Thyroid Hair Loss

Hair loss is one of the most common and distressing signs of an under active thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism as it is known.

Thyroid hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning which may result in bald patches over time. Typically the hair falls out when combing or washing the hair, or may pull out with gentle tugging.

In addition, thyroid hair loss is usually accompanied by changes in the texture of the hair. It becomes coarse, dry and lacks its usual luster.

Hair Health + Thyroid Hormone Activity

It may surprise you to learn hair health is very much dependent on healthy thyroid hormone activity. Lowered thyroid hormone activity results in greater hair loss.

A ground breaking study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism supports the connection between thyroid health and hair loss. This study provides evidence the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) directly affect the hair follicles to help generate new hair growth. In addition, the thyroid hormones can influence the time hair actually takes to grow.

Premature Greying Of Hair

Premature greying of your hair can also be a symptom of low thyroid activity. Both T4 and T3 stimulate melanin synthesis. Melanin gives pigment or colour to your hair. Early greying of your hair may indicate low thyroid hormone activity.

Thyroid Health Recovery

It is not too late to halt thyroid hair loss. Both the appearance and growth of your hair will improve as your thyroid health recovers. However keep in mind it can take some months before new hair growth really gets going. The important first step is to stop your hair falling out by recovering your thyroid health.


Reference: Van Beek N, Bodo E, Kromminga A, et al. Thyroid Hormones Directly Alter Human Hair Follicle Functions: Anagen Prolongation and Stimulation of Both Hair Matrix Keratinocyte Proliferation and Hair Pigmentation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Nov;93(11):4381-8.

Author's Bio: 

Louise O’Connor, Australian Naturopath + Wellness Coach. Author The Natural Thyroid Diet: The 4-Week Plan to Living Well, Living Vibrantly