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It’s possible through cold cap therapy, a drug-free and non-invasive treatment that helps reduce hair loss from chemotherapy. The patient wears a specially designed cap, filled with a very cold gel, that cools the scalp before, during, and for a period of time after each chemo session.

The cap works by cooling the hair capillaries (blood vessels), which in turn reduces the metabolic rate of the follicles, thereby preventing the hair bulbs absorbing the chemotherapeutic drugs. Users of the Penguin cold cap therapy system can expect to retain between 60% and 90% of their hair.

The caps need to be cooled to a very low temperature using either dry ice or a medical grade freezer. Dry ice is often more practical as it can be brought into each chemo session using a cooler box, where it’s used to achieve the required cold cap temperature.

We spoke with a previous Polar Ice customer who used our dry ice for their cold cap therapy. They shared their first-hand experience of the process in an effort to raise awareness of cold cap therapy and to help others who may be searching for a way to keep their hair while undergoing chemotherapy.

I first came across cold caps online; I started searching to see if there was a way to keep my hair during treatment and that’s when I learned about cold cap therapy on the Penguin Cold Caps website.

I contacted an Irish dry ice supplier, Polar Ice, to source the dry ice needed for use with the cold caps. They were able to put me in touch with another customer who had previously used cold cap therapy to keep their hair during treatment. It was quite reassuring to talk to someone with previous experience of cold caps and to hear that it had worked successfully for them.

On the morning of each chemotherapy treatment, I used a cooler box (60 quart / 50-60 litre capacity) to prepare the cold caps. First I added a layer of dry ice slices, then I placed a cold cap on top of those, followed by another layer of dry ice slices and another cold cap. I repeated this process with four cold caps in total to be used over the treatment session. It takes on average 30 – 60 minutes to cool each cold cap sufficiently and I used a hand-held thermometer to ensure the required cap temperature was reached.

Keeping my hair gave me a sense of normality and also privacy.

Penguin Cold Caps provided me with step-by-step instructions for this process and there was no discomfort using the cool caps. I had six chemotherapy sessions in total and I used 30kg* of dry ice slices per session.

The cold caps worked extremely well for me and I was able to keep approximately 90% of my hair. Keeping my hair gave me a sense of normality and also privacy. Everyone is different, but that privacy was important to me.”

If you would like to learn more about cold cap therapy to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy, please visit If you would like to enquire about using dry ice for cold cap therapy, you can contact Polar Ice by emailing and by calling 057 862 3860.

*Penguin Cold Caps can advise on the recommended quantity of dry ice; you may need less for same-day use or more if the dry ice is collected /delivered the day prior to use. This is to allow for sublimation.