Cold cap

Hi ladies I'm due to start my 1st chemo treatment on Friday , was told by oncologist that I will loose my hair , just wondering have any of you tried using the cold cap ? , what my oncologist also said was if I decided to try it I would be better getting my hair cut a bit shorter as it tends to work on shorter hair . My hair just now is quite long and treatment is 6 sessions of carboplatin and taxol .

16 Replies

  • Hello there, I've had the same combination of treatment as you describe. I am on three weekly carboplatin and paclitaxol. I have used the cold cap throughout. Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries. I would not suggest getting your hair cut shorter, if anything keep it long. I'm happy to explain why, and answer any other queries. Xxx

  • Hi

    Yes used the cold cap , my hair is naturally think so did thin but kept most of it. Not sure if length makes a difference mine was shoulder length . Important for cap to be really tight and hair is wet with conditioner applied before . The first 15 mins are the worst if you can last out then gets more manageable. Did have my hair cut after chemo as helps condition and looked better when new hair growing back and thickening up .

    Wishing you all the best with your treatment . Remember to take something warm to put on .love and best wishes Kim x

  • I've just finished number 6 of same chemo. Had the cold cap throughout and would say I've got about half my hair left. Mainly just thin on top. I wear a wig out but can wear a hat and have my own wispy hair poking out if I'm not in a wig mood. Nice to have the choice.

    The cap is horrible for about 15/20 mins but if u take painkillers beforehand it's fine. I'd def do it. I'm glad I stuck with it.

    I had my long hair cut into a chin length bob which works as you can have hair showing from under a hat/scarf so u don't look bald but it isn't straggly nothing hanging down.

    Good luck



  • I lost my hair on that combination (no cap) but on weekly taxol I used the cold cap and didn't, but my pubic hair mostly went, so I think it was working, and worth it. Less hassle especially on a sunny day when I need head covering so as not to burn.

  • Thanks everyone for sharing all your info , I'll let you's know how it goes . Thanks again xx

  • I've just finished 18 sessions of weekly taxol, used cold cap and have kept all my hair and hasn't even thinned and I also coloured it , dried it, straightened it as usual as figured if I couldn't have my normal hair it wasn't worth keeping. Anyway my hair still exactly the same 👍🏼 I would make sure that the cap fits snugly especially on the top of your head , it's not a particularly pleasant experience but totally worth it! 😃

    Good luck with it.

    Jo xxx

  • Hi Cath,

    I used the cold cap every week for eighteen weeks and it worked. I had my chemo weekly as I was on a trial. I have shoulder length hair and I don't think the length of hair makes any difference as it only touches the roots. I lost a bit of hair and the thicker your hair makes it a bit harder to get through to the roots.

    I'd highly recommend it even though for the first few minutes it can be very painful. I personally didn't find it too bad. I had it on for seven to eight hours each time. You do get very cold though so I'd recommend taking a blanket and extra woollies as well as having a lot of hot drinks. Make sure they put it on tight enough. If it's not tight and touching your whole head it won't work.

    Good luck with it. Zena x

  • I think everyone have great advice. I tried it and it is bearable but chilly but after a while it goes a bit numb but good luck xx

  • Hi sorry to hear your news.I too had carboplatin and paclitaxol chemo.Decided against cold cap after a long hard think.A dear friend of mine went with the cap.Her hair became very thin and she was unable to do much with it.Her advice was,it's uncomfortable to wear and the result was not as she hoped.

    I tried the wig route,but was happier with hats and scarves.The hair loss was not the massive issue I thought it would be.My daughter clipped it short,but as it started to fall out, my husband helped me shave it off.I felt it gave me a little control back.Good luck with your treatment.I finished mine a year ago,hair back now. XX

  • My special person has been on weekly carbo and taxol for the last 8 weeks and using the cap each time. Only after dose 7 has she noticed any hair loss, and it still isnt noticeable to anyone else. She says its tough going to keep the cap on but she was determined to have a go. She has a wig ready if it worsens and we went to Toni & Guy last week for their personalisation service which is part of the Look Good Feel Better scheme and i cant praise them enough. They were so thoughtful & understanding, taking us to a quieter part of the salon so she wouldnt feel too awkward wearing it (as she hasnt practised much with it at home yet). They were so lovely and it only cost £25 which is well worth paying if it boosts her confidence at the moment. Bear it in mind if you have a local one.

  • I finished carbo/taxyl 4 weeks ago and used the cold cap throughout. My hair thinned, expecially on top where the cap didn't fit very well, but I am able to go without a wig or scarf and look pretty much like my normal self. My hair was fairly thin before treatment. The discomfort only lasted a few minutes each time-the worst thing was not being able to wear my glasses with the cap on but it was definately worth the trouble. My eyebrows and lashes lasted until the 6 th treatment and then were mostly gone but started growing back straight away.

  • Thanks for the info Neona

    I got my 1st chemo yesterday and I feel fine (so far ) 😊.

    Used the cold cap , the nurse was great as she said these caps are custom made to your head so we used the best fit and she packed it with gauze at bits I didn't feel to happy with , then added top cap and got it tight she also wrapped some bandages around it to make it even tighter , it was freezing to start with but I customised to it , let's hope it works , can I ask you did you tie your hair up at night or anything , she told me to wear a hair net but my hair just fell out it as it's long .

    Thanks x

  • I'm really glad you told me about the gauze. The cap didn't fit at all on top of my head and the nurses just left it like that and I lost my hair at the top exactly where it didn't fit. I didn't wear a hairnet but my hair was quite short and thin so it may be helpful for long hair. My hair started to fall out after about 3 weeks-just strands coming out daily but never in clumps. By chemo 5 it looked a bit thin on top but the rest looked fine. I used baby shampooh and Simple conditioner and let it dry naturally. I washed it once a week and quite a lot came out during washing. My eyelashes and eyebrows didn't fall out until just before chemo 6 and started to grow back immediately. I am now nearly 5 weeks post chemo 6 and my hair is quite thin but I can get away without a hat or scarf. Don't think it is regrowing yet on my head but it is hard to tell. Wishing you good luck, Wendy

  • Thanks Wendy

    That's a shame she never tried a little harder to make the cap fit better , I'm hoping the gauze thing might help because it was right at the crown that I could feel it slacker and that's where she packed it up , plus the extra bandage round the top , I could hardly speak 😂but I got used to it . Nurse said 12-14 days from now that's when I should start to see where hair loss is going to be , at least I can say to myself I tried , if it's not a success , I've bought loads of nice scarfs and wig will be ready in 2 weeks . I suppose it's just getting a happy medium .

    Cath xx

  • Cath, just seen your post. I had weekly taxol, & used the cold cap. I finished chemo end of March & you'd never know I had been ill. Trick for me was the cap needs to be incredibly tight, my husband did it up after the nurses did, as they put it on fairly loose. Wet your hair also, & comb conditioner through. A headband is also recommended to protect your ears etc I took painkiller half hour beforehand, & husband distracted me during those first 10-15 mins when the pain is greatest. I'd say def worth persisting with it. Good luck!! ❤️🙏🏼❤️

  • Thanks very much Sarah , I used it for the 1st time on fri , it's not the paxman the hospital use the digi something ?? , the nurse who put it on me did pull it on tight and even rapped a bandage round my chin and up

    And over my head for extra closeness to scalp , I never found it to clod either which I was a bit concerned about , I kept asking can't it get any colder , and she laughed, explained to me because the machine builds up slowly and I'd just accustomed to it , -4 don't know if yours was near that ?? , had it on from 9 am - 7pm long long 1st day .

    Thought I wasn't doing too bad with side affects , but today Mon morning 4 am I'm up with pains all over my body from head to toe 😢 , but knew I would more than likely get them ,

    Thanks for your tips much appreciated , take care

    Cath xx

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