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No Migraine Remedy Beats My Freezable Hat (That Looks Like an Eggplant)

The author in the Eggplant. Photo: Courtesy of Ariel Kanter

I’ve been a migraine-sufferer all my life. Mine are caused by genetics, so I’ve spent much of my life (or the past 30 years), in search of remedies — which, as anyone who suffers from migraines knows, there is no shortage of. While that sounds like a good thing, it’s actually the problem: Between over-the-counter drugs, prescriptions, natural treatments, and procedures like Botox, the plethora of options means it’s really up to migraine-sufferers to figure out what works best for their individual condition. This, of course, does not mean that we cannot share the secrets of our own success with others.

My secret — which I affectionately call the Eggplant — sounds a lot sexier than it looks. It got its name from its color and shape, but the thing is nothing more than a whole-head-encompassing hat that’s meant to be stored in the freezer. Gear like this, of course, does not treat a migraine as much as it does the symptoms (a.k.a. severe headaches) that result from one, which is why I drink some water and take extra-strength Aleve as soon as I feel the telltale signs of a migraine setting in (for me, those are usually pain and pressure on my under-eye skull). What the Eggplant does do, though, is relieve pain better than any other icy tool I’ve used while I wait for the meds to kick in.

Over my years of looking for ways to treat migraines and the headaches they cause, I have picked up no shortage of what I call “ice situations.” There’s an ice roller that I roll all over my temples and forehead to jump-start my blood flow and freeze the pain; a headband-style ice pack for when I want to be hands-free; and an ice-pack face mask that has a velvety back for when I’m feeling too sensitive for a full-on freeze. But I’ve found none offer as much relief as the Eggplant, and here’s why: Far more comprehensive than a single ice pack or frozen tool, the Eggplant has a whopping 16 small ice packs sewn into its Lycra body, which offer 360-degree coverage of my head. (Between the stretchy fabric and how cool it gets, I sometimes think of it as a one-piece bathing suit for my noggin.) The only spot where there isn’t an ice pack is at the top of the hat, where there’s a quite cleverly placed hole for the loose messy bun I usually sport when I don’t feel well.

Once you put the hat on, you’ll immediately feel some gentle compression that takes the pressure off pounding temples. Positioned above your brows, it becomes kind of like an icy beanie; pulled all the way over your eyes, it offers the added benefit of darkness, which can mitigate an aura. But what I love most about the Eggplant is that it really molds to the shape of my head — and stays there, allowing me to position the ice right on my pain points. My aforementioned icy face mask and headband just don’t mold as well and, even worse, they slide around, so their relief is only as good as how still I can sit. (Anyone who has used a bag of, say, frozen peas to soothe a migraine will understand just how important something that molds, stays, and doesn’t leak can be).

You could say the true test of any product’s efficacy is whether or not it catches on among folks looking for similar solutions. That’s more or less exactly what happened with me and the Eggplant: The more I started wearing it around the other migraine-sufferers I’ve been quarantining with — namely, my soon-to-be mother- and sister-in-law — the more they wanted in. So we bought a second to make sure there’s enough frozen Eggplants to go around. My fiancé, who also gets migraines (no, that’s not how we met), also begrudgingly put it on the other day, despite his sensitivities to cold temperatures and, up till that point, wearing funny purple hats. One wear cured him of the latter and eased his migraine pain so effectively that I think it’s only a matter of time until we become a three-Eggplant household.

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No Migraine Remedy Beats My Freezable ‘Eggplant’ Hat