Understanding Hypothyroidism & Hair Loss

Understanding Hypothyroidism & Hair Loss

While most cases of hair loss in men are due to male pattern baldness, hair loss in women can be more complicated. A thyroid disorder that causes hypothyroidism is just one of the many possible causes of hair loss in women. Luckily, in most cases, this condition is reversible. Keep reading to learn more about hypothyroidism hair loss.

What Causes Hypothyroidism Hair Loss?

The thyroid is a small gland at the base of the throat that produces hormones that regulate many of the body’s systems. While there are many types of thyroid conditions, two of the most common involve irregular production of hormones. An overactive thyroid causes hyperthyroidism, while an underactive thyroid causes hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid doesn’t produce enough of the hormones that regulate growth and metabolism. Hypothyroidism affects many aspects of the body because these hormones are critical to many of the body’s systems. And because the thyroid hormones are also responsible for maintaining the hair growth cycle, hypothyroidism can cause hair loss.

However, only severe and prolonged hypothyroidism causes hair loss. Hair loss is very uncommon in mild or acute cases of hypothyroidism. Thus, it’s important to speak to your doctor right away if you suspect that you have hypothyroidism. When hypothyroidism is diagnosed early, there’s less chance of hair loss.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism Hair Loss

Hypothyroidism hair loss displays as a diffuse thinning all over the scalp, as opposed to patchy hair loss. Because this type of hair loss is spread evenly across the scalp, it might not be noticeable at first. Telltale signs of hypothyroidism hair loss are a widening part, a smaller ponytail, or scalp show-through. Hypothyroidism also can cause hair loss from the eyebrows, especially from the outer part of the brow.

However, these symptoms alone are not enough to diagnose hypothyroidism, and could also be from a number of conditions like a vitamin deficiency or stress. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, fatigue, weakness and muscle cramps. The only way to find out if you have hypothyroidism is to visit your doctor for a hormone test.

Doctor examines young female patient's thyroid hypothyroidism hair loss Toppik hair blog 

An endocrinologist examines her patient’s thyroid

Tips for Dealing with Hair Loss from an Underactive Thyroid

Treatment of hypothyroidism will usually result in hair regrowth. However, it takes several months for hair to regrow. In the meantime, you can disguise hair thinning and scalp show-through by using Toppik Hair Building Fibers.

While your hair regrows, you’ll want to take extra special care of your existing locks to prevent breakage. When damaged strands break off, hair looks even thinner. Follow these tips to prevent breakage:

  • Maintaining moisture is critical to preventing weakened strands from breaking. However, many conditioners are too heavy for thin strands. Thus, we recommend using a lightweight conditioner like Toppik Hair Building Conditioner to moisturize hair without weighing it down.
  • Avoid using heat tools like curling irons, straighteners and blow dryers. The hot air from these devices can dry out hair and encourage breakage. If you must heat-style your hair, always protect hair by using a heat protectant spray first.
  • Take special care when combing your hair. When detangling wet hair, use a wide-tooth comb and gently work out knots starting with the ends of the hair. Be careful when brushing dry hair, and try to limit hair brushing to once a day to avoid further breakage. If you have long hair, try wearing your hair in loose braids to keep it detangled throughout the day.

Remember: the only way to determine if your hair loss is from hypothyroidism is to speak to your doctor.

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