We Say “No” To Cold Cap

Chemotherapy & Cold Cap

As a young woman being diagnosed with breast cancer can be scary and experiencing hair loss overwhelming. Michelle shares her story about the feat of losing her hair from chemotherapy and her program with National Hair Loss to help with the physical changes from treatment.


After being diagnosed, Michelle was concerned about losing her hair and invested in a cold cap. The concept of a cold cap is to freeze your hair follicles so the chemotherapy cannot survive in the frigid temperature allowing your hair to remain. However, there are certain risks to the cold cap that can cause damage and permanent hair loss. Unfortunately Michelle was one of those cases.


Shortly after using the cold cap Michelle experienced a “freeze burn” that resulted in a palm size blister on the top of her head. Since she bought the cap from a manufacture that did not have any guarantees or warranty, Michelle was stuck trying to resolve to issue on her own.


After much heartache and fear of causing permanent damage, a family member of Michelle’s sought help in National Hair Loss. After reviewing the damage that had been caused by the cold cap, National Hair Loss President Carly Klein decided to treat Michelle complimentary to help heal that burned area.

Hair Recovery Program with National Hair Loss

Within the first couple weeks, we followed the progress closely and took microscopic photos along the way. After the first 90 days we were able to notice hair regrowth after the final chemotherapy and some sparse regrowth in the burn area. Michelle recently came in for her 6 months follow up and the area that once was a blister is now on the road to recovery.


6 Month Results following chemotherapy and cold cap burn.

Michelle is a young vibrant woman who has kicked cancer’s butt and ready to move forward with her life. See more of Michelle’s story on our YouTube page.

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If you or a loved one has experienced hair loss as a result of cancer treatment and struggling with hair regrowth, contact our office for a complimentary hair evaluation.


P: 602.283.2355 or 877.551.5350

E: questions@nationalhairlossassoc.com



Side Effects of cold caps as stated on Paxman Scalp Cooling

*Michelle did not use a Paxman Scalp Cooling product. The information below is cited as a reference to the possible risks of using cold caps.

Short to medium-term side effects include:

  • Cold discomfort (during scalp cooling)
  • Headache (during and after scalp cooling)
  • Forehead pain (during scalp cooling) caused by pressure and tightness of the cooling cap
  • Dizziness or light-headedness (during scalp cooling)

The above side effects are temporary and usually only happen during the scalp cooling process. Patients who are known to be, or suspected of being, affected with either of the two following conditions should not use scalp cooling and the cold cap:

Cold urticaria – an allergic reaction to cold temperature, which results in welts on the skin. There is a risk that scalp cooling could elicit a severe anaphylactic reaction, which can be life-threatening.

Cold agglutinin disease – individuals with this condition have high concentrations of circulating antibodies to red blood cells. There is a risk that scalp cooling could cause the low-temperature binding of these antibodies to the patient’s red blood cells, potentially resulting in haemolytic anaemia.

Longer-Term Side Effects

There is only one known potential long-term side effect. Scalp cooling, when used on patients receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer, could potentially lead to an increased rate of scalp metastases. In summary:

  • The evidence all suggests that the risk of getting skin scalp metastasis in women is very low <2.5%.
  • It is extremely rare for skin scalp metastasis to be the first single site of recurrence (0.025%).
  • Nor is there a difference in survival, between women breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who received scalp cooling and those who did not receive scalp cooling.
  • When a patient has scalp metastasis, there are usually other sites of metastatic disease already present.
  • The studies performed to date do not show an increase in scalp metastasis in breast cancer patients receiving scalp cooling to prevent chemotherapy induced alopecia.
  • The data demonstrates the low risk of scalp cooling in an increased incidence of scalp metastasis and that this risk is outweighed by the clinical benefits to the patient of hair preservation.

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