As the editor of a magazine totally devoted to anti-ageing you would think I would know enough not to mess around with my hormones. Well I have to confess that is exactly what I did, albeit with a little bit of advice from an anti-ageing doctor. And with bad consequences – two thirds of my hair fell out.
How did this happen you may ask? Well in common with many woman of a certain age I started to suffer sub-optimal levels of the metabolism controlling hormone made by the thyroid gland but with no particular symptoms. But after a girlfriend, who had none of the symptoms either – she was slim and full of energy – I decided to take a blood test with my GP. It confirmed that I was indeed short of the hormone and that I should supplement with thyroxine – first a small dose of 0.25mg and then 0.50 mg.
So I supplemented by taking the tiniest of pills first thing in the morning for several years. Then in a conversation in Harley Street with an anti-ageing doctor, I was advised to take a freely available supplement called Potassium Iodide – which can be bought on the net. So I started taking this for several months instead of my thyroxine. What I did know was that Potassium Iodide is the supplement you are advised to take if there is a nuclear blast as it protects the thyroid gland from radiation. Added to which you are only supposed to take it short term as a build up is ‘toxic’. I did notice after a month or so that I had a metallic taste in my mouth, that the skin on my back felt rough, I was getting strange spots on my face, my neck was swollen and I was having difficulty swallowing – but thought these were symptoms of hypochondria. I later discovered that these were symptoms of ‘toxicity’.
It was only when I ran out of the supplement and didn’t replace it with thyroxine that I suddenly noticed large amounts of hair in the bath plug hole, then all around my home and also it was coming out in handfuls and I was starting to see my scalp! And I had really thick hair which hairdressers always used to comment on….
So I turned to the internet for more information. And concluded that my sudden hair loss was a symptom of one of the following:
- Too much testosterone – which meant I was turning into a man and suffering from male-pattern baldness. This was the worst possible scenario because then it never grows back!
- It was stress-induced. That was a possibility and had happened once before.
- My thyroid was in need of thyroxine to help it function properly and hair loss – albeit temporary was a symptom.
I concluded that my lack of thyroxine was to blame and started taking my tablets again and paid a visit to my GP for a blood test just in case there was something else. I also started eating all the things that help promote hair growth such as fish oils, selenium and tocotrienol (vitamin E).
So what was I to do about my hair disaster while waiting for the thyroxine levels to build up and my hair to grow back which would take several months?
It was suggested that I try hair loss products. But being sceptical – we have all seen men with those spray on colour thickeners – which sprays the scalp as well as the hair. But I was to learn that there are lots of new products nowr with ingredients that can really help you make the most of your hair when you need to.
I tried the range from Hair Wonder which is aimed at halting hair loss caused by the menopause and stress, and contains phytokeratin to strengthen the hair and provitamin B5 to add shine. The range includes shampoos, conditioners and a hair follicle boosting lotion and a hair thickener.
Surprisingly the one product I thought would be terrible was the one I most recommend – the hair thickener! Expecting to end up with hair that looked dull, lifeless and weighed down by the product, I could not have been more wrong.
Hair Wonder’ Henna Plus Fluid Hair Volumiser contains a range of ingredients that add volumn and strength to the hair without making it sticky, including henna, organic extracts and phyto keratin. After washing your hair your spray it on and then blow dry. And it does make a difference – OK you don’t get your hair back instantly but it does look and feel a whole lot better.
The Anti-Hair Loss Lotion is also a great product because its applied directly to the scalp to stop further hair loss occuring. Trials in France revealed that it can increase hair growth by 25% in just four days.
The gloss shampoo is gentle and contains amino acids, Red ginseng and biotin to promote healthy hair follicles and gloss.
Whilst I realise that hair loss is often a symptom of a health issue that cannot always be sorted with a topical product, the range of Hair Wonder products does not contain any of the harsh ingredients that can make hair condition worse. It does help to give body, volume and shine which is a big step in the right direction when hair loss can be very distressing. And they are not being sold at the rip-off prices.
I can only speak for my hair which is on the road to recovery – with a little help!
The anti-hair loss shampoo costs £9.99 (200ml), the hair lotion £16.99 (75ml) and the hair thickener £7.99 (150ml). There are several other products in the range. Buy at www.naturalorigin.com