Do Chemo Cold Caps Really Work on Natural Hair? Trish’s Chemo Hair Loss Journey 4

Do Chemo Cold Caps Really Work on Natural Hair? Trish’s Chemo Hair Loss Journey

So many things run through your mind when faced with a cancer diagnosis. Although hair loss may be perceived by those not touched by cancer as something that should be the least of one’s worries, chemotherapy induced hair loss can be traumatic for many women. Our identity is connected in some ways to our hair, and when faced with a life changing illness, it is important to be able to retain a sense of normalcy in your life.

Naturalista Trish G. was recently diagnosed with cancer and when faced with the inevitable hair loss that is part and parcel of some chemo drugs, she decided to try a chemo cold cap, which is touted as a device that can significantly reduce hair loss during chemotherapy. Trish shared her experience with me.

Dianne: Would you say that the cold cap is really working?

Trish: I would say that the chemo caps worked best they could. I knew it was not 100% guaranteed. I lost a lot of hair but I think when I undo my twist you can’t really tell the hair loss due to overall volume. I think it works better on less kinky hair.

Dianne: What were your thoughts when you first learned that you would need to undergo chemo and would lose your hair?

Trish: All I knew was chemo meant hair loss. I kept telling everyone I am ready for that and I wasn’t worried. I am the one in my group that consistently cuts my hair really short and I have said that losing my hair was the least of my worries at this point.

Dianne: What made you decide to try the chemo cap and is it worth it?

Trish: Well when it came down to it, I really was nervous to lose my hair and it was really because I wasn’t feeling like a woman any more. My breast had been cut, and I was feeling sickly and it was winter I couldn’t go outside much nor dress up. So the idea of losing my hair was really starting to affect me. I equated beauty with my hair. So I mentioned it to my caregivers and before the end of a meeting I was sitting in, they had collected close to $1000 to help me rent the Cold Caps for a few months. I do think it was worth it.

Dianne: What will you do if you should lose more hair than you anticipated? (Get a wig, wear a scarf or go bald).

Trish: I did lose a lot of hair, more then I thought I would. Funny my hair is covered more times than not, so I am very used to wearing wigs and scarves and even with the caps, I kept my hair securely covered and moisturized through the entire process. Hindsight is 20/20 for me. Doing the caps cost money and takes time. It really is a huge effort for the patient and the caregiver. Seeing how much hair I did lose and the effort we had to put out I would not chose to do it again but it was something I wanted to try and I did.

Dianne: What advice would you give other women faced with chemo related hair loss?

Trish: I would say that now I truly understand that losing your hair is not the worse thing in the world. It grows back or hey maybe it doesn’t there are always wigs and scarves and those that love you will love you regardless of the length of your hair. However, you need to prepare yourself for the loss, I didn’t experience as drastically as others but it if comes out like it did from say my armpits, be ready to see it come out in droves, like using Nair. So the decision is once you see it starting get ahead of it. I hear its really liberating for some to have a party and CUT IT ALL OFF. I am just here to say there is LIFE after your HAIR LOSS. I truly do not let things like that bother me at all any more. So many things I used to care about I do not let phase me at all. I know I was put on this earth to help others through this journey I am going through. So if I can help in anyway just email.

Hey Naturalistas!
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4 thoughts on “Do Chemo Cold Caps Really Work on Natural Hair? Trish’s Chemo Hair Loss Journey

  • Trisha

    Interesting we share the same name.Hello I was diagnosed with breast cancer as also cold capping.i will do my second of four rounds of chemo on June 21.i have sister locks down to the middle of my back.did you mention you also moisturized your hair during capping?ive very scared as I’m coming up to 13 days tmrw since my first round.your story gives me hope I’m glad you’ve stayed strong.

    • Dianne Shaddock Post author

      Hi Trisha:

      This is Dianne with Coils to Locs. Thanks for sharing. Trisha is one of our readers who wanted to share her journey with us.

      Yes, it is a scary process. I didn’t try cold caps and faced going bald. I am not sure why I didn’t explore the option. Hang in there.

    • Mona Buckson

      Hello Trisha,

      I hope you’re doing well. Can you please post an update on how it’s going with your cold caps? Do they seem to have helped with the hair loss? I currently wear my hair in flat twists and will be beginning chemo in two weeks. And as they say, I know it’s just hair, but the thought of losing is pretty stressful. Thanks

      • Dianne Shaddock Post author

        Hi Mona:

        I wish you well on your journey. As someone who has gone through the process of chenmo hair loss, (I did not use cold caps), I have to say that I don’t see it as just hair as many people tell those of us who are faced with losing it. If hair loss is important to you, then it is a valid concern. Hair is tied to our sense of self and well being so it does take some time to come to terms with hair loss for many of us.

        I’ve shared your question with Trisha who we interviewed for this article back in 2017. The interview highlighted her actual experience at the time of the interview. She used the cold caps during her chemo treatment so she is no longer using this hair loss prevention method.

        Looking forward to hearing how Trisha is doing to date.

        – Dianne/Coils to Locs