Hair Loss/hair loss and hypothyroidism
QUESTION: I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism approx 9 years ago after the birth of my 3rd child and am 51 yrs old. I am on Levothyroxine and on a fairly lg dose daily. My hair has always been fine in texture but in the last 10 years it has gotten extremely thin as well so much so that I now wear hair extensions because of the embarrassment this has caused. It isn't so much in my part but more thin all over and shed many short hairs with little white bulbs at the end.There have been mornings my pillow is covered. I have tried many different "treatments" but never anything such as essential oils. I am going to give it a try. Do you think after 10 or so years of this that there is any hope in regrowing any hair. The little hair I do have is dry, brittle and very slow growing.What I have read of your story makes me almost cry because I know exactly how you felt and yet I'm almost hopeful after many years of almost giving up. Thank you so much for taking time to answer my question. I am going to buy the books as well, I just found this web site today.
ANSWER: As long as hair follicles are alive and undamaged, improvements can be made. Even though your hair may be thin, dry, brittle and slow-growing, the follicles are still producing hair, so that is a good sign. Hair loss is common with hypothyroidism. The thyroid medication you are on can also cause hair loss in some people. Do you know if you have Hashimoto's form of hypothyroidism? Unfortunately not all doctors test specifically for Hashimoto's but it is important to know, as Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disorder and should be treated first and foremost as autoimmune condition rather than simply treating it as a thyroid condition.
Do you know if you have any nutritional deficiencies such as iron, B12, etc? Nutritional deficiencies can make the hair dry, brittle, lighter in color, and poor texture. Medications can also cause change in texture and nutritional deficiencies. High doses of the medication you are on can inhibit calcium absorption.
If the hair extensions you are wearing are glue-in, sewn it, etc, type, they may be making things worse in the long run due to the manipulation and traction from putting in, wearing, and taking out. The halo type extension is much gentler and will not cause additional hair loss or breakage. A regular wig would also be an option until your hair starts to improve.
Essential oil scalp treatments help stimulate healthy hair growth in a variety of ways. Each essential oil contains the nutrients of the plant they were obtained from. These concentrated nutrients are absorbed into your follicles, roots and even the strands of hairs. Essential oils are one of the only substances that can actually penetrate the hair. Essential oils have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties which help keep scalp clean and healthy, providing an ideal environment for healthy hair growth. They also have vasodilating effects, helping to energize follicle and keep follicle from shrinking or closing.
It is important to know what type of hair loss you are dealing with. The description of your condition sounds like chronic telogen effluvium.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig
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QUESTION: Thank you so much for answering my question. I don't know which type of hypothyroidism I have. I am in the process of finding another endocrinologist that has a more natural approach.
A few years ago I was told that my iron levels were low and my liver enzymes were elevated from the thyroid issues. I take supplements but need another comprehensive set of labs drawn.
I just recently had the glue in extensions placed again ( every 4 months) and wondered
if placing the essential oils in my hair will ruin the extensions. Like you advised I may have to bite the bullet and have them removed. They have been the only thing that makes my hair look normal in a long time. Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions.
Essential oils are actually used by some to help remove glued in extensions. They can partially dissolve the glue and make it gummy. I would not advise using essential oils while glued-in extensions are in hair. Have you looked into the halo-type extensions?
Hashimoto's is the most common type of hypothyroidism. It is important to know if this is your condition. If so there are measures you can take to help control the effects and minimize further thyroid destruction.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig