Wow, sorry for the big delay in posting. I have so much to share and plan to do more frequent updates this summer. First I wanted to share an update on my hair, after the Great Hair Disaster of 2010.
To give you a refresher… in May 2010, using myself as the usual experiment test-dummy, I took DHEA to see if it would help with my thyroid and adrenal issues. Whether it was the DHEA alone, or a perfect storm of stress combined with my flat iron, within three weeks I lost over half my hair volume. And what hair remained broke almost to the root. Devastating? Yes!
I had no idea how much I loved my long hair until it was gone. I’ve been sulking for a year now, enviously watching women with long hair. For a while I wore hair extensions, which was great and helped me through the early trauma of losing almost 8 inches of hair. Finally I’ve recovered, and now embracing the short hair while it grows out, sans hair extensions.
That’s the backstory, now the goods news! I’ve done tons of research on how to grow and maintain healthy hair, which I am excited to share with you all. Even if you have strong hair, you might know someone who has gone through a similar tragedy. And if you have hair care tips, please share!
Here is low-down. In my research, it seems that growing strong and healthy hair has four key parts:
Hair Growth: Iron Supplements
My first concern was speed of hair growth. Every morning in the mirror, I desperately willed my hair to grow. Apparently healthy hair grows about 1/2 inch a month. So 6 inches a year! But for us hypothyroid people, I read we often have low iron which means hair grows slower! My iron was very low, so I made sure to take my iron (25 mg/day). From what I’ve read it takes about 3-4 months to get iron levels up so it was important for me to be diligent.
Hair Strength: Zinc
My hair had inches of terrible split ends. So I had to work on strengthening my hair. I read that Zinc was good for hair strength (also supposedly good for thyroid) so I added Zinc 10mg a day. My hair is no longer splitting, and the new growth is getting stronger. Thumbs up for the zinc. Plus I noticed an added bonus of less acne, woot!
Hair Shine: Omega 6
I read that Evening Primrose Oil Omega-6 was good for strength and shine, so I’ve been taking Evening Primrose Oil 1350mg 2/day for a year. It’s a little hard to tell if this made a difference with my hair, but it seems like it hasn’t hurt. And the Evening Primrose Oil definitely helped with PMS and mood swings! That was a huge bonus. Can you believe I don’t have any PMS now? (sorry to the guys if this is TMI).
Stress: Vitamin C
From what I’ve read, when the body is in stress it draws from the hair, skin and nails first. So the hair tragedy was a clue that my body was not happy with me last year. In the Adrenal Fatigue book by James Wilson, he talks about the importance of Vitamin C to help the adrenals deal with stress. And recently I read on Janie’s blog on Stop the Thyroid Madness, how she feels she never had adrenal fatigue because she has always taken lots of Vitamin C. This was great info! For the past year, I upped my dose of Vitamin C to 2k units a day with 1k units of bioflavinoid (for absorption). When I take my Vitamin C, I feel really solid all around. And the great bonus, I wasn’t sick at all this year. Sweet.
And now for the photo! This is from June, one year after the Great Hair Disaster of 2010. Doing pretty good I think. My next blog post is going to be about how I stopped using shampoo three months ago (zoinks!) and now just do “conditioning only”…
PS – Thanks to the ladies at the Yahoo Grow Hair Forum who saved me many many times. xxoo!