Glasgow Woman Shares Her Scalp Cooling Story

A woman from Glasgow, who retained her hair after using a pioneering scalp cooling treatment throughout her chemotherapy, is sharing her story in a bid to help others

by Julia Price | Tuesday 24 October 2017

Ailsa MacKenzie, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016, aged 44. Having lost her partner to cancer only months earlier, her first thought was how to protect her young son from further trauma.

“I suspected that even if I told him I was going to get better, if I looked ill and bald, he wouldn’t believe me, and my appearance would add to his fears,” said Ailsa.

“It was important that I kept my hair, which is why I decided to give scalp cooling a try. I didn’t have anything to lose.”

Ailsa used the Paxman Scalp Cooling System before, during and after each of her chemotherapy sessions at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, a specialised cancer care centre in Glasgow.

As a result, she kept most of her hair throughout her treatment; something that helped her, in her opinion, achieve positive results.

Ailsa has now decided to share her story with others to help provide advice and support to anyone considering the treatment.

“I could see that my hair had thinned, but no one else noticed, and unless I told them, no one knew that I was having treatment. I sometimes wore a headband to disguise my thinned parting, but I didn’t wear a wig or scarves at all. The hair I lost is growing back and I’ve been able to go back to work with confidence in my appearance.”

Hair loss is a well-known side effect of many chemotherapy regimens, with many patients’ claiming it is the most traumatic aspect of their treatment. Scalp cooling provides the only real alternative to hair loss resulting in a high level of retention or complete hair preservation, improving patients’ self-confidence and creating positive attitudes towards treatment.

The Paxman Scalp Cooling System is the world-leading hair loss prevention system for chemotherapy patients. It has been used by over 100,000 patients, in 32 countries and is responsible for helping patients to keep their hair and retain a feeling of normality during chemotherapy. The cap works by lowering scalp temperature before, during and after the administration of chemotherapy.
“I’m so grateful that there was something that spared me and my son from the additional trauma of losing my hair – I’d like to thank the Paxman family for developing the scalp cooling system and Walk the Walk who funded the machines at the Beatson. I’d advise anyone to try scalp cooling – you won’t lose anything by giving it a go.”

As well as raising awareness, Ailsa is also supporting the ‘50 Women and Me’ portrait project by sitting as a model; something she feels she couldn’t have done if she had lost her hair.

As part of the project Glasgow artist Lucy Gordon will be painting or drawing a portrait a week for an entire year. The portraits are of women from the all walks of life and all sales will be donated to Maggie's Centres charity – a charity that provides free practical, emotional support for people living with cancer.

For more information


Richard Paxman
Paxman Coolers Limited
+44 1484 349444

Tuesday 24 October 2017 / file under Medical | Healthcare