I didn’t really think anything of it when several strands of my hair came out as I was combing my hair. I thought my heat-styling tools were to blame. As the days went by, I noticed that my moods were all over the place; one moment I was happy, and the next I would be crying my eyes out for no reason at all. I just blamed it on PMS. I was also losing weight like crazy and couldn’t gain an ounce. My clothes were hanging off my body, and although models are often required to be skinny, this model was getting too skinny. As this cycle kept going, and the hair shedding got worse, I got worried and decided to take a much-needed trip to the beauty supply store after doing some research on the Internet.
I wasn’t so much worried about my terrible Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings, but the hair loss really took its toll. As a model, you’re judged by your appearance, and my once excessively voluminous hair was quickly takings a toll on my self-esteem. There’s no way I would be booking shampoo ads and hair shows like I had done in the past. At the beauty supply store I invested a small fortune in hair products that promised to stop hair loss and strengthen hair. I even bought a silk pillowcase to prevent hair damage during sleep. This waste of money could’ve been prevented had I just gone to the doctor.
After a few months of experimenting with shampoos and treatments, my emotions were still uncontrollable and my hair was still falling out. By now, I had probably lost half of the volume of my hair, although nobody could tell because I started off with an abundance of hair. However, I was crying rivers as I watched my hair come out each time I combed, washed, and touched it. After dissecting the Internet, I read about how hair loss, mood swings and weight fluctuations can occur if your thyroid levels are off. I read about hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, and even bought nutritional supplements that were supposed to help with thyroid issues and hair growth. Evening primrose oil, omega-3 fish oil and biotin come to mind, but nothing seemed to help.
Another small fortune later, I decided that if it’s not something external that’s causing the hair loss, it has to be internal. Fearing the worst, I went to get my blood tested, and what do you know, my TSH levels were high, and my doctor said I was borderline hypothyroid. She then told me she’s starting me on Levothyroxine 0 .25 mcg, which is the lowest dose of a commonly-prescribed thyroid medicine. I hugged her so hard, because I thought my misery was about to end. After eight weeks, nothing had changed so I went back to the doctor. I had my blood tested only to find out that my TSH levels had gone up instead of down. She now promised me that a slightly higher dose of 0.50 mcg of Levothyroxine would fix everything. She told me to take it for eight weeks, and although I was scared to be bald and emaciated by that time, I took the medicine.
Within two hours after taking the higher dose, I felt almost euphoric and my moodiness was a thing of the past. At first, I thought it would go away, but the bad moods and emotional outbursts never came back. Although the hair loss has gotten significantly less, I consulted a dermatologist just in case. He told me it would all restore itself in time and that I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing. I consider my current hair shedding to be normal, because I read that people in general lose 50 to 100 strands a day, and I’m way below that. I’m also able to gain weight again, which I’m surprisingly happy about. The last time I had my TSH levels tested, it was right where it’s suppose to be. Although I’ll have to take the medicine for life, and periodically test my TSH levels, I’m picking up the pieces, and pursuing my dreams again. I’m sharing this story, because while I was going through my 6-month ordeal, the stories of others gave me hope. Hopefully my experience will help someone else too.