen minutes is very painful but after that I seem to go through the pain barrier and rely on a heat pad to try to keep me warm. Take something to distract yourself and help get you through the difficult bits. I didn't loose any hair for the first couple of cycles. Then each time I washed my hair I probably lost about 30-40 strands and a few more each time I brush it. The good news is it's not from one area and therefore you can't really notice the loss. Fingers crossed it stays that way. I've always had quite fine hair and had it cut into a short bob during my first cycle. I wash my hair using a ph balanced baby shampoo, no conditioner (except whilst wearing the ice cap). I pat my hair with a towel after washing it and then use a hair dryer on medium heat, medium power as if I let it dry naturally it gets greecier quicker then I'd have to wash it more. I comb it with a wide toothed comb. Good luck to those on their cancer 'journey'.
Member

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

hi I've been using cold cap,ive just had my second chemo fect my hair is thinning but no bold patches as yet,ive one more fect to have on 13th April, then ive got 3 Docetaxel the doctor said I may well loose my hair with that even if I wear cold cap as the chemo is quite intense so we will wait and see
Member

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

I used the cap for treatment 1 and 2. My hair started to thin after 2 a lot but I also had major psycological problems. I am a positive person and nothing phases me normally but I am having nightmares about my brain freezing and suddenly turned neurotic about a cold head when I've never been neurotic before. So I had my hair cut off and never going to ever want to see a cold cap again. I'm amazed no one said anything about possible trauma it has caused me but seems I am an isolated case and everyone seems to be doing great on it. Take care and keep positive. suz
Community Champion

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

My hair loss was around the 13 day mark. Beware - the girlie bits may be the first to go! It was a bit of a shock for me! My head hair loss was quite dramatic for a few days. I didn't brush or comb it throughout chemo, just ran my hands through. There was quite a lot in one go, but then it stopped and any loss was not noticeable during the rest of chemo. By the time I started taxol I had new growth appearing. I kept my hair in a loose ponytail which helped to hide the lankness.
Member

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

My shedding seemed to be around day 14 and it was the odd hair not big clumps. When I washed and combed while ringlets would come out so say 30 strands together. I still have enough hair and wild curls to cover my head x
Member

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

I am on day 11 of my first fec cycle having used the paxman cold cap.  I followed the advice (used simple shampoo and conditioner) and have washed my hair twice so far & dried it with T shirt with minimal combing. I haven't had any hair loss yet; just wondered the likely pattern of hairloss.  I was worried that there would be clumps of hair coming out on my pillow at night.  Is this likely to happen or is it more general shedding?  I guess without new hair growth there will be cumulative thinning as a best case scenario.  I have very fine straight hair cut in a bob at present but it doesn't have much body.

Community Champion

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

I used paxman for 3 x fec and 11 x weekly taxol. If you need any specific tips or anything please let me know - I feel quite qualified !!
Member

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

Yes I have read the booklet from cancer hair care and the paxman leaflet and i feel alot better informed.   Thanks for great advice.

Community Champion

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

Amoyart, take a look at cancerhaircare website. They have loads of tips and advice.
Member

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

Anna bandana do.lots of little caps to sleep.in. I've done 6 x fec. I have to listen chin and back strap as it was making me feel sick but to compensate I do 2 hours post epirubicin. My hair is thinner but the mad curls cover that up at the moment. I'm not sure of how to style it going forward. I had it cut to a bob and blow.dried it once a week but that will now be too aggressive for hair. I'm thinking of shorter on the sides over my ears xx
Member

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

Hi i 'm on the other extreme and as i just started my 3 rounds of FEC75 yesterday which will be followed by 3 rounds of docetaxel.  I opted for scalp cooling and they have the paxman unit at the hospital.   I was abit concerned that the contact at the back wasn't as good and when taking it off the nurse commented that the strap was undone around the back, next time I will be more on the ball getting them to check it as I went to the loo and maybe things moved.   I had a medium cap with a small covering hat.  There wasn't much advice regarding haircare afterwards.   I was wondering where you can get the scalp caps to wear at nighttime to avoid finding clumps of hair on the pillow. 

I have found snail888 practical advice very useful; thankfully I rung the chemo ward so I knew to bring a headband for covering ears and forehead and I had brought some conditioner.  The nurse seemed to be under pressure yesterday and there needs to be attention to detail with cap fitting to get a good result.  It would be better if they could have done this in advance. 

I am not going to wash my hair for a few days, had it cut from long to a bob and fringe, it is v straight so I'm lucky it looks ok, there is dried conditioner from yesterday but going to leave it if doesn't become itchy.

Thanks for advice against wearing hats if possible as best to keep scalp cooler.

best wishes to everyone going through this.

Member

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

I just finished my last round of chemo (total of 4 treatments over 12 weeks: TC), using the Arctic Cold Cap system. I still have hair! I lost about 60%, and admittedly had a lot to lose given I had "big hair" - thick and lots of it.
Arctic has been very supportive, however, I learned lessons along the way that were not necessarily explicit from the onset, and wish I had known early on.

1. No hats. I live in a climate in the Pacific NW, in the US, that sees some cold temps in the winter (temps in teens, and in 20s-30s during our coldest stints) though mostly stays pretty temperate
(40s-50s). We had several cold snaps this winter and I wore hats for the first several weeks during treatment.

I stopped wearing hats after my Cold Cap support nurse (via phine) told me to stop and to actually expose my head to cold temps in between treatments. Hard to do on early morning walks for exercise in freezing temps, but I did it (with ear protectors/headband around forehead). Started this practice halfway through.

2. Also, some of the cold caps were defective, which we didn't realize until halfway through treatment. The were ripply and "bunched up" in the crown. As soon as we realized they wouldn't smooth out, no matter the tactics we tried when freezing, we contacted Arctic and they shipped replacement caps immediately. Unfortunately, we already went through 2 treatments at this point, so I do think the areas on my crown where I have the most thinning/baldness, is a result of that. We weren't getting enough contact there. Being so new to all of this, we just weren't on it quickly enough. Strategic comb overs do help - those and headbands. And, because I lost so much hair on my crown, I was worried about abscesses, and fort unduly had cut my hair to shoulder length prior to starting treatment, so we were able to bring that hair forward and place it on top of my head, under the hair net, to cover the bald spots during capping. I also used two hair nets to keep it all in place and cut down on the tearing and shredding of the hair net as you change caps every 20 minutes. On treatment days, I was in my caps for 10 hours.

I've been very strict about following all the protocols. Washing with clear, organic products twice a week, using an organic detangler each time I comb with a wide tooth comb, with some rinsing in between washes - all with as cool water as I can stand, just on my hair, in shower. I went from being able to hold a ponytail in my fist, to a tiny cluster between my thumb and pointer finger. But I still have hair, and if you didn't know me and what it looked like before, you really can't tell!

Hope this helps. Good luck to all of you!! Just celebrated last chemo yesterday. Stay strong and take care.
Community Champion

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

Keenchild - you can get one free on the NHS, ask your breast care nurse.
Community Champion

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

If you want to look a bit better with your thin hair I can recommend a topper. Just a wide hair  extension but so easy to put in 

 

http://www.internetwigs.com/toppers.html

 

 

I like the 731 best out of this lot.

 

Member

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

I also wrapped my hair in an old tshirt not a towel to protect it. I think that the finer your hair the better you fare because the blood supply isn't as good as on thick hair. X