Why is My Hair Falling Out? The Link Between Your Thyroid and Mitochondria
I Ilana Friedman

Why is My Hair Falling Out? The Link Between Your Thyroid and Mitochondria

Aug 25, 2020

Spoiler Alert: Your mitochondria are responsible for the health of your hair. Shampooing and conditioning with harsh chemicals will damage your hair very quickly. ⁠

Change The Way You See Your Hair

In order to revive our healthy hair, we first need to shift our focus to the hair follicles, because they are like little organs. They depend on the energy of the cells in their structure. They require high amounts of both glucose and oxygen. This cellular energy is produced by mitochondria -- which are essentially the powerhouses of the cell. So you can spend a lot of money on oils and hair products for short term help, but we need to start with the mitochondria if we want to make lasting change. 

Treat Your Hair Like Mini-Organs

The mitochondria are also responsible for the the creation of hair follicles. When the mitochondrial DNA becomes damaged it decreases hair follicle density, increases cell death, and reduces proliferation AKA hair loss.⁠ But wait a minute...

Your Thyroid Impacts The Health Of Your Hair

That little gland sitting below your Adam's apple, or voice box that looks like a butterfly made of meat.  It secretes thyroid hormones, one of them being T3 which is responsible for increasing cellular heat production and oxygen consumption, core activities of mitochondrial metabolism. In hypothyroid states, heat and oxygen are reduced, whereas in hyperthyroid states, the two are increased. Other thyroid hormones along the hypothalamus – pituitary – thyroid axis (HPT) and the other iodothyronines within the thyroid hormone metabolic pathway influence mitochondrial functioning.  Remove or reduce the presence of the thyroid hormones and mitochondria produce less energy and eventually die. With them, the cells in which they reside die too. Conversely, as mitochondria within the thyroid become less efficient, smaller concentrations of thyroid hormones are produced.

Hair Loss From Thyroid and mitochondrial deficiency

With reduced thyroid hormones, mitochondrial efficiency continues to decline and so on...stress, harsh chemicals that come from the water you shower with, hair products full of toxins, a diet of more toxins, and other daily stressors that diminish the function of the cells; hair follicles become clogged with mucopolysaccharides (mucin), calcification, impaired blood flow leading to low available oxygen, oxidative stress and finally, impaired function of the mitochondria.⁠ Considering, that hair generation is an energy, sudden hair loss could be an early marker that mitochondrial resources are limited and being reallocated towards more critical operations like brain and heart functioning. So your hair gets chop liver. 

The Easiest way to test your thyroid for healthy hair

It's not through an expensive blood test. The most accurate way is using a good old thermometer.  This method has been done for decades. Simply because there's is a link between low basal body temperature (temperature at rest)  and low performing thyroid. The basal body temperature is a reflection of your metabolic activity with minimal influence from outside factors like digestion, exercise, stress, etc. After you’ve been asleep for several hours, the body has ideally settled into its resting metabolic pattern, so you have a way to compare your temperature with as little interference as possible. Do this for 5 days in a row.

Uncovering Your Own Patterns

This can be a useful tool that can help you to uncover hypothyroid and even hyperthyroid patterns, just by taking your temperature at the same time every morning for five consecutive days.  Put it next to your nightstand, and the thermometer should be the first thing you reach out to when you open your eyes.  You don't have to have symptoms of thyroid dysfunction...sometimes these symptoms are subtle. Fatigue and  trouble sleeping are very common. Ladies, you will want to avoid starting or collecting data on day 19-22 of your menstrual cycle as there are fluctuations due to other hormones as well as related to ovulation.

What is a normal body temperature

A normal resting body temp should be between 97.8-98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is consistently lower, then there is a trend toward a hypothyroid (decreased function). Consistent temperatures above 98.2, then this might indicate a hyperthyroid (increased function). When you see a mix in your results, both high and low, this is often more indicative of a primary adrenal stress pattern, as the adrenals and thyroid are closely linked, which would allow for the variation in body temperature.

How to Grow Longer And Stronger Hair

  • The mitochondria are very resilient but also susceptible to free radicals. Antioxidant diversity! get your polyphenols and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables or TUSOL smoothies and Lattes.
  • You need bioavailable copper (get it from whole foods high in vitamin C) your hair follicles will thank you...and you will see a decrease in white hair which I wrote about here
  • Lower stress, sleep at least 8 hours every night, don't do intermittent fasting if you are prone to stress and poor sleep.
  • Avoid anything that kills your mitochondria and affects your thyroid, like vegetable oils, glyphosate, and preservatives. You can learn more about these toxins here: The Heavy 3: These Toxins Don’t Belong in Your Kitchen Cabinet
  • Wash your hair once a week.Use a natural shampoo and conditioner Moroccan Method has raw ingredients in their formulations. ⁠
  • And finally...red light therapy. The evidence is mounting on the benefits of red light and mitochondria. Dr. Bauman is THE doctor for hair restoration and has some impressive technology for hair optimization. Check it out. The prices range from $5,200 with a fancy laser helmet to about $800 for a laser cap. 
    Stimulate hair growth


$5,200 Bauman Turbo LaserCap

Stimulating your scalp with red light has been proven effective to the health of hair. Specifically lasers...something out of an 80's movie. Low-level laser therapy — also referred to as red light therapy and cold laser therapy — irradiates photons into scalp tissues. These photons are absorbed by weak cells to encourage hair growth. You know what else loves red light? Yep. Mitochondria. It's portable and rechargeable low-level laser light therapy device proven to regrow your own living hair. Recommended for those post-hair transplant, thinning hair, as well as hair loss prevention and overall hair health. Use 6 minutes each day. This might not be affordable by most people, so you can start with simple red infrared lights like this, and use it not only for your scalp but for your body as well: Infrared Light Therapy $178.99    

Smoothie Shampoo TUSOL


$5.95-$35 Morrocco Method This company basically makes smoothies for hair. All their ingredients are raw superfoods. This is what you want on your hair. Not hormone disruptors that are included in most shampoos, from pthalates, to parabens, to SLS among others. This gentle, conditioning shampoo works to stimulate, rejuvenate, and revitalize the hair and scalp, providing shine and luster to dry or damaged strands. Representing the element of Ether, this natural shampoo is raw and filled with the purest, hand-picked ingredients, making it great for normal to damaged hair types.   


$35-$130 5-20 pack Speaking of smoothies for the hair...taking  all your hair supplements can be a task and you will probably forget to take them like I do. This is why TUSOL smoothies are great, everything you need for thyroid and mitochondrial health is packed in every smoothie. Chaga, the mushroom high in antioxidants that will protect your mitochondria for optimal hair follicle health has been added to most of the formulations. Not to mention other important superfoods that will help with hair growth, maintenance and give you the luster you deserve  
Further reading: 
How To Improve Hair Health Naturally
How Do I Stop Grey Hair from Growing

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