A team from Huddersfield in the UK are working hard to achieve their aim of zero hair loss from chemotherapy. The latest news out of their lab on their work with hair loss cooling caps is encouraging. We look closer.

 

Cooling Caps

These wonderful devices burst onto the scene relatively recently and for the first time offered patients undergoing chemotherapy some hope of holding onto their hair. The problem is with the way the chemicals in chemo work. By setting out to target fast-growing cells like the ones in the tumour they end up taking out other fast-growing cells in the body. Hair is right up there and almost invariably an early casualty of the treatment. 

Cooling caps work by, as the name suggests, cooling the scalp of the wearer prior to treatment, during treatment, and for a while after. The theory being that the reduced blood supply to the region sees less of the harsh chemicals getting to and killing the hair follicle. American studies showed a 50% success rate for hair retention for the current generation of the cap, but a team in Huddersfield have been beavering away at improving on that and claim to be on target to get it up to 80% by as soon as next year.

Key Improvements

Scientists at the University of Huddersfield in the UK have been working on a two-pronged attack to improve hair loss outcomes for chemo patients. The first involves producing a bespoke 3D printed cap for every patient. The idea is that the snug fit would improve the effectiveness and efficacy of the treatment by making perfect contact with the entire hair growing region of the scalp. 

The second element of their plans involves an ointment. To be applied a couple of hours before treatment and possibly again just after… they are still working on the fine detail.  The idea is to further prevent those chemicals from finding their way into the hair follicle and enhance the work done by the cooling cap itself. 

HIS Hair Clinic

We have been following the work of the team at Huddersfield since they announced their £1M project and declared their intention to eradicate chemo-related hair loss. Something for which there was no treatment at all just a few years ago. It is encouraging to see them progressing well on two fronts and we look forward to seeing them bringing one or both to market in the near future. 

If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our team of friendly experts, simply complete our contact form on this page or click here to find your nearest clinic. 

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By Ian Watson

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