Dry hair is a common complaint and can include the hair shafts breaking off at the ends. As mentioned in a previous chapter, hair manageability and luster can begin to return within two weeks of beginning proper thyroid hormone therapy, suggesting that the condition of the hair is greatly dependent on the oils secreted by the scalp and not just the composition of the hair shafts themselves. These patients frequently experience hair loss to some degree, especially from the head, but they can lose hair from sites all over the body. Thinning of the lateral one-third of the eye brows is a classic sign of decreased thyroid system function. Patients may also lose their eye lashes, leg hair, and even pubic hair. Most patients with Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome that experience hair loss notice generalized hair loss, especially from the top of their head, near their hair line, and on the sides of the head also (at the temples). Their hair may become so thin that one can often see their scalp. It is usually first noticed as hair on the pillow in the morning or clogging the shower drain. Everyone knows that losing some hair from day to day is normal. But they often notice a significant increase in the amount of hair being lost each day, especially when it comes out seemingly by the handfuls as one passes one’s fingers through one’s hair. One such patient had noticed a 50% decrease in the amount of hair present on her head. This thinning of her hair had been persistent for several years. With proper liothyronine treatment, the 50% loss of hair was restored, giving her back her full head of hair.
Patients also notice that with the onset of Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome, their hair may not hold a perm as well as it used to. They may find that the perm will only hold for a couple of weeks, when previously it would hold for several months. Sometimes their hair will not take a perm at all. Interestingly, most hair dressers are already quite aware of the correlation between decreased thyroid system function and the patient’s ability to maintain a hair permanent.