Hair loss in women: causes associated with thyroid dysfunction


Thyroid hormones, in particular thyroxin and triiodothyronine, are involved in the production of melanin - this pigment determines the color of the curls.

Thyroxin stimulates cell division and promotes hair growth, while triiodteranin slows down cell aging.

Violation of the secretory function of the thyroid leads to premature aging and hair loss.

Normally, the cell cycle of hair growth takes place in three stages:

  1. Intensive cell division, which is called anagen.
  2. Follicle atrophy and reverse root development, which is called catagen.
  3. Hair loss, the death of the bulb. This stage is called telogen.

Diseases of the thyroid gland are accompanied by a reduction in the anagen period, therefore a large number of hair follicles are in the telogen phase, growing hair does not have time to replace the already fallen, therefore the hairstyle loses volume.

How hair changes when hormone deficiency

Hypothyroidism is characterized by a weak secretory function of the thyroid gland and a decrease in the concentration of hormones.

  • congenital thyroid insufficiency
  • condition after partial or complete removal of the thyroid gland,
  • iodine deficiency
  • burns of thermal or chemical origin,
  • intoxication on the background of medication,
  • thyroiditis, inflammation of the gland,
  • exposure to radioactive iodine, especially often this cause is found in areas affected by the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,
  • neoplasms of infectious nature, abscesses.

In cases of surgery on the thyroid gland, after the removal of the entire organ or one lobe, thyroid hormones come only from the outside.

If symptoms of hypothyroidism appear anyway, dosage adjustment is necessary.

Reducing the level of secretion of T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxin) in hypothyroidism significantly affects the beauty and health of the curls.

A lack of thyroid hormones leads to a deterioration of blood circulation, the scalp receives an insufficient amount of nutrients and is undergoing oxygen starvation.

Hair follicles in such conditions gradually die off, while new follicles are not formed.

Reduced melanin production in hypothyroidism leads to thinning and brittle hair and is the cause of premature gray hair.

Alopecia is most noticeable on the temporal and parietal regions, however, the process is diffuse, that is, the coat is thinning over the entire surface.

It should be emphasized that hair loss occurs throughout the body, not just on the head.

In professional literature, alopecia is called alopecia. The absolute majority of people affected by hypothyroidism are confronted with this violation.

What happens when hormones are oversupplied

Thyrotoxicosis is characterized by enhanced functional activity of the thyroid gland.

  • endocrine disorders, for example, in women during pregnancy, after menopause,
  • iodine deficiency,
  • conditions after mechanical injuries and neck injuries,
  • autoimmune processes
  • inflammatory diseases,
  • tumors in other organs of the endocrine system, in the pituitary, in the hypothalamus,
  • exposure to stress.

Increased secretion of hormones also negatively affects hair growth.

In the early stages of the disease, there is an increase in growth, curls become thicker and denser, and then sharp gray hair and hair loss appear.

How to deal with the problem

Alopecia is rarely associated with thyroid abnormalities, in most cases, the cause is beriberi and metabolic disorders.

Most women and men immediately try to solve the problem through the use of shampoos and masks, but the effect after such procedures leaves much to be desired. What do we have to do?

After consulting a specialist on the background of drug therapy, the use of cosmetics is justified.

Independently making correction of medical appointments is strictly prohibited!

If the cause of thyroid dysfunction is iodine deficiency, treatment is based on the use of iodine-containing drugs.

In hypothyroidism, treatment measures begin with replacement therapy with the following hormonal agents:

If the causes of hair loss are associated with hyperthyroidism, treatment includes the use of thyreostatics:

Severe pathology of the thyroid gland is an indication for its removal.

However, surgery does not preclude problems with the scalp, so treatment of alopecia will have to continue after the removal of the entire thyroid gland.

In cases of removal of a small area of ​​the organ, hormonal recovery is possible without replacement therapy.

After the prescription of medicines, the use of cosmetics is justified, since the healing process is long, and the aesthetic defect causes psychological discomfort in patients, especially women.

Care curls and a number of rules can improve the condition of the hair.

  1. Normalization of nutrition. It is necessary to increase the protein intake of animal and vegetable origin, to include in the diet more vegetables and fruits.
  2. Reception of vitamins. By themselves, vitamins will not lead to accelerated growth, but will improve the quality of new hair. Especially important is vitamin therapy for women during pregnancy. This will help avoid thyroid dysfunction in the unborn child.
  3. Head massage . This procedure improves the blood supply to the skin, but it should be done with caution, as there is a risk of damage and removal of the remaining hair.
  4. Moisturizing shampoos and masks. Cosmetics based on natural ingredients for brittle and dull hair not only improve their appearance, but also contribute to the regeneration process.
  5. Limiting thermal effects on curls. It is forbidden to use curling iron, tongs, hair dryer.
  6. Temporarily do not use hair styling products, they can cause deterioration. Lacquer and lamination injure curls even more.
  7. Physiotherapy. Various physiotherapy methods can significantly improve local blood circulation and speed up regeneration processes.

Alopecia due to the thyroid gland is a rather frequent problem, most often this complaint leads men and women to the endocrinologist's office.

Stop the process of hair loss on your own will not work - only a comprehensive treatment under the supervision of a physician will restore hormones.

Climate impact

Ultraviolet exposure, heat and cold have a negative effect on the hair structure and scalp. UV rays dry hair, they become dry and lifeless, and as a result, break off and fall out.

Low freezing temperatures harm the scalp, causing a spasm of blood vessels, as a result of this, blood circulation is disturbed, and the nourishment of curls worsens. The hair bulb atrophies and dies off, respectively, the hair falls out. It is necessary to protect hair from temperature effects with the help of a headdress, in summer it is preferable to use moisturizing shampoos and balms.

Pregnancy and postpartum period

In the first few months, the hormone progesterone predominates in the blood of a pregnant woman, which adversely affects the hair and skin; during this period, the scalp becomes fatter and dandruff appears.

Under the influence of a powerful hormonal adjustment of the body, curls can fall out in large quantities.

From the second trimester, the production of progesterone decreases, estrogen begins to be actively produced, which improves the condition of the hair, stimulates its growth and prevents hair loss. From 4 to 9 months of pregnancy, women can boast thick, shiny and healthy hair.

After birth, estrogen is replaced by prolactin, which is responsible for the production of milk from a nursing mother. Increased hormone levels provoke loss. And the suppression of estrogen further enhances this process.

It should be remembered that hormonal changes during these periods are temporary, and are inherent in all pregnant and lactating mothers. In the postpartum period, it is necessary to provide the hair with increased care and to consume foods rich in vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin deficiency

Vitamins of group B, A, E, and microelements: zinc, selenium, iron are responsible for the beauty and health of hair.

With a lack of vitamins A and E, the hair becomes brittle, dry and dull. Lack of vitamins of group B leads to loss of curls, slowing their growth, and impaired pigmentation (gray hair).

Low levels of trace elements in the body can trigger seborrhea - a disease of the scalp, characterized by dandruff and disruption of the sebaceous glands. Progressive seborrhea leads to focal baldness.

For the prevention of vitamin deficiency, one should consume foods rich in vitamins and microelements daily: raw vegetables and fruits, cereals, nuts, seafood, eggs, meat and dairy products.

Strict diet

Hair loss with a strict diet is due to poor consumption of vitamins and trace elements and a violation of the energy balance.

The use of vitamin complexes does not solve this problem, since synthetic vitamins are absorbed by the body much worse.

When strict diets are excluded foods rich in carbohydrates and fats, and protein foods are consumed in limited quantities.

The body begins to rationally expend energy reserves, directing them to the important functional systems of the body. Therefore, skin, nails and hair literally remain without power. Hair follicles that are devoid of nutrients atrophy and die, and hair falls out.

All strict diets should be observed no more than 7 days and under the supervision of a specialist. With a general deterioration of the body, the diet must be stopped.

Improper care

All cosmetics for hair should be selected according to their type.

Improperly selected shampoos can irritate the scalp and harm hair.

For example, it is forbidden to use shampoos for oily hair on dry or bleached locks, as they contain an increased level of alkali and can injure dry hair.

Chemical-treated hair (chemical perm, bleaching) require increased care, in addition, you should use moisturizing and revitalizing masks and serums. Be sure to use the balm for every shampooing. Otherwise, the hair will begin to break and fall out.

Thermal devices - electric pliers and hair dryers damage the strands, and if used improperly, they can injure the scalp. When drying, the hair dryer must be kept at a distance of 10 cm from the hair, the air flow must be directed from the roots, otherwise you can get burned skin.

It is forbidden to use electric pliers daily, as they strongly destroy the hair structure. When using thermal devices, hair loss due to their fragility. That is, the hair does not fall from the root, and breaks off at the site of damage.

The main reason for people turning to an endocrinologist is a problem with the thyroid gland. AIT of the thyroid gland - what is it and how is the disease diagnosed? This is the next article.

Tips on preparing for an ultrasound of the thyroid gland, see here.

And in this topic you learn what the norms of the thyroid gland characteristic for a healthy person and in what cases deviations are observed.

The change of seasons

The strongest loss occurs in winter and spring periods.

This is due to beriberi, lack of sun, which helps the production of vitamin D, and severe weather conditions, especially when ignoring headgear.

An increase in hair loss of up to 20% in the spring periods is the norm and should not cause concern. During these periods, you should provide hair care. It is also advisable to take vitamin complexes.

Wearing wigs and tight hats

Wigs and caps, contrary to erroneous opinions, do not provoke hair loss. Headgear does not limit the flow of oxygen to the hair. However, tight hats and wigs can damage strands by wringing them. In the cold season it is more useful to wear a hat than to refuse it, and expose the hair to adverse environmental influences.

Health problems and medications

These conditions can alter the activity of hormone production by the thyroid gland: increase (hyperthyroidism) or reduce (hypothyroidism). Iodine deficiency also leads to an increase in the thyroid gland (endemic goiter) and changes in the level of thyroid hormones.

When hyperthyroidism is observed increased hair loss, which leads to diffuse alopecia (uniform baldness). This disease is more likely to postmenopausal women. Hypothyroidism provokes fragility, thinning hair and their further loss.

The loss can be enhanced on the background of medication (hormonal, contraceptive, antidepressants, anticoagulants) and therapeutic procedures (chemotherapy). In 90% of cases with chemotherapy, complete baldness occurs, but this process is completely reversible.

In most cases, the process of prolapse is reversible, to prevent severe forms of baldness in diseases of the thyroid gland and scalp, timely treatment is necessary.

The difficulty of diagnosing nodular lesions on the thyroid is that almost always in the early stages of the disease is asymptomatic and is detected by chance. Thyroid nodes: how dangerous and how to treat? Read on.

We'll talk about the prognosis for recovery from the detection of thyroid cancer in this topic.


The thyroid gland synthesizes several hormones that participate in the work of all internal systems. Dysfunction of this organ causes serious malfunctions, including metabolism.

The thyroid gland synthesizes the production of the following hormones:

  • Thyroid iodine-containing (thyroxin, triiodothyronine). These hormones are involved in the process responsible for the production of melanin, through which hair gets its color.
  • Calcitonin. Regulates the level of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. The concentration of the hormone calcitonin in pregnant women exceeds the permissible values, while the condition of the woman is assessed as normal.

Thyroxin stimulates cell division, due to which hair grows. Triiodothyronine is involved in processes that slow down the aging of the body.

In case of pathologies of the thyroid gland, the cycle of renewal of curls is disturbed. Due to hormonal imbalance, the duration of the period in which cells actively divide is reduced. As a result, against the background of thyroid disease, there is a situation when hair that falls out due to natural causes is not replaced by new ones.

Attention! At the risk of developing pathologies that cause baldness are women over 35 years old. However, the occurrence of such violations in people of any gender and age group is possible.

The following diseases contribute to the development of alopecia:

  • Hypothyroidism, characterized by a decrease in the level of thyroid hormones.
  • Hyperthyroidism, characterized by increased levels of hormones.


Hyperthyroidism in approximately 70% is due to autoimmune pathology., which is accompanied by a uniform enlargement of the thyroid gland. Also, organ dysfunction is due to infection or toxic damage to local tissues.

The following symptoms indicate the presence of hyperthyroidism:

  • the appearance of a goiter on the throat, which resembles a large tumor,
  • sharp weight loss,
  • active heartbeat
  • reduced vision

The development of alopecia in hyperthyroidism is explained by the fact that the immune system in response to a toxic or other damage begins to attack healthy cells of the body. In the end, this leads to rejection of tissues by the body and loss of curls.

If the cause of hyperthyroidism has become the Basedow's disease, the development of alopecia causes follicle depletion. The latter under the influence of pathology cease to produce new hair.


Hypothyroidism develops due to partial or complete removal of the thyroid gland.and also in autoimmune thyroiditis, when immunity attacks the tissues that make up the parenchyma of the organ. The impact of these factors leads to irreversible consequences.

The risk of developing hypothyroidism includes people taking thyreostatics (against diffuse goiter) or not consuming iodine in sufficient quantity.

Hypothyroidism is considered difficult to diagnose pathology. The decrease in the concentration of hormones causes dysfunction of a certain organ, which complicates the detection of the disease.

The clinical picture becomes pronounced with long-term hypothyroidism:

  • swelling of the face and limbs
  • muscle pain,
  • weakness and stiffness in the arms
  • burning and stinging in the body,
  • inhibited speech,
  • feeling of apathy,
  • voice change,
  • hearing problems

Due to the decrease in the level of hormones, the blood circulation is disturbed. Cells in such conditions are deficient in nutrients, which leads to the gradual death of local tissues. Initially, on the background of hypothyroidism, the hair becomes dry and gray.Subsequently, due to the death of the follicle curls fall out.

Be careful! Alopecia caused by hypothyroidism is diffuse. Baldness affects all areas of the head.


The trichologist deals with treating alopecia directly. However, the endocrinologist selects a scheme for therapeutic intervention in case of a lesion of the thyroid gland.

If you suspect hyper- or hypothyroidism are prescribed:

  • blood test for thyroid hormone levels,
  • Ultrasound and scintography of the thyroid gland,
  • CT scan, MRI or X-ray.

It is impossible to self-medicate with the pathologies of the thyroid gland. Receiving drugs that are suitable for the elimination of hypothyroidism, with hyperthyroidism provokes a deterioration of the patient's condition. Tactics of treatment should be selected taking into account the nature of the changes. In this case, the pathology therapy is usually carried out using specific drugs.

In the treatment of hypothyroidism are used: Triiodothyronine, L-thyroxine, Euiroks.

It is also necessary to make correction of iodine deficiency through appropriate preparations and changes in the daily diet. The patient is recommended to consume more seafood and seaweed.

Depending on the nature of the causative factor, the treatment of hypothyroidism is supplemented by taking drugs whose action is aimed at suppressing the inflammatory process in the tissues of the thyroid gland and restoring the activity of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.

Treatment of hyperthyroidism is aimed at suppressing the secretory activity of the thyroid gland. To do this, appoint the reception:

In addition to drug therapy, hyperthyroidism shows a special diet, which includes the inclusion in the diet of protein-containing and fatty foods, vitamins. In extreme cases, when taking the drugs did not give a positive result, an operation is scheduled to remove a part of the thyroid gland.

After the restoration of the functions of the body, hair growth resumes. To stimulate this process, massage of the head, physiotherapeutic procedures are carried out, and also moisturizing shampoos and masks are used. During the rehabilitation you can not use hair styling products, hair dryers, curling.


It is rather difficult to prevent the development of thyroid pathologies, due to the fact that most of them are caused by autoimmune diseases. They develop on the background of genetic predisposition.

It is possible to prevent thyroid pathologies by regularly consuming a sufficient amount of iodine. It is important to include in the diet of seafood and vegetable food.

It is possible to prevent hair loss, if drugs and other methods of treatment could restore the function of the thyroid gland. Otherwise, the problem organ is removed. However, the scalp does not disappear completely, provided that the patient constantly takes medications that restore the level of thyroid hormones in the body.