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How TED Decided My Hair

I needed a change with my hair. I had the same hairstyle for over 5 years. What started as a bob just below my ears remained the same as it grew out, growing long, reaching the middle of my back. I did not want to change it at all because of my thyroid eye disease (TED).

Keeping the same hairstyle because of thyroid eye disease

TED made my eyes extremely sensitive. Anything at all could set them off, but my hair near my eyes was a particular trigger. I learned shortly on in my diagnosis in the fall of 2018 that it was easier to tuck my hair behind my ears. I had cut it into a short bob a few months prior.

Luckily, it was long enough to tuck the pieces of my hair behind my ears. So that’s what I did. For years, every time I would feel a strand of hair lightly grace the front of my face, I would instinctually and unconsciously move it away. I didn’t want to upset my eyes. Everything in my life revolved around not upsetting my eyes.

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Waiting for the right time

When my eyes got better with my symptoms no longer a big deal, I was still hesitant about doing anything different with my hair. What I was doing was working, why change it?

The excuse for not doing anything with my hair changed from worrying about my sensitive eyes to my sister’s wedding. When my sister got engaged in the winter of 2021, I figured it was best not to do anything with my hair. My reasoning for it to be easier to have my hair all the same length for her big day masked my hidden fear of having to live my life dictated by how my eyes feel on any given day.


My plan was to cut my hair a couple of days after the wedding. No point in wasting time. I had the same hairstyle for long enough. I no longer had any excuses. But when the days after the wedding came and went, I still did not go get a haircut.

I did not want to be impulsive about it. We have all had those haircuts where we go in without putting much thought into it and come out with horrendous haircuts. We see old photos with that haircut and wonder why we chose to do such a thing to ourselves.

Taking the leap

One day, a little over the week after the wedding, I went to get my labs done for my endocrinologist. When I saw that the place was closed for lunch, I decided to go get a haircut. It was an automatic choice once I saw my plans had changed.

I got bangs and layers. I changed my hair for the first time in years, no longer allowing my eyes to decide what I will do with my life.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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