Hair loss is a distressing symptom experienced by women with Hashimoto’s. For women, our hair represents our femininity, and losing our hair is a constant reminder that something is off and that we are not well.
Here are some tips that may put hair loss at bay…
1. Be sure to check you TSH, Free T3, Free T4. Sometimes, when your TSH is on the outskirts of the normal range, you can continue to lose hair, and your hair may lack luster and shine. If you hair tangles easily, this is a sign that you may not be getting enough thyroid hormone. Talk to your doctor. You should see a change within 4-6 weeks.
2. Consider the type of thyroid medication you are taking. T3, the more active thyroid hormone, is actually your “beautiful hair” hormone that helps you grow your hair and prevents it from falling out. Synthroid, Levoxyl and Tirosint only contain T4, the less active hormone. T4 should be converted to T3 in the body…except this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes an addition of Cytomel (a T3 medication) or a switch to a medication that contains a combination of T3/T4 such as Armour, Nature-Throid or compounded T4/T3 may result in a return of your hair’s luster and shine.
3. Iron deficiency is one of the most common reasons for hair loss in pre-menopausal women. People with Hashimoto’s often have poor levels of stomach acid, which is required to extract Iron from foods. Be sure to check your Ferritin levels. Ferritin is the Iron storage protein and is an early indicator of Iron deficiency. When we have a lack or Iron, our body pulls it from hair, and conserves it for more vital processes. Read more here: Iron deficiency and Hair Loss
4. Balance your blood sugar! Blood sugar swings brought on by eating too many carbohydrates and not enough quality proteins and fats can wreak havoc on your health and hair! Blood sugar swings encourage the conversion of T4 to reverse T3. Reverse T3 is a inactive hormone that blocks the body’s utilization of T3, resulting in increased hair shedding. Thyroid Medications
5. Consider a Biotin supplement. Hashimoto’s always co-occurs with inflammation in the body. The inflammation puts the adrenals on overdrive, depleting our Biotin stores. Biotin is an important vitamin and deficiencies have been found to cause hair loss.
6. Be sure to get enough essential fatty acids; “good fats”. Fatty acid deficiencies result in dry, dull, lifeless hair. Eating Omega-3 containing fish, taking an Omega-6 supplement like Evening Primrose Oil and even doing an Olive oil hair mask at home can help bring back the shine to your hair.
7. Ditch those processed hair products, and opt for an organic shampoo and conditioner. Although I believe that healthy hair comes from within, shampoos that contain toxic chemicals and gluten can be detrimental to your scalp resulting in inflamed hair follicles.
I hope that some of these strategies can help you get your hair back! If you have tried all of the strategies mentioned above, talk to your doctor about hormonal imbalances or toxicities (like heavy metals) that could be contributing.
We are committed to spreading the word about lifestyle changes for Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism.