Weight loss is often associated with a healthier body condition, but not always! In fact, one of the most common questions is, why am I losing hair while losing weight or after it? Well, hair loss after weight loss can happen to both men and women, possibly due to multiple reasons. In this article, we will explain why this happens and how it can be prevented.

Why are you losing hair after weight loss?

Losing hair after a quick weight loss is known as telogen effluvium, and it usually happens after 3 to 4 months after you have rapidly shed some pounds. But before you get worried about it, you should know that not all the hair that falls off your head is considered hair loss; in fact, it is entirely natural to see about 100 to 150 hair strands fall per day, which is called hair shedding. However, if you see more than the usual amount of hair on your comb or on your pillow after you wake up, especially if you are trying to lose weight or already have, it might be a sign of telogen effluvium.

Why are you losing hair after weight loss?

Causes of hair loss while losing weight

When you lose weight rapidly, whether willingly or not, it could lead to nutrition deficiency, which can ultimately result in hair loss and other health problems. Different situations that could lead to you losing your hair are:

  • Pregnancy and child delivery
  • High level of stress
  • Fever
  • Surgical operations
  • Medical conditions and taking certain medicines
  • Differenet Diseases

This type of hair loss usually disappears after 6 to 9 months while your body adjusts to the weight and your transformation.

Telogen effluvium after weight loss happens mainly because your body does not receive the nutrients it needs, especially if you have been following a restrictive diet. Crash diets and FAD diets are linked to hair loss in both men and women, but other than diets, weight loss surgeries can also result in unnatural hair loss. So, If you are willing to lose weight fast and safely, there are many things to consider so you do not experience such side effects.

Based on clinical data, this type of hair loss is often due to low-level iron and zinc diets. Other nutrients that are essential to better hair growth are fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin D. It is best to follow a diet that can provide these necessities for your body so you do not experience hair loss or other unwanted problems.

The cycle of hair growth

A single hair strand goes through different phases :

  • The Anagen phase is when the hair is growing, and it can last for years
  • The Catagen phase is when it is experiencing transition. During this level, hair follicles shrink, and hair growth slows
  • The Telogen phase can last 3 to 4 months and is called the rest phase; usually, about 10 to 15 percent of all the hair on your head is in this stage. At this level, the hair does not grow, nor does it fall out.
  • The Exogen Phase is the final level in which hair is shed from the scalp, and you can see the lost hair when you brush or wash your hair. As the old hairs fall out, new ones will replace them.

The basic reason behind losing your hair more than you do is that the stress and the pressure on the body will send a signal to the hairs, and they go to the catagen phase sooner than expected.

Losing hair after surgical weight loss

Weight loss surgeries are a common method for people with obesity to get back in a better shape and a healthier body, but they are not risk-free, and one of the most common situations that can happen after a person undergoes surgery is losing hair. This is because the body is facing nutrition deficiency. For example, in one study conducted on 50 people who have undergone sleeve gastrectomy, it was observed that more than half of them experienced hair loss. Another study on 112 women who have undergone the same type of surgery revealed that more than 75% of them lost their hair after 3 to 4 months of the surgery.

Losing hair after surgical weight loss

Can weight loss drugs lead to hair loss?

Using weight loss supplements is also common for both men and women, especially those who want to shed those extra pounds fast. But, like any other type of medication and supplements, they have their side effects, and some of them can lead to hair loss. So, it is best to consult a doctor to see what type of medication is suitable for you that does not threaten your hair’s health.

Is hair loss after weight loss permanent?

As we have covered before, losing hair after sudden weight loss is not a permanent situation, nor is it dangerous; your body needs time to adapt to the new version of your body, and after a short period, your hair will start to grow back. That said, If you follow a restrictive diet, the lack of adequate nutrition in your body can be harmful. For instance, If your body does not get enough Iron, hair loss is not the only issue you are going to face; Anemia is another problem associated with Iron deficiency.

For those who take calorie counting more seriously and put themselves in a severe calorie deficiency situation, facing malnutrition and accompanying issues is inevitable. This can ultimately result in decreased muscle function, cardiorespiratory problems, digestion issues, and a weaker immune system. So, you should consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting a new diet to see if it is going to provide you with sufficient calories and nutrients. Otherwise, you will probably get lost in all these internet crash diets that are likely to put your health at risk.

How to prevent hair loss while losing weight?

Based on all the information covered here, we can say that preventing hair loss after weight loss is totally possible, and the most important step to take to do so is to provide the body with all the protein, vitamins, and minerals it needs. For those who are just beginning their weight loss journey, it is best to get their diet plan from a specialist who understands their body health condition. Also, try to avoid any shortcuts to lose weight as they are more likely to result in side effects like losing your hair and other problems. You can read more about the biggest weight loss mistakes that most people make here.

How to prevent hair loss while losing weight?

For those who are already facing this type of hair loss, it is best you do not get worried about it as it will go away once the body has adapted to the new conditions. Meanwhile, to reduce the amount of hair you are losing and increase their growth, you can increase your mineral intake and try other methods, such as using natural homemade masks to help strengthen your hair roots. Also, If by any chance you are following a diet full of limitations, be sure to add the following to your foods:

  • Shellfish
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • Spinach
  • Quinoa
  • Turkey
  • Broccoli
  • Fish
  • Cashews
  • Chicken

Best tips to regrow hair after losing weight

There are many methods to stop unnatural hair loss and help them grow faster. We already mentioned how important your diet is, but other than that, the following tips can help you regrow the hair that you are losing:

  • Do not put your hair in rough condition. Try to use the best shampoo and conditioner that is suitable for your hair type. Also, be gentler to them while you are brushing them. Using a hair straightener can also lead to weaker hairs.
  • Try massaging your head to increase the blood flow underneath the hair follicle; this way, more nutrients will get to your hair roots, so they have a better chance of growing.
  • Do not forget to use essential oils on your head, especially if you have very dry hair. Coconut oil is one of the best oils that promotes hair growth.
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