Several factors from stress and poor diet to underlying health conditions contribute to hair loss in men and women. Pinpointing the cause of losing your hair can be difficult, but with patience and talking with your doctor or dermatologist, you can often get to the root of your hair problems.
One of the many health conditions that can cause hair loss is Hashimoto’s Disease, also known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, or autoimmune thyroiditis. In this article, we take a closer look at natural remedies which are beneficial in treating hair loss, improving scalp health, and activating hair regrowth for patients with Hashimoto’s disease.
Hashimoto Disease and Thinning Hair?
Before we jump into natural remedies and why Hashimoto’s disease causes hair thinning and loss, it’s important to take a brief look at what the disease is and who it affects.
Hashimoto’s disease affects about 5 out of 100 people in the U.S. and women are more likely to have the disease than men. Hashimoto’s can occur at any age but is most common at 40 years old and older, and if you have autoimmune disorders like celiac disease or rheumatoid arthritis, you may be more at risk for Hashimoto’s disease.
Hashimoto’s, which is also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, affects about 5 out of 100 people in the U.S. and women are more likely to have the disease than men. Hashimoto’s can occur at any age but is most common at 40 years old and older and if you have autoimmune disorders like celiac disease or rheumatoid arthritis, you are more at risk for Hashimoto’s disease.
Early signs that may indicate that you have Hashimoto’s disease include weight gain, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, a slowed heart rate, and thinning or dry hair. If you suspect that you may have Hashimoto’s, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
If you have recently received a diagnosis for Hashimoto’s disease, you may feel frustrated by the symptoms of your disease, such as the changes in your hair.
How Hashimoto’s Causes Hair Thinning and Loss
When you have Hashimoto’s, your body is affected in many ways, and losing your hair can be a big shock as it can affect your physical appearance. Hair loss can be more significant if your thyroid issue is severe and left untreated.
In a body with a healthy immune system, the hair starts growing at the root, which is the base of your hair follicle. The blood vessels in your scalp feed the root, create more cells, and make each strand of hair grow.
As the hair grows, it passes through oil glands (sebaceous glands) protected by sebum, where your hair can grow healthy and moisturized. Hair continues to grow, shed, and re-grow; it’s all part of a normal cycle.
An immune system that is affected by a thyroid condition like Hashimoto’s experiences hormone disruption. Hormones T3 and T4 are responsible for hair growth, and thyroid diseases often interfere with these hormones.
Hair loss may appear as small patches and become more prominent as balding. In addition to your disease-causing hair issues, certain medications (such as carbimazole) can also contribute to thinning and loss.
As your doctor discussing options, they may suggest medications that stimulate and result in your hair to grow fast. Since some of these medications, like Propecia, are not safe for women – and may cause unwanted side effects in men. As a result, you may be looking for more natural solutions.
Keep in mind that once you begin a treatment plan for Hashimoto’s, you may eventually see your hair start to grow and thicken – but it will take time.
Exploring Natural Hair Care Remedies
Once you start taking medication to regulate your thyroid issue, there’s a good chance that you won’t want to take any additional medications or use other chemicals on your body or as part of your scalp care routine. Here are some natural and evidence-based remedies which may help restore your hair and promote healthy growth.
Be Gentle to Your Hair
One of the best things you can do to preserve the hair you do have is to ease up on your traditional hair maintenance. Use care when brushing your hair and find a brush with gentle and soft bristles. If you typically wear your hair in a hairstyle, such as a bun or have braids or a weave, avoid pulling your hair tight.
Keeping your hair tight for prolonged periods can make hair loss and thinning worse.
If your hair tangles easily, try using a wide tooth comb instead of a brush and use conditioner to keep your hair soft and manageable. It’s also a good idea to stay away from hair care products that contain alcohol or harsh chemicals.
Not only can these types of products dry out your hair but they can also make your scalp more sensitive.
Focus on Nutrition
For someone with a compromised immune system, a healthy diet is important in general, but it can also benefit the health of your hair. Eating a well-balanced diet is important, as is avoiding processed foods that can cause inflammation.
When you experience inflammation, Hashimoto’s disease can worsen and hair loss can accelerate. Choose anti-inflammatory foods that help detoxify your body and keep you feeling energetic and healthy. Some good choices include:
- Green tea
- Certified-organic food
- Seeds and nuts
- Salmon and bone broth
Depending on your nutritional needs, your doctor may recommend taking vitamin supplements such as zinc, copper, iron, and vitamins C, E, and A. It’s important to note that an excessive intake of certain vitamins and minerals can also make your thyroid issue worse, so only take the amount as recommended by your doctor.
Get a Scalp Massage
A scalp massage is not only a good stress reliever, but it can also encourage blood flow to the follicles and all over your scalp. Rather than treating yourself to a scalp massage once a month, try to make it part of your daily routine, at least until your hair starts to grow and strengthen.
Using honey for hair growth is an ancient remedy, and castor oil is often a time-honored method. Coconut oil is also beneficial. Try massaging it gently into your scalp and leaving it for 20-30 minutes before rinsing in the shower. The oil can seal moisture into your hair and repair and protect your follicles.
Massaging your scalp with specific essential oils can also help increase blood flow and promote hair growth. Oils like lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and thyme help improve circulation. Making a blend of peppermint, rosemary, and sage oil is an excellent combination for hair growth.
Since essential oils can be strong, you should always mix oils with a carrier oil like olive, jojoba, or coconut oils.
Consider Yoga or Meditation
Since Hashimoto’s disease can cause stress, which can increase the amount of hair you lose, scientific evidence suggests that you may benefit from calming practices like yoga or meditation.
Some yoga experts recommend trying Viparita Karani or Halasana for Hashimoto’s disease. New to yoga and meditation? A certified instructor can help you choose the right type of practice that’s best for your health needs. Inversion poses can also help with hair growth or thyroid issues.
Address and Take Care of Other Health Issues
As someone with Hashimoto’s disease, there’s a good chance that you may have additional health issues due to your thyroid condition. While treating your thyroid condition itself can be a bit overwhelming and time-consuming, it’s crucial to address other health issues to ensure whole body health.
Make sure to balance your blood sugar and hormones and other essential vitamins and nutrients. Work with your doctor to find a treatment plan and a natural routine that works well for you. As you treat all health issues related to Hashimoto’s disease, you’re likely to see an improvement in the texture, strength, and length of your hair.
Use an Activating Serum
There are several products on the market for hair growth, but many contain chemicals that are not scientifically proven to benefit the health of your hair and scalp. Our botanical and plant-based Activating Serum contains no harmful chemicals and is safe to use on all types of hair types and on sensitive scalps.
If you’re looking for a product that will nourish your follicles, treat your scalp with minerals and amino acids, and restore your scalp’s natural oils, our serum is an excellent and all-natural option to use on a daily basis.
For best results, fill the dropper of serum and evenly disperse onto your scalp. Gently massage the Activating Serum into scalp and leave in your hair. It’s normal to feel your scalp getting warm as the serum stimulates your scalp.
Choosing Gentle Natural Hair Care Remedies That are Right for You
As you try out various natural remedies for treating hair loss related to Hashimoto’s disease, keep in mind that it may take a while to find a routine that works best for you. Regrowth will occur eventually, but it’s essential to stay patient and take care of your health.