After my sister decided to go natural a few years ago, almost immediately she started to notice the quality of her hair. The hair seemed dull, spongy and difficult to manipulate.
Even with all the products used to try to soften the hair and get it looking more lustrous and shiny, it seemed that no matter what she did she could not get her hair to look healthy.
I started to wonder if perhaps her sickle cell status was a factor to this. Perhaps all of the different medication she was taking or treatment she was receiving was having a direct effect on her hair. When her hair was still in its relaxed state, we had not noticed anything but upon going natural, the quality of her hair seemed to drastically differ. I decided to do a bit of research and found that sickle cell anemia does in fact have an effect on hair health. Sickle cell causes anemia (that is an iron deficiency), a condition in which your body lacks iron to make enough red blood cells. These are the cells that carry oxygen around your body to the tissues, allowing them to function.
Related: 5 FACTS I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT SICKLE CELL
When the body is short of oxygen, it channels its available supply to your vital organs to keep them alive rather than to hair follicles. This means the overall health of the hair is obviously affected with diminished lustre and sheen. In addition, sickle cell medication like hydroxyurea has a side effect of hair loss based on the doses you take. This is noticeable via breakage (more than usual) as you comb or brush through the hair which is the case for my sister.
In terms of what a possible solution may be is to keep managing the hair with products that do not contain harsh chemicals that strip the hair of its natural moisture. Moisturize with hair oils and other water based products to promote healthy growth.
Hope this was helpful if you or someone you know has sickle cell and has been experiencing poor hair health. Till next week Tuesday....
Always Love 💕