After training BJJ for three years, I started to notice that my ears were constantly sore, hot, and red. My sleep was being disrupted, and the tossing and turning seemed to be gradually making it worse.

Then it happened... a heavy elbow dragging across my ear gave me a badly swollen ear (a subperichondrial seroma or haematoma). I left it for a couple of days but it didn't go away and I knew it had to be drained. Even sourcing the needles was a headache but with the help of YouTube and a bottle of rubbing alcohol, I got the job done. Clothes pegs helped with compression (but f@#king hurt) and an old tennis sweatband with the kids' lunchbox icepacks provided some relief. The next day it filled back up and I drained it again, this time using some magnets wrapped in plasters to stop the refill, and diligently reapplied the icepacks hourly and it all but went away.

Over the next couple of years I experienced increasing ear pain after training, always woke with sore, burning ears and had several more haematoma's in both ears that required draining. While I had started wearing headgear on and off, these would invariably fall off, get left in the car, and were not allowed in competition so I got used to draining, compressing and icing my ears. My marker had always been my ability to wear my beloved AirPods but a poorly executed triangle resulted in a heel to my ear that immediately swelled and all but closed my auditory canal. With quick treatment and a few weeks break from training it all but resolved, but I found that localised cold-therapy was a game-changer.

I still couldn't find an existing product for this, so I embarked on a journey to produce a convenient, comfortable, affordable system, and most importantly, stopped the gradual transformation of my ear into something resembling a poorly made gyoza.

CauliCooler was my solution to reduce the effects of the cumulative trauma to your ears and ultimately prevent the gradual onset of cauliflower ear. Backed by empirical research, CauliCooler allows for immediate cold-therapy to reduce the inflammation caused by repetitive rubbing, bending and blunt trauma to your ears during training. Think the R.I.C.E protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation - for any soft-tissue injury) but designed specifically for your ear.


Being seamless, the CauliCooler is comfortable enough to be worn (without the icepacks) for extended periods of time or overnight, to prevent exacerbation during sleep, and in conjunction with magnetic compression so that the ears do not hang forward and become even more disfigured. This means that the edges may fray slightly over time, but this will not affect the headband's effectiveness.

We have tried several iterations and worked with our suppliers to produce what we think is a must-have for anyone training BJJ, wrestling, rugby, or any activity where the ears are at risk for trauma. The CauliCooler system includes reusable, tough gel-ice packs, that can stay frozen wrapped in the neoprene CauliCooler, inside your sports bag, for over an hour and still easily provide the 15-20 minutes of cooling relief required. Research shows that this should be repeated every hour and, if used post-draining, should be applied hourly for 48-72 hours. 

We have developed other products so that we can be a one-stop shop so you can do everything possible to reduce, treat and recover from external ear trauma and ultimately help prevent cauliflower ear.

NOTE: We have included a draining kit because we know the right needles can be hard to find, and anyone who has had a doctor perform the draining ultimately wishes they hadn't. But with the risk of infection being so high, it is paramount that you take precautions around hygiene, and we do not recommend draining your ears yourself. Most clubs/gyms will have someone with some experience, so ask around! But keep a set of everything you may need handy so that if you have to drain it, you can do it immediately.