My Hair Loss Story

Hi! I’ve decided to start this blog because I’ve been afflicted with hair loss since I was 16 years old soon after my Hashimoto’s diagnosis; Hashimoto’s is autoimmune thyroid disease; your body is producing antibodies that attacks your thyroid, and over time your thyroid function decreases and you eventually (the sooner the better) will need to take medication. I recommend anyone who suspects they may have thyroid issues, or has been diagnosed with thyroid issues but whose doctor doesn’t take it seriously, go to this site and read the hell out of it: Stop The Thyroid Madness.

A little bit about my hair loss journey: I first started experiencing massive shedding after developing my thyroid condition. I would go through 1-4 month periods of massive sheds, usually once or twice a year. I would lose HUNDREDS of strands a day; anyone who experiences hair loss knows how awful to dread showering or even touching your hair because you don’t want to see how many strands you are losing. My solution was always to cut my hair during a shed, because it at least made the hair loss slightly less noticable. I’m now 28 and I’m absolutely tired of observing my hair grow thinner and thinner as the years go on. I noticed after my latest shed (started in March, lasted for about a month), my hair has become so thin around my temples/ear area, that you can see my scalp if I shift my hair even a little bit. I also noticed my scalp is much more visible than I ever remember when my hair is at all wet. I NEVER wanted to believe I’d get to the point of seeing my scalp through my hair, its something I always dreaded and was completely in denial about. For the most part, when I am not experiencing a shed, I try to pretend like I don’t have a hair loss problem because it’s too painful for me to think about, but I can’t do this any longer after facing this latest reality.

I’m ready to try any natural and safe treatments to see if I can reverse my progressive hair loss, and I want to blog about it in the chance that it will help someone else. I know personally when I am experiencing a shed, or if I look in the mirror and it seems like my hair is thinner than the last time I looked closely, I spend many frustrated hours on google trying to find positive stories about others improving/reversing their hair loss and what worked for them. I want to create this blog to share what I am doing to combat my hair loss, and any successes I have so others may have hope. I know that during the times I have scoured forums looking for hope, I end up reading a lot of discouraging stories (people who never fix their hair loss), but I like to think that the people who have had success perhaps don’t take the time to post about it.

Health problems I have that could be causing my hair loss:

  • Hashimoto’s disease – I take Nature Thyroid and recently increased my dose due to my tsh being >3. My free T4 has always been on the low end of normal, I am hesistant to supplement with synthetic hormones.
    • Labs from this month are as follows:
      • TSH: 3.5 (0.40-4.50)
      • TOTAL T4: 6.1 (4.5-12.0)
      • FREE T4: 1.0 (0.8-1.8)
      • FREE T4 INDEX: 1.8 (1.4-3.8)
      • TOTAL T3: 128 (76-181)
      • FREE T3: 4.0 (2.3-4.2)
      • T3 UPTAKE: 29 (22-45)
      • THYROID PEROXIDASE AB: 155 (<9)
  • Low Ferritin: historically I have had very low ferritin levels (I recall having ferritin levels as low as 7 in the past). Recently I have been supplementing, eating a lot of spinach and other high iron foods. I have only attempted to address this in the last 2 months or so, so I don’t think this will have taken effect yet. My levels tested recently at 61 so I am improving, but supposedly one needs a sustained ferritin level above 70 to see hair regrowth. I think I have had years of low ferritin up until the last 6 months.
  • Low Vitamin D: I have never tested above 30 for this one. I have been supplementing with 5000 ui a day in the last couple months, which is why my levels are even this high. I have tested < 10 in the past.
  • MTHFR Mutation: I don’t know how important a role this plays, but I homozygous for the C677T mutation. I am supplementing with special b vitamins.
  • Life Stress: We all have it… I find I lose lots of hair 2-3 months after stressful events.

Current Treatment Plan:

  • Vitamins:
    • Evening Primrose Oil: I’ve read that this can help address hair loss particularly when its related to thyroid conditions.
    • Hema-Plex: I take this for my iron levels. It includes synergistic vitamins like VitC & zinc.
    • Mood FoodI take this for depression issues that worsen with PMS. I have severe PMS symptoms, I’m 99% sure I have PMDD.
    • L-Lysine: I’ve read that many women with hair loss are deficient in L-Lysine.
    • Vitamin D: I take Now Brand 5000 ui.
  • Essential Oils: I combine Rosemary, Clary Sage, and Lavender oil with ACV and massage into my scalp nightly after showering.
  • Castor Oil: I am apply Castor oil to my scalp and leave it in for a couple hours twice a week.
  • Diet: My diet isn’t terrible, I don’t drink coffee, eat excessively sugary foods, and I eat organically unprocessed foods as much as possible. I am not perfect, I have yet to give up gluten which is recommended when you have an autoimmune disease. I also have my junk foods which I partake in once every week or two (notably pizza and chinese buffet, with the occasional Reese’s cup). We really don’t consume a lot of processed junk in my house, I cook from scratch most of the time, but I don’t always cook with organic meats. I could also be eating more vegetables than I do.

Some pictures of my hair

I acknowledge my hair looks terrible and greasy in all these pics. Some are after I have taken a shower. Forgive me.



Hair Recovery Set Back

My hair started shedding again

I had an uptick in shedding on Monday and I’m paranoid it might become a prolonged shedding period, which I CANNOT afford to experience right now due to how thin my hair already is. I made a series of stupid mistakes and went without my thyroid medication for 5 days, but it seems to recent for this to have caused shedding. UG! During the day I ran my hands through my hair and everytime 5-15 strands were coming out, it didn’t seem to stop. I did a castor oil treatment (which I think I’m not going to do anymore because its such a damn pain), and then the amount of hair that came out in the shower was significant. It could be partly due to the castor being so thick and weighing down the hairs that were already in the shedding phase, but I don’t recall my last treatment resulting in clumps of hair falling out. The shower always reveals the extent of shedding; when i’m not shedding, I don’t notice any hairs in the shower, and when I am, hair is everywhere. However, the good news it was a one day shed, and I haven’t noticed as much shedding today. I’ll see what happens in the shower tonight.

I can really tell how thin my hair is because three wraps of my hair tie is not securing my hair for very long, when in the past that would result in a tight fit. I can’t even bare to wear my hair in a ponytail due to how much it pains me to see how small the circumference is. I have been contemplating just cutting my hair chin length because I have just been throwing it up in ugly buns everyday due to my paranoia about shedding (I hate having hairs all over me, which seems to happen anyways even when I keep it up, which is even more depressing!!). I think I will just go through with it. I love having long hair, but I’m wearing it in ugly styles, and I have some serious split ends anyways (which equate to an even uglier bun).

I’m hoping this was a one day shed event. Please please please let it not be a prolonged shed. I’m still taking all the same vitamins I went over in the other posts.


Update: Progress?

Some progress!

I am noticing some potential regrowth!

I was obsessively checking my hair last night after showering, and I noticed what appears to be potential regrowth. I don’t do anything with my hair that could result in breakage at the scalp area (literally, I do nothing with my hair other than comb it in the morning – no heat, products, styling, etc., hence why my hair looks a mess in comparison to ladies who style their hair every day).

It is really hard to photograph a close up of my scalp and get an in focus shot of these fine baby hairs, but they are visible towards the back of my head.

So far, my shedding has been normal. I am still taking all the same vitamins. I just ordered Silica which I will start taking tomorrow; I’ve heard it can be as effective as biotin for improving hair health/issues. I have to do my twice weekly castor oil treatment, which I have been avoiding doing because it’s an awful hellish mess. I really hate having to do castor oil treatments, but I’ll force myself to do it tonight.

If you haven’t already noticed – I am extremely lazy about both styling my hair beyond the point of it looking it acceptable in appearance, and addressing the fact that I have a ton of gray hairs coming in (at 28…). I’ve always been lazy about hair – HOWEVER, this does not change the fact that I hate losing my hair and having excessively thin hair.

End of report.