Many people with lupus have hair loss or thinning hair. Find out what you can do to manage hair loss and keep your hair as healthy as possible.
How does lupus affect hair?
Many people with lupus have skin problems, like rashes or sores on the scalp, that can cause hair loss. Hair loss and thinning hair can also be side effects of certain medicines used to treat lupus, like steroids and immunosuppressives.
If you notice that you’re losing hair or your hair is thinning, talk to your doctor about ways to manage it.
What’s the treatment for hair loss?
If lupus skin problems are causing your hair loss, your doctor can recommend medicines to treat your skin problems and help protect your hair.
If your hair loss is a side effect of your lupus medicines, your doctor may be able to adjust your treatment plan to help with hair loss.
What about over-the-counter (OTC) hair loss treatments and supplements?
OTC hair loss treatments (like Rogaine®) don’t work for hair loss related to lupus. And dietary supplements that claim to make hair grow may cause problems with your lupus medicines. Always talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements or OTC treatments.
Will my hair grow back?
It depends. If you have scarring on your scalp from lupus skin problems, hair may not grow back on those parts of your scalp. But treating lupus skin problems can protect the hair you still have, and help hair grow back in areas without scars.
If lupus medicines are causing your hair loss, your hair will likely grow back once you stop taking those medicines. Ask your doctor about adjusting your treatment plan to help with hair loss.
What else can I do to keep my hair healthy?
Try making changes to your hair care routine:
- Use gentle hair products, like baby shampoo
- Avoid using curlers, hot combs, or chemical treatments that can damage your hair
- Make sure braids, buns, and other hairstyles aren’t too tight — pulling on the scalp can cause more hair loss
Making these changes won’t make hair grow back, but they can help keep your hair as healthy as possible.
How can I style my hair when I have hair loss?
Some people choose to wear wigs, some use accessories like headscarves, and others choose to embrace their thinning hair. You can find a way that works for you.
Learn about ways to cope with hair loss.