Are ice crystals on your hair a good sign after cold capping?
Not all patients see ice crystals on their hair after their scalp cooling treatment. Ice crystals are not a sign that scalp cooling has gone particularly well, and can be a result of several factors.
Ice crystals are more likely to occur if a lot of water has been used in the hair preparation stages, or if the cap was removed quite quickly after treatment. Do not be disheartened if you don’t see ice crystals, this does not mean that the system wasn’t cold enough or that your treatment didn’t work – the systems are designed to function at a consistent temperature and will alert if there is an issue with the temperature.
What do I need to take with me to my chemo?
You can find out information about your treatment day here
The Scalp Cooling Cap comes with additional items in the Paxman Personal Cap Kit. We recommend taking all the items with you to your appointment in the carry case/bag that is provided. The items included with the cap are:
• Purse/Carry Case
• Pay for Use Token – This is attached to the end of your cap tail and activates the Paxman Scalp Cooler for use
• Headband – To be placed below the ears, to reduce discomfort from the cap
• Spray bottle – To moisturize hair with water prior to putting on cap
• Conditioner – To provide a protective layer between the hair and the cooling cap
• Detangling hairbrush
• Cleaning wipes
You may wish to take a sweater and neck scarf to ensure you are warm through your treatment and a headcover to come home in as your hair will be damp. You can read more about your treatment day here
Is scalp cooling painful?
Everyone is different in their tolerance to the cold. Scalp cooling should not be painful, but some people do find it unpleasant or uncomfortable. Patients report that the first 10-15 minutes are the most uncomfortable.
After this the scalp acclimatizes and will generally feel numb rather than uncomfortable. This is due to the scalp being rapidly brought down in temperature from circa 98.6°F (37°C) to 64°- 72°F (18 – 22°C). Less than 3% of people discontinue use of scalp cooling because they find it intolerable.
You can find out more about how to deal with the tough first 15 mins in our hints and tips tutorial video
How wet does my hair need to be for scalp cooling treatment?
It is important to prepare your hair properly before you put your cold cap on. We run through the process in our cap tutorial videos, but it is important to make sure that the hair that is under the cap is damp enough to slick back, but not dripping wet. If you have very thick or curly hair you may wish to use significantly more water to ensure that all of your hair is fully damp through to your scalp. You may find this easier with some help. There is no specific amount of water required, everyone will vary. Dampening the hair reduces volume which allows for a better cap fit, but also allows more effective heat conductivity. and The hair that is directly beneath the cap needs to be dampened and a small amount of conditioner smoothed over the surface.
You can also find more information here
My hair is thin and patchy, should I stop scalp cooling?
There is no need to stop scalp cooling due to hair loss unless you want to. Remember that by continuing to scalp cool you will see stronger, faster and healthier hair regrowth than you would without scalp cooling, it is not just about the short term. Do ensure any exposed scalp is covered by rearranged retained hair or a disposable surgical/scrub cap to increase tolerability and comfort during treatment.
There is more guidance on how to apply the disposable theatre cap in our hints and tips tutorial video
I’m finding scalp cooling really painful, is there anything I can do to make it more comfortable?
There are a couple of things that you can do that can help to make the experience much more comfortable. First of all, ask your physician if you can have something for pain before you start cooling, it can really help. Secondly, make sure that your forehead is well protected. There are lots of nerve endings in your forehead, so make sure that you are using a headband or equivalent. There’s lots of advice in our cap tutorial videos.
While it sounds very simple, distraction can work really well for the tough first 15 minutes, whether that is music, a film, having a conversation or even meditating and concentrating on your breathing. It can really make a difference.
There’s an issue with the cooling system. Could you please help?
If there is an issue with the Paxman Scalp Cooling System that you are using, please ask a member of your clinical team to get in touch with us on +44(0)1484349444 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t have breast cancer. Can I still use the cap for my chemo treatment?
This is dependent on your cancer type and your treatment center’s scalp cooling policy. The PAXMAN Scalp Cooling System is indicated to reduce the likelihood of chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) in patients with solid tumors. For patients who don’t meet the FDA recommendation for the Scalp Cooling Cap, we recommend that you consult with you doctor. We can enroll you into the program if your treatment center offers scalp cooling for your type of cancer and your HCP has written a prescription or completed the enrollment form.
Do I just put on the cap when I get to my appointment?
One of your clinical team will help you to fit your cap before you start your treatment. Despite this, it is really important that you are as familiar as possible with the right cap fit. Please watch our cap fitting tutorial videos as many times you think is necessary for you to feel comfortable with how a good cap fit should look and feel.
If the patient doesn’t receive their Cap Kit prior to their first treatment, will the hospital provide supplies such as shampoo/conditioner?
Many hospitals will have the appropriate supplies that you will need to prepare your hair for scalp cooling. It may be worth bring along your own conditioner anyway. You are ideally looking for a product that is paraben, sulphate, perfume and colour free. You may also benefit from bringing your own soft stretchy head band to protect your forehead and ensure that your scalp cooling is as comfortable an experience as possible.