Hair splitting: Hi, there's a lot of discussion... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
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Hair splitting

Hi, there's a lot of discussion about hair falling out or turning brittle, etc. My hair has been splitting a lot lately, multiple splits on some hair and not all at the hair ends. Some splits are quite long, they make my hair look a bit like tree branches.

My hypo symptoms have been intensifying in the last year or so before I started taking Levo a couple of months ago. Are split ends and hair splitting mid length also connected to low thyroid? Or is this likely deficiency of a nutrient? Has anyone found a solution?

9 Replies

My hair was splitting at the ends - felt a bit like straw too so eventually I made an appointment and got a bit cut off. It's quite long at the moment and I don't have any layers in it either which I think helps the overall appearance.

When I visited the hairdresser he said to brush it every day with a pure bristle brush. I bought a flat one made by Kent - it is similar to the expensive Maison Pearson ones but half the price and I really do think the daily brushing with pure bristles has helped. It spreads the oils through it but doesn't make it greasy for some reason.


Unfortunately, it can be a side effect of levothyroxine and I assume, as it may have taken a long time before we are actually diagnosed, that our body is deplete of essential thyroid hormones so has to be built up. As people's dose increases it should recover.

(I am not medically qualified)

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I think it must be a hypo symptom, because I had it all my life until I started thyroid hormone replacement.

I agree with FandC! You can't beat a good brush with a good brush... if you see what I mean. Brush your hair over your head, and make sure you get to the roots, stimulate the skin, so that the blood rushes to the roots. And, when you wash your hair, give your scalp a good massage, to keep it supple.

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Start taking the supplement biotin. I had same issue, after a few weeks the hair loss decreased and hair is much healthier. I was recommended Natures Bounty, hair skin and nails.


Biotin helps some, but it interferes with thyroid tests, so be wary!

I've mentioned this before, but the Curly Girl method (I am curly but it works for wavy or straight hair too) has brought my hair into fab condition. I hadn't thought about it before, but I have NO splits now, and they used to be the reason I had to have it cut regularly. Basically you use NO shampoo, and wash with silicone free conditioner. Shampoo strips out the natural oils, leaving hair unprotected from, well, everything. And really the only reason for using it is that most conditioners contain silicones that build up on the hair. How silly is that?

I haven't used shampoo in a year. My hair is clean, glossy, no splits or breaks, beautiful curl formation instead of a frizzy ball. Yes, it is a bit more effort, but the results are so worthwhile.

There's a book 'The Curly Girl Method' by Lorraine Massey, or a facebook group Curly Girls! (Conditioner Washing Group for Women).

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Quite right Ruthi. New paper published - though based on a specialist usage, the effects are the same:

AACE Clin Case Rep. 2016 Fall;2(4):e370-e373.


Minkovsky A1, Lee MN1, Dowlatshahi M1, Angell TE2, Mahrokhian LS3, Petrides AK1, Melanson SE1, Marqusee E2, Woodmansee WW2.

Author information



To review cases and increase awareness in clinicians treating patients who may be taking biotin.


We describe the presentation and workup of a woman with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis on high dose biotin with laboratory studies suggestive of thyrotoxicosis.


Plasma samples showed laboratory evidence of elevated thyroid hormone levels with elevated free thyroxine >7.8 ng/dl (reference interval (RI) 0.9-1.7 ng/dl) and decreased thyroid stimulating hormone <0.02 uIU/ml (RI 0.50-5.70 uIU/ml). Laboratory values normalized when biotin was withheld prior to repeat testing.


Our case report demonstrates that ingestion of high dose biotin in multiple sclerosis patients can cause interference with laboratory assessment of thyroid function. This interference causes laboratory values suggestive of thyrotoxicosis and can lead to unnecessary evaluation. Clinicians should be aware of the risk of laboratory interference in this patient demographic.


High dose biotin; competitive immunoassay; interference; multiple sclerosis; thyrotoxicosis

PMID: 27917400

DOI: 10.4158/EP161261.CR


Eur Thyroid J. 2016 Sep;5(3):212-215. Epub 2016 Aug 12.

Biochemical Hyperthyroidism in a Newborn Baby Caused by Assay Interaction from Biotin Intake.

Bülow Pedersen I1, Laurberg P1.

Author information


We describe a case of biochemical neonatal thyrotoxicosis caused by biotin supplementation. Biotin may interact with thyroid function testing to imitate thyrotoxicosis with low thyroid-stimulating hormone and elevated triiodothyronine and thyroxine levels.


Assay interaction; Biotin; Neonatal hyperthyroidism

PMID: 27843813

PMCID: PMC5091267

[Available on 2017-03-01]




I have to give this a go


Thank you all for your responses. It seems that biotin supplementation may do wonders to my hair but the interference with testing is a worry. I've only been on Levo for a few weeks and still some way to getting the dose optimised. I have another blood test coming up at the end of this month - I'd hate for biotin to skew the test results. I'm guessing it could result in the Levo dose being established too low due to the tsh getting artificially reduced (t4 does not get tested here unless tsh is out of range)?

It's quite scary to think a vitamin supplementation can result in wrong diagnoses of chronic illnesses! Yet another reason why the tsh/t4 lab results should not be definitive for a diagnosis and treatment...


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