Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lupus hair loss: making the most of the moss

I am thrilled to say that the hair I've lost due to last year's flare is growing back. Hurray!

I have a very nice layer of hair all over my head - a layer that I affectionately refer to as "moss." It's fuzzy, thick, and a little curly - all the makings of world class ground coverage. Thus, my days of masking my bald spots and hiding my oh-so-white scalp between strands is officially over.

Now, it's time to embrace the moss stage - appreciating the girth that it adds to my head, while creating new strategies for dealing with my evolving head of hair.  I keep thinking I should pay a visit to my hair dresser, but I've decided that I'm not ready for that. The significant length and fullness I still have in the back has been paramount for masking - and I think I want to leave myself with options. Once the moss really takes off, and sprouts turn into strands, then I think I'll find myself seeking outside assistance. Until then, I'll stick with my amateur, yet comfortable approach to hair styling in spite of hair loss.

In celebration of my significant hair growth, here's what I'm thankful for:

a) Inconspicuous hair loss: I have to be honest. I was lucky this time. You really haven't been able to tell that I've lost a ton of hair. Although my family knows differently - from both the strands of hair that appear EVERYWHERE, and the fact that we scrutinize my incremental hair growth often - most people probably wouldn't know. They might suspect something is amiss - simply because I haven't had a good hair day in months. And the fact that I don't really have a style at all. It's just kind of...there. Most of it hanging on for dear life, in fact. My friends and neighbors might also wonder why I've been wearing my hair in an up do every day for such long time, but that's okay. The fact that I maintained comb-over strands over the top of my head during this time kept the secret safe. The baldness wasn't all that noticeable, and with the arrival of the moss, I'd say I'm home free.

b) Natural hair color: I was worried about this one. As I continue to age (and why hasn't someone done something about that, by the way?), I know the grays are coming. I consider myself lucky that I haven't started coloring my hair, but I know it's around the corner. I figured with this latest round of hair loss, my body just might move up the clock on that one. So I prepared myself for my hair to grow back lighter, or even completely gray. But so far so good. The moss is my natural dark brown color - which makes these stages of growth all the more manageable.

c) Hair accessories: One really can't complain when it comes to options for adorning your hair. They really do have everything out there - from my favorite baby clips to headbands to jeweled barrettes. I continue to move with the times -  and thus my choice of hair accessory changes bi-weekly. After the middle of the summer, I was losing so much on the sides, those baby clips weren't working. So I switched to sweeping it up in the back with a little claw clip. And now that the moss is thickening up and fuzzing out, the up do is less than flattering. (Up close, the loose curly cues look pretty ridiculous!)  So although the baby side clips still don't have anything to grasp onto up high, I've started pulling my sides straight back, behind my ears. Eh, voila! A cute new way to wear my hair...until the moss is on the move.

I can hardly wait. Can you?

9 comments:

Nicole said...

Yay! So happy that this round is over. :)

Jeanne in New Zealand said...

Soooo happy for you! Found your blog because of my own hair loss and what the doc suspects is lupus, but is not treated yet as I wait to hear if my referral has been accepted. Your journey is encouraging for someone who is still very much discouraged. ♥

Sara Gorman said...

Thank you!!

Sara Gorman said...

Thanks so much, and best of luck as you manage your own hair loss. And if it IS lupus, do check back. We talk lupus all day long here! :)

Lauren said...

Hi Sara,

Just wondering if you did anything that helped your hair loss stop?also, where exactly do you see new growth? I have been suffering for over 2 years with hair loss. My hair is thick so no one else has noticed, but I have. I can tell underneath in the front and. Towards the tight side. No totally bald spots but a growing part. I have not been diagnosed but am pretty sure I have lupus. Is there anything you can recommend I do? Thank you!

Lauren said...

I meant right side of my head towards the front. If I part my hair on that side my part is thicker than on the other side where I usually part my hair. I will be making a dermatologist appt. tomorrow.

Sara Gorman said...

Thanks for commenting! I think a dermatologist is definitely the way to go. They may be able to help...perhaps even to confirm lupus, or to suggest another culprit. Either way, you'll surely learn something! To stymie my hair loss, I definitely washed my hair as few times a week as possible, and resisted the urge to fuss with it during the day. the less I touched it, the less hair that seemed to fall. At least I wasn't the one pulling it out directly when I fussed! Putting my hair up was really key- because fewer strands fell when I was going about my day. It was the worst when I'd run errands and I felt i had hair trailing behind me. As far as medical solutions - medications can be culprits - so you might check the side effects and then check with your doctor or pharmacist. Your dermatologist might be able to help here too. Just don't make any medicine changes without doctor's orders, if you're on any rx. You don't want to complicate something else! One last thought - although I've lost a significant amount of hair five or more times, this last time was the first time my dermatologist suggested kenalogue shots. You might ask your derm, but be prepared that it might not be the right choice this time around. And let's hope this is the only round! I too have switched my parts back and forth -- anything to help mask that loss - and it makes you feel a little strategic, too! :) Take care.

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