A cold cap starter kit is now available. Created by a former cap "helper," this is one-stop-shopping for those who don't want to have to search for all the needed supplies. Click here to download the PDF.
1. Use only cool water in shower
2. Wash hair gently
3. Use a gentle shampoo with pH similar to that of the hair in the 4.5 to 5.5 range. Use clear shampoos, not "milky" or "creamy" ones. The Director of R & D at our partner, Kenra, advises that the following products are appropriate for these requirements: Kenra® Clarifying Shampoo, and Kenra® Color Maintenance Shampoo and Conditioner*. Googling shampoos with 4.5-5.5 pH will help you find other products that should be appropriate.
4. Do NOT use products that say moisturizing or volumizing, or that are opaque (rather than clear). Such products may coat the hair and keep oxygen from reaching the hair follicles
5. Use a detangling spray such as Kenra® Classic Daily Provision* (spray-on conditioner) rather than a regular conditioner. Again this helps keep the hair follicles from being coated
6. Make the transition to these new hair care products as soon as possible before chemo starts, as it may take 2 weeks or more to fully clean old product residue off the hair
7. Coloring hair is not recommended until 3 months after chemo is finished, because the follicles still need time to recover from the trauma of chemo
8. Keep hair straight down during chemo; do not bunch or pile on top of your head
9. Don’t pull on the roots
10. Hold hair when combing so not to strain the roots
11. Sleep on a satin pillow case
12. Do not use curling irons, electric rollers, or hot air hair dryers
13. DRINK AS MUCH WATER AS POSSIBLE DURING CHEMO DAY
14. Use adhesive-backed moleskin**, cut to the shape of the forehead, to protect skin when cold caps are on
15. Have warm blankets, an electric blanket, or heating pads on hand to use, especially during and right after each cap change
16. Sit in a chair without a high back – otherwise working at the back of the head during cap changes is difficult
17. Use a travel-type neck pillow to support your head/neck during chemo
18. Find out if you can have lab work done the day before chemo, because this shortens chemo day waiting time considerably
19. Find out if you can call in and request to have your chemo order sent up from the pharmacy before you leave home the morning of chemo – saving you up to an hour
20. Be sure to change the hair part line with each session of chemo. It helps to protect the scalp
21. Lucinda Ellery is a company that has a unique program for those with thinning hair (and even no hair). Read more at http://www.lucindaellery-hairloss.com/chemotherapy.php
22. If you are looking for help camouflaging thinning hair, once all chemo treatments are finished, consider Nanogen Keratin Hair Fibers, which can be viewed here.
*Click here to find a location in your area that carries Kenra Professional™ hair care products.
**Moleskin Plus is a Dr. Scholl’s product that can be found in any drug store. Purchase the padding roll so you can cut it to the size needed for your forehead