View Full Version : Post-thyroid: to chop or not to chop? (with pictures)

March 16th, 2013, 10:52 AM
I lost half my hair to thyroid issues a few years back, and the new growth has (finally!!) hit chin length. There's a pretty noticeable line where the new growth cuts off, and I rarely even wear my hair down now because the last two thirds of it are thin and have a kind of 'see-through' effect and just generally doesn't look nice. The texture of the ends is all wonked because it grew in during the thyroid issues, so the new growth is curly and the old growth is not. I don't know, it would be nice to have a fresh start and to try to get my curls back, but I'm apprehensive to lose the length I've gained so far, especially when it was such a process to grow! Plus I'm a huge baby about getting my hair cut.

This is the best picture I have of the see-through effect. It was taken in January, and you can see where the new growth ends (basically at the edges of my scalp) and the old growth continues on alone.


And here's a terribly blurry one (sorry!) from about a month later to show the texture difference. The top half of my hair always has a kind of crimp in it like this, even when I try to comb it out straight.


Aaand one more to show the unimpeded ringlet-ty new growth.


So, what say you, LHCers? To chop or not to chop? I keep going back and forth on it in my head and I would love some input!

March 16th, 2013, 11:04 AM
What a lovely ringlet! :)

If it were me I would chop it, not because of the way it looks, but just because I would be looking forward to thicker & more uniform growth.

Plus... Summer is soon. There is never a better time to chop, what with growth spurts & keeping yourself cool.

March 16th, 2013, 11:17 AM
I don't think it is really noticeable. If I were you, I wouldn't chop. The only reason I WOULD chop is to cut off damage, and your hair doesn't look damaged at all.

Why don't you leave it to grow a bit longer and then when you reach another mark, like APL, think about cutting your hair? Even then, I would only cut a little, not all of it.

March 16th, 2013, 11:25 AM
I have the opposite opinion for summer! I would not chop because then you won't be able to put it up and it will be all hot and clammy on your neck. I too would probably let it reach at least APL with only dustings until then.

I've been holding at knee for about two years now because I lost a lot of thickness when I lost a bunch of weight. It is slow going, but the bottom really has improved a lot. As I grew, I would let my hair get a couple inches past a milestone and then do a bigger trim back to the milestone to keep the ends thicker with just s&d or small dustings in between and that worked really well.

It really depends a lot on how much you like to wear your hair down. Having taper often makes it easier for wearing hair up because the ends tuck more neatly. I personally like having mine up (even when it was shorter!) because then it doesn't get tangled and caught on things and best of all, I can wear cool hairtoys and try different updos.

March 16th, 2013, 11:36 AM
I tried to post before and it just up and disappeared on me, only just realised. So hopefully this one works.

I'd suggest that it depends on what you want to do with your hair. If you are going to have it up all the time either way it might be better to hold off as the length will give you more options. However, if you want to wear it done and are self conscious about the demarkation between textures and thickness then get it cut. Getting it cut my help to keep it from being a reminder of your illness, or it may not effect you that way at all. I'm just brainstorming. Your ringlets look lovely by the way.

I know that it's a lot of hair to lose and the decision is never going to be easy. It's far too easy to just say, I'll cut it later if I don't like it then when actually you would prefer it short. I am having to make a similar choice due to bleach damage and I change my mind on an hourly basis. I would make sure that if you do cut it you go to a hairdresser that you trust (unless you want to do it yourself of course). As it can be emotional to cut so much off when you have put so much effort into growing, you need a hairdresser who will understand that. (most do I find but you do get the odd one)

March 16th, 2013, 11:36 AM
From your description I was all set to say go ahead and cut back. But after the pics, it's quite nice! It doesn't even look that thin, and even looks rather healthy. If the texture change doesn't bother you that much I'd just keep growing, and maybe microtrim it occasionally until your new hair catches up.

March 16th, 2013, 11:42 AM
From your description I was all set to say go ahead and cut back. But after the pics, it's quite nice! It doesn't even look that thin, and even looks quite healthy.

This exactly. Also, you lucky thing, having ringlets or even any kind of body to your hair...means interesting accents for updos via tendrils. So if you feel insecure about the length thickness, you could wear it up until the thicker parts catch up. I have a huge shed-regrowth too. I guess I have decided to keep all 37" worth til the thickness at BSL catches up. Try to forget about it for about a year and you'll be good to go!

March 16th, 2013, 11:43 AM
As someone else said I don't think it's that noticeable to be honest - and quite honestly too it looks much better than some completely full heads of hair look (my own included before I started co washing).

I would give it a chop but in stages...maybe a couple of inches to begin with and see how it feels.
At the length you are even just a lesser chop can make it feel so different.

I didn't have my hair cut for about 3 years at one stage and did eventually just have about an inch cut off - it felt so much better just to let go of the old old ends.
I was growing out colour and it was damaged and dry almost all of the length too - but that first chop after all that time made such a difference,

March 16th, 2013, 11:50 AM
If you want long, healthy, hair with a more uniform look to it, I think one of the fastest ways to accomplish this is with micro-trimming. For this to work, and allow you to achieve some length at the same time, you figure out what your average growth per month is, and then trim each month less than that. For example if you get 1/2 inch per month, you would trim 1/4 inch off, to slowly even out the hemline over time. Even more beneficial, when micro-trimming to even out taper is to cut according to lunar cycles. I've been trimming using Morrocco Method's lunar chart for a few years now, and it REALLY works. The hair growth retarding chart for best days to shave/wax ect was what really convinced me that lunar dates do affect hair growth.

I agree with the others who are saying not to cut drastically before summer, because then you wont have the versatility to wear your hair up. Really, if you have some patience, I would try the micro trimming. The results, though slower than a big chop all at once, are wonderful. Good luck :)

March 16th, 2013, 11:59 AM
I would micro trim for a while and see how that goes. You can always go for a big chop later if it doesn't work

March 16th, 2013, 12:18 PM
If I were you I would keep it, wear it up on most days and on special days wear it down with extensions (clip-ins) that make the thin parts look as thick as the thick bits, check the hair design shops in your area. If you don't like hair extensions then I advise you to cut it and I would cut it if I didn't like extensions.

March 16th, 2013, 12:38 PM
I think your hair looks great. The thinning is barely noticeable. I wouldn't chop the old growth off, because that will make it impossible to wear the rest in any updos, and you'll have resulting damage hindering your growth. I would just maintain the current length while slowly trimming off the old growth and allowing the new to catch up.

March 16th, 2013, 01:00 PM
The thinning is really hard to see in the pictures, but I know the feeling of being aware of something that almost no one else would notice. If it were my hair, the texture change would bother me... and I'd most likely cut just enough that I could still tie it back into a ponytail or put it into a peacock twist with a claw, as it's easy to wear hair down at that length. However, the thinner section doesn't look damaged, so if you like to keep your hair up, I'd leave it. Use it as a buffer zone for regular trims and think of how nice and thick (and long) your hair will be by the time it's all gone!

Congratulations on your restored health and pretty curly new growth! :)

March 16th, 2013, 01:23 PM
I think your hair looks gorgeous, especially in those last two pics. :) I wouldn't chop if it were my hair, but since you're so unhappy with it, why not try just cutting an inch and see if that starts feeling better? And then another, and another, as you see fit?

March 16th, 2013, 01:34 PM
I'd cut back about 3" and let it grow from there, see how she goes.

March 16th, 2013, 01:40 PM
I'd maintain at your current length for a year, cutting your growth rate off every month. Since your hair is very long, next year it will be thicker and more uniform and you can move forward with trying to gain length.

Good luck!

March 16th, 2013, 01:55 PM
I'd stick to microtrimming, maybe even cut as much as an inch a month, but this way the transition will be slow and you'll be able to gain some length before you even it all up.

March 16th, 2013, 02:17 PM
No dont chop, i have gone through the exact same thing over the past year plus i was anaemic. My hair thinned on the last 4" and i got an inverted V. I maintained my length by trimming the growth, which was very slow. I now have my thyroid levels more stable and take seleum which helps metabolise thyroxine, i also take at my G.P.'s advice omega 3, codliver oil and hemaplex for my bloods. My hair is now back to growing 0.7" a month and ive not teimmed for 5 months and the thinning and inverted V has now gone. I totally understand how awful it feels to have this problem, its nothing to do with how you treat your hair its your bodies way of telling you its not working propery, once you get your hormone levels more stable, your hair will show the benefits. Just put it up and ignore it, it will get better. IMHO your hair looks beautiful, give it time.

March 16th, 2013, 03:41 PM
Effie, I don't think your hair looks thin, and I quite like the waves you have. If your objective is to have long hair, then I agree with the others who said to just do micro-trims until the length evens out. If you're self-conscious about your hair as it is now, wear it up in non-damaging styles when you're out. But, again, I think it looks fine.