Hypothyroid hair loss is common. Thyroid hormones play a vital role in generating hair growth proteins. A deficiency can disrupt the hair growth cycle, extending the hair follicles’ stay in the telogen (resting) phase beyond the norm. This results in hair thinning and, in some cases, hair loss.
The primary medical approach for treating hypothyroidism involves administering hormone replacement therapy, typically in the form of synthetic thyroid hormones in pill form. The objective is to restore the body’s thyroid hormone levels to normalize metabolism. Regular monitoring and adjustments to the medication may be necessary to ensure the hormones are at an optimal level.
As hormone levels fluctuate, hair may grow and then shed repeatedly until the perfect balance is achieved. Often, women opt to wear a wig for women’s hair loss (link to women’s wig page)during this transitional phase. Predicting how hair will react during the process of changing medications and dosages can be challenging. Once hair loss begins, it may take years for it to return, and it often grows back sparsely.
Hyperthyroid hair loss may result from the impact of excessive thyroid hormones on hair follicles. Thyroid hormones affect the growth and turnover of hair follicles. In this case, hair loss is usually diffuse, occurring all over the scalp rather than in specific patches. It is typically treated with anti-thyroid medication, beta blockers, radioactive iodine, and, in some cases, surgery.
Once hormone levels are balanced and stabilized, many symptoms of either condition, including hair loss, often begin to improve. However, it is important to note that hair growth can be a gradual process while on thyroid-regulating medications. Most individuals with any form of thyroid imbalance will need to take medication indefinitely.
Dealing with thyroid disorders combined with pre-existing alopecia or thinning hair can worsen hair-related issues. The additional hair loss can make the scalp more visible, resulting in pronounced thinning. Those with alopecia may notice that their bald patches expand or new ones appear.
It’s essential to remember that while medical treatment addresses the root cause of hair loss (hormone imbalance), it doesn’t directly impact the hair follicles. Therefore, while hair regrowth is a common and often expected outcome, the rate and extent of recovery can vary from person to person. A wig can be worn over the hair while medications are adjusted and until hormone balance is restored, and hair follicles are rejuvenated. Contact us today to schedule a private appointment with a hair loss specialist.