- 1 How Does The Thyroid Affect Hair Growth?
- 2 My Final Thoughts
How Does The Thyroid Affect Hair Growth?
It isn’t unusual that you will find men and women who seem to be going through issues with their hair at various stages of their lives. The more common being after the ‘Big 4-0’ and it just seems that gravity and age seem to be working in cohorts ‘against’ them until they realize that that might not be the case once they decide to look closely.
The usual ‘culprits’ of age and hair after 40 are:
- Falling or shedding
- Hair loss
- Bald Spots
Now any of those above-mentioned issues can affect the male or female age group. It really is just hair and the things that can happen to it. However, in this article, the focus will be on the role that the thyroid can play in those issues.
Lets’ start by looking at the hair follicle.
Hair is made up a protein called keratin. Each hair follicle is rooted in the skin. And, I want to remind you that your skin is the largest organ on your body and most of it is covered in hair. At the bottom of the follicle, you will find a hair bulb. In this bulb, there are cells which divide and grow to make up the hair shaft. The blood vessels take nutrients and hormones to those cells and this is how we have the magic of hair growth in a nutshell.
Hair growth varies in terms of the rate of growth and the genetics of people. The average growth rate is 1/2 inch per month. The color of the hair is decided by the pigment cells which produce melanin. Hair turns gray once these pigment cells die.
Contrary to popular belief, hair is not always growing. The hair follicle goes through different phases of growth:
- Anagen or growth phase – at this stage the hair is a newborn and will lengthen as it grows which can last for a few years.
- Catagen or transitional phase – at this phase, the hair grows slowly and the follicle shrinks over a few weeks.
- Telogen or resting phase – at this phase the hair is resting. The hair will shed but it also replaced by a new one which begins a new growth phase over months.
It can be synchronized is some animals. For example, dogs – they shed or lose hair while regrowing it at the same time. With humans, this is not the same. At any one time, different hair follicles are at different stages of the hair growth cycle. So, it is normal to have some hair shedding being balanced with some new growth.
One of the more common causes of hair loss is referred to as ‘telogen effluvium’. This can be triggered by aggravated illness (pneumonia or a major operation). The stress of the situation will cause the hair follicles to enter their resting phase and the hair will stop growing temporarily.
Now, because the human hair growth cycle takes a few months, the actual hair loss may not be immediately obvious. It usually shows up after the person’s recovery from the health issue. And then the hair loss coincides with the regrowth of new hair.
What Is The Thyroid
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located in the neck. It is just in front of the Adam’s apple. It has two lobes – right and left – and they are about the size of a little plum cut in two. The lobes are joined by a small bridge of thyroid tissue called the isthmus. The two lobes lie on either side of the wind-pipe.
This gland makes two hormones (which are secreted in the blood) called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Their job is to regulate the normal functioning of your body cells. Thyroid disorders can occur in anyone, although it is commonly seen in women; sometimes even babies, children, and men can suffer too.
What Are The Types Of Thyroid Issues That Might Affect Your Hair Growth
The more common types of thyroid disease which might ‘encourage’ hair loss are:
- Hypo-thyroid – (underactive thyroid) where there isn’t enough thyroxine being produced for the body’s needs. This is the more common of the two.
- Hyper-thyroid – (overactive thyroid) when too much thyroxine is being produced for the body’s needs.
It has been seen that people with hypo or hyper -thyroid disease are prone to have autoimmune thyroid diseases. This can include:
- Alopecia areata
- lupus erythematosus
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
The main disorder which can affect your hair is Alopecia areata. It is a sudden hair loss which starts in a circular bald patch and is not contagious. It can be treated, however, not cured. This happens when the immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes hair loss.
The hair can fall out on the scalp, the eyebrows, or on any other part of the body. Alopecia areata can occur:
- as hair loss in patches – Alopecia areata
- hair loss on the scalp – Alopecia totalis
- hair loss of all scalp hair – Alopecia universalis
Of course, severe stress of any kind will not help the issue. There is medical treatment as well as topical scalp medication.
Here are three Health Summits that you might find interesting and who knows, maybe unearth some concerns that you might have concerning some of your health issues.
Solutions For Thyroid Issue And Hair Growth
There are a few solutions to help with thyroid issues and your hair growth.
- Natural remedies
- Doctor prescribed medicine
- Cosmetic solutions
Of course, having a healthy diet can never be stressed enough to help promote good health and inevitably great hair health. You need a fair share of vitamins and other foods from the food pyramid to ensure balance as well.
Here are a few natural remedies that can help you minimize the hair loss issue:
- biotin – sometimes called vitamin H, this is an essential hair growth vitamin. It is one of the more commonly prescribed supplement for thyroid-induced hair issues. You still need to be careful and seek medical advice when using biotin while having thyroid issues.
- coconut oil – this oil contains medium-chain fatty acids and healthy saturated fats which help restore thyroid health. Taking 1tbsp daily will be very helpful to someone with hypothyroidism. It can be applied topically as well on the hair and scalp.
- evening primrose oil – this oil is rich in gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) which is an omega-6 fatty acid that promotes healthy hair growth. It also stops the conversion of testosterone to DHT, which curbs hair fall. You can apply topically or take it as a supplement in capsule form.
- sea kelp – this plant has a high content of iodine which helps to stabilize the thyroid function. It also contains vitamins and minerals which help to nourish and strengthen the hair. You can take it as a supplement, as dried flakes, or as raw seaweed.
- saw palmetto – is a herb that inhibits the production of DHT in the body. It can help with reducing hair loss and encourage hair growth. You can brew the tea or take the supplements.
- yoga – there are certain poses which help to relieve both hypo- and hyper – thyroidism. The inversion poses are the more commonly used to treat effectively. For hypothyroidism, you can try Viparitakarani, Janu Shirasasana. Matsyasana, Halasana, Marjariasana, and Surya Namaskar. For hyperthyroidism, try Setubandhasana, Marjariasana, Shishu Asana, Shavasana, and slow Surya Namaskars.
Doctor Prescribed Medicine
Of course, it goes with say, if you suspect you might have hair loss issues, check in with your medical source and do not treat this article as a solution to your issue. This is simply for informational purposes. Here are a few prescription medicines:
- Corticosteroids: This medicine suppresses the immune system. The medicine is given as shots into the area with the hair loss. Sometimes it is also administered topically in the form of a cream, lotion or ointment, and even as pills.
- Minoxidil: Known to help regrow hair, minoxidil 5%, is a common treatment. It is used in conjunction with other medication. It can be applied to the scalp, eyebrows, or beard twice daily. New hair can be seen within 3 months according to studies.
- Anthralin: This medicine alters the skin’s immune function. It is a tar-like substance which is topically applied to the skin for 20-60 minutes. It is then washed off to avoid skin irritation. This is called short-contact therapy by dermatologists.
- Diphencyprone (DPCP): This medicine is applied to the bald skin. It can cause an allergic reaction. Once this happens, there is redness, swelling, and itching. the dermatologists believe this allergic reaction tricks the immune system, causing it to send white blood cells to the surface of the scalp. This fights the inflammation. It also prevents the hair follicles from going to sleep and causing the hair loss.
These solutions can include all and/or a combination of:
- hair extensions
- head wraps or/and hats
This all depends on the extent of the hair loss and the confidence of the person who has to make their hair issue appear ‘normal’ and natural.
I found this video on YouTube produced by Dr. Axe. It has some interesting suggestions to help with thyroid issues naturally.
My Final Thoughts
Most people -men and women included – all want to have a beautiful frame for their face. Your hair will make you feel good about yourself as you leave the comfort of your home to embark on daily living. You look into the mirror and you take that last memory to work with you. It is important in some ways that you feel good about how your hair looks to the world and it does not mean that you are vain.
No, your hair helps to frame, not only your face but your self-confidence as you go about your day.
I know that we are not always in control of what happens to our bodies, despite healthy eating and hygienic habits, and there will be times where genetics can hold you ransom.
At these times, we need to seek professional medical advice and be prepared to get a second opinion as well and then take action accordingly.
Have you ever had thyroid issues and found solutions? I would love to hear your story.
I found an interesting Thyroid Booster System created by Michelle Davis. Check out the presentation – you have nothing to lose and more information about your health that will last for life.
THE THYROID BOSTER SYSTEM
How much do you really know about your Thyroid?
According to the American Thyroid Association, not only can an
unbalanced thyroid causes SEVERE health risks…
But it can also cause you to gain 7-10 pounds in a matter of
Leave you feeling down or depressed…
Constantly tired or sluggish…
And can cause a HOST of other health issues
An ALARMING 20 MILLION AMERICANS suffer from some form
of thyroid disease…
And 60% of them aren’t even aware of it!
Have you gained weight recently and aren’t sure why?
Or have you been feeling more tired or sluggish than usual?
Or maybe more irritable, or even a bit depressed?
##<b> → Make LINK – Go watch this free presentation to discover how to be proactive… ← </b>
According to the American Thyroid Association, 1 in 8 women
will suffer from thyroid disease. Millions of men are affected as well.
An untreated thyroid condition can cause serious and irreversible health issues.
Don’t be a victim! Discover how to ensure your thyroid is functioning properly.
It could have a massive impact on your life.
To Your Health,
PS: As a previous thyroid sufferer, I have discovered life-changing information
that no doctor ever told me. I share it ALL with you in my video.
You may be interested in reading other books on the thyroid and its functions like:
Happy Reading and Better Health!