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Hair Loss After Weight Loss: Is It Dangerous? –– Hair loss is one of the adverse effects of weight loss in certain circumstances. Nutritional deficiencies, stress, and hormonal changes due to rapid weight loss, restrictive diets, or surgical interventions can cause this adverse reaction. This article explains how hair loss is linked to weight loss and methods to treat and prevent the problem.
Nutritional deficiencies and other consequences that rapid weight loss can have on your body are the leading causes of hair loss during weight loss. A condition known as acute telogen effluvium (TE), one of the most common causes of extensive hair loss on the scalp, has been linked to sudden weight loss and restrictive diets and usually begins three months after a triggering event, such as rapid weight loss, lasting for about six months. Androgenetic alopecia, often called male or female pattern baldness, is hair loss lasting more than six months.
Causes of Hair Loss After Weight Loss
Here are some reasons why weight loss can affect the health of your hair:
Protein malnutrition can lead to hair loss. Specific amino acid deficiencies, such as histidine, leucine, valine, and cysteine, are common in those experiencing hair loss. When your protein needs are not met, your body prioritizes key protein-dependent activities, including tissue repair, digestion, maintaining pH and water balance, and hormone production.
Weight loss surgeries
Weight loss surgery is associated with rapid weight loss and often results in protein, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies that lead to hair loss. A 2020 study of 112 individuals who underwent sleeve gastrectomy found that 72% of the subjects experienced hair loss after the surgery.
Restrictive diets that eliminate entire food groups, such as crash diets, can induce hair loss due to nutrient deficiencies or stress. Hair loss has been linked to defects in iron, zinc, protein, selenium, and essential fatty acids. Hair loss is associated with high pressure, sometimes with a restrictive diet.
Is Hair Loss After Weight Loss Dangerous?
Hair loss itself is not dangerous, but the underlying causes of loss after weight loss can be. Nutrient deficiencies and extreme calorie restriction, for example, can cause serious health problems such as iron deficiency anemia, muscle loss, and more. For example, iron deficiency anemia can lead to hair loss, reduced brain function, infertility, heart problems, depression, and immune system dysfunction.
Other medical conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, can cause hair loss. Therefore, if you are experiencing hair loss, you should discuss it with your doctor, as it may not be related to weight loss.
Preventing Hair Loss When Trying to Lose Weight
Nutrient deficiencies or rapid weight loss can lead to hair loss during weight loss. Therefore, you should aim for a healthy and long-term weight loss goal. Drastic and restrictive diets can be harmful. If you follow a diet prohibiting many foods, such as vegetarian or vegan, incorporate nutrient-rich foods and supplement the nutrients missing from your diet.
If you are undergoing weight loss surgery, ensure adequate levels of zinc, iron, and vitamin B12 before the procedure. Then, supplement with the nutrients your doctor or dietitian recommends after the surgery. This can help reduce hair loss after surgery.
Promoting Hair Regrowth
If a deficiency of one or more nutrients, such as zinc or iron, is causing hair loss, treating the deficiency can stop hair loss and lead to hair regrowth. Suppose your body is not receiving enough calories or nutrients from a restrictive or accelerated diet. In that case, stopping the diet once and properly nourishing it with a balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods is essential.
If you are experiencing significant hair loss during your weight loss journey, do not hesitate to contact our HairBack Clinic team. We offer the best hair transplant treatments and have experienced hair transplant specialists in Istanbul.
Léa is a prolific writer specialising in beauty, with a primary focus on hair transplant procedures and a wide range of other beauty-enhancing techniques. Her insightful articles are trusted by professionals and consumers alike, offering a blend of expertise and engaging style. Lea’s work has appeared in top publications, and she’s known for demystifying complex beauty topics, making them accessible to a broad audience. Her passion for the transformative power of beauty shines through her writing, making her a sought-after contributor for leading beauty brands.