Can Cold Caps Prevent Hair Loss During Chemo?

Hair loss is a real and very sad side effect of chemotherapy. Many people get more depressed when dealing with cancer and hair loss at the same time. Cancer patients say that losing their hair made them look sicker and are tired of the stares of strangers in public. According to research there might be a way to keep your mane healthy while undergoing chemotherapy.

Years ago, a patient named Miriam (not her real name) got cancer. She lost all her hair while undergoing chemo. Years later her cancer returned and so did the need to undergo chemo once again. This time she gave her scalp a deep chill before undergoing cancer. This time she was able to keep most of her hair.

According to scientists, wearing a cold cap before chemo could actually stave-off hair loss curing chemo. This is because the cold numbs the hair follicles in the scalp and reduce blood flow to this area while undergoing chemo. While the Food And Drug Administration is not endorsing a brand of hair caps, many cancer patients in Europe and The USA are buying hair caps in order to help deal with the hair loss.

Cooling the scalp to prevent hair loss has been around for a long time. However wearing one during chemo has not been popular because many believed that this would prevent cancer fighting drugs from reaching stray cancer cells that might be found in the scalp.

Many cancer patients want to keep their diseases private, this has led many to try cold caps in order to prevent hair loss during chemo. Researchers in New York and North Carolina in the USA are enrolling 110 early breast cancer stage patients to try out a new cold cap that stay a cold 41 degrees during chemo. Photographs and other necessary documentation will be published as soon as the study is concluded.

Miriam who was a part of an early study said that while she did suffer some hair loss, having most of her hair during her illness “helped a great deal” when it came to dealing with cancer, its treatments and side effects.