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Advice/help for brittle hair

Hi, I am suffering a lot with brittle hair since starting MTX, it's breaking off in handfuls at the moment. Its not falling out, it's breaking off and It's heartbreaking to see. I am at the point where I am afraid to wash my or brush my hair! I do the 'normal' precautions like not brushing when wet, using a wide toothed comb, not using elastic bands etc..

Does anyone have advice to help this problem? Any experiences that i can try to help strengthen my hair to cope with the MTX?

I will speak to my rheumy nurse when I see her in a few weeks time but I though I would pick the brains of you lovely fellow sufferers first


13 Replies

Hi, sorry this is quick! Matrix fortifying shampoo, conditioner and there's a restructuring spray available from salons only. In a previous life I was a hairdresser and now teach including hair, skin basic sciences ect, we did an experiment years back and this came out tops. It prevents breaking by 90percent within 10days! Promise I,m not sales!!!!

Your right thought, the mxt causes the breaking not the falling out, also on a personal note, it does settle eventually. I actually found naproxen the culprit of hairloss rather than the mxt.

It is horrid though, hope this helps :)


Hello I go by name Trulyfedup, I have been on MTX for some times. I have 25mg injections every week. When I first started MTX I noticed the same as you...brittle hair with it breaking and generally looking awful. What I have found that helps is buy yourself a very good balm for hair..I bought one from Avon called Planet Spa hair balm. It is wonderful but don't do what I did, I put too much on left it over night and in the morning it looked like I.d got the Tajh Malull (sorry can't remember how to spell it) on top of my head. It really helps also a good conditioner and a soft brush. All these little things do help. It will stop but start to pamper your hair now. I had a lovely head of thick hair to start hair is still ok but it is thinner. So go get some hair pampering stuff and good luck honey. Mary x. Ps it does stop breaking as your body gets used to the drugs so do t be too upset.xxxxx


I'm about to start this treatment and have long hair would you recommend it cutting short x


Not yet, I cut mine short and regretted it as it didn't get too bad. Let your hairdresser know, she.ll monitor it and keep you right, good luck with the treatment!


I found the same and like you of course was worried but the hair loss stopped after a couple of months and went back to normal for me, hope the drugs make u feel better very soon xx


Jasmin oil is good for brittle hair. Put it in and leave it overnight then wash and condition next day. I've used the salon stuff in the past too and it is very good although expensive. Hope this helps x x


My worry is I loose hair anyway but I work with food too so it has to be tied up tight so thinking get it cut to save any bother xx thanks for replies xx


Hi. I came off MTX a few weeks ago because of this. I agree these shampoos etc for thinning hair help the appearance but I lost so much of my already fine hair and it was escalating not easing off after 4 months so was advised to stop. Have since had a bad flare and have just started sulphasalazine. I'm praying this will suit me but know you can get hair loss with this too. My hair is an absolute mess though others don't seem to notice too much. Good luck with yours. The MTX worked well for my RA such a shame but I now know I need to persist with the meds.


I also have fine hair and struggle with it being brittle and breaking. My daughter has just started her level 3 hairdressing course so I thought id ask her tutors but they only said same as above ie balms and gd quality shampoo and conditioneralong with regular trims. I dont want to come off mtx as it is working for my ra so I will follow this post closely for advice.


I too have very fine straight hair & have been on Mtx for about 4 years & it's only now that I am starting to lose hair it seems to be different for everyone doesn't it? I am going to give Matrix a try & see what happens. But I'm not stopping Mtx - even if I have to buy a wig I'm not giving up the painfree existence Mtx has given me!!


Hi, I have been a lurker and only occasional commenter but this really struck home with me.

I have been on MTX for over 2 years now and in the first year my hair also started to snap and was thinner. My consultant told me I had the choice, maybe loose my hair but have mobility or come off the MTX and have thick hair! Yep, they really have people skills don't they!!

I am glad I continued as my hair is better than it was (its not back to normal but better) and is long and reasonably glossy. I told my hairdresser so she can adjust colour as necessary and cuts is a little differently on the fringe to hide the thinner patch near the hair line (we moved my parting a little and kept the side longer). I am only 42 so was never going to take RA lying down.....a full time job and social life means I don't have time for RA (haha!!! The recovery takes longer though).

I did invest in a wooden brush by Kent. These are with approval from the Queen, so not cheap, but I find it very gentle on my hair (it has bristles and slightly longer nylon bits to massage the scalp whilst brushing) and I also reduced the times I wash my hair down to 2-3 times a week with some dry shampoo inbetween if required.

For me, this has really worked. I use a good shampoo and conditioner and 6 months later my hair is much better and hopefully will continue to improve.

As to cutting hair short...I used to have a No2 on the sides and now its past my shoulders, you need to do what's right for you, but I find longer hair easier to disguise the imperfections I now have.

Good luck



I have used a French shampoo called Phytoaxil which is very good for thinning hair/hair in poor condition. Makes it very thick and lustrous too. Kyla is right, Kent make lovely brushes. Some spikey type styling brushes can drag hair out especially if using to blow dry. I have Denman at the mo but have used Kent. Shu Uemura make beautiful hair products but pricey, but they last for ages and ages. A little goes a long way with theirs. Klorane's Nettle shampoo is good too for fine/thinning hair and I have used that recently too.

Neonkitty xx


Hello biotin is meant to be good for hairloss/condition. You can get it from Holland and barrett.


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