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#HAWMC Long Hair Dont Care… Short Hair Dont Either

Lupus Related Hair Loss

Lupus hair loss can be caused by the disease itself, as the immune system destroys hair follicles, or by medicines such as prednisone and immune system-suppressants—in which case hair loss often stops once the medicine is stopped. Hair may fall out in strands, or in clumps with the slightest pull, and sometimes it just thins out and gets very fragile and breakable.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an average person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair each day. This may seem like a lot but keep in mind that it’s normal to lose and re-grow hair. However, when you aren’t seeing any re-growth, then it’s typically a sign that you may have an issue with your hair.

Most people don’t even notice the 50 to 100 strands of hair that they usually lose every day. With systemic lupus, the situation can be very different, with the loss of hair much more dramatic and noticeable.

It’s not a secret that I recently experienced hair loss after my most recent flare up. I didn’t speak about it much as it was happening, but on March 15, 2013 after months of shedding, loc’s breaking off, and obvious balding around my edges, I decided to BC aka Big chop.

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I went to see my home girl Camille, Owner & Natural Hair Stylist at Noiree Salon in Silver Spring, MD and had her to take it off. She seemed a little hesitant, saying that she would take me shorter but I didn’t have to BC. I said NO- I’m ready- TAKE IT OFF! In a matter of 5 minutes my two strand twists were laying in a pile on the salon floor.

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The previous year, I suffered hair loss and had my cousin April cut my bra strap length hair into a Diva cut.

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This time, I was ready to “let it go” (in my Keyshia Cole voice). My TWA has changed my looks. Co workers barely recognized me when I returned to work, and attendees of my event Cupcakes & Cocktails were surprised at the short hair. I rocked a TWA continuously for 7 years back in the 90’s, but most of the people that I socialize with today had never seen me with short hair.

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I’m still a little self conscience about the bald spots (especially my edges) – but as we all know-sometimes its part of the process (shrug shoulders).

Beginning today I will document my journey as I take steps to re grow my hair (specifically my edges). I’m not seeking to grow my hair a certain length, I just want to re grow the balding spots.

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Check Out These Helpful Tips To Assist With Regrowing Your Hair
Vitamins & Supplements for Hair Growth (Biotin)
  • Few people are actually deficient in biotin, which occurs naturally in bacteria in the gut. Nevertheless, therapeutic doses of biotin – also called Vitamin H or B7 – are necessary to achieve benefits in hair health and rapid growth. It is difficult to overdose on biotin – many supplements come in 500 microgram capsules.
  • Biotin is useful for those who want their hair to grow faster: some claim it can even reverse premature greying if the greying is caused by marginal biotin levels. Biotin can be taken alone or in conjunction with other B-vitamins. The latter may be a good idea if you lead a stressful lifestyle – B vitamins help to prevent stress, which is a cause of hair loss!
fotoflexer_photo-05311Natural Oils that can be used to help promote regrowth
  • Peppermint and Rosemary are commonly used to regrow hair, but must be combined with other oils like olive oil or coconut oil (also good for hair regrowth)
  • Castor oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil are often used for regrowth because of their thick quality and ability to thicken the hair. Jamaican Black castor Oil
Iimagef your hair loss is mild, try a new haircut
  • You don’t have to BC like I did (that was my personal preference). Long hair is weaker than short, so consider a shorter ‘do’ with layers to hide thinning or bald patches.
  • Wash fragile hair with baby shampoo, and use a leave-in conditioner with sun block
  • Products like Shea- butter and sesame oil have natural UV filtering properties. And while many hair products claim to protect hair from the sun, unless they have a SPF rating or contain a known sunscreen ingredient, these could be just marketing claims. If you plan to be out in the sun for more than an hour, the best hair care tip is to wear a stylish hat or scarf.
  • Avoid adding more stress to your hair from using curlers and alcohol-based styling products, which can irritate sensitive skin.
img_20120518_081708Rock Your Good Hair
  • Hairpieces and extensions can be added into thin areas to create a fuller look. Just make sure that these aren’t too tight, because tension on weakened hair also can lead to hair loss.
  • Wigs come in a wide range of styles, colors, and lengths. Your stylist can custom cut the wig to match your face (and personality). And don’t forget your scalp! Keep it dry to prevent chafing, and remove the wig occasionally to allow your skin to breathe.580474_398811326825199_1106362203_n

Whether you decide to go with a wig or a new hairstyle, remember that there’s no wrong way to deal with hair loss. Everyone has a different comfort level; it should be an individual decision. Stay tuned as I document  my attempts!

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If you have lupus and are losing hair, do NOT experiment with over-the-counter hair loss treatments. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.

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Day 2: #HAWMC 5 Ways to Fight Like a Girl For Lupus

Sometimes when dealing with chronic illness, you’re inner you says FIGHT, the outer you don’t know how or where to begin. It can all be a tad bit overwhelming, and at times confusing. Below are my top 5 tips to FIGHTING LIKE A GIRL FOR LUPUS!

lupus2Step 1: Acknowledge It!

First we have to acknowledge that we have an illness before we can take a step in any direction. Though symptoms of Lupus differ, people with them are united by the denial, anger, fear, hope, and acceptance and other feelings they bring. At diagnosis, feelings of grief and loss had consumed me. I felt that Lupus was restricting me from the things I enjoyed; no longer able to attend cabarets (because of the loud music and the migraines), it was summer, and I was unable to attend barbecues, crab feasts, or hang out at the beach/park with my children and grandson. I felt inadequate, isolated, and withdrawn from family, friends, and the MC/SC community. A month into my diagnosis, I took to YouTube and posted a video. Instantly, when I acknowledged my disease, and stop acting sick, people stopped treating me like I was sick!  I buried my grief-stricken feelings, and haven’t looked back!

imagesca53ej72Step 2: Claim Your Power!

Ask yourself a question. Are YOU ready to “Fight Like A Girl”? By claiming your power you pledge to stand strong and fight against Lupus. You declare that you have a power within that will help prevail against weakness and that if by chance we fall while struggling to stand we will not feel guilty but reach out to our Lupie sistas & brothers for help! I pledge to do all this and believe we can because we have claimed our power!

lupus4Step 3: Find Your Social Media-Family!

We are not alone! There are 1.5 million lupus survivors in the United States. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have hundreds of different groups and pages dedicated to raising awareness and support for Lupus. On Facebook, you can do a search (in the search box) for the keyword Lupus. A list of Lupus support groups & pages should appear. On Twitter and Instagram the way to find someone is to search for a hashtag mentioned in a tweet/picture post. All the people who have used those hashtags will appear-you simply “follow” and most will “follow back” Some of the common hastags to search for are: #lupus, #LupusAwareness, #spoonie, #butterfly, #ChronicIllness, Together we share our pains and sorrows, our joys and pleasures. Whatever we experience we can learn to share it and fight it together!

lupus.1Step 4: Become an educated Patient!

Whenever I get a new symptom, like a rash or chest pain, I say to myself, “Its Mister (aka “my Lupus”) begging for attention. No need to worry. No need to check it out. It’ll go away in a few days.” At times, this is probably true. But more often, a new symptom needs to be evaluated and perhaps treated so it doesn’t become a life-threatening event. I will post on one of the support groups that I belong too and/or I will turn to Google. It’s imperative to our health that we become “hands-on” patients and educate ourselves. As patients we cannot just depend on our doctor to tell us everything. We have a responsibility to our health and well-being to do our own research! Find out the current medical news, keep a food/illness diary (this helps to discover what foods trigger symptoms-check out this app), look up alternative medicines, talk to other patients and find out what works for them. Some great Websites to visit are: Lupus Foundation of America, WebMD, MayoClinic.com, John Hopkins Lupus Center, Alliance for Lupus, NIH, and Life with Lupus.

lupus3Step 5: Sharing is Caring!

You’ve heard it before: “It takes a village”, “Two heads are better than one”, Each one can reach one! So reach out and help someone else begin the journey to overcoming Lupus. It can be scary, but 9 out of 10 times, there is someone who can relate and/or has experienced something similar to what you are dealing with. Together we can stand strong!

The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
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May 14th- Lupus Awareness Fact

May 12: Successful treatment of lupus often requires a combination of medications. A new treatment for lupus was approved recently, and nearly two-dozen clinical studies are underway to develop a full arsenal of treatments.

May 13: As many as 80 percent of people with lupus experience fatigue. For some, fatigue can be debilitating, even to the point of forcing them to stop working.

May 14: People with lupus are usually encouraged to engage in appropriate daily exercise in order to maintain muscle and bone strength. Care should be taken, however, to balance exercise with rest.
 
 

 
Click Here to learn more abbout Lupus
 
Click Here to donate to Team Lupie Chicks for the 2012 Baltimore Walk for Lupus
 
Click Here to Join Team Lupie Chicks

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