A normal person will usually lose 50 to 100 strands of hair every day. However, those with systemic lupus may experience much more dramatic and conspicuous loss of hair.
Lupus hair loss can be caused by the Lupus itself, by the immune system due to its destroying hair follicles, or by medications. Prednisone and immune system-suppressant may cause hair loss but the loss will normally stop when the medicine is discontinued.
An individual may experience her hair falling out in strands, in clumps or it may just thin out and get very fragile and break.
Losing one’s hair is scary, but typically treatable and can be covered up. It takes time for hair to re-grow, often 6 months or more. However, it usually will re-grow unless it’s caused by a condition called cutaneous lupus, leading to a “discoid rash” which may scar hair follicles and cause permanent hair loss. Please talk to your doctor about your options if these symptoms develop.
For most hair loss, you are not powerless! If you have systemic lupus and struggle with this problem, consider these ideas of what you may do to improve it.
Here are some strategies to try:
- Rearrange your hair. Ask your stylist for ideas to conceal your bald spots and make hair look thicker. You may want to consider coloring your hair to camouflage thinning spots that may show.
- Hair extensions can help. If you are just missing patches on the sides, and aren’t currently losing hair, consider hair extensions. Extensions are available with a number of ways to attach them. They may be sewn, knotted or attached with links but it is important to avoid adhesives and heat.
- Consider wigs. Today wigs are so well-made that they are almost undetectable. You may be amazed when you see what options are available and you’ll likely feel much better when you see what a GOOD wig can do for you.
- Cosmetic Surgery. As a last resort for permanent or extreme hair loss, transplanting hair from another part of the scalp or stretching the remaining hair to cover the balding area may be an option.
If you have lupus-related hair loss, do not experiment with over-the-counter hair loss treatments. Instead, talk to your medical professional about your options for treatment.
While your hair is re-growing or if your hair loss is permanent consult an experienced hair loss professional about your options.