In response to my article on published on the Cancer Knowledge Network website (https://cancerkn.com/cold-cap-therapy-cct/), I stated that for over 15 years in countries other than the US and Canada, patients have been using scalp “cold cap therapy” (CCT or scalp cooling) to keep their hair from falling out during cytotoxic chemotherapy. A question came in from a reader who asked: “Last week my mom was diagnosed with cancer and the one thing she worried the most about was losing all of her beautiful hair. Are there different styles that people can wear?”
Listed below are the different suppliers of the ‘cold caps’ below. Please note each cold cap is a different design according to the manufacturer. However, the concept and look is pretty much the same. The cap is only worn during chemo infusion so I don’t think the style would really matter – I think efficacy would be of bigger concern.
How do the cold caps really work? The simple answer is vasoconstriction. When a person wears a specially designed ‘cold cap’ the coolant in the cap is cooled to a very low temperature (below -22 degrees C), so the blood vessels that would normally carry the toxic drugs to the scalp area become constricted and the drugs are now unable to damage the hair follicles.
Cold discomfort, forehead pain caused by pressure and tightness of the cooling cap and possible dizziness or light-headedness can occur DURING “cold cap therapy.”
A person may incur a headache during and after “cold cap therapy.”
People who have a tendency to be cold (remember people undergoing chemo may be colder than normal) or they have an allergic reaction to cold, will not enjoy this treatment.