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Is Your Hair Falling Out?
Mine, too. For the third time. Here's what I'm doing!
Updates: 3/20/22, 2/22/22, 4/24/19, 11/26/16
March 22, 2022
So many of you are suffering hair loss right now (including me). Many blame it on Covid and that is at least partially true. Hair loss is actually caused by stress, not by any particular disease (except alopecia).
You will lose hair after childbirth, after a hospital stay, after periods of prolonged intense stress or intense illness... Truth be told, we've all been so stressed by the Covid Debacle, it's a wonder any of us have hair left, right?
In normal times, I don’t lose a single hair. Ever. Maybe if it’s really tangled, I’ll find a couple in the brush. But never any in the tub or sink or floor or anywhere.
Now? My hair is falling out by the handfuls, just like it did back in 2010 and in again in 2019. In 2010, I started taking iodine and the hair loss stopped in 3 days. I believe my recent hugely stressful 10 weeks of pathogen experience is the culprit. I was extremely sick.
So I’m taking my own advice and doing ALL the cures at the same time. As a coach, I don't normally recommend throwing the kitchen sink at anything because then you don't know what really helped. But I don't have time to be bald :)
It was also the impetus for updating this post with new & corrected info. I hope you get some help here! As usual, if you have questions, either comment on the post or just hit reply. I answer everything myself.
The original post from 2014
Lately, it seems I see SO MANY WOMEN who have receding hairlines, bald spots, extremely thin hair. I want to run up to them and extoll the virtues of iodine supplementation... but I figure they want to believe no one notices their hair loss, so I don't.
If you know someone with hair troubles, please share this post. There's a wealth of info here as well as links to actual experts. At least get them on the path to healthy hair. Who doesn't want good hair days?
Back in 2010, after IAD (I Almost Died, a phrase that comes in handy when I want something from my siblings), I watched my hair falling out in clumps in the shower. It was the most prolonged depressing experience of my young life. It wasn't the prospect of being bald. I can do bald. It was the overwhelming fear and panic, wondering what the hell was happening NOW, and what was going to happen NEXT?
Funny story… Funny now (2014), NOT funny then (2010).
One day, I thought I felt a bald spot in the back of my head. Hmmm, I haven’t lost THAT much hair, have I? So I went to Hal and asked, “Is this a bald spot?” I turned my back to him, held up my hair, and he yelled “OH MY GOD!”
Ok. Whatever you do, when someone asks “is this a bald spot”, do NOT yell OMG, ok?
Yes it was a bald spot. OMG. And, turns out, there was more than one. Not a good day.
After blogging about it, a reader suggested thyroid trouble. "Thyroid?" I asked. "What's a thyroid?" Seriously, I had no clue. You all teach me everything. Thank you.
I researched "thyroid hair loss" and discovered iodine. It didn't take much convincing to try it. In fact, I got some Lugol's iodine in pill form as fast as I could! After 3 days, the hair loss STOPPED. Cold. Wow... I will never be without iodine again.
Companion Nutrients for Iodine
If you are taking iodine, you need Selenium and Vitamin C as well. Not necessarily at the same time but on the same day :-)
+ SELENIUM: Here's a good article explaining the relationship. There are links in this article to read what other experts say. This is the selenium we take.
+ VITAMIN C You also need to supplement with Vitamin C. This is what we take, I mix into my protein smoothie or shoot down in a little booch. You can mix in yogurt, too, or juice. If you prefer pills, this is the liposomal Vitamin C I keep on hand as well.
Other Hair Loss Healers
Before we dive into iodine — and every cell in your body needs it, hair loss or no!!! — here are 3 other ways to combat hair loss.
Biotin I’m using a product called “Hair Skin Nails” from Robert’s, my local health food store. I love it!!! If you can’t buy biotin locally, try this one. I would only use such a high biotin dose until my hair got back to normal. Then I just rely on my basic B complex (go here to find my daily supplements).
Collagen I use Arbonne’s Skin Elixir which has hylaruonic acid in it (and biotin), a collagen building block. Or use this amazing collagen supplement (recommended by my good friend Kelly the Kitchen Kop — use the code KOP for 10% off).
Ustilago 200C taken 2x a day at least 6 hours apart + Hepar Sulph 1000C taken once a week. Hepar Sulph is the homeo antibiotic. Ustilago has worked well for me in the past. NO side effects :) I buy my remedies at homepathyworks.com. Please don’t hesitate to comment your questions and I will answer!
Iron This from Chris Masterjohn, one of my go-tos for nutritional advice. He’s a brainiac and does a deep dive into all nutrients & supplements. I bought his book on supplements, constantly updated. He’s definitely worth a read!
Homepathy There are several other options for using homeopathic remedies for hair loss, please ask if Ustilago/Hepar does not work for you.
Iodine in liquid form or pill form?
Lugol's solution is not a brand name, it's the formula named after its creator.
LugoTabs is the pill form of Lugol's. I started with the pills, then went to the liquid because the liquid is cheaper. Tastes how you might think iodine tastes: terrible. If you mix it with a little kombucha and shoot it back, or put in a smoothie, you can mask the taste.
I've now gone back to the LugoTabs. Easy and no taste!
Some say the pills are the better choice because the pill goes lower in the intestine before dissolving which means better absorption where it's needed. I don't understand the how or why of that, but I did read it on the internet so it's gotta be true, right?
Ok, j/k. I don't believe EVERYTHING I read online. Only after considerable research do I trust my instincts on new ideas.
You can start with as little as 6.25 in pill form. I started with the 12.5 mg; now I'm up to 50 mg. That's the minimum, according to Dr. Brownstein, THE expert (more info on him below).
Here's an excellent guide to supplementation from Stepping Stones Living run by Stephanie Buist. She ran the iodine groups when I first started learning about iodine back in 2011. Besides Brownstein, she’s my go to for iodine info. You can find her blog/store here and her FB group here.
Iodine Detox Reaction
When you start taking iodine, there's an excellent chance of detox reactions, a.k.a. "Herx" reactions. These are most often flu-like symptoms and include a wide range of unpleasant ways your body reacts to a cleanse or a change in diet: headaches, rashes, aches, skin eruptions, to name a few of the prettier ones. Just don't let it surprise you!
My detox reactions from the various natural cures I've tried have never lasted longer than a week. For relief, I do coffee enemas, castor oil packs, epsom salt baths, drink lots of decaf liquids, extra Vitamin D3 (along with my daily supplements).
I did salt loading at the beginning almost everyday and occasionally do it now. Iodine replaces the bromide and fluoride in your thyroid, toxins that are NOT supposed to be there. Salt loading helps move them out of your body. Yay!
Iodine worked for me.
My hair stopped falling out and it all came back thick and healthy. Actually, the first growth back was what my friends call "chemo hair": it was curly and a little bristly, more gray than before. Soooo relieved to have hair again, I don’t care what color it is!!!
Have you experienced your hair falling out? What worked for you? What didn't?
Read Lynn Farrow's book The Iodine Crisis.
Dr. Brownstein on Iodine: In the alternative health field, Dr. David Brownstein is one of the (if not THE) acknowledged iodine experts. here’s a recent interview from 2019 on iodine & thyroid. (There was a fabulous series of 3 video interviews he did with Mercola but YT took them down… They were quite old, at least from 2014 and probably before. Can’t find them anywhere. Harrumph.)
Dr. Flechas on Iodine: Lots of great videos here.
Found this great article on iodine -- very complete!
Here's Chris Kresser on thyroid health, Hashimoto's, iodine and selenium.
ON taking vitamin C & iodine together: there is a lot of research that says you don’t take vitamin C & iodine together because the C will change the Lugol’s. We have always taken together and have not noticed any lack… but we don’t do testing either so we don’t really know. The point is to do your research on that idea. Stephanie Buist says it’s ok to take together.
DISCLAIMER ON THYROID ISSUES If you have Hashimoto's, Addison's, etc., do your research on iodine + selenium supplementation. Many mainstream doctors warn against iodine supplementation. The alternative community PROMOTES iodine use! What mainstream docs don't know about thyroid health could fill an encyclopedia.