Although hypothyroidism can have many side effects, to me, the worst side effect was the dreaded hair loss I experienced. Before my diagnosis, my hair would come out in clumps each time I washed or combed it. I lost about half of my hair’s volume before I started taking levothyroxine, a common medicine used to treat the underactive thyroid disorder. After getting on the right doses and taking the medication for about three months, my hair shedding drastically reduced, and I was determined to get my old hair back.
After visiting the dermatologist, I was told that “Rogaine for Women” was the best current treatment for hair loss. The active ingredient in Rogaine is minoxidil, which according to the Rogaine website, reinvigorates shrunken hair follicles and reactivates natural growth. I told my dermatologist that I thought that Rogaine was just for people who were bald and trying to regrow their hair. Although I had lost a lot of hair volume, I wasn’t bald, although my scalp was somewhat more visible due to thinning of my hair. My doctor assured me that Rogaine wasn’t just for bald people. He said that it can also thicken thin hair and stop hair loss. He proudly went on to tell me that it’s available over-the-counter, although this wasn’t always the case. He told me that it could take up to four months before I would see results, but that I shouldn’t stop using it, because the results would reverse if I did.
With new found hope, I went to the store in search of “Rogaine for Women.” To my surprise, it was quite pricey. My doctor had conveniently left out that a 3-pack of “Rogaine for Women” costs close to $50. Luckily, there was a generic version with the same active ingredient, which I bought for under $20. One bottle should last up to a month, so I was good to go.
I used the dropper that came with the bottles to apply 1 mL of the liquid to the areas of my scalp where the hair was thinning. I massaged the liquid into my scalp with my fingertips and did this religiously every morning and night. Because you only have to apply a small amount of the water-like liquid to your scalp, it doesn’t affect hairstyling. I was able to style my hair as normal and didn’t experience any side effects. About four months later, I have to say, the areas where I applied the Rogaine liquid look and feel significantly thicker. Because of the new thickness, my scalp isn’t visible anymore. I plan on continuing to use Rogaine, because I’m afraid the results will otherwise reverse. My hair shedding has drastically stopped, although this might also be because of the levothyroxine. For now, it looks like I will be able to restore my hair to the way it was before hypothyroidism.