The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Scalp cooling to prevent hair loss

Scalp cooling can reduce hair loss caused by chemotherapy. It works by reducing the amount of chemotherapy drugs reaching the hair follicles.

The scalp is cooled by the use of a cooling system. A "cap" is placed on the head scalp around the hairline with this cap attached to a cooling system delivered by a machine. The scalp is cooled to just below freezing (this does not caused your hair or scalp to actually freeze) prior to the start of chemotherapy. The cap is removed usually 1-2 hours after chemotherapy has stopped being given.

Scalp cooling doesn’t work with all chemotherapy drugs and it’s not always possible to know how effective the scalp cooling will be.

The chemotherapy team will discuss the pros and cons of scalp cooling.

Managing hair loss advice will be given and this includes washing hair with a gentle shampoo (eg baby shampoo), not blow drying hair, gentle drying after washing, not to dye hair and to use a wide tooth comb or brush. A hair net can be used whilst in bed.