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Does Electromagnetic Radiation From Cell Phones Contribute To Hair Loss?

Our cell phones are a constant presence in our lives. We keep them in our pockets and by our sides almost all the time. As cell phones became ubiquitous over the past quarter-century, many people expressed concerns about whether and how the electromagnetic radiation they emit affects our health. While studies have made clear that there is no link between cell phone use and cancer or other serious conditions, some evidence has emerged, suggesting that prolonged cell phone use may contribute to hair loss.

While not definitive, the 2016 study “Hair Loss Due to Electromagnetic Radiation From Overuse of Cell Phone” published in the Journal of Cosmetology and Trichology concluded that “exposure to cell phone radiation can lead to hair loss” through three different impacts on the body.

Specifically, the researchers looked at the case of a 46-year-old male patient who had an unusual area of hair loss around his left ear. His hair surrounding this area was fragile, but could not be pulled out easily. Thinner, slow-growing hair was also seen on the base of the scalp. The findings of a biopsy indicated “prolonged exposure to an irritant or antigen” but did not indicate typical hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata or androgenetic alopecia.

The study considered previous research on the subject of cell phone use and hair loss and concluded that the radiation emitted from phones could lead to hair loss by:

  • DNA breakage. Subjects tested immediately before and immediately after extended periods of cell phone use showed an increase in DNA single-strand breaks in human hair root cells located around the ear where they held the phone.
  • Genotoxic and hormonal effects of mobile phone radiation. Cell phones impact the circadian patterns of gonadal, adrenal, and pituitary hormones, elevate estrogen, and reduce testosterone. All of these have a negative impact on the hair growth cycle. In addition to causing hair loss, mobile phone radiation can create hormonal imbalance, disturb hair growth regulation, and affect other systems in the body leading to secondary hair loss.

The good news is that the researchers were able to effectively treat the hair loss through the “use of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, which can aid in the recovery of the damaged cells.” Additionally, “low dose 2% minoxidil application combined with low dose comprehensive nutritional therapy, limiting mobile phone usage and keeping the mobile phone instrument away from the ear, helps in complete regrowth of the hair.”

Again, this research is not conclusive, so there is no reason to throw your phone out the window. But if you do notice unusual hair loss patterns on your scalp near where you usually hold your phone, you should consult with a hair restoration physician.

No Matter The Reason Behind Your Hair Loss, The Miami Hair Institute Can Help

Our world-renowned hair restoration physicians at the Miami Hair Institute diagnose and treat hair loss cases no matter what the underlying cause. Through advanced hair restoration surgical techniques, technology, and alternative non-invasive treatments, we can help patients suffering from hair loss regain their hair and self-confidence.

To receive your personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

New Study Sheds Light On Link Between Stress and Hair Loss

More Women Are Opening Up About Their Hair Loss Issues

Unfair and wrong as it is, society treats hair loss differently in women than it does in men. No one bats an eye when they see a bald man or one with thinning or receding hair walking down the street. But women who suffer from hair loss often experience a different level of embarrassment and even shame because of societal expectations about feminine appearance. Finally, however, women with hair loss issues are speaking out about what is a very common phenomenon, trying to remove the stigma and change perspectives about female hair loss.

Earlier in 2020, Rep. Ayanna Presley made headlines by speaking openly and proudly about her struggles with alopecia. More recently, a series of TikTok videos have gone viral in which a young woman from Oklahoma discusses her hair loss journey.

What Makes Hair Loss In Women Different

The emotional and psychological impact of hair loss in women and the way it is viewed by society at large are not the only things that distinguish male and female hair loss. Many hair loss cases in women share the same cause as most cases of hair loss in men: androgenetic alopecia. But the way women typically lose hair – in a diffuse pattern throughout the scalp rather than in distinct patches – is different than for men. And women also shed hair for reasons specific to their gender, including the hormonal fluctuations that accompany pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

Diffuse Hair Loss Patterns In Women

Androgenetic alopecia in men follows a familiar and predictable pattern. It begins with shedding in the front that causes gradual receding of the hairline. This progresses to more noticeable hair loss across the top of the head, and finally toward the crown. Hair remains relatively robust in the back and sides of the head of most men who have pattern baldness.

In women, androgenetic alopecia usually progresses differently. Instead of losing hair in isolated areas, women tend to experience hair loss throughout the scalp. This diffuse pattern of hair loss in women makes it a challenge to safely extract the donor hair necessary for a transplant. In women, potential donor hairs share space with thinning areas. That means these hairs also share the same problems that caused neighboring hairs to fall out. That also means the follicles won’t likely survive and thrive if transplanted to a recipient area.

Female Hair Transplant Candidates

While a relatively small percentage of women are good candidates for hair transplant surgery, the procedure can help restore hair in women with certain types of hair loss issues. Specifically, women with the following conditions should discuss the possibility of a hair transplant with their hair restoration surgeon:

  • Women who have suffered hair loss due to traction alopecia.
  • Women who have had previous cosmetic surgery and are concerned about hair loss around the incision sites.
  • Women who have pattern baldness that manifests itself similarly to how it does in men and have a donor area unaffected by androgenetic alopecia.
  • Women who experience hair loss due to trauma.
  • Women with alopecia marginalis, a condition that appears very similar to traction alopecia.

There Is No Shame In Hair Loss. But If You Want To Do Something About It, Call The Miami Hair Institute Today

We are glad to see that female hair loss issues are emerging from the shadows and that women are opening up about their struggles. While there is no shame in hair loss, many women want to find ways to address it.

For men and women alike, the first step towards addressing hair loss is arranging for a comprehensive evaluation as soon as possible. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring your hair — and regaining your confidence.

Schedule an appointment with the Miami Hair Institute today by calling 305.925.0222. We look forward to assisting you.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Loss

Apple cider vinegar doesn’t seem to fall far from the headlines these days. From helping with weight loss to improving digestive health to maintaining blood sugar levels, the benefits of apple cider vinegar are being touted as the remedy for a wide range of issues. Now, more bottles of this seemingly all-purpose tonic may be flying off store shelves for another reason: the prevention of hair loss.

But before you start pouring vinegar over your head to stop your hair from falling out, understand that it is far from proven that apple cider vinegar can prevent hair loss. That said, the powerful cleansing and pH balancing qualities of apple cider vinegar can do several positive things for your hair and scalp, all of which may, in the long run, increase the strength and resiliency of your hair.

Here’s why you should consider integrating apple cider vinegar or products containing apple cider vinegar into your hair care regimen:

Balancing Your pH Levels

You’ve probably heard the term “pH level” before. You also probably have no idea what that means or how it impacts your hair and scalp.

pH stands for “potential hydrogen.” It describes the acid-alkaline ratio of a substance. Your pH level refers to the level of acid in your body. On one side of the pH spectrum is acidity, measured at 0, while the other end is alkalinity, measured at 14. The ideal pH level for hair – the sweet spot between acidic and alkaline – is between four and five 

The pH levels of many shampoos lean heavily to the alkaline, which can skew the body’s pH level in that direction, causing hair to become dry brittle, and more prone to breakage. Apple cider vinegar is much more acidic and can counteract the alkalinity of shampoos to restore pH balance and keep hair stronger, shinier, and smoother.

Keeping Your Scalp Healthy

Like flowers, your hair follicles need the right underlying conditions to grow. This means a healthy, clean scalp. Annoying scalp conditions such as dandruff are caused by bacteria which can also clog hair follicles, depriving them of the oils they need to keep from becoming brittle and prone to breaking. Apple cider vinegar’s acids and enzymes work to destroy those bacteria and prevent them from contributing to hair weakness and loss.

Using an apple cider vinegar rinse can also help exfoliate the scalp, removing dead skin cells and promoting hair growth.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar on Your Hair and Scalp

To reap the benefits that apple cider vinegar can provide your hair and scalp, mix two to four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup (16 oz.) of cool water in a plastic bottle or a spray bottle. After you shampoo and rinse your hair, pour or spray the mixture over your entire scalp, making sure to cover and protect your eyes. Let the mixture sit on your scalp for two to three minutes before rinsing it off thoroughly. 

Miami Hair & Skin Institute: Your Partners in Hair Health and Restoration

If you are concerned about your hair loss and are ready to do something about it, we invite you to schedule a hair loss evaluation at the Miami Hair & Skin Institute. Drs. Nusbaum and Rose are internationally acclaimed hair restoration surgeons with more than 40 years of combined experience. 

To receive your personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Minoxidil Study Shows Health Benefits Beyond Hair Growth

Minoxidil Study Shows Health Benefits Beyond Hair Growth

Minoxidil Study Shows Health Benefits Beyond Hair GrowthThe unexpected good news about hair loss treatments keeps getting better. Recently, we discussed a study which suggests that the benefits of hair transplant surgery may extend far below the surface of the scalp to relieve migraine headaches. Now, a new report indicates that the popular and effective hair loss drug Rogaine (minoxidil) may not only help slow and stop the balding process but might also have a positive impact on vascular health and blood pressure and may slow mental decline.

Published in March 2018 in the American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology, the study found that minoxidil taken in an oral form might improve blood flow to the brain, lower blood pressure and increase elasticity in the blood vessels. When used as a treatment for hair loss, minoxidil is typically used in topical rather than oral form.

The study looked at elastin insufficiency in mice. Elastin is a vital protein which helps keep blood vessels flexible and open. When the body produces an insufficient amount of elastin, blood vessels and arteries can stiffen (vascular stiffness) and reduce blood flow. Vascular stiffness, in turn, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke in aging adults. Reduced blood flow to the brain can also contribute to the age-related cognitive decline.

Researchers wanted to determine whether minoxidil, which acts as an opener of potassium channels in the body, could improve vascular health. Previous studies concluded that drugs that open potassium channels might be effective at improving blood flow and reducing vascular stiffness.

The results of the study were extremely promising. When compared to mice who didn’t receive minoxidil treatment, the treated mice had:

  • lower systolic blood pressure (pressure in the arteries when the heart beats);
  • larger, more open blood vessels such as the aorta and carotid artery;
  • lower vascular stiffness;
  • increased blood flow through the carotid arteries and into the brain; and
  • higher levels of an amino acid found in elastin.

The researchers concluded that these results show that “Treatment of aged individuals with minoxidil may simultaneously improve blood pressure, arterial stiffness and blood flow—all risk factors for cardiovascular mortality, but also for long-term cognitive function.”

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

If you are suffering from hair loss and are considering Rogaine as a treatment option, this study offers one more reason to schedule an evaluation with an experienced hair loss professional today.

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we hold every patient’s pursuit of a fuller and more natural head of hair in the highest regard. We are home to South Florida’s top hair transplant surgeons, doctors, nurses, and staff and are pleased to offer only the safest and most advanced methods of hair loss diagnosis and treatment, including hair loss medication like Rogaine.

To schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Hair Transplant Repair and Hair Transplant Reversal

Difference Between Hair Transplant Repair and Hair Transplant Reversal

Hair Transplant Repair and Hair Transplant ReversalMost of our hair transplant surgery patients are undergoing the procedure for the first time. We endeavor to make it their last time as well. Our world-renowned surgeons are meticulous in performing hair transplants such that patients leave with their expectations exceeded and their hair full, robust, and natural-looking. Unfortunately, we also see patients who have already had a hair transplant elsewhere that fell far below their expectations and left them with a transplant that looks obvious or with unsightly scars. That is where hair transplant repair and hair transplant reversal procedures come in.

Hair Transplant Repair

When patients come in to discuss a hair transplant repair, it is because they are unsatisfied with the results of a previous procedure. They are looking for a procedure that will either get them results close to what they originally expected or for work which can conceal either the obviousness of their transplant or scars from their prior surgery.

Problems with earlier procedures which often are the reasons why people seek a hair transplant repair include:

  • Large or poorly transplanted grafts to the frontal hairline that appear like “hair plugs” or “doll hair”
  • A frontal hairline placed too far forward
  • Transplanted hair placed in the wrong direction
  • Scarring in the donor and extraction areas of the scalp

If the issue is unnatural looking “hair plugs,” these can often be removed, dissected into smaller grafts, and then re-transplanted into the scalp. A new follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedure may also be performed to obtain additional donor hairs to be transplanted to the recipient area to further increase the full, natural look of the transplant. FUE can also be used to transplant hair to areas where scarring has occurred so as to camouflage those scars.

Hair Transplant Reversal

If the goal of hair transplant repair is to make things look like they should have after an initial procedure, the objective of a hair transplant reversal is to make it look like there never was hair transplant surgery in the first place. This can involve the same techniques described above to replace hair from the donor area or to camouflage scarring.

While hair transplant repair and reversal procedures can certainly improve the results of a prior procedure, they may not achieve the goals you had for your initial surgery. That is one reason why it is so important to get it right the first time. Whether you are seeing us for your first hair transplant procedure or to improve on a previous one, our goal is always the same: to provide you with an exceptional patient experience and results which leave you beyond satisfied.

Call the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami Today to Learn More About Hair Transplant Repair or Reversal

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Drs. Nusbaum and Rose are internationally acclaimed leaders in hair restoration surgery. Both are actively engaged in hair loss research, lecture widely, and are constantly refining their techniques to provide even better results.

To learn more about hair transplant repair and reversal and to receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call or office directly at 305-925-0222.

Hair Loss Myths

Top 3 Hair Loss Myths

Hair Loss MythsThese days, it can sometimes seem like telling fact from fiction and true from false is harder than ever. You could go on the internet and search for the answer to “What is 2 + 2?” and it’s likely you’ll find at least one source telling you the answer is “5.” When it comes to hair loss, there are a lot of myths out there, many of which go back centuries.

If you are concerned about losing your hair or are considering doing something to restore your hair to a fuller, more youthful state, make sure you know the truth behind these three hair loss myths:

  1. It’s Your Mom’s Fault

Perhaps the biggest myth about hair loss is that it is inherited from your mom’s side of the family. People grow up believing that if their mom’s male relatives are bald or have thinning hair that they are destined to follow in their footsteps. This is simply not the case.

The strength and vitality of your hair are based on your genetics, it’s true. But the genes which factor into hair loss come from many places, including your father’s side of the family. This “polygenic” basis for hair loss means that you should look at all the different branches of your family tree if you are trying to see into your hair loss future.

  1. Thinning Hair = Higher Testosterone Levels

While men experiencing hair loss may want to take comfort in the idea that it is a sign of robust testosterone levels, there is simply no link between baldness and high testosterone. That said, it’s easy to see why there may be some confusion on this point.

Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a derivative of testosterone that is in fact scientifically linked to hair loss. But it’s not the amount of testosterone that is the issue, but rather the level of DHT fastening to hair follicle receptors in the scalp. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes them to stop growing new hairs.

  1. Hats Kill Hair

If hats caused hair loss, every baseball player would be bald. This enduring myth is absolutely false. Wearing hats frequently will not have any impact on the strength of your hair or accelerate the rate at which you lose hair. If, however, you wear extremely tight hats a lot, that can cause stress on your follicles and lead to a condition called traction alopecia. But it’s not the hat that is causing the damage, it’s how you wear it.

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, know the truth about hair loss and we know how to help men and women restore their hair and their confidence. We evaluate each hair loss patient with a comprehensive and proven methodology, obtaining a detailed medical history, performing an in-depth scalp examination using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and if indicated, blood tests to detect any underlying imbalances or deficiencies that may be contributing to the hair loss problem. With this information, we can determine the cause of hair loss and the most effective treatment option.

To schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

hair transplant surgery

The Hair Restoration Journey Series: Preparing for Your Surgery

hair transplant surgeryHaving decided to have hair transplant surgery, you are no doubt excited to move forward, have the procedure, and see the results. After all, it has been a long journey from lamenting about your hair loss to deciding to do something about it to having a hair loss consultation to scheduling the date for your surgery. Now, it’s time to get ready for your surgery.

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we are committed to excellence in hair restoration. Our award-winning surgeons and advanced techniques offer patients effective options for restoring a full, robust head of hair while making the patient experience as pleasant, comfortable, and worry-free as possible. This includes helping you prepare for your procedure so that we can achieve optimal results and you can minimize any discomfort which may temporarily follow the surgery.

One of our primary transplantation techniques is Follicular Unit Grafting (FUG). Not only does this technique provide extraordinary naturalness, it can be performed in only one session.

Approximately three weeks before the big day, Dr. Nusbaum and/or Dr. Rose will provide an overview of the procedure, including how much donor hair (follicular units) will be extracted and transplanted to the recipient area. At this time, you will also be given personally-tailored instructions on which daily medications are okay to continue taking, which must be discontinued, how long the hair transplant procedure will take, and more. Patients should pay close attention to these details.

1-2 Weeks Before Surgery

  • Begin taking vitamin C as directed in consultation to bolster immune system
  • Cease use of nicotine, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, nicotine gum, nicotine patches, electronic “e-cigarettes,” and other items containing nicotine. Nicotine restricts blood vessels and may hinder the healing process
  • Stop drinking alcohol, including beer, wine, liquor, and other spirits.
  • Avoid aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter. These can affect blood flow, increase the chance of bleeding during the procedure, and interfere with healing.
  • If possible, avoid products such as Advil, Aleve, Alka Seltzer, Bufferin, Excedrin, Nuprin or Motrin. Use Tylenol if necessary
  • Don’t cut your hair.
  • Massage your scalp for 10-20 minutes a day. This will help to soften the skin and get the blood flowing in the transplant areas.

24 Hours Before Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight, unless instructed otherwise.
  • Do not eat or drink anything during the day of surgery, unless instructed otherwise.
  • Feel free to shower, brush your teeth, and perform your ordinary morning routine. However, please do not use any hair gel, hair spray, hair conditioner, or make-up.

Arrange for a Ride

Since the procedure involves the use of a mild sedative, you should arrange to have a friend or family member drive you to our office and pick you up after the procedure. We welcome drivers to wait in our reception area, or they may visit the Village of Merrick Park, located just across the street from our Institute.

Call the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami for Your Personal Hair Loss Consultation

The first step in doing something about your hair loss is to arrange for a hair loss consultation. We invite you to schedule an evaluation at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Drs. Nusbaum and Rose are internationally acclaimed hair restoration surgeons with more than 40 years combined experience. To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call or office directly at 305-925-0222.

Hair Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Hair Loss

Hair ShampooYou’re standing in the shower, watching in dismay as hair that just moments ago was perched atop your head now swirls the drain. When you realize you are having issues with hair loss, you want to address the problem as quickly as you can. You’ll want to call and schedule a hair loss consultation with a hair loss expert for sure, but you can’t do that in the shower without ruining your cell phone. You can, however, use a shampoo which minimizes hair loss and/or leaves your hair with a thicker, fuller appearance.

The internet is full of shampoos and other products which claim to restore or grow hair, but as with anything on the internet, you should be dubious before shelling out money on “miracle” cures. That said, there definitely are shampoos which, while they won’t grow hair, are well-suited to increase the strength and health of your hair, minimize damage, or make your hair appear thicker. Consider purchasing the following types of shampoo to combat thinning hair:

  • Hair thickening shampoos. The name “hair-thickening” when used with many shampoos is a bit deceptive. Such shampoos don’t actually thicken your hair follicles but can do a good job of making your hair temporarily appear Hair thickening or volumizing shampoos work by artificially swelling the hair shaft and depositing a thin film of the active ingredients on your follicles. Again, such effects are temporary and cosmetic; these shampoos don’t do anything to slow or stop hair loss.
  • Shampoo with natural preservatives. Like many consumer products, shampoos can contain chemical preservatives which, while extending the shelf-life of the shampoo, don’t extend the life of your hair and in fact may do the opposite. Look for shampoos and other hair-care products that contain natural preservatives including essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, or rosemary, jojoba, Vitamin E, and grapefruit seed extract.
  • Shampoos containing castor oil and argan oil. Castor oil is effective at killing bacteria which can cause hair folliculitis and also has the added benefit of relieving pain and itching where applied. Argan oil is rich in natural phenols which are beneficial to the strength and resilience of hair follicles. 

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, our skilled physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases that can’t be reversed at home. Through advanced hair restoration surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments, we can help patients suffering with hair loss.

If you’re ready to do something about your thinning hair, contact us online or call or office directly at 305-925-0222 to receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.


Who Is a Good Candidate for Hair Transplant Surgery?

Hair Transplant Gets Celebrity Endorsement from Wes WelkerFor many men and women experiencing hair loss, hair transplant surgery performed by a skilled and experienced medical professional is a safe and effective way to address the issue and restore their hair to a full, natural-looking state. But not everyone who suffers from hair loss is a candidate for a hair transplant procedure, though other treatment options such as hair loss drugs or home-use laser therapy caps may be available and better suited to their needs.

So how do you know if you are a good candidate for hair transplant surgery? You’ll only know for sure after you’ve had a comprehensive hair loss evaluation, but here are three key characteristics which may mean that hair transplant surgery is a good option for you:

  • Sufficient supply of donor hair. For hair transplant surgery to work, there actually has to be hair to transplant. Unlike organ transplants where someone else is the donor, hair transplants involve donating your own hair. Hair is taken from areas of hair on the back or sides of your head and transplanted to the treatment area, where it will continue to grow. Both male and female hair replacement candidates must have healthy hair growth in the donor area at the back of the head for transplant surgery to be a viable solution to hair loss.
  • Permanent hair loss. For some individuals, hair loss is a temporary or seasonal issue. Surgery is only an appropriate option for those suffering from permanent hair loss, such as male pattern baldness.
  • Adults only. Successful hair transplant surgeries involve identifying the individual patient’s unique hair loss pattern, and transplanting hair to the balding and thinning areas in a way that creates a natural looking hairline. While children and teenagers can experience permanent hair loss, their hair loss pattern may not be fully developed while they are still growing, making it difficult to perform the procedure in a way that will yield optimal results. As such, hair transplant surgery is only recommended as a potential treatment for individuals 18 and older.

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

As noted, you will only know whether you are a candidate for hair transplant surgery after consulting with a hair restoration surgeon. At the Hair Institute of Miami, we evaluate each hair loss patient with a comprehensive and proven methodology, obtaining a detailed medical history, performing an in-depth scalp examination using state-of-the art diagnostic tools and, if indicated, blood tests to detect any underlying imbalances or deficiencies that may be contributing to the hair loss problem. With this information, we can determine the cause of hair loss and the most effective treatment option.

To schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

cold caps chemotherapy

Cold Caps for Preventing Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

cold caps chemotherapyFighting cancer is one of the most taxing mental and physical struggles an individual can undergo. For women with breast cancer, hair loss is one of the most traumatic side effects of chemotherapy. New research published on the mid-February issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that cold caps can lessen the potential for hair loss during cancer treatment, thus boosting patients’ quality of life and emotional well-being.

Two studies analyzed the DigniCap, the only cooling cap approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Paxman, which is currently under FDA review.

Patients were fitted with the DigniCap 30 minutes before a chemotherapy session. The cap, currently available at infusion centers across 17 states, keeps the scalp at a cool 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Although researchers haven’t specifically determined what makes these cold caps work, some believe they constrict the blood vessels on the scalp to slow blood circulation. Lack of blood flow limits toxin exposure that would otherwise harm hair follicles in the fight to eradicate sarcoma cells. Another theory is that because chemotherapy fights rapidly developing cells, cold caps could limit follicle growth and expansion, leaving them less likely to be targeted during treatment.

Over two-thirds of women with stage I or II breast cancer lost less than 50 percent of their hair following use of the DigniCap and four rounds of taxane chemotherapy. The 16 women who did not use the cap lost all their hair during treatment.

In the Paxman system study, half of the women lost less than half their hair following four rounds of anthracycline and taxane chemotherapy. Five women had no significant hair loss whatsoever, and the 47 patients who did not use Paxman cold caps lost all their hair. Currently, the Paxman is not available for medical commercial use in the U.S.  

Neither device showed any serious side effects aside from mild headaches due to the low temperature. One potential risk is that stopping treatment from reaching the scalp could allow cancer cells to spread there, but more research needs to be done to make such conclusions.

Right now, cold caps cost between $1,500 to $3,000, depending on the number of chemotherapy treatments needed. For those coping with chemotherapy-induced alopecia, cold caps could prevent drastic hair loss to keep patients’ self-confidence and resolve intact. But, more research must be done to evaluate the risk versus reward.