Manual vs Machine Capping - which is best for you?

Published: 08 Mar 2018

The benefits of cold capping are becoming more established and well known.  It is a simple process where the scalp is cooled, causing the hair follicles and surrounding cells to enter into a hibernated state which can help to prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss.  But what are the options available to you?

When considering using cold caps, you can choose between the manual capping method, such as Penguin, and another method; machine capping.  Both of these methods have their own pros and cons and you will need to decide which is best suits you.

Machine Capping

Cold capping machines are in their infancy and are not widely available.  Machine capping is where a cooling cap is applied your head and attached to a machine which pumps a cold liquid around it.  The machine is set to a specific temperature.  Application of the cap is relatively simple and there will be someone around to assist you.

Pros of machine capping

Cons of machine capping

Manual Capping

Manual capping is the most common and readily available method and Penguin are the originators of modern cold capping.  Manual capping uses a number of cooled caps that must be changed throughout a session to maintain the constant optimum temperature required.  In most cases, cap cooling is done using a cooler box and dry ice. Some hospitals and clinics (though rare) have biomedical freezers in which to cool the caps.

There are a number of types of manual caps. The pull on swimming cap style, and Penguin’s own specially designed and compartmented flat cap which cleverly adjusts and contours to snugly fit the shape of the head.  Compartments within the cap are filled with a special gel which remains cooler for longer than other available options. 

Penguin caps require you to keep your hair dry, while other companies need you to wet hair with water, conditioner or oils. 

Pros of manual capping

Cons of manual capping

This is a brief overview of the two methods of capping and their pros and cons.  As always, it is up to you to decide which is more convenient based on your circumstances.  It is important to always read the terms and conditions and to ensure that you understand all the costs such as shipping charges, equipment hiring, and capping assistance, when considering which method and company to go with, as well as reading up on reviews.

If you would like to hear from other cold cap users then why not get involved with the community and join our Facebook group where there are members sharing experiences, tips and tricks, and generally conversing about life before, during, and after chemotherapy.