Gaining Your Hair and Your Confidence Back
Living with lupus comes with challenges and also a few limitations in your everyday lifestyle.
However, there is nothing that you cannot overcome, even if the disease has made its way into your body. One challenge that many people with lupus may have dealt with is hair loss. Although this is a prevalent symptom experienced by those fighting this disease, it does not have to be a tragic experience.
I have a few tips that will help you prevent losing your hair and your confidence as you fight this disease.
What is Lupus?
Before I get into those tips, let’s explore the ins and outs of lupus.
According to Mayo Clinic, lupus (also known as systemic lupus erythematosus) is an inflammatory disease of the immune system that occurs when it attacks its own tissues. This disease is found mostly in women, ages 15-44.
Several symptoms can occur including fatigue, joint pain, face rash, fever and as previously mentioned, hair loss. Unfortunately, there is no cure for lupus; however, there are treatments available to help improve and manage symptoms.
Self-care is also helpful when being treated for this disease such as wearing sunscreen and clothing that protects you from the sun.
How Does Lupus Affect Hair?
Because it can affect the skin as well as many areas of the body, lupus increases the chances of dealing with hair issues.
With this disease, there is inflammation within the skin mainly in your face and scalp. This inflammation can lead to thinning hair or in rare cases, the loss of large amounts of hair. Lupus can also lead to breakage around the hairline leaving it to look uneven.
In severe cases, round lesions could appear on the scalp which will result in permanent hair loss in those areas. The hair follicles in those spots are damaged and cannot produce.
Preventing Hair Loss Caused by Lupus
Now that you know what lupus looks like as well as how it can lead to skin and scalp problems, let’s get into some ways to avoid hair tragedy. It’s important to note that with proper treatment as advised by your physician, your hair will most likely grow back.
In the meantime, here are some helpful tips for prevention:
Get an adequate amount of rest. I know this may not be the kind of advice you were expecting.
But realistically, rest is vital when battling any disease (and even when you are in perfect health). Giving your body a break will allow it to reset and adequately produce all of the nutrients it is supposed to.
Overworking your body will only make it hard for you to put the next tip into action.
Work to reduce your stress levels. Maintaining a balanced life with little stress will keep your body in healthy shape.
Even if you are not dealing with lupus or any other disease, stress can cause hair loss. With lupus, you have an increased chance of experiencing hair loss when you are functioning under high-stress levels.
Eat a healthy diet. Your body cannot perform to its best ability without nutritious, balanced meals and snacks.
If you’re unsure about the recommended foods to eat when dealing with lupus, don’t hesitate to speak to a doctor or nutritionist who can assist you in creating a meal plan.
Avoid exposure to the sun. Since this disease affects the skin drastically, it is essential to protect it from the harmful rays brought on by the sun. If you cannot avoid going out into the sun, be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing.
Wear only silk bonnets or use a silk pillowcase. Silk is the perfect texture for hair because it is gentle and will help prevent hair breakage.
Follow the treatment plan your physician gave you. I know we sometimes fall off when it comes to taking our doctor’s orders, but if you want to live your best life despite having lupus, you must adhere to their instructions.
As I stated before, hair loss is a common symptom that can you can avoid with the proper care.
Regularly monitor the effects of your medications.
It is likely that a particular drug could contribute to hair loss, so be sure to keep an eye out on how your body changes during treatment. If you feel medication is causing your hair loss, contact your doctor for a better solution or an adjustment of dosage.
Best Methods for Dealing with Hair Loss
If you are already experiencing a hair crisis due to lupus, don’t panic! There are several ways to disguise hair loss until it grows back.
- Try out hair extensions (avoid using glue because it is damaging to fragile hair) or even wigs. Adding a little hair will not only disguise your hair loss, but it will also give you the opportunity to change up your style!
- Go shorter! This tip is a rather bold one, but shorter hair will make the spots where your hair is thinning or balding less noticeable.
- Use hair loss shampoos. These products are lot gentler and nourishing to the scalp than regular shampoos. You do not want to place any harsh substances on a shedding scalp.
- Wear hair wraps. On those lazy days or whenever you need to run a few errands, do not stress yourself out trying to style your fragile hair. Tie it up in a cute head wrap or scarf and call it a day!
Don’t Let Lupus Steal Your Hair or Your Confidence
Battling any disease is tough and requires a lot of lifestyle changes.
Even if you have lupus, you can still go out into the world confidently knowing that your hair is flawless if you try the tips listed above. Don’t let lupus dim your light or stop you from slaying!
If you or someone you know is living with lupus and have faced several hair challenges, share some tips in the comments that may be helpful for someone diagnosed with this disease. Let’s spread the tips!