Unique therapy prevents hair loss during chemo treatments

WHITEFISH BAY -- Peggy Dixon spends her days cutting, coloring and styling hair at her salon, Harpos -- but too many times she's had to use her shears on locks about to disappear from chemotherapy.

"When they come in, they don`t want to let go of their hair. This isn't something they choose to do. This is something that`s forced upon them to survive," Dixon said.

It was only a matter of months ago when Dixon learned about Cold Cap Therapy, which allows cancer patients to keep 90% of their hair.

"It`s exciting for me to have an opportunity to give them an option to save it," Dixon said.

The cold caps need to be worn an hour before chemo, during chemo, and three to four hours after each treatment session. The cooling of the hair follicles limits the amount of chemo toxins that reach them, allowing most patients to save their hair.

However, keeping the cold caps 22 degrees below zero is the tricky part.

"To keep this cap cold, ideally you want your chemo center to have a biomedical subzero freezer, which is what the Rapunzel Project is raising funds for,"  Andrea Robinson with Harpos said.

Harpos has been hosting a series of fundraisers for the Rapunzel Project to purchase a biomedical freezer for the cold caps to give to an area chemo center.

"If the center doesn't have one, then the patient has to bring 80 pounds of dry ice for every chemotherapy session," Robinson said.

Dixon and her stylists plan to continue their mission to empower patients and prevent them from having the constant reminder of cancer caused by hair loss.

In just two months, Harpos has raised $4,700 for the Rapunzel Project. They are just $300 away from having enough money to purchase a biomedical freezer.

Harpos will hold fundraisers through the end of the month and will continue to accept donations for the cause well after October.

CLICK HERE for additional information on the Rapunzel Project