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Keep Your Hair Through Chemo
April 13, 2015

Keep Your Hair Through Chemo

A Breakthrough for Preventing Medical Hair Loss

The best news isn't limited just to male pattern baldness or other forms of alopecia. This year, a revolutionary treatment for medically related hair loss, 2 decades in the making, from Europe has made its way stateside. Cooling caps, unheard of just a few years ago, are one of the most promising Cancer-related developments we've seen in a long time.

Treating the Hair & Scalp

According to Trichology, the study of hair and scalp conditions, the scalp is a key consideration in anything involving hair loss. Both clinical science and common sense confirm the idea that the scalp health impacts hair health, regardless of the cause of hair loss. The cooling cap phenomenon is related to trichology in that cooling caps make their impact by acting on the scalp. Near-freezing temperatures protect the hair follicles by constricting the blood vessels that feed them.

Two Types of Caps

Cooling caps are really cold. Currently, it can be difficult for hospitals and Cancer treatment centers to accommodate cooling caps because of the intense level of cold required to make the caps effective. Right now, cooling caps are relatively early in development. There are two distinct versions. The first type requires the chemotherapy or radiation patient to buy several replacements to be used throughout the duration of Cancer treatment.

The Dry Ice Option

Each cap is cooled by dry ice to maintain a scalp temperature just above freezing. Beneficial results are achieved by keeping the scalp at a very cold temperature. In such cold conditions, the blood vessels that feed hair follicles naturally shrink. In their constricted state, the amount of blood and medication delivered to each follicle is significantly reduced.

The Cooling System

The second type of cooling cap only requires a single cap, but it must be cooled continuously by a system provided by the hospital. Right now, most hospitals don't have these types of cooling systems. If keeping your hair during Cancer treatment is a must for you, your best bet will be to seek out cool-cap equipped facilities before treatment begins. The brand of cap available is less important than the general availability of scalp cooling.

Ask Your Doctor

It's a wonder that cooling caps took so long to develop. When hair follicles are protected from the harsh chemicals involved in medical treatments, hair is far less likely to fall out. While the solution might seem like too little too late, it has recently proven to be incredibly effective. The FDA is currently evaluating these promising devices, and they are likely to be widely available sooner than might be expected. If you're interested in the benefits of cooling caps, talk to your doctor. By choosing an equipped treatment center, you can significantly increase your chances of keeping your natural hair.