The Surprising Connection Between Weight Loss and Hair Loss

On some occasions, weight loss may lead to hair loss due to a lack of nutrients, stress, or extreme weight changes as a result of fast weight loss, fad diets, and surgery for weight reduction.

Knowing why hair loss occurs during the process can help you prevent it.

Why Does Hair Loss Start After Weight Loss?

When losing weight, one experiences hair loss because of nutrient deficiencies and other consequences that may result from sudden or rapid weight loss.

For example, sudden and restrictive dieting has been identified with acute telogen effluvium TE, one of the most prevalent reasons behind extensive scalp hair shedding.

Usually, three months after an event such as rapid weight reduction, TE is experienced for about six months.

Weight losses due to malnutrition also cause nutritional deficits that result in chronic TE – more than six months long hair thinning.

While in others it results in androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness) development.

What Causes Hair Shedding Due To Diet And Weight Loss?

Crash Diets

Since the 1970s studies have proved the connection between crash dieting and baldness.

Human beings require adequate calories and nutrition for the proper growth of their tresses.

When your body lacks these components side effects such as thinning might develop.

There are numerous studies that have shown an association between baldness with rapid shedding of pounds, caloric restrictions, oligo-nutrient deficiencies, and mental strains–all common in crash dieters.

For example, a study conducted at the Women’s Hair Research Society comprising 180 women experiencing diffuse alopecia revealed iron deficiency was ranked first followed by psychological tension.

In eight cases, however, this was caused by crash diets.

Very Low Protein Diets

For instance, amino acids are vital since they form protein constituents making up keratin-structural protein present in a human being’s pilus when synthesized through its production organs called follicles.

Insufficient protein in the body can lead to loss of hair.

Hence, if you are on a low-calorie weight-loss program with insufficient quantities of proteins, your hair may start falling out.

Inadequate protein intake results in the body giving priority to essential roles like healing tissues and manufacturing hormones before growing hair, leading to baldness.

Weight Loss Surgeries

After rapid weight reduction related to bariatric surgery, protein, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies frequently occur thereby leading to the shedding of more hairs.

For example, a study done in 2018 involving fifty people who had gone through sleeve gastrectomy (a surgical procedure where most of the stomach is removed) observed that 56 percent of them suffered from this problem including women.

Restrictive Diets

As crash diets do also restrictive ones that deny one food group may cause thinning owing to malnutrition or stress.

Zinc deficiency has been linked with hair loss as well as iron deficiency. Proteins and selenium are required for the normal growth of the pilus.

Very low-calorie diets have also been known to result in alopecia.

Is Hair Loss Dangerous?

Although losing strands is not dangerous, its underlying causes might be Iron deficiency anemia, muscle wasting, brain dysfunctioning, infertility, and cardiac abnormalities.

Depression as well and immune failure are some potential hazards of nutritional deficiencies as well as severe calorie limitation which can in turn lead to the fall of hair.

Other medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases can still be the reason for hair loss.

It is important, therefore, to consult a doctor when experiencing hair loss because it may not be connected with weight loss.

How to Prevent Hair Loss While Trying to Lose Weight

To prevent hair loss while losing weight adopt a healthy and sustainable approach like:

Moderate Diet: Go for a balanced diet including all the essential nutrients so as to keep you fit at your best.

Avoid Very Low-Calorie Diets: This is saying no to limited diets that speedily cut down on body mass since they are unhealthy both physically and mentally.

Add Nutrient-Dense Foods: If you have chosen vegetarian or vegan diets that exclude many foods, then make sure you consume nutrient-dense foods and supplement any missing nutrients.

Weight Loss Surgery: In terms of nutrition, it’s crucial that if you decide on going through surgery for weight reduction, your body should have adequate levels of certain minerals such as zinc, iron, and vitamin B12 both before and after this procedure as advised by a physician or registered dietitian.

How to Facilitate Hair Regrowth

Before treatment is attempted for hair loss, it is necessary to determine its cause.

Rapid weight loss and nutrient deficiencies are not the only causes of hair loss.

The lack of nutritional elements like zinc or iron could lead to the stoppage of hair fall over time and its regrowth thereafter.

Another thing, if the problem was caused by eating restrictive foodstuffs, need to stop this practice forthwith replacing it with an appropriate balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense products.

However [comma], in some cases, supplementation may be required when even food alone does not provide enough nutrient stores required by our bodies.

RELATED: Why do people get white hair?

Supplements will do nothing good on preventing from loosing hair in case it isn’t related to nutrient insufficiency.

Talk with a healthcare provider who will help you understand why you have lost hair and suggest a regimen for its growth back.

Final Thoughts

Hair loss can be due to many factors during or following weight loss including lack of appropriate diet and other medical issues.

Don’t associate your hair loss with weight reduction before visiting an experienced healthcare provider e.g. a physician, or registered dietitian among others.

RELATED: Is Rose Water Good for Your Hair?

The doctor will then diagnose the cause of the problem and design a plan that will support the re-growth of your limited hair.

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