Cold Caps

There are two types of Cold Caps — machine capping systems and manual capping systems. Until 2016, only manual caps were available to American patients.


Two machine systems, DigniCap® and Paxman, have now received FDA clearance. These systems are leased by hospitals and clinics and are only available where installed. See our Locations section.

The DigniCap® system was cleared by the FDA in December 2015. The company, based in Sweden, has been installing systems in the U.S. since 2016. In July 2017, they received expanded FDA clearance - their system is now approved to treat both men and women with various solid tumor cancers (not just breast cancer). DigniCap has information on their website regarding medical insurance coverage for the use of their system. https://dignicap.com/insurance/

DigniCap®http://www.dignicap.com
The Paxman Scalp Cooling System was cleared by the FDA in April 2017 and received their expanded FDA clearance in June 2018. Paxman, based in the UK, reports saving the hair of over 100,000 patients worldwide, and is now installing their system at numerous U.S. locations.

Paxman Scalp Cooling System — http://www.paxmanscalpcooling.com

Paxman also offers https://coldcap.com, a patient-centric website which can help patients decide if this process is for them, and which also offers support to patients along the journey, from treatment to hair care and more.

Manual Cold Caps are not yet FDA-cleared, and generally can not be stocked by hospitals/clinics. They must be rented privately by patients and brought to chemo as personal property at this time. While the machines are becoming more available, manual caps are still the method by which most American patients save their hair.

A set of manual Cold Caps can be used at any location with the dry ice method. Patients acquire and freeze a number of caps, which are changed at specified intervals to maintain the proper level of cold. Some supportive chemo centers have biomedical freezers (see Locations section) so that dry ice is not needed.

We have vetted the following manual cap providers to the best of our ability and can recommend them based on feedback from patients, doctors and nurses. Please note that patients should always consult their physicians when considering Cold Cap Therapy and should request success data for their drug regimen as part of their inquiries with the cap suppliers.

  • Penguin Cold Caps were first used in the U.S. in 2005, and have been widely used here over the last decade. They have their own unique design and patented gel to hold temperature as long as possible. Penguin has over 20 years of data and experience and their caps are reported to work with almost all chemo drugs. Of note, in addition to very high success rates with taxanes like TC, they report their success rate may be as high as 70–80 percent with patients using AC. AC is usually toughest on the hair, and this appears to be a better outcome than any other type of cap at this time, to our knowledge.
  • Chemo Cold Caps began in 2012 after the co-founder saved her hair using Cold Caps. CCC uses an Elastogel cap with an outer insulated cover and a special four-point strap to ensure a snug fit. They provide caps, cooler and all needed supplies for each rental. Clients report their website and customer service are excellent. CCC data indicates a very high success rate with the taxanes. Inquire regarding other drugs.
  • Arctic Cold Caps started in 2015, again inspired by a family member who saved her hair using Cold Caps. Arctic also uses an Elastogel cap and provides caps, cooler and all needed supplies for each client. One-on-one training is available via Skype. Arctic has received a number of compliments from their users and the medical staff involved in their care regarding their successful outcomes and their customer service. They report excellent results with the taxanes and a number of other drugs. Please inquire for details.
  • Wishcaps began in 2013 after the founder assisted a close friend who saved her hair with Cold Caps. Wishcaps also uses Elastogel caps and provides renters with all needed supplies including cooler, digital timer and laser thermometer. Both patients and clinic staff confirm that Wishcaps offers outstanding customer service. Phone consultations are available to all clients. Wishcaps reports excellent results with the taxanes. Inquire regarding other drugs.
  • Warrior Caps was founded in July 2016 after founder Lisa completed 16 rounds of chemotherapy with the majority of her hair. The company uses a proprietary cap and provides everything needed for patients to have a successful capping experience. Newest to our list of recommended providers, Warrior has been called a "boutique company" based on the very personal care each of their "Warriors" receives. Warrior Caps have been used with high levels of success with even the toughest chemo regimens, including AC.


Additional clinical trials of Cold Caps (both machine and manual) are expected to take place and will be posted here when they do.

Insurance Coverage for the process is discussed in our FAQ section. We are not the best source of insurance info (providers are) as we generally are not in contact with patients at the back end of chemo. Providers often know what codes have been successful, what insurers have been covering the process, and what paperwork is needed to file a claim.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance for patients using Cold Caps and Scalp Cooling Systems may be available.

  • Hair To StayNational nonprofit
    Patients with household incomes at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) should go to www.hairtostay.org/apply-for-a-subsidy and fill out the form you will find there. (The FPL chart is available on their site to help you determine if you qualify to apply.) Note that HairToStay will not reimburse for expenses incurred before you are approved for assistance.
  • The Sue Paxman Fund for MothersNational nonprofit
    Funded by the Paxman Company and administered by Hair To Stay, this fund offers free Paxman Scalp Cooling to 2 ultra low income women per month. Patients must be mothers with children living at home, and whose household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Contact HairtoStay.org to apply.
  • The Fleener Family FoundationNational nonprofit (Warrior Cap users only)
    The Fleener Family Foundation (info@fleenerfamilyfoundation.org) works exclusively with Warrior Caps to ensure cold cap therapy is available to those in financial need. The Foundation has sole discretion on the application requirements and the distribution of caps based on criteria set by the Officers of the Foundation. US residents with household income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level are encouraged to apply.
  • Cold Capital FundDistrict of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia residents only
    Patients in the defined geography may contact coldcapitalfund@gmail.com to discuss possible assistance with the cost of renting cold caps or using scalp cooling machines at clinics.
  • Hope For HairNorth Carolina residents only
    NC resident patients may go to hopeforhair.org/apply-for-a-subsidy for possible assistance with the cost of renting manual caps or using scalp cooling machines. Eligible patients will have household income at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Cap and ConquerSoutheast Michigan residents only
    Patients in the defined geography may contact info@capandconquer.org to discuss possible assistance with the cost of renting cold caps or using scalp cooling machines at clinics.

Some hospitals and clinics have funding support available for patients using cold caps/scalp cooling machines at their facility. Be sure to inquire with your nurse or physician.

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