Hair Loss After Weight Loss: Causes, Risks, and Prevention

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Sometimes, weight loss can cause side effects, including hair loss. Your body is sensitive to nutrition deficiencies, stress, and hormonal changes — every one of which can take place as a result of fast weight loss, restrictive diets, or weight loss surgical procedure. This write-up discusses why some individuals experience hair loss after weight loss and reviews methods to deal with and prevent the issue.

Why Can Hair Loss Occur After Weight Loss?

Hair loss during weight loss is commonly brought on by nutrient deficiencies in addition to other impacts unexpected and fast weight loss can carry your body.

As an example, unexpected weight loss and also limiting diets have actually been connected to a problem referred to as severe telogen effluvium (TE), one of the most usual causes of widespread hair loss on the scalp.

Usually, TE occurs around 3 months after a causing event like fast weight loss as well as lasts regarding 6 months.

Weight loss and also nutrient deficiencies connected with restrictive diets are likewise linked to other sorts of hair loss. These consist of persistent TE, which lasts longer than 6 months, as well as androgenic alopecia, likewise referred to as male or women pattern baldness.

Below are some root causes of hair loss related to diet as well as weight loss.

Crash Dieting

The web link in between crash dieting and hair loss has actually been documented in research as far back as the 1970s.

Your hair needs adequate calories as well as nutrients to grow effectively. So, when your body doesn’t receive what it requires, side effects like hair loss can occur.

Numerous researches have actually connected hair loss to quick weight loss, calorie restriction, nutrient deficiencies, as well as emotional stress — all generally in individuals who are following crash diets.

For instance, a 2015 research in 180 women with scattered hair loss located that the most usual sources of hair loss were iron deficiency and mental stress. In 8 of the cases, crash diets were the cause.

Badly intended diets, such as crash diets, can lead to deficiencies in essential fats, zinc, protein, as well as general calories, every one of which can cause hair loss.

Very Low Protein Diets

Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are essential for hair growth. That’s due to the fact that amino acids are required for the production of keratin, the major structural protein of hair.

Protein malnutrition — when your body doesn’t obtain adequate protein– can result in hair loss. Therefore, if you’re following a low calorie weight loss diet that doesn’t contain enough protein, you may experience hair loss consequently.

When your protein demands aren’t satisfied, your body focuses on crucial protein-dependent functions like cells fixing, digestion, pH as well as water balance law, and also hormone manufacturing. Since hair development isn’t essential to maintain you active, hair loss may happen.

Additionally, deficiencies in details amino acids, such as histidine, leucine, valine, and cysteine, are common in individuals with hair loss.

In a research study in 100 people with hair loss, researchers observed histidine and also leucine deficiencies in large percents of participants throughout several sorts of alopecia, consisting of androgenic alopecia and TE.

The study additionally located that valine and also cysteine deficiencies prevailed among the individuals.

Weight Loss Surgeries

Weight loss surgical treatment is associated with rapid weight loss and also typically causes deficiencies in protein, vitamins, and/or minerals, which consequently can trigger hair loss.

For example, a 2018 research study that included 50 individuals that underwent sleeve gastrectomy, a surgical procedure that removes a large section of the stomach, observed hair loss in 56% of the participants. Hair loss was extra typical in women.

Notably, the individuals with hair loss had much reduced levels of zinc and vitamin B12 both before and also after surgical treatment.

In a 2020 study in 112 women that had actually undergone sleeve gastrectomy, 72% of individuals experienced hair loss after surgery. In 79% of those who reported hair loss, the loss started 3 — 4 months after surgical treatment and lasted an average of 5.5 months.

Along with minimizing stomach capability, some types of weight loss surgery enable food to bypass part of the intestines, leading to malabsorption of nutrients and also increasing the danger for deficiencies.

Restrictive Diets

Similar to crash diets, restrictive diets that removed entire food teams can create hair loss as a result of nutrient deficiency or stress.

Deficiencies in iron, zinc, protein, selenium, as well as vital fatty acids have actually all been connected to hair loss.

Really low calorie diets have actually been revealed to trigger hair loss as well.

Major stress, which in some cases goes along with limiting dieting, has additionally been linked to hair loss.

Is Hair Loss Dangerous?

Hair loss itself isn’t harmful, yet the underlying root causes of hair loss after weight loss can be.

As an example, nutrient deficiencies and severe calorie limitation can result in major health effects like iron deficiency anemia, muscle mass loss, and extra.

Besides possibly creating hair loss, iron deficiency anemia can result in impaired brain feature, inability to conceive, heart conditions, anxiety, as well as altered body immune system function.

Calorie as well as protein restriction can additionally cause dangerous side effects, consisting of lowered muscle mass function, heart problems, intestinal tract problems, decreased immune feature, and increased danger of depression.

Various other medical problems, such as autoimmune conditions, can likewise trigger hair loss. Consequently, it is very important to speak to a healthcare provider if you’re experiencing hair loss, because it might not be related to weight loss.

How to Prevent Hair Loss When Trying to Lose Weight

As discussed, hair loss throughout weight loss can be caused by nutrient deficiencies or fast weight loss. Thus, it’s important that you intend to lose weight in a healthy and balanced, sustainable manner.

Along with potentially resulting in hair loss, crash and also limiting diets can be unsafe to psychological wellness as well as are associated with weight restore.

Rather than a crash diet, choose a well balanced diet that offers your body with the nutrients it needs to operate ideally. Saying no to restrictive diets that assure quick weight loss is vital for protecting your physical and mental wellness and decreasing the danger of side effects like hair loss.

Furthermore, if you follow a dietary pattern that restricts many foods– such as a vegetarian or vegan diet, which may be low in hair loss-associated nutrients like iron and also zinc– make sure to consist of nutrient-dense foods and also supplement with nutrients your diet lacks.

If undergoing weight loss surgical treatment, ensure that your degrees of nutrients like zinc, iron, as well as vitamin B12 are optimal prior to the procedure, and also supplement with nutrients recommended by your doctor or dietitian later. This can aid avoid surgery-related hair loss.

How to Facilitate Hair Regrowth

If you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s critical that you identify the cause prior to you attempt to treat it.

Bear in mind, hair loss can have several causes, not simply quick weight loss or nutrient deficiencies.

If the hair loss is triggered by a deficiency in one or more nutrients like zinc or iron, remedying the deficiency or deficiencies may quit the loss and lead to hair regrowth.

If a limiting or crash diet that’s not giving your body enough calories or nutrients is responsible, it’s necessary to quit the diet promptly as well as begin sustaining your body correctly with a well balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods.

If you have a nutrient deficiency, food alone might not be enough to replenish your nutrient stores and a supplement might be necessary. Nevertheless, research study recommends that if you don’t have a nutrient deficiency, supplements might not profit hair loss.

A healthcare provider can determine the root cause of your hair loss as well as help you think of a strategy to obtain your hair growing once more.

The Bottom Line

Hair loss throughout or after weight loss can be caused by a variety of aspects, consisting of nutrient deficiencies.

However, hair loss can additionally be caused by underlying health and wellness issues, so it is essential not to self-diagnose your hair loss as weight loss-related.

Work with a qualified healthcare provider such as a medical professional or signed up dietitian to identify the source of your hair loss and ahead up with a treatment plan to facilitate hair regrowth.

Ali Gadimov
Diet Expert