For so many men and women who are chronically ill, their hair also suffers as well as a wide variety of symptoms. This can be caused by using medications to control the disease such as chemotherapy drugs (you can read my blog Chemo Isn’t Just For Cancer here) or by vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition and sometimes from long term steroid use.
I remember talking to my hairdresser recently about this issue as back in 2015 I was on a chemotherapy drug called Methotrexate and my hair was thin, I lost almost all my eyebrows and my eyelashes looked awful with what was left of them and back then had no real clue as to what to use that could help. It’s really important to try and do what you can to look after your hair to avoid getting the chop, which believe me is devastating if you had long beautiful hair before medications!
It’s also important to get your bloods checked for any vitamin defencies or thyroid issues before following any the tips and products below.
So what products and things can help?
Matrix rebond Trio
This trio helps to repair the hair that has either been chemically damaged or is just pretty damaged as it is and helps the hair to become strong again. The number 1 and 3 you use as normal then once a week use the number 2, after using 1 then add number 3 without washing out number 2! I also use a tangle teezer brush and brush this through my hair which helps when I need to brush my hair afterwards.
Nioxin Hair Care
Many people including myself recommend this from my own personal experience if you have had or have thin hair that is thinning. It can help but do bare in mind that it may not help completely. To see which one is best for you please click here to visit the website.
Having your hair trimmed from time to time can help to cut off the bad straggles at the ends which in time travel up the hair and cause damage and split ends. It also helps your hair to be healthy and shiny. Trims can also help your hair grow but that depends on your own body.
Hair conditioning treatments at your hairdressers
This helps to rebuild broken bonds and damaged hair and repairs leaving your hair beautifully soft and conditioned. It also helps repair the split ends.
Using heat on your hair too much causes damage to the hydrogen bonds in the hair making it dry, brittle and full of split ends. Leaving your hair to air dry and only using heated irons every so often is recommended by hairdressers. Be sure that when using heated irons, you use a heat protection spray, the Matrix one is really good and smells lovely!
Washing every 3-4 days
Washing your hair a few times a week is better than every day, as washing every day strips the hair of its natural oils keeping your scalp and hair healthy. This gives you hair the chance to heal and have more shine.
You can find these in Holland and Barrett however always ask your doctors first!
Avoid box dyes!
Box dyes are great for saving money and time however they are extremely damaging to the hair over time. It makes it harder for a hairdresser to take out the dye without damaging your hair so it is a very long process to get it out and the desired colour to enable good condition of your hair.
Tangle Teezer Brush
Using a tangle teezer brush is much better for getting those tough knots and tangles out! I personally use mine to brush through conditioner in the shower so after rinsing, there is less tangle and the product is taken evenly through my hair.
Here are some examples of what people have faced with their hair from being chronically ill:
Levi now (left) and when she lost her hair (right) due to being on cyclosporine to treat Ulcerative Colitis.
Myself now (left) and when I was on methotrexate (right) to treat Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Emma now (left) and whilst on plaquenil to treat connective tissue disease. (right)
Brenda now (left) and whilst on Methotrexate (right) to treat Crohn’s Disease.
Kay before treatment (left) Kay now (right) from infliximab medication to treat Ulcerative Colitis.
Sarah now (left) with thin hair due to the medication vedolizumab to treat Crohn’s Disease and when she had thick hair before treatment (right)
Lauren now suffers with alopecia areta and both these pictures are recent.
Emily now (left) whilst on Colchicine and what her hair was like before this medication which is to treat Behcets Disease. (right)
Candice before methotrexate (left) and now after having to have the chop (right)
Nic now (left) after long term treatment of Steroids for Crohn’s Disease.