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Last updated: June 04, 2024

The Rapunzel Project®: Saving Hair During Chemotherapy Through Scalp Cooling Therapy

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Meet The Rapunzel Project®, Their Mission & Help Awareness of Scalp Cooling Therapy

Add this to your ‘”things you should care about” list and listen up—The Rapunzel Project®, (TRP) a non-profit organization dedicated to helping chemotherapy patients keep their hair during treatment was founded by two breast cancer survivors, Nancy Marshall and Shirley Billigmeier.



“I started with chemo and radiation, and when we [Dr. Paul Zander and Shirley] started making a plan. My doctor said, “chemo will take your hair” and I asked, “There’s no option!?,” says Shirley. “I tried on a wig and thought, this is just not me. That was when I heard about Cold Caps. It was in that moment I could feel that little light come back in me—it changed everything.”


We felt people could not make a choice unless they knew their was a choice to be made,” says Nancy Co-Founder of TRP on the origin of The Rapunzel Project® post-Shirley’s successful chemotherapy journey with keeping her hair.


Hairstylists, YOU Can Be The Difference In Your Client’s Chemotherapy Journey

“Before the oncology community was increasingly on board with the hair saving cold therapy process, salons were the single most valuable link we had to reach patients,” Nancy says. “Stylists often see a client in the window between their cancer diagnosis and the beginning of chemotherapy, as the client comes in to inquire about purchasing a wig and/or shaving their head. If a stylist can inform a client at that time that there may be a third choice, to save most of their hair, it is a great service to the patient, and they can then investigate and make the choice that is best for them.” 


While online ads or office bulletins could help, YOU hold the real power in connecting clients to a hair journey during a vulnerable time. Here’s the opportunity to spread awareness, share a connection or create a reference that your clients can use personally or share beyond your chair. You do not have to be an expert! Here’s your starting point to share: visit or email to request free informational resources to keep in the salon to give clients for further details.


What Is Scalp Cooling & Cold Cap Therapy?

Scalp Cooling, interchangeably known as, Cold Cap Therapy involves the use of a special cap (or set of caps) brought to very cold temperatures and work for hours at a time before, during and after chemotherapy treatments.


The cold temperatures constrict blood vessels that lead to hair follicles. By doing so, the follies are put “to sleep” by the cold temperature, temporarily limiting their metabolic activity. Because the chemotherapy drugs stay in a patient’s system for long periods of time, the cold caps assist to dilute the drug’s strength when it’s time to react with hair follicles. Although this has been practiced in Europe for over 25 years, it has more recently been introduced and well-known in the United States, creating success for hundreds of thousands of patients within the last decade. 


TRP Co-Founder Shirley using Cold Cap Therapy during chemotherapy


Although The Science Is Proven, Awareness NEEDS To Be Spread

Kenra Professional and The Rapunzel Project shares life-changing stories of survivors just like you and your clients, who chose to use Cold Cap Therapy during chemotherapy.


“Losing your hair is just like the first thing that they don’t tell you—there’s no book on how to go through this,”says Heidi, breast cancer survivor. 


Watch Limor and Heidi’s stories below:



Learn More, Reach Out & Be The Difference In A Client’s Life: Start Here