What Is Cold Capping?
While cold caps and scalp cooling systems differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, all work by narrowing the blood vessels beneath the skin of the scalp to reduce the amount of chemotherapy medicine that reaches the hair follicles-thus reducing hair fall.
There are two main types of cooling systems: Machine scalp cooling systems which are leased by hospitals and require less maintenance, and manual cold caps that are kept in biomedical freezers and require frequent changing. Both options show tremendous success at reducing chemotherapy related hair loss, although machine scalp cooling systems are the only unit currently approved by the FDA. Check with your healthcare provider to find the best option for you or visit www.breastcancer.org for additional information.
Check with your health insurance company to find coverage options as well as the manufacturer of the system you plan to use.
Penguin is a well established company that has been providing cold caps directly to patients in the U.S. since 2005. They are reportedly the only company with active clinical trials (for breast cancer.) According to their website, Penguin cap users have had an average hair retention >80% even with strong regimens of chemotherapy. Penguin’s latest caps contain a proprietary Crylon Gel that makes them more malleable and allows them to stay colder for longer. Penguin supplies the cooler, 3 caps and all accessories needed for capping. Penguin Cold Caps' rental price is $449 per month, with a refundable security deposit of $189 plus shipping cost.
Chemo Cold Caps was established in 2012 after the co-founder saved her hair using Cold Caps. The company uses a trademarked Elastogel cap with an outer insulated cover and a special four-point strap to ensure a snug fit as well as a patented surgical steel cooler. They provide 6 caps, cooler and all needed supplies for each rental. The cost for Chemo Cold Caps is $425 per month plus shipping one way and with no security deposit.
Arctic Cold Caps started in 2015 and uses an Elastogel cap and provides 8 caps, cooler and all needed supplies for each client. Arctic reports excellent results with the taxanes and a number of other drugs. The rental cost for Arctic is $379 per month, a refundable $379 security deposit and shipping cost.
Wishcaps began in 2013 uses a flexible, high glycerin gel that is covered with a four-way stretch material and allows maximum conformity. The company states that the caps are up to 85% effective at reducing hair loss during chemotherapy with taxanes. The company provides renters with 6 caps and all needed accessories. It also has a working relationship with Airgas, a national dry ice supplier. The cost to rent Wishcaps is $325 per month, a refundable $150 deposit plus shipping costs.
Warrior Caps was founded in July 2016 after its founder successfully cold capped during chemotherapy. The company uses a proprietary cap and provides everything needed for patients to have a successful capping experience. According to the company, Warrior Caps have been used with high levels of success with even the toughest chemo regimens, including AC. The cost to rent Warrior caps is $350 per month plus shipping and no security deposit.