Chemo Cold Caps Can Help Patients Keep Their Hair

A chemotherapy patient consults her doctor.

Chemo Cold Caps Can Help Patients Keep Their Hair 

According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no medication that can prevent hair loss from chemotherapy. Thanks to a relatively new therapy called “cold capping,” however, there’s now a simple, practical treatment option that many patients have found success with.

What is cold capping?

Cold caps are just that—low-temperature headwear for patients to use during and after their treatments. A cold cap will dramatically reduce the temperature of the cells around your hair follicles in order to constrict the blood vessels, preventing the chemotherapy from reaching your hair as much as possible.

There are two primary types of cold-cap systems:
  • One that continuously circulates coolant through a cap
  • One that uses special gel packs that are cooled using dry ice or a freezer

In 2017, the FDA approved the use of cold caps for cancer patients with solid tumors and studies have shown that over half of female chemo patients who used cold caps lost less than half of their hair. While the treatments can be painful due to the extremely cold temperatures, many patients are happy with the results.

Stories worth sharing

To those it’s helped, cold capping’s impact is immeasurable. But despite its apparent potential, the treatment is not yet well-known in the United States. So, to spread the word, we’d like to share two messages our team has received from people who’ve gotten great results using cold caps and Penguin Brand Dry Ice®.

Sharon Arkin, Arizona

“I am using dry ice in a procedure to prevent the hair loss associated with chemotherapy. Before, during and four hours after each session, a series of gel caps frozen to minus 32 [degrees] centigrade using dry ice is applied to my scalp every 30 minutes. The extreme cold numbs the hair follicles and prevents the toxic chemotherapy chemicals from damaging them. I’ve had my first session and I feel great!”

Anonymous, Mansfield, TX

“I would like to thank [Penguin Brand Dry Ice parent company] Airgas for your support while I was using Cold Caps during my chemotherapy. Your consistently having quality dry ice at an affordable price made it possible for me to use the cold caps and preserve my hair. I know that you have also been a support to other women using cold caps.

When possible, maintaining one’s hair is more than just a matter of vanity. It is an important part in helping to keep some normalcy and some feeling of control at a time when both are tenuous. It is also a great boost in helping one keep a positive outlook, which is a contributing factor in the healing process.

Again thank you—to your company and staff members who were always helpful and courteous.”

Be sure to discuss cold capping with your doctor

Are you considering cold capping as part of your chemotherapy treatment? We recommend discussing the options with your doctor as well as your insurance provider. To find Penguin Brand Dry Ice® near you, please use our convenient store locator tool.

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