Advice For Dealing With Hair Loss After Weight Loss Procedure

Hispanic woman brushing hair looking frustrated

Losing weight can be a life-changing experience, but it can also come with unexpected side effects. One of the most common surprising side effects of significant weight loss is hair loss. This can be a frustrating and distressing experience, especially after putting in so much effort to achieve your weight loss goals. Hair thinning after weight loss can be attributed to a variety of factors, and understanding why weight loss and hair loss can go hand in hand can help you in preventing significant hair loss after weight loss surgery.

Why Does Hair Loss Occur After Weight Loss Procedures?

The first step in preventing bariatric surgery hair loss is to understand why it’s happening in the first place. There are a few key factors that can cause hair to thin or fall out after a weight loss surgery.

Nutritional deficiencies

One of the main reasons for hair loss after weight loss procedures is nutritional deficiencies. When you undergo a weight loss procedure, your body may not be able to absorb nutrients as efficiently as before. This can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for healthy hair growth.

Rapid weight loss

Another factor that can contribute to hair loss after weight loss procedures is the rapid rate at which weight is lost. When you lose weight quickly, your body may go into a state of shock, causing it to redirect its resources to essential functions, such as maintaining vital organs. This can result in hair loss as the body prioritizes other functions over hair growth.

Hormonal changes

Weight loss procedures, such as gastric bypass surgery or extreme dieting, have been known to have a significant impact on hormonal balance within the body. This imbalance can then result in various side effects, one of which being hair loss. When the body undergoes such drastic changes in weight and nutrition, it can throw off the delicate balance of hormones that are crucial for the health of hair follicles. As a result, this disruption in the hair growth cycle can lead to premature shedding of hair strands.

How to Deal With Hair Loss After Weight Loss Procedures

Consult with your doctor

If you are experiencing hair loss after a weight loss procedure, the first step is to consult with your doctor. They can help determine the underlying cause of your hair loss and provide personalized advice on how to manage it.

Increase protein intake

Protein is essential for healthy hair growth, so it’s important to make sure you are getting enough in your diet. After a weight loss procedure, your body may require more protein to support hair growth. Incorporate protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs and legumes into your diet to help prevent hair loss.

Take supplements

In addition to increasing your protein intake, your doctor may also recommend taking supplements to address any nutritional deficiencies that may be contributing to hair loss. Biotin, iron and zinc are all essential for healthy hair growth and can be taken in supplement form.

Be gentle with your hair

When experiencing hair loss, it’s important to be gentle with your hair to avoid further damage. Avoid using harsh chemicals or heat styling tools, and opt for gentle hair care products. Be sure to also avoid tight headwear and hairstyles that can put stress on the hair follicles. 

Consider hair loss treatments

If your hair loss is severe, you may want to consider hair loss treatments such as minoxidil or low-level laser therapy. These treatments can help stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss.

Be patient

Hair loss after weight loss procedures can be distressing, but it’s important to remember that it is a temporary side effect. Hair loss typically occurs 3-6 months after a weight loss procedure and can last for up to 6 months. After this period, hair growth should return to normal. Be patient and give your body time to adjust to its new weight and nutrient needs.

Tips for Minimizing Hair Loss During Weight Loss

There are no guarantees that you can completely stop hair loss due weight loss, especially if you’re undergoing rapid weight loss via surgery. If you do experience a loss of hair while losing weight, here are some tips to help minimize the effect, and rebuild a healthy scalp.

Eat a balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining healthy hair during weight loss. Make sure to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains in your diet to ensure you are getting all the essential nutrients for healthy hair growth.

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is essential for overall health, including hair health. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. While recovering from surgery, you should always drink more water, as your body can become dehydrated more quickly.

Take a multivitamin

In addition to a balanced diet, taking a daily multivitamin can help ensure you are getting all the necessary nutrients for healthy hair growth. Vitamins to prevent hair loss are often included in a multivitamin, but you can ask your doctor or dietician about specific vitamins to increase healthy hair.

Avoid crash diets

Crash diets, characterized by their extreme caloric restrictions, often result in rapid weight loss as the body burns through stored fat and muscle tissue at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, this rapid weight loss can lead to a variety of nutritional deficiencies, which in turn can contribute to a multitude of health issues, including but not limited to hair loss. It is therefore advisable to steer clear of crash diets and instead opt for a more moderate, sustainable and balanced approach to weight loss that focuses on long-term health and well-being. By making gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can achieve your weight loss goals without sacrificing your overall health and vitality.

Be wary of fast-fixes

Because hair loss can be sensitive for a lot of people, there are several products, diets, and supplements that are marketed as “fast fixes” for hair loss. Many of these are placebos, or have little to no significant effect. Anything that promises “overnight results” should be considered cautiously, as you’re likely better off spending your time and money investing in longer-term, holistic solutions.

Texoma Care Weight Loss Surgery Center is here to help you during and after weight loss surgery, by providing you the resources you need to succeed in a healthy lifestyle. We offer a weight loss support group, where you can talk about experiences such as hair loss that have affected you post-surgery, as well as nutritional guides for all our patients, to help foster their well-being.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.

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