Living well with lupus

What is the best way to cope with hair loss?

Dr. Werth is a professor of dermatology and medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. She is also a member of the Lupus Foundation of America’s Medical-Scientific Advisory Council.

See all of Victoria P. Werth, MD's answers.

There is no right or wrong way to cope with hair loss — it  is a very personal decision and there are many ways to address hair loss and the feelings that accompany it. Here are some useful tips to maximize your assets:   

Try a new hair style
If your hair loss is minor, try a new haircut. Consider a shorter “do” with layers to hide the thinning or bald patches.

Protect your hair
Wash fragile hair with baby shampoo and use leave-in conditioner with sun block.  Avoid adding more stress to your hair by using curlers, hot combs, chemical treatments and alcohol-based styling products, which can irritate sensitive skin. Additionally, tight rolling and pulling the hair may increase hair loss.

Don’t shy away from wearing a hairpiece, hair extensions or a wig
Hairpieces and extensions can be added into thin areas to create a fuller look. Make sure that the hair piece is not too tight because tension on weakened hair can also lead to hair loss. Wigs come in a wide range of styles, colors and lengths. You do need to remember though to protect your scalp.  Keep your scalp dry to prevent chafing. It is also best to remove the wig occasionally to allow your skin to breathe.

Medically reviewed on February 04, 2014

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