When I suffered a life-threatening lupus flare five years ago and lost half my hair, I despaired, especially because many internet articles suggested the loss was irreversible. One blogger said we just had to accept that lupus would take away our hair along with our health.
Fortunately, this is not true! While a patient with discoid lupus, which can cause scarring on hair follicles, might endure permanent hair loss, there’s no reason why someone with systemic lupus erythematosus can’t regrow her hair. I’m wishing that these ten tips for coping with the fallout and growing your hair back better than ever will give help and hope to someone with lupus.
- Get your disease under control. Your hair will flourish again once you’re healthy. The alopecia may get worse before it gets better, though, because drugs like prednisone and mycophenolate can ravage your hair.
- Take biotin and folic acid supplements, along with multivitamins.
- Wash your hair often while it’s falling out. This tip may seem obvious, but I read some blogs urging people to wash hair infrequently while it’s falling out, which is spectacularly bad advice. The alopecia will happen whether you wash your locks or not, but if you don’t cleanse your scalp, you might get an infection that makes the loss permanent.
- If the fallen tresses distress you, bob your hair to your chin. Fewer hairs on the floor are easier to handle psychologically.
- Feed your hair: flax seed, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, avocados, walnuts, eggs, leafy green vegetables, and salmon. The bonus? All of these foods are fabulous for your skin and overall health.
- Once you’ve reached the growing-back stage, strengthen your hair with overnight, heated coconut-oil masques. These DIY masques are cheap and work miracles, making your mane thicker and healthier. In the morning, use an egg wash before your shampoo and conditioner to remove the oil and further feed your hair.
- Rinse in water as cold as you can stand; it locks in moisture.
- Reduce breakage with silk pillowcases. Avoid tight hair ties, too.
- Protect your scalp from the sun by wearing hats with built-in SPF; they will also protect you from lupus flares triggered by UV rays.
- Try not to stress. It will be okay. The first photo of me here is from March 2018, the second from March 2022. It just takes time to be reborn.