I cold capped and it seems to have reasonably successful. My hair is thin compared to how it used to be but people who see me say it looks OK. There is the odd bald or very thin patch but a bit of strategic combing over or moving the parting with a spritz of hairspray to hold it in place and it's job done. I can definitely feel the cold so woolley hats are a must for me in chilly UK. I also had my hair cut in a similar style to my wig which was cut quite a bit shorter compared to its' usual shoulder length but it put a lot less stress and weight on my hair follicles.
I completed my chemo 17 days ago and still wear my sleep cap to protect my head. It's also useful for catching any hairs that do shed. Be warned even though you are cold capping you will still shed hair particularly 10-14 days or so after your first treatment.
I did shed hair after each treatment but still washed it twice a week. I know they say only once a week but that was too little for me and in between times used a dry shampoo. (Batiste is one of the better ones in the UK)
I used baby shampoo in tepid/warm water and was very gentle with my hair. Air dry naturally as far as possible or cool setting on the hairdryer. Use a bamboo or wide toothed comb and hard though it is - try not to fiddle with your hair especially when its tingling/hurting like mad. I only wore my wig a couple of times and then only in desperation because I felt such a mess at times.
Cold capping does not work for everyone and some people can't cope with extended treatment times that using the cold cap brings. It is a struggle at times but hang in there. Good luck
I'm new to this group and thread. I live in California and am having difficulty finding people that have used caps. I am using penguin cold caps. I had my 1st infustion on February 2nd. How did those of you that used the caps deal with the dirty hair? It's making me crazy. I typically wash my hair daily. It's thin and gets oily quickly.
How often did you cold rinse? Cool/warm water wash? Best styling? (loose bun?)
Thanks so much for ANY insight with this one!
I'm at the end of FEC cycle 3 (next three will be docetaxel and herceptin) and have used the cold cap throughout. Success is partial - had a wide band across the middle of my head where most hair is gone, and a patch at the back of my head. Need to wear a scarf at all times to hide those, but as fringe and hairline are unaffected, at least I still feel and look like myself, so I'd still say it's been well worth it. The hair loss occurred where the cap didn't fit tightly enough - my head is less domed than the cap.
I am using Artic Cold cap. The support is great and the kit comes well designed. I think the key to success is practicing with your capper several times before the day of chemo to get the system down and timed well.
I have just had Fec 3 have used a pax man cap for all.of them
I take 2 paracetamol 30 minutes before, canulate then wet and add loads of conditioner to my hair to get a good seal with the cap. I also have a headband to protect my forehead. I then wear the cap for 30 minutes before the epirubicin which is the one that damages the hair the most.
Then I time 2 hours. I take a blanket and flask of tea.
I only wash my hair every 7 days, I bought organic shampoo and conditioner with no phalates etc. I pat dry with a t shirt not a towel then sleep in a cap. I also bought really cheap satin pillow cases to stop any excess rubbing.
I have very fine naturally fair hair which I think has a poor blood supply. It's also really curly which is hiding the thinning patches
This picture was last week xx
Hello-I am about to start chemo and am considering the cold cap. I have found 2 that look like they have a successful outcome. One is from Penguin Cold Caps and the other is Polar Cold Caps. Would love any opinions on these 2 companies or if someone knows of another company they has success with. Thanks!
Hi Flopsy, I just wondered how you were doing now after your op? Hope you are feeling so much better, I had my last chemo on the 1st November and really only just beginning to feel a little better so glad that parts done, start my radiotherapy on Monday the 28th so at least I will be all done for xmas then hopefully things can start getting back to some kind of normality! Lol xx
You can wash it now but still treat it very gently. I kept most of my hair and instead of a wig I have bought hair pieces which are fabulous they are called Easi-part and Easi-crown and this is what they are:
I could not go to the shop because it was too far but I sent them a sample of my hair and they matched it. I got them from here:
If you can only afford one get the Easi-part because that covers the top, the sides and the back. The Easi-crown only does the back and to be honest if I had not bought both I would only get the Easi-part.
They clip in like hair extentions and nobody can tell you are wearing them.
This is the site that makes them but they are in the USA
Have a look because you might need a wider Easi-part just called Easi-part XL and the site give details of the base and how they sit on your head. The XL has a bigger base but see what you need.
Hi everyone, I finished my chemo two weeks and just wondered when it was safe for me to wash my hair?
its driving me mad scalp really itchy and flaky I'm dying to wash it in snow nixoin shampoo but. Didn't know if I should wait a bit longer, haven't got much left and don't want anymore to fall out! Lol xx
I've been cold capping through 9 weeklies of Paclitaxol and have managed to keep about 60% of my hair. I discovered my neighbourhood hairdresser was a bit of an expert on chemo-induced hairloss, and he recommended using Nioxin products throughout chemo, so I use shampoo, conditioner and scalp treatment (which is left in). However, he told me not to wash my hair more than once a week, to be very gentle (not massaging the scalp too much). So far, this has worked reasonably well for me. I've used dry shampoo inbetween ,but resort to a chemo scarf or hat towards the end of each week, when I definitely suffer from bad hair days.
An expert (on cold capping) nurse in my oncology unit said it's very important to ensure a good tight fit -- good contact on the crown, top and sides -- and to make sure it's used for the appropriate timings according to the TYPE of chemo regimen you are on. It means the chin strap is quite tight! For me on paclitaxol, timings were 30 minutes before, 1 hour during injection, and one hour after the chemo is finished. She also said that the cold cap protects hair follicles from becoming damaged -- even if the hairs drop out, it helps it to grow back afterwards.
I've definitely lost more hair on the top of my head than the sides or back, but it doesn't look too bad for the 9 sessions I've been through. I'm just hoping against hope that the next 3 do not result in significant further shedding, and that it all starts growing back quicly after I finish! It's definitely heartening to hang onto a bit of hair!
Good luck to all of you.....
I am desperate to colour my hair but I emailed Paxman and they said to leave it alone for 6 weeks to 2 months after your last chemo. It is 5 weeks since my last one and i am still getting a bit of shedding.
Hi everyone. All been well I am having my 6th and final fec tomorrow!! I have managed to keep a covering of hair and it's very thin but it's still hanging on in there! I am planning on using the nixoin shampoo and conditioner and I just wondered if any of you past cold clappers could tell me if it's ok to use thus straight away or should I continue with the simple regime for a while? I'm just desperate to start getting whats left of my old hair in better condition and for my new hair to start growing! Thankyou xx
I was referring to the Paxman which is a machine you plug into. I know that the Penguin system need to be frozen as individual caps, I had assumed that when the person mentioned a "machine" they meant the Paxman because anyone else would have said that a freezer was available.
Not only will it grow back quicker but you will be able to use toppers instead of wigs, you will see a photo of my hair after cold capping on another thread. Anyway "toppers" are just wider hair extentions but super easy to put in. I have one called easi crown:
You have to have some hair for the clips to hold on to. My hair thinned on the crown but there are other toppers if your own hair thins anywhere else.
Hi everyone, I am due my 6th and final fec next Tuesday!! I have managed to hold onto a covering of hair which I am very grateful for however I do now need to wear my wig when I go out, my question is does anyone know if it is better to wear a wig cap underneath or is it ok just to put on over my hair? I don't want to do anything that will put any extra stress on my hair.
Also is it ok to start using nixion shampoo and conditioner after my chemo is finished or should I stick with the simple range I have been using.
havent seen you on the October thread and was wondering how,you are getting on?
i had my first chemo 8 days ago, have and a really rough week as I has an infection 2 days later and ended up back in hospital 😨
Just staring to feel like myself again, my daughter has been amazing. Nsue came to the chemo with me, I wasn't sure about it but the Macmillan nurse advised me to let her if she was sure. Slightly worried now as I've just had her latest school progress check and her grades have come right down....
whilst my partner is being supportive he has a short fuse and doesn't seem to understand my need for calm... Good job we don't live together!!
I'm in Canada and just finished 8 cycles of chemo where I used cold caps. No hospital here does that or have the machines, I was the one educating them. I bought mine caps and all I needed was a cooler with dry ice, which was donated to me each time. I did lose a lot of hair and because I dye it it looks crazy now, but I'm not bald and never wore a wig, baseball caps, but it sure helped me get through this. You might need someone to help change the caps every 30 minutes and my nurses wouldn't do it.
Here is a link to Penguin cold caps which you can rent or buy if you are not in Europe:
No man power? All they do is plug it in! If they have the machine and the caps you can do it.
JoannaT, I just finished 3 of 6 treatments that inlclude taxotere and herceptin. I have cold capped each time, some shedding each time, seems that after the 2nd treatment was the worst, an alarming amount of shedding. Now I have lost, I would say 50-60 percent of my hair. It is shedding from the underneath and on the sides. I have managed so far to keep it on the top, thru the cold caps and lots of prayer. If I can keep what I have now, I will be satisified, 40 percent is better than none. Cold Caps werent encouraged at the faciltiy I use in KY, they weren't familiar with them, which I found disturbing, but anyway, kudos to the UK for providing education and options for cancer patients! Just wondered if anyone knows if/when the shedding stops? I have heard is lessens after treamemtn 3, and then again I have heard it continues until after your last treatment?
I noticed I was going bald, I panicked and turned the internet upside down in search of a solution and tried lots of products and weird things but none worked. a friend who used to tease me about the hair (in a bid to tease me further) bought a product from Africa during his travels and he mockingly gave me as a present.I tried it and the result is unbelievable. infact he had to call his contacts in Africa to get in touch with the manufacturers. I know how frustrating and confidence-sapping being bald is that's why I took this painstaking mission to reveal to any who wants to try it. you can contact the manufacturers on (firstname.lastname@example.org)I hope this message helps.
Hi Lorraine, I just had chemo no.5 on Tuesday and had the cold cap again, it was awful but only one more to go so am determined to see it through, I wasn't sure wether or not to bother with the bit of hair I have left but after asking others in this form others all said don't give up it will be worth it as hair will grow back much quicker xxxx
Thankyou so much for your reply, hopefully I will be able to see it through to the end also,I say I have puchased some surgeons paper hats so the will protect the bald patches! Lol
So glad you have also had your surgery you must feel so much better having chemo out of the way and now your surgery as well! That's fantastic you will just keep getting better and better and stronger.
Take care of yourself Flopsy xxxxxxx
Yes, they did let me through until the end.
There was a lack of interest in my bald patches at the clinic.
I had saved some really thin wash clothes and I cut these up and used them to cover the bald bits.
I'm finally beginning to recover from the chemo and had my surgery last week. Now the 2-3 week wait for results. Not feeling too bad. Cautiously optimistic.
Hope you can proceed and it's not too painful.
Hi Kate, Thankyou so much for reply I really appreciate it, I am just worried that the nurses won't let me continue to use it anymore, I have gone really thin with bald patches underneath however I have purchased some paper surgeons hats so am hoping I will be allowed to continue...Hope your doing well,Lesley xxx
Hi Flopsy, Thankyou so much for your reply it's much appreciated,
were you allowed to keep using the cold cap right through to the end? I'm worried that when I go for
treatment 5 on 11oct they won't let me continue to use it, however, I gave purchased some surgeons paper hats so am hoping this will be ok. Hope your doing well xxxx
Dear Lesley, hope you are doing OK
I was also in a similar position. Even with the cold cap I lost most of hair. Did have lots of long blonde very fine hair. Went down to whisps around the sides and bald patches on top and top/sides.
Did 3 x FEC and 3 x T
Now 6 weeks after my last T my hair is growing again. Some new hair on my bald patches.
I'm not sure if this is true but the cc could be keeping our hair follicles in a better condiiton than without the cap. This could explain why my hair growth has been so quick after chemo.
Thankyou Marli for your reply it's much appreciated, I had fec 4 on Tuesday and have just tentatively washed my hair this morning now I don't think I will touch it till next chemo day am so scared too! My hair has gone very thin and I gave noticed a few bald spots on my parting area which am covering with caboki and it's really good, only two more sessions to go so I desperately want to be able finish the coarse using the cold cap, the nurse put a few bits of gauze of my thin bits and I have also ordered a paper surgeons hat just in case! Lol
Thankyou so much fort our respond and support I really needed it! Xxxxx
Lesley - don't panic! I know that it feels as though you are losing a lot of hair but you should be keeping more. It is worth it. I worried as for 6 weeks after the end of chem I still lost some at each hair was but it stopped and after 8 weeks i coloured it. Had it trimmed 3 times during chemo too. It grows back very quickly. Good luck. Marli xx
Just seen your post....so sorry you have so much to deal with.
I completely empathize with you. My daughter has been dealing with anorexia for the past year. Luckily she has been improving recently, with my complete support and the help from the eating disorder team. When I got my diagnosis, my partner of 20 years decided it was time for him to leave. So after chemo, I'm moving house! It's all a lot to deal with, I know.
However, as another said, just take one treatment at a time and then one day at a time too. You will have some difficult times but also you will have times when you feel fine. I also had surgery first and found after 2 weeks I was fine. Now half way through chemo and I give myself a week to recover and then again I'm back to me. During those harder times, take any help offered from family and friends. My teenage daughter is wonderful looking after me( not so much my son, lol !) And everyone on this site are very supportive.
Sending hugs x
Hi Kate, I just wondered if you continued with the cold cap after session 4 when you then lost nearly all your hair? I.m at that stage now and really don't know wether to continue with it or not? Any advice please xxxxx