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Taming Of The Thyroid: Hair, Hair, Hair, Long Beautiful Hair

Post Published: 09 August 2010
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 20 responses. Leave a comment
Dear Thyroid,
You took the most obvious thing about my physical self….my mane. What I took for granted my entire life. I always said I wouldn’t have to worry about elderly hair loss because I had tons of layers. You showed me how friends can be indifferent and in denial. You also made me gain weight. By this you showed me how beautiful people, are treated differently, even by salespeople. I had no idea.

Written by, Donna

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20 Responses to “Taming Of The Thyroid: Hair, Hair, Hair, Long Beautiful Hair

  1. Debbie says:

    Donna,

    Oh, how i can relate. Losing my hair from being hypo made me so depressed, i tried to take my life. Nobody understands how devastating it is for a women to lose her hair. You receive absolutely no compassion from anybody. Instead you hear, buy a wig, and get on with your life. If it was only that easy.

    • Donna says:

      Debbie I am so sorry. Are you the one I messaged on fb? I DO think that it’s everyone’s lack of compassion that makes it so much worse…it would have been easier if my friends had understood.

  2. Donna says:

    Donna, I see a difference in my hair depending on my levels, it is always a direct correlation but that took me awhile to figure out.. I’m starting to feel normal and my ponytail is getting thicker too. I hope you will see a difference and that the difference connects to feeling well!

    Oh Debbie, I hope you are in a better place too 🙂 Hugs!

    Donna Anderson Terlecki
    DAT is my DT username

    • Donna says:

      Thank-you Donna.

      Scarily, a couple of months ago my hair started falling out *quick.* I had other symptoms return as well but my mom marched me into the dr and had him look at my hair in the hallway. I was *this* close to requiring a wig again…anyway he upped my thyroid and I have bangs again.

  3. Linny says:

    How can people be so cruel, of course our hair matters!
    It’s such a big deal in this country in particular.

    Fortunately I have always had thick hair, but it turned white so early in my life around my face. It used to be red/strawberry blond…..I have lost the natural color and have to work with the white stuff.

    I do find keeping it one length allows me more control when it is acting up….a ponytail hides alot or a french twist. Keeping bangs hides the high temples. In stead of a wig just add a “piece” to fill in.

    I have to color mine…..but I always feel better when I get something working….

    The drain would make you think I have nothing left!

    Go ahead and complain about your hair! We here understand!! XXXOOO Linny

    • Donna says:

      Thank-you Linny! And I color my hair too. You’re right about dark hair being easier to spot hair loss, but I prefer to keep mine as dark as possible. What I used to do when I was losing it, was to take dark powdered eye shadow and a Q-tip, and brush in the areas that were bare.

      The funny thing is, I’m at a point where if I were to go bald, I’d probably draw pictures and words. Use those temporary tattoos. Do all sorts of stuff besides wearing my wigs. People look at me weird anyway. haha. 😉

  4. Linda says:

    I am on my way into the shower and I read this. Hypothyroid made me lose over half my hair and I wear it real short now and TRY to cover and comb over but when I go out to places I see people talking to me and peeking at my skull shining through what is left of my hair.
    I used to think that after experiencing the pain of losing my husband of almost 40 years to cancer that nothing could ever bother me again … but when I shower and have to shampoo and try and style what sparse hair I have left … my heart hurts. I don’t wear makeup and I am not a woman who is real concerned about looking perfect (I guess you could describe me as a “natural” woman) but my hair was always important – I liked it clean and liked wearing it all one length …
    those days are gone.
    Sometimes I will cry a bit … for my husband and the life that was and for my hair.

    • Donna says:

      Linda, I lost more than half my hair. I used to have hair that thick, too. Now I keep it short for volume. It still grows like a weed but I don’t have enough hair to let it grow long. I have a friend who doesn’t understand why I can’t let it grow long! I picked up a flat napkin and told her, “Because if I did, it’d be as thick as this napkin.”

      Here’s a tip for bare areas: take dark powder eye shadow and a q-tip, and brush in the eye shadow on those areas.

  5. Linny says:

    Linda I am sorry for your losses…..Do you know anything about Holistic medicine, since you are a natural kinda person you might find some help for your kidney function which is connected to hair growth.
    I had treatments for so many of my complaits and it worked for me…..it’s worth a try? Good luck I am sending you good wishes :*}

  6. faith72 says:

    I’m sorry you are lossing your hair. My hair is so long.I can’t stand my locks someties eeven when I shower because my shampoo pulls out my hair in strands…and clogs my tub…even when I push out my hair I pull out knots that hurt so bad.

  7. Monica says:

    Donna,

    Before losing my thyroid I washed my hair everyday but now I try to go 3 or 4 days between washes. Why? Because of the massive amounts of hair that gets caught between my fingers when shampooing and conditioning. I started to freak when it first started happening and wondered if I was going to lose all my hair. I also have bouts of alopecia (perfect round-shaped bald spots on my scalp that spontaneously occur from lupus) so not only do I have to deal with thinning hair but comb overs, too! I now wear ponytails A LOT to hide my fears.

    But, one day I hope to be free of worrying about how I look so I can stop coloring my hair to accept being me, the real me, whatever that is, whoever she is, and be okay with her.

    ☮ ♥

    • Donna says:

      Hi Monica, I always worried about how I look. I still do. I’m very vain. That’s why I have learned, between having short hair instead of long, and gaining some weight, that the less attractive people are treated differently. By everyone.

      But maybe the real “us” are the ones we want to look like. The ones we aim for. I color my hair but everyone agrees I look more like me w/dark hair. We just do the best we can.

  8. Kristen says:

    I sympathize with all of you. I have always been average-looking, had horrible acne as a teen/adult, a bit pudgy with pasty-white skin, but the one physical attribute that I had that was great was my thick, luxurious strawberry-blond hair. When I braided it, it was this amazing rope. When I curled it, it kept the curl for days and days. Strangers told me I had pretty hair. I can’t lie, I always appreciated it. Every hairdresser always said they had never seen a natural light blond with so much hair…..until my thyroid went bonkers and hypo. I am on the right levels but it’s not coming back. Most of my other symptoms have resolved and for that I am eternally grateful. I know it’s just hair, and I would not trade being fully functioning like I am now for being the wreck I was before to keep my hair. But a woman’s hair is still important. It’s been three years now, and my temples continue to recede, they aren’t filling it. Like many of you, I hate washing it because of the emotional trauma of getting gobs of soapy hair in my hands and it’s depressing to clean it out of the drain, too. Good thing I started with so much since it’s about the thickness of cobwebs now and you can see my scalp when I pull it into a pony. I have a good integrated medicine doc, I went gluten-free, I take supplements, I eat a good diet, I never ever miss a dose of my thyroid meds….. but it’s all for naught. I am full of gratitude that I am SOOOO much better, overall, than when I was un-medicated hypothyroid, but it is a daily grief to get ready in the mirror. I just hope what I still have will stay awhile longer because I hate the thought of wearing sweaty, itchy wigs.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Kristen, after I went on my thyroid med, most of the symptoms completely disappeared (and I had virtually every symptom). Enough hair grew back so I didn’t have to wear my wig, but not all of it. I miss it everysingleday247.

      I have a couple of wigs. And you’re right, they tend to get warm and itchy but I do look forward to wearing them and maybe different ones just to spruce myself up. Variety you know? 😉

      • Kristen says:

        Thanks for that perspective, Donna! I guess it could be fun to wear different styles for different looks… I am impressed with your positive attitude! I am going to try to feel the same. 🙂

  9. Missy says:

    I’m so very sorry for all of you and all you are dealing with! I too have felt the devestation of clumps of hair falling out and dreading having to wash it! I used to have hair so thick I couldn’t wrap a pony tail holder around it! Now, I keep it short and spiky. Being it’s very dark (and greying) it’s that much easier to see how much I have lost. And I don’t care what anyone says, hair is important to a women. Men can get away with being bald or shaving it and being bald on purpose, as women, we get stared at with that “what the hell” look! UGH drives me nuts! So Donna, good for you for writing this. We can all come together and give support where others just don’t understand.

  10. Donna M. says:

    My TSH was in the upper 90’s when diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 1996. My doctor said I would have gone into a coma if I had waited much longer to seek treatment. But strangely enough, my hair was shiny and healthy looking at the time. Then I started taking Synthroid, and my hair started falling out like crazy. The texture changed too, and the hair that I had remaining was thin and tangled easily. Last fall, I found a doctor who was willing to prescribe Cytomel to add to my Synthroid, and the hair loss stopped. Now I hardly lose any hair in the shower, plus it feels stronger too.

    Also, there are some articles on the web which indicate that low ferritin can cause hair loss, so it would be a good idea to have your ferritin levels tested too.

    • Donna says:

      When I first went to my (now) dr, he found my ferritan was only 12, and treated only my adrenals for a year or so b/c my thyroid was still w/in range. My hair just kept falling out. Only the thyroid med (Armour) helped.

  11. Donna M. says:

    Ooops, big mistake – I said that I was diagnosed in 1996, and I meant 2006! Four years ago.

  12. Linny says:

    OH DONNA OH DONNA {I KNOW THAT SONG IS EVEN TOO OLD FOR ME}
    aNYWAVES THIS IS THE TIME I LIKE TO ADD A TOUCH OF GIGGLE..
    dONNA U Have really touched a “nerve” here, or should I say “roots”??
    I think most women will agree if their hair isn’t “doing” nothing’s going help!
    That isn’t being vain in my opinion, it’s just loving oneself in a very healthy way.
    We all connect good health with good hair.
    It is a BIG deal!!! We all should help each other with hair ideas.
    Well and remember some famous bald ladies, it CAN look good, Sanate Oconner (sp) sorry.
    Beautiful babies look at beautiful bald babies. Dress up and paint your face…..make it look like it was your idea and walk in anywhere “like “proud Mary”!
    Or wear a crown, nobody messes with a QUEEN! love to all and a kiss on your pretty little head! Linny

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