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Is There a Connection Between Thyroid and Hair Loss?

Plus, Which Lab Tests You Need to Find Out
March 8, 2023
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When we feel good about our hair, we feel good about ourselves.

Since ancient times men and women have associated thick, luscious hair with health, sensuality, and youth.

That’s why it can be traumatic to experience significant or unexpected hair loss, particularly when it affects face-defining features like eyelashes and eyebrows.

Hair care experts say losing between 50 and 100 hair strands daily is normal—and anything more could be a sign of trouble. 

If you’re noticing thinning hair, bald spots, patches, or clumps of hair falling out, you may have an undiagnosed autoimmune condition, like thyroid disease.

Thyroid disease is a hormonal imbalance that can affect your entire body. Over time, this imbalance can cause brittle, dry hair and even hair loss.

Here’s why thyroid can cause hair loss and expert guidance on exactly which tests can help you confirm your diagnosis.

Can Thyroid Cause Hair Loss? And Other Common Hair Loss Questions Answered

Can thyroid issues cause your hair to fall out? How do you know if your hair loss is due to your thyroid or if something else is happening? Here are answers to some of the most common questions.

Can Thyroid Cause Hair Loss?

Yes. Severe and prolonged thyroid diseases, like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can cause hair loss. When the thyroid malfunctions by over- or underproducing hormones, it affects the body's rate of using oxygen and energy, which also affects nail and hair growth.

When this happens, hair that falls out may not be replaced by new growth, resulting in thinning on your head, eyebrows, and eyelashes.

Thyroid-related hair loss doesn’t discriminate and occurs equally over the scalp.

While there is no cure for thyroid disease, the good news is you can stabilize your thyroid hormones and hair loss with the proper antithyroid treatment for hyperthyroid individuals.

What Does Thyroid Hair Loss Look Like?

Your hair follicles work like a tag team—some are active, while others take a break. When you have a normal hair cycle, hair loss from one follicle gets replaced by new growth in another.

Unfortunately, thyroid conditions disrupt this cycle, causing significant and sustained hair loss all over the scalp, eyebrows, body hair, and eyelashes.

Can Biotin Help Regrow Your Hair?

No, but…increasing your biotin, or vitamin B7, intake may help strengthen your existing hair, making it less prone to falling out. However, no scientific evidence suggests it can stimulate dormant hair follicles or regrow hair.

The best way to improve your hair health is with a healthy, nutrient-rich diet filled with biotin-rich foods.

Your body can’t store biotin for long, so giving your hair, skin, and nails a regular supply is important. According to the National Institutes of Health, these foods will boost keratin production in your body and fortify hair follicles:

  • Liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Salmon
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Avocados
  • Sweet potatoes

The daily recommended amount of biotin for an adult is 30 mcg. However, we should note that many biotin supplements contain much higher doses (ranging from 5,000 to 10,000mcg).

These megadoses can produce false thyroid levels, suggesting an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). The American Thyroid Association recommends avoiding all biotin supplements for at least two days before blood tests to minimize the risk of a false reading. 

You can easily measure your biotin levels with a Biotin (Vitamin B7) lab test.

Regrow Your Hair with Key Lab Tests and Antithyroid Treatment

Your thyroid is a vital hormone gland and plays an essential role in your metabolism, growth, and development. If you’re experiencing worrisome hair loss, thyroid tests can help identify whether your thyroid hormones are imbalanced and causing hair loss.

At Ulta Lab Tests, we offer a comprehensive selection of tests to give you the most accurate picture of your thyroid health and help you identify the root cause of your hair loss. Once you and your provider understand what’s causing your hair loss, you can treat it with the exact antithyroid treatment you need.

Get to the root of your hair loss problems when you order key lab tests for thyroid conditions commonly known to cause hair loss:

Our lab panels are convenient, affordable, and confidential, and results are typically available within 1-2 business days.

Doctor's orders are not required, and Quest Diagnostics laboratories conduct all our tests.

6 Natural Treatments and Home Remedies for Thyroid and Hair Loss

When combined with the proper medication, these natural treatments and home remedies can help protect your overall health, slow hair loss, and protect your hair’s natural growth cycle.

Regain your confidence with these at-home remedies:

The information below is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your primary care doctor before using any medications, over-the-counter drugssupplements, herbs, or essential oils.

  1. Restore vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
    Balanced nutrient levels are essential for optimal hair growth and preservation.
    1. Vitamin D
      Studies have shown that lower vitamin D levels can disrupt the hair follicle growth cycle, resulting in significant hair loss. It’s also been linked to male and female pattern hair loss. Order a Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy lab test to find out if you have a deficiency.
    2. Iron
      Iron helps your body produce hemoglobin, a protein in your red blood cells. This protein carries oxygen to your body’s cells, including those responsible for hair repair and regrowth. Order a total iron lab test to find out if you have a deficiency.
    3. Zinc
      Though uncommon, hair loss is a well-known sign of zinc deficiency. This mineral is essential to cell growth, protein synthesis, and the immune system. It also helps repair hair follicles and maintain the oil glands on the scalp. Order a zinc test to find out of you have a deficiency.
  2. Eat a nutrient-rich diet.
    A diet rich in vitamins B12 and D, biotin, riboflavin, iron, and other nutrients may help promote hair regrowth. Order a vitamin and mineral lab panel to find out if you have any nutritional deficiencies.
  3. Eat a Mediterranean diet.
    Anti-inflammatory foods, like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, can promote hair health and prevent hair loss. Learn which foods to eat and which to limit a typical Mediterranean diet. Order an inflammation lab panel to find out if inflammation is present and affecting your health.
  4. Try herbs.
    According to research, the following herbs may help slow hair loss and support regrowth:
    1. Indian gooseberry
    2. Fenugreek
    3. Bacopa monnieri
    4. Chinese hibiscus
    5. Polyporus umbellatus (mushroom) extract
    6. Rosemary
    7. Kogane Mushi Japanese false nettle
    8. Asiasari radix extract
  5. Try essential oils.
    Essential oils can help slow hair loss, support regrowth, and add strength and shine:
    1. Lavender
    2. Peppermint
    3. Rosemary
    4. Cedarwood
    5. Lemongrass
    6. Thyme
    7. Clary sage
    8. Tea tree
  6. Treat your hair gently.
    Protect your hair with these top three tips:
    1. Use a gentle shampoo and moisturizing conditioner
    2. Avoid coloring, perming, chemical straightening, and relaxing
    3. Limit heat exposure (e.g., hot oil treatments, blow drying, curling irons, flat irons, etc.)

When to See a Doctor

Talk to your primary care doctor right away (before attempting any at-home treatments or remedies) if you notice sudden, patchy, or more than usual hair loss when brushing or washing.

Sudden hair loss can be a side effect of other, more severe conditions that require medical treatment. Thyroid problems generally don’t lead to hair loss until they are more severe.

We recommend ordering our physician-approved thyroid lab tests to help you identify your overall thyroid health and discussing the results with your primary care physician at the first sign of worrisome hair loss.

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