June 14, 2022

Mystery Hair loss: Causes and Solutions

More and more people are coming to my practice for answers and remedies about their hair loss, lately– both men and women. While some cases are mild, others are quite severe. Some people find extra hair in the drain after showering or notice increased shedding on their pillows. Others are experiencing large clumps of hair coming out on their brushes or in their hands.

Increased media attention on Jada Pinkett Smith’s struggle with alopecia has brought hair loss even more into public awareness and consideration.

Experiencing hair loss as a woman can be extremely difficult and taxing, bringing up emotions of sadness, fear, loss, and extreme vulnerability.

While mystery hair loss and hair thinning can feel frustrating and demoralizing, the more we understand about the situation, the better we can address it over time.

If you are suffering from mystery hair thinning or hair loss, I hope that the information below can be a springboard for your healing.

Thyroid Viruses & Infections: Overcompensating Hormones, Underproducing Hair

The adrenal glands are the most important in the endocrine system. When the thyroid is chronically struggling due to a viral infection, the adrenals overcompensate and produce extra hormones. The repeated stress production of hormones and adrenaline may be the cause of your hair loss. Many people experience hair loss after Covid for this reason; a significant amount of adrenaline is released to fight the viral infection (Covid is a virus), so it’s incredibly important to support the adrenals both during and after an infection.

Mystery hair loss or thinning may be the result of an emotional experience from as far back as 6 months to a year ago. Break ups, moves, new jobs, pandemics, childbirth, trauma– emotional duress releases a surge of adrenaline and cortisol. There is a delay in time between the overproduction of adrenaline and how it affects the hair follicles, so it is common for you to have moved past the trauma and regained your footing before you even begin to notice hair loss.

Epstein-Barr Virus is often the culprit of mystery hair thinning, as an infection in the thyroid gland, particularly in the case of Hashimotos, Low Thyroid, or Graves’ Disease has been known to trigger the adrenals to produce the excess hormones that lead to excess adrenaline and cortisol.

A viral strain of EBV is also the root cause of alopecia areata. While it was once believed that alopecia is the result of your immune system attacking your hair follicles, we now know that the body is never attacking itself but is always going after a pathogen. EBV can cause your adrenals to lack one of the 56 blends of adrenaline, which leads to the widespread hair loss of alopecia.

A Major Cause May Live in Your Liver

The excess hair in your drain and on your pillow may be the result of a stagnant and sluggish liver. There is a critical hormone produced by the adrenal gland that keeps hair follicles alive and stimulates growth. When deficiencies in that hormone combine with toxic heavy metals and/or pathogens in an already sluggish liver, you may see signs of hair loss.

Traditional Medicine: The Cure or the Cause?

Thyroid medications, antibiotics, anti-coagulants, anticonvulsants, beta blockers, and oral retinoids can all lead to hair loss. While it may seem that medication is mitigating hair loss, the timing is mere coincidence. It is most likely that your adrenals were already beginning to recover at the same time you began medication. Once the medication works its way into your system, your adrenals are disrupted again, and hair loss may ensue.

Hair loss can also present after mild exposure to radiation. Something as seemingly harmless as a dental x-ray or air travel cause problems for hair retention and production.

Still Not Sure What’s Causing Your Hair Loss? Avoid Alcohol

Drinking alcohol consistently can weaken your hair and lead to breakage by choking your follicles, creating thin and brittle hair. Alcohol inflames the scalp and exacerbates scalp-related issues.

Alcohol also dehydrates your skin. Being that your scalp is simply an expanse of skin, it can become flakey and itchy due to a lack of natural oils, which affects elasticity. It’s no surprise that people who suffer from eczema are more likely to experience hair loss, as dryness can contribute to hair thinning.

So, What Can You Do?

  • Cut out alcohol
  • Carry adrenal supporting snacks and have one every 90-mintues like apples, celery and dates; grapes, bananas and red leaf lettuce; orange, avocado and spinach; apricots; sweet potatoes, sesame and sunflower seeds; and more
  • Horsetail tea, amla berry, and aloe vera can be very helpful for reversing hair loss
  • Supplements to support hair regrowth such as: nettle leaf, ashwagandha, zinc, silica, spirulina, barley grass juice extract, lemon balm and milk thistle, and CoQ10
  • Topical oils like rosemary oil, pomegranate seed oil, and thyme oil topically can support and revitalize blood flow to the scalp

Hair Repair and Regrowth Protocol

I have found this protocol (courtesy of Anthony Wililam, Medical Medium), to be the most helpful for my patients when it comes to hair repair and regrowth.

  • Fresh celery juice: work up to 32 oz daily
  • 5-MTHF: 1 capsule daily
  • Ashwagandha: 3 dropperfuls twice a day
  • Barley grass juice powder: 1 tablespoon or 9 capsules daily
  • Burdock root: 1 cup of tea or 1 root freshly juiced daily
  • Chaga mushroom: 1 tablespoon or 9 capsules daily
  • CoQ10: 1 capsule daily
  • Curcumin: 2 capsules twice a day
  • EPA and DHA (fish free): 1 capsule daily
  • Lemon balm: 2 droppersful twice a day
  • L-glutamine: 2 capsules twice a day
  • Licorice root: 1 dropperful daily (two weeks on, two weeks off)
  • Magnesium glycinate: 2 capsules twice a day
  • MSM: 1 capsule daily
  • Nascent iodine: 2 small drops daily
  • Nettle leaf: 4 droppersful daily
  • Raspberry leaf: 1 cup of tea with 2 bags twice daily
  • Spirulina: 2 teaspoons or 6 capsules daily
  • Vitamin B12: 2 droppersful twice daily
  • Vitamin C: 4 capsules twice a day
  • Vitamin D3: 1,000 IU every other day
  • Wild blueberry powder: 1 table spoon daily
  • Zinc: 1 dropperful twice a day

Take a deep breath and know that there are steps to be taken to reverse mystery hair loss.

Remember: food is medicine. Keep making healthy, informed choices and prioritizing the healing you deserve.

~ Dr. Sherri Green