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Thyroid disorders and hair loss

What is the function of thyroid hormones?

Thyroid hormones, produced by the thyroid gland, are among the most important hormones in the body. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolic rate, control the function of the heart, muscular and digestive system, and are crucial to the development of the brain and bones.

Can thyroid disorders cause hair loss?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which there is excessive functional activity of the thyroid gland with high levels of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) in the circulation. Hypothyroidism is characterized by low levels of T3 and T4. Untreated thyroid dysfunction can cause hair loss.

A hyperactive or hypoactive thyroid can cause dry, brittle, and thinning hair. When thyroid hormone levels are too high or too low, the active regrowth phase of the hair follicles becomes shorter, resulting in thinner and shorter hair strands.

What are the symptoms of thyroid-related hair loss?

For some people, an imbalance of thyroid hormones can cause sudden diffuse hair shedding, also known as telogen effluvium. In a matter of weeks, clumps of hair can shed by the handful and clog shower drains. For others, the hair thins more gradually.

What are the effects of hyperthyroidism on the hair?

People with hyperactive thyroid glands tend to have thin, fine, oily hair and are more prone to hair loss.

What are the effects of hypothyroidism on the hair?

People with hypothyroidism can experience diffuse hair loss, early graying, and dry, brittle and dull hair.

Which thyroid medications cause more hair loss?

In rare cases, hair loss can occur from taking carbimazole and propylthiouracil, medications used to treat certain thyroid disorders.

How does thyroid-related hair loss look?

Thyroid-related hair loss is more pronounced on the top of the head and temples. Bald patches on the scalp (alopecia areata) can also appear. For people with a hereditary tendency for hair loss (androgenetic alopecia), the whole scalp may be affected.

What is the best treatment for thyroid-related hair loss?

The first step to treating thyroid-related hair loss is to consult an endrocrinoligist to treat the root cause and balance thyroid hormone levels. The second step would be to implement a comprehensive hair regrowth routine with a combination of a medicated or plant-based scalp treatment solution, a high-quality treatment shampoo, and oral supplements.

What else can you do?

  • Check your blood iron and ferritin levels. Thyroid issues also cause low ferritin, which means less iron will be available to your hair follicles.
  • Ensure you are getting enough protein, as protein is one of the building blocks for hair. Collagen peptidies are a good source of the amino acids needed for hair growth.
  • Try a multivitamin with biotin. Vitamins A, C, E, and B, zinc, copper, and CoQ10 can also contribute to hair health. Look for pharmaceutical-grade supplements that were specially formulated for people with hair loss, such as the MDhair Restore Supplements.
  • Tight hairstyles can damage the hair follicles. Try not to pull or twist your hair and avoid tight braids, buns, or ponytails.
  • Do not brush wet hair. To detangle your hair when it's wet, use your fingers of a wide-toothed comb.
  • Regularly performing scalp massages may improve circulation and help you grow thicker, healthier hair.

How long does it take to see results?

After receiving proper treatment for your thyroid disorder and following a consistent hair regrowth routine, most people will see reduced hair shedding in 6-8 weeks, initial improvement in 3-4 months, and visible hair regrowth after 6-9 months.


A Descriptive Study of Alopecia Patterns and their Relation to Thyroid Dysfunction

Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue.

Comorbidity profiles among patients with alopecia areata: the importance of onset age, a nationwide population-based study.

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