What to
Expect

One of the most daunting parts of a diagnosis is the unknown, the unanswered questions.
What we will do here is try to demystify the cold capping process, so that you can proceed with scalp cooling as prepared as you can be.

How Scalp Cooling Works

Will I lose my hair?

The honest answer is yes, you will lose some. Even if cold capping works really well, everyone will shed hair at some level during treatment, but it can vary from hardly any to significant loss depending on several factors.

Shedding will begin between days 14-21 after your first treatment. This is true whether you choose to cold cap or not.

It can be an anxiety inducing process, but it won’t continue forever. Even if you do lose some hair, it doesn’t mean that the cold cap isn’t working – without it you would be likely to lose most if not all of your hair.

 

Everyone loses 100 hairs day

On average people have around 100,000 hairs, and everyone will shed at least 100 a day. This means you can shed an awful lot of hair and still have a lot left.

Focus on the hair you still have, rather than the hair that is falling out and how much quicker, healthier and stronger regrowth will be.

Read more and speak to others about hair loss…

Success Rates

No two people will have the same reaction to a drug or any set of circumstances, and scalp cooling is no different. We know a lot about why scalp cooling works, but what we don’t always know is why scalp cooling doesn’t work for some people.

Despite the unknowns, there are some hard and fast rules – studies have shown that scalp cooling mitigates the risk of persistent hair loss with docetaxel.
Other studies have proven that with all drugs regrowth is faster, stronger and healthier with the use of scalp cooling.

As long as you have realistic expectations going in to the process, then you have a lot of hair to potentially retain and almost nothing to lose. 

Current data across the board shows that with all drugs there’s a 50% chance of keeping 50% or more of your hair.

Here are some examples of success rates:

Taxanes

We see great success with taxanes, around 70-80% chance of keeping 50% of your hair.

Anthracyclines

We see success with anthracyclines, around a 35-40% chance of keeping 50% of your hair.

Docetaxel

We see a 75% chance of keeping 50% of your hair with docetaxel, but scalp cooling also mitigates the risk of persistent alopecia

Taxanes
We see great success with taxanes, around 70-80% chance of keeping 50% of your hair.

Anthracyclines
We see success with anthracyclines, around a 35-40% chance of keeping 50% of your hair.

Docetaxel
We see a 75% chance of keeping 50% of your hair with docetaxel, but scalp cooling also mitigates the risk of persistent alopecia

These examples are an average and aren’t to say that we haven’t seen people with incredible results with anthracyclines and have disappointing results with taxanes.

You can find information about success rates with your drug regimen by using our decision-making guide and to see the experiences of others and why they valued scalp cooling, go to our patient stories.

If you would like to see the full US regulatory information including the device description, contraindications, and indication for use, please click here

If I lose a lot of hair is it because I did something wrong?

No! Absolutely not. The only thing that you can do to influence your hair retention is to ensure that your cap is the right size and fitted well and you have prepped your hair correctly. Make sure you get these processes right with our tutorial videos.

Do you want to give it a try?

Importance of haircare

Haircare is such an important part of making sure that the hair you retain is in the best condition possible by the time you finish your treatment and is manageable throughout the process.

Haircare Blog

Haircare FAQ

Treatment Day

Your first chemo treatment can be very overwhelming, particularly as you don’t know what to expect. 
Find out about everything you need to take with you to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

Find out more…

Common Myths

There are many common myths related to cold capping and scalp cooling that we hear quoted, even by healthcare professionals. We are doing our best to bust these myths.

Starting with the top five:

Scalp cooling works by freezing my hair follicles & scalp

While the coolant in the system is at temperatures below freezing, this reduces the temperature of your scalp to around between 18 to 22 degrees centigrade or between 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, the optimum temperature for hair retention. This is nowhere near freezing, more like comfortable room temperature.

Cold capping is painful & uncomfortable

Every patient is different in their tolerance to the cold. Scalp cooling should not be painful. Patients report that the first 15 minutes are the most uncomfortable. This is due to the scalp being rapidly brought down in temperature from  37° to 18 – 22° centigrade or 98° to 64 – 72° Fahrenheit, but the body quickly acclimatises and most people experience a numb feeling for the rest of their treatment.

Do not touch, brush or wash your hair during treatment

While you will need to be careful with your hair, the exact opposite is true! You will need to reduce the amount of time you wash your hair during treatment and it is imperative that you brush your hair daily, to ensure you are removing any shed hairs. It is important to keep your hair as manageable as possible and that includes regular washing and brushing. 

Hair should be cut into a very short style for scalp cooling to be more effective

There is no need to cut your hair unless you want to. If you have very thick or long hair, it may be worth having some of the length removed, or to have it thinned to reduce the weight on your follicles. It is always a good idea to have a trim and remove any damaged or split ends before treatment, as damage can make your hair more likely to tangle. While some people do find their hair more manageable when it is short, around shoulder length, it is worth keeping some length to your hair as it can give you more options when styling. 

Stop scalp cooling if your hair thins or becomes patchy

There is no need to stop scalp cooling at any point, unless you want to. We have many people continue to scalp cool with extensive hair loss, as scalp cooling is not just about retaining your hair but also about protecting your follicles. Cold capping will give stronger, faster and healthier regrowth. It is important to cover any exposed scalp with a theatre cap or gauze (see our Hints and Tips video) as this will increase the tolerability of your scalp cooling experience.

Is cold capping for you?