Question: Do cool pillows – the ones with the gel inserts to keep your head cool during the night – help to prevent hair loss? I read that inflammation of the scalp can cause baldness and cold caps can stop people with cancer losing their hair so could these pillows help to stop hair loss developing? I’d be interested to hear your opinion. Thanks.
Answer: Hi, Ben. It is unlikely that sleeping on a gel-filled cool pillow will help to prevent hair loss but it very much depends on why you are losing your hair. In order to fully understand what will help, it is important to first establish the hair loss condition that is occurring.
Whilst cold caps are indeed used alongside chemotherapy to help prevent hair loss during cancer treatment, this is a very different condition to, for instance, male pattern baldness. Some forms of thinning are even caused by nutritional issues so preventing this may be as simple as making dietary changes or taking a targeted hair supplement.
For people undergoing chemo, using a cold pillow before and after may help to minimise any shedding from their treatment. However, cold caps are known to reach very low temperatures – far colder than the average cool pillow – so the benefit from the pillow is likely to be minimal.
You are correct that scalp inflammation can cause baldness, but this will be a form of scarring hair loss, not the Male Pattern type. Male hair loss is a genetic condition that causes men with an inherited sensitivity to hormone by-product DHT to experience thinning hair around the top of their head and/or a receding hairline.
Although some people think using a cool pillow or cold compress, such as an ice pack, before and after hair loss treatment makes it more effective, there is nothing to suggest that this actually the case. It may have a placebo effect and, in this regard, it may be worthwhile, but we are unaware of any clinical trials confirming any beneficial links.
The best way to prevent hair loss is to firstly see a hair loss specialist for a professional diagnosis of your condition. Once you know what it is, it is much easier to explain how to stabilise your shedding and start to promote regrowth. In cases of male pattern baldness, treatments such as finasteride 1mg and minoxidil can be used to address any signs of hair loss you are seeing already, as well as preventing further thinning. A specialist will be able to talk you through all the options available to you and tailor a plan to specifically deal with your personal level and pattern of hair loss.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.