SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Cancer patients in San Francisco are testing out a device that can allow them to avoid the tell-tale sign of their condition – hair loss.

The University of California, San Francisco is holding a clinical trial of headwear that cools patients’ scalps to reduce or even eliminate the hair-loss side effect of chemotherapy.

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The DigniCap is made by a Swedish company Dignitana and is being tested for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The tight-fitting cap is worn by chemo patients and connected to a machine that lowers the scalp temperature to just above freezing, contracting the blood vessels around the hair roots which prevent the cancer drugs from being absorbed into the follicles.

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According to Dignitana, eight out of 10 cancer patients in Europe and Asia retained their hair using the device.

The devices could be on the U.S. market by next year.

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