What can I do to avoid hair reduction when heading by way of Chemotherapy?

Concern by its z: What can I do to avert hair loss when going by way of Chemotherapy?
Will some thing chilly compressed against the scalp avoid hair reduction?

Very best reply:

Response by Jenna
I didn’t actually do this but I read it performs. They say to set some thing cold on your head whilst you are getting the chemo and it is suppose to keep your hair from slipping out. Never know how effectively it works but it really is worth a consider.

Insert your personal solution in the remarks!


  1. There are a few things you can do based on what I’ve researched on the internet and in books:

    1) Yes, as the last poster stated you can ‘cool’ your head. The most effective way is with special ‘caps’ that are made for this. And, depending on how long your chemo treatment is, to replace with a new one after a set time period. The problem is they are very expensive (hundreds of dollars each). You may be able to find them cheaper online (possibly) or ask if your treatment center has them (which is unlikely). The theorey is sound as they are even looking at ‘glove’ ones that keep the hands cold to prevent nerve damage from chemo drugs that cause damage that way

    2) Use supplements. Of course, this is not approved yet by the FDA, however there are clinical trials going on. I’m referring only to the Maitake (mushroom) extract and especially the ‘D-Fraction’ line. It boosts the immune system and also has some anti-tumor properties especially in certain cancers like breast, prostate, etc. The best one I’ve seen so far is by Maitake Products out of NJ. Their website is http://www.maitake.com and have been doing since since 1991 and their products are used in several clinical trials. I wouldn’t recommend any of the other mushrooms because only Maitake D-Fraction has been proven effective when taken orally, whereas the others are only effective when injected. My mom’s doctor just reviewed this and said he sees no reason why she can’t take it and it might even help (Oncologist / ovarian cancer).

    Also not everyone loses their hair with chemo, it depends on the drug being used and even then it varies for everyone.

    Either way, don’t worry about it…it WILL grow back! I saw a humorous T-Shirt one day worn by a cancer patient that said “I’m Having a No Hair Day”.

    Take it as your ‘helmet’ during your ‘battle’ with whatever cancer you have. Good luck!

  2. I think no matter what you do, hair will still fall out, no worries it grows back and you will look just like you did before treatment but you are alive.. My daughter battled Cancer for five years and lost her hair twice during treatment and I will tell you she was just as beautiful bald as she was with a head of hair.

  3. Brittany

    Preventing hair loss during chemo
    Posted By: Paul Hunt
    Date: Saturday, 21 March 1998, at 2:00 p.m.

    My name is Paul Hunt, and our oranization is currently introducing into Canada the Penguin Cold Cap System which has been developed in Europe to prevent hair loss resulting from chemotherapy. We have conducted clinical trials in Montreal with breast cancer patients at the university hospitals and have reported 75 % success rates. The cap was recently featured on National CBC. The cap cools the scalp during chemotherapy infusion and acts simply by reducing the metabolic rate of the follicle therby rendering it less susceptible to the toxic effects of chemotherapy. As you are all well aware,hospitals are undergoing significant financial difficulties, and are not in a position to invest in the caps. As a result of significant public demand in Quebec and British Columbia, we have set up a system whereby individuals themselves can rent the caps for $ 50 to use during their treatment. I would like to have some feedback on whether this may be an appropriate approach in Nova Scotia. I sense that many of you would be able to provide some helpful ideas and feedback regarding this subject.

    Paul Hunt
    Cryotherapy Division
    PGH Medical Inc.

    Hair Loss and Chemotherapy
    What is hair loss and how is chemotherapy related?

    Believe it or not, hair loss (alopecia) due to chemotherapy is one of the most distressing side effects of chemo treatments.
    Hair loss happens because the chemotherapy affects all cells in the body, not just the cancer cells. The lining of the mouth, stomach, and the hair follicles are especially sensitive because those cells multiply rapidly just like the cancer cells. The difference is that the normal cells will repair themselves, making these side effects temporary.
    Hair loss does not occur with all chemotherapy. Whether or not your hair remains as it is, thins or falls out, depends on the drugs and dosages.
    Hair loss may occur as early as the second or third week after the first cycle of chemotherapy, although it may not happen until after the second cycle of chemotherapy.
    Hair loss can be sudden or slow.
    You may loose all of your hair or just some of it.
    Often it comes out in clumps rather than an even pattern.
    It is common for hair loss to include hair that grows anywhere including eyelashes, eyebrows, and even pubic hair.
    In almost all cases of chemotherapy-induced hair loss, your hair will resume growth after treatments.

    It may take from three to six months after therapy is completed or it may start growing back while you are still receiving chemotherapy. Be prepared for your “new” hair to possibly have a slightly different color, texture, or curl.
    Can you prevent hair loss during chemo treatments?

    Currently, there is no known prevention for hair loss due to chemotherapy. Through the years, attempts have been made to reduce hair loss by using tight bands or ice caps. These techniques were thought to reduce the blood flow to the hair follicles, thus limiting the chemotherapy exposure. Unfortunately, these techniques did little more than cause headaches and have been abandoned in most settings.

    What can be done to manage hair loss due to chemotherapy?

    Given that hair loss cannot be prevented, management focuses on your own comfort, or discomfort with baldness and on keeping your head warm if you live in a cool climate. The following are options to consider, the best option is the one that is most comfortable for you:

    Short hair – Cut your hair short if you are expecting hair loss during chemotherapy. Since hair often does not fall out evenly, some find losing short hair is less distressing. Some people shave their heads once the hair begins to fall out.
    Wigs – If you are interested in purchasing a wig, the best time to do this is before you lose any hair. This helps the stylist create the best match. Many insurance companies will pay for a wig, so be sure you have it written as a prescription from your doctor (usually written as “cranial prosthesis”). There are wig stylists who specialize in wigs for alopecia (hair loss). Check your yellow pages or ask at the doctor’s office.
    Caps and Scarves – Some people find that the easiest, and most comfortable options are caps and scarves. These range from those you may already own to custom items made expressly for people who are undergoing chemotherapy.
    You might check with your local chapter of the American Cancer Society. They sponsor a program called “Look Good, Feel Better.” This program addresses ways to tie scarves and ways to make yourself look and feel better while experiencing hair loss during and after chemotherapy.

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