During chemotherapy, the cold cap may be recommended to reduce hair loss. It works to restrict blood flow to the scalp, therefore reducing the amount of product that reaches the hair follicles. It contains a pack filled with glycerine gel that must remain very very cold (-18°C to -25°C).
Some medical teams may not be equipped to manage cold hats:
It needs to be placed over damp hair 10 minutes before starting the drip and changed every 15 minutes, before being removed 30 minutes after finishing the drip.
The cold cap’s efficiency depends on several factors:
- Hair length: It is recommended to cut your hair short before starting chemo
- The molecules used during chemo
- How the chemo is administered: Duration of the drip, number of molecules…
- The nature of the hair and how it is cared for: Avoid blow drying, hair dyes and any aggressive hair treatments during chemo
Based on these different elements, studies around the subject show very varied success rates. It is best to keep in mind that every person is different and the results change from person to person.
Difficulties wearing the cold cap:
The cold hat can be painful for some patients: headaches, eye or neck aches, intense cold sensation… Some patients cannot handle the effects and sometimes stop the use of the cap all together.
Cold hat precautions:
For certain cancers and continuous drip/oral chemotherapies, it is not recommended to wear the cap. It is important that the decision to wear the cold cap should be taken after discussing further with your Doctor and Medical Team.