Keeping Your Hair During Chemo

One of the hallmark signs a person is enduring chemotherapy is hair loss. According to the New York Times cooling the head during and after chemo may preserve the hair. The Penguin Cold Cap is frozen prior to the chemo session and placed on the head during chemo infusions and for two hours after the session. These cold caps can be rented for around $600 a month. This is not cheap but worth it to many. Marc Sparks suggest that the cap needs to be quickly replaced every 30 minutes so some patients are finding that enlisting the help of friends to change out the cap is essential. The cap needs to be replaced before any heat escapes. The caps are heavy and cold, so there is discomfort, but the outcome is rewarding. It is comforting for chemotherapy patients to know that their privacy in their battle is upheld because they are retaining their hair.

Another cap, DigniCap, works by using a machine filled with coolant that runs through the cap for the duration of the session and others find they prefer this method.

The results of this process have shown little to no hair loss when used properly. Unfortunately, cold caps are not usually covered by insurance but those that use the product say it is worth it to keep their own hair and not have the expense of wigs. The average cost of using a cold cap is around $2000, depending on how long a person has to use it.