Growing your hair out can become difficult when combating autoimmune disorders that attack from the inside. While all women are susceptible to autoimmune disorders, these conditions are seen to be more prevalent and have been found to be prominent in African American women. Your immune system does play a large role in how well your hair grows, which is why diet and exercise are so important for hair growth. And it’s also important to note that stress is a major factor in creating the environment for autoimmune disorders. A healthy, active immune system promotes healthy hair growth and regeneration, while autoimmune disorders can trick the body into attacking healthy cells like your hair.
There are many different types of autoimmune diseases that impact hair health. Some of the more common ones are Alopecia Areata, Lupus, Psoriasis, and Chron’s Disease, to name a few. When you experience an autoimmune disease like this, your body can mistake the reproduction of healthy cells for foreign cells. So the immune system turns on itself and begins attacking some of its healthy tissues and cells as if they were infectious bacteria or viruses.
A diet balanced in protein and iron will help your immune system produce strong, healthy hair. But what happens when the issue isn’t so easily solved and your diet doesn’t seem to be helping? You may be struggling with an autoimmune disease. Since your hair has some of the most visible cells on your body, if you notice the hair is falling out suddenly or in patches, it could be a sign of something more severe than traction alopecia, which is easily managed by switching to better hair habits. It’s easy for the body to mistake the hair for foreign tissue and reject it from the scalp when experiencing an autoimmune disease. This can cause shedding and struggles to maintain the hair on your head.
If you notice severe shedding of your hair, it may be an issue within your body that is out of your control. The toughest part with autoimmune diseases is how random your immune system can be with its attacks. It does not mean that everyone who has been diagnosed with some form of autoimmune disease will lose their hair. It does mean that many people are struggling with the same issue, and it can be caused by the immune system simply attacking itself at random. So if you notice any of these symptoms, the best thing you can do is call your healthcare provider and they can run a blood test to determine the cause of your hair loss or any autoimmune disorder.