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HOME » SCALP COOLING » Chapter 4 Solutions to scalp cooling problems

Chapter 4 Solutions to scalp cooling problems

Trouble shooting

Whilst the idea of the scalp cooling process is to minimalise hair loss it is fair to say that many, but not all, patients do experience some hair fall. With this in mind it is important to try and manage this. For some people this hair fall is on par with the normal shedding of hair they experience every day. For others they notice that their hair thins and reduces in total mass or that particular areas thin considerably revealing bare patches.

If this occurs you may start to ask yourself if you wish to continue with the scalp cooling process.  Remember that you can get in touch with helpful organisations such as  Cancer Hair Care or the manufacturer ‘Paxman’ for further advice. Below is a troubleshooting guide that may offer you some help and ideas if problems occur:

Hair thinning some general tips:

Remember that many people continue with the scalp cooling process despite losing quite a lot of hair – you may need to adjust your style for a time to help disguise thinning areas

Avoid wearing clothes that show lose hairs

Wear a headscarf when cooking if you need to keep hair away from your from your face

Ask your nurse/nursing assistant to check that your cold cap is as tight as possible. If you have lost hair and thus your hair has reduced in overall amount you may need a new cap size. If you can slip your hand up the back of the cold cap it is too large – you need a smaller fit

Ask your nurse to place a thin strip of gauze over any bare patches

Some tips for disguising areas of visible thinning/bare patch

Change parting

Use a hair clip/grip that can easily be removed to clip hair over the thinning area (ensure it places gentle hold)

Wear a hair band to cover areas of hair loss (fabric is ideal as plastic ones can put additional stress on the hair)

Talk to a hairdresser about using styling products or a change is style to accommodate thinning

Other problems you may encounter:

Hair tangling -matting, dry (brittle) texture

Use a thin conditioner during scalp cooling  - a thick one may be clogging up your hair and causing it to matt

If after treatment dreadlocking/ matting is occurring consider rinsing out the conditioner soon after treatment

Have any dry, split or brittle ends trimmed as these tend to rub together sticking like Velcro

Use a leave-in-conditioner to help ease out tangles

Use an intensive to boost moisture

See our guide on page 25 with tips on how to shampoo and condition your hair

Managing hair loss on other areas of the head

Eye lashes and brows thinning/loss

The cold cap doesn’t reduce hair loss from any part of the body other than the scalp. Therefore anywhere else that hair grows it may also fall out.

Many people will notice their eye lashes and brows thinning or falling out completely.  Using false eye lashes or learning how to create false brows can be really helpful. Take a look in our directory for organisations who can offer guidance with make-up. 

Eye brows, lashes and other areas of hair loss will generally start to grow back once treatment is complete. It may take a while for growth to appear but is normal that after around 3 months people start to notice improvements in growth.

Shall I continue with scalp cooling?

If you start to think that scalp cooling isn’t for you and decide to stop then it is likely that hair loss will be escalated after your next treatment.  It’s worth considering that even if up to 50% of hair falls out you will still have some hair to integrate into your new hair growth.

There are plenty of ways to disguise hair loss and maintain your sense of style. Consider some of the other options for covering up such as hats, headscarves and wigs. Take a look at our directory for organisations who can offer you ideas on covering up.

Chapter 5 Directory & Further information





  • Marian I did it my way

  • Jaya I did it my way

  • How to put on short wig by Jane

  • Pink scarf & fake fringe by Sara

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Please kindly note that Cancer Hair Care and The Caring Hair Boutique are not designed to provide medical advice. You should always consult with your doctor if you have any medical concerns or queries.