Patients often list hair loss in hypothyroidism, or Hashimoto’s, as one of their most upsetting symptoms. It also happens in hyperthyroidism, but less commonly.
It’s understandable why; our hair is seen as our crown, and shiny, lustrous, thick hair is traditionally associated with health, youth and beauty.
When I work with a patient to resolve their thyroid issues and the symptoms of it, such as hair loss, my prescription might include dietary changes alongside well-chosen homeopathic remedies which can help to reduce your antibodies and restore balance again.
Best vitamins and minerals for hair growth
So here are four of the best vitamins and minerals to boost, alongside your homeopathic treatment, to encourage hair growth. You can do this through your diet or supplementation.
1. Get your iron levels checked. You can do this easily through your GP or primary care practitioner; your ferritin levels will be low if you have low iron stores in your body. Conventionally your level isn’t considered low unless it’s below 22 but anything less than about 40 can cause hair loss.
So, if your level is less than this, consider supplementing or increasing the iron in your diet. Great sources of iron include chickpeas (garbanzo beans), pumpkin seeds, lentils, leafy greens such as spinach, sesame seeds and – if you’re a meat eater – red meat, pork and liver all pack an iron punch.
Alternatively, try a supplement such as Floradix. This liquid iron supplement is an easily absorbable, plant-based, liquid iron supplement containing organic iron as well as vitamins C and B12. Vitamin C helps absorb the iron and B12 is also needed for healthy hair growth.
Using Ferrum Phos Tissue Salts can also help with the absorption of iron, so I’d suggest taking these for a few months alongside your supplement, or your dietary changes.
2. A biotin (B7) deficiency can cause hair loss. Biotin is needed to produce keratin which is a structural component of our hair.
You can increase your biotin levels by eating foods such as bananas, egg yolk, liver and kidney, whole grains, cauliflower and nut butters. But remember that cooking can render biotin ineffective so raw, or less processed versions of these foods will contain more active biotin.
Or try a supplement like Viridian Biotin.
3. Zinc contributes to healthy hair growth as it helps keep the oil glands around our hair follicles working properly. However, there is also some evidence that high zinc levels can also contribute to hair loss so supplement for a couple of months and then take a break for a couple of weeks.
Or get your zinc in your diet from foods like oysters, beef, spinach, pumpkin seeds and lentils.
Zinc is also important for healthy thyroid hormone production.
4. Selenium is essential for the production of thyroid hormones that help to regulate hair growth. It is also a powerful antioxidant so neutralises free radicals that weaken hair follicles.
Alcohol, cigarettes and the birth control pill can all cause selenium deficiencies. Deficiencies are best tested through a hair test, which I order for my patients who I suspect may be deficient. But, as with zinc, excess selenium can also cause hair loss, so supplement for a few months and take a break for a few weeks. Or increase your selenium through your diet, and that’s very easy to do. One brazil nut contains more than enough of the recommended amount of selenium we need daily.
This multi mineral from Biocare contains selenium and zinc as well as other essential elements that contribute to a healthy thyroid.
Get your thyroid antibodies tested
5. In addition to ensuring you have adequate levels of the vitamins and minerals above, get your thyroid antibodies checked. Don’t just check T4, T3 and TSH, but also check Tpo and TgA antibodies. The presence of these thyroid antibodies above normal levels indicate autoimmunity and this can contribute to hair loss as your hair follicles can be destroyed.
To decrease your autoimmunity avoid gluten, dairy and sugar which can all aggravate an autoimmune reaction.
PS. If you choose to supplement you can use my 10% discount at The Natural Dispensary by popping in this code at checkout CHGGO10.