Updated: Dec 19, 2022
Fed up of thinning hair? Feeling self-conscious about your hair loss?
Have you noticed that your hair is thinner than it used to be and that more hair is coming out when you brush or wash your hair? Maybe you’ve already been told you have an underactive thyroid and know about the possible link between the two, but if you haven’t, it could be worth getting your thyroid checked to see if it might be contributing to your hair-loss!
I've always had pretty thick hair, and to be honest when I was younger, it drove me crazy, I often wished it would thin out a bit so I could get it under control.
My hair has naturally thinned out a little bit as I've got older, and I'm okay with that, however in the early days of realising I had a thyroid issue, I noticed that my hair was a bit lacklustre, and when I brushed it, there was definitely more hair coming out than I was used to and I felt like parts of my scalp were a bit more visible!
The truth is, other symptoms like the fatigue and foggy brain were bothering me much more than my hair, which is more of a vanity thing and can knock your confidence, but I was definitely aware of a change and I was keen to address it!
As I've learnt to manage my thyroid health over the years, I'm pleased to say that the hair loss reduced and my hair feels much more full and healthy again. It took a while to figure things out, but one thing I wanted to highlight is that even when I started taking levothyroxine and my thyroid hormones were "normal" according to the doctors, I continued to struggle with most of my symptoms.
My hair thickness only really improved when I addressed various different aspects of my nutrition and lifestyle, rather than just relying on levothyroxine to "fix" things, or thinking that if my blood test results were "normal" the hair loss and other symptoms were something I had to put up with.
Here comes Five Recommendations to think about when addressing your thyroid hair loss:
1) Think "Optimal", not "Normal". Even if your thyroid hormone levels are classed as “normal”, they might not be “optimal” for you, and you might therefore want to work with a practitioner who can help you reach your optimal levels to see if you can address all those niggling symptoms
2) Check more than just your thyroid hormone levels! Even if your thyroid isn’t well managed, or recently diagnosed, it’s worth looking at other things, not just your thyroid hormones when it comes to investigating your hair (and other symptoms!), such as checking your Iron levels, B12, vitamin D, Folate, full blood count. Not only is it good to check these things in terms of your unwanted hair loss, it could provide further information about your health in general!
3) Make sure you focus your diet on wholefoods, lean protein and healthy fats which includes an array of vitamins and minerals, including those essential to healthy hair, skin and nails.
4) Look at your stress levels! If you’ve been reading my other articles, I often mention the detrimental effects of stress, not just on our thyroid, but on so many aspects of our health. When it comes to Hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroiditis), managing stress levels can be an integral part of managing symptoms. Chronic stress impacts negatively on our immune health, so you can see that without addressing stress levels, we can’t really effectively manage an immune problem such as Hashimoto's.
5) Be kind to your hair! If you’ve noticed hair loss, try and reduce the amount of heat styling you use, and try and use natural, nourishing products that will care for your hair.
If thyroid hair loss is bothering you and knocking your confidence, don't forget that you can book yourself into a free 30-min Health and Energy Review with me, so we can chat about your hair loss and other symptoms that you're dealing with to pave a way forward!
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Amy Cottrell Nutrition does not claim to prevent, treat or cure any physical, mental or emotional conditions. These blog articles are written for educational & informational purposes only and are not a subsitute for medical advice.
Do not stop or start taking medication or supplements without first talking to your primary health care provider.