You’ve been losing weight for a while, and you’re starting to notice that your hair has begun to thin out. The good news is that this isn’t a sign of something serious, but it’s still important to know what could be causing the hair loss so you can make a plan to address it.
Temporary Hair Loss After Weight Loss
The American Academy of Dermatology says it’s normal for people to lose 50-100 hairs per day. However, if you notice that you’re losing a lot more than this, it’s probably time to see your doctor to rule out a medical condition as the cause of your hair loss.
Rapid or sudden weight loss can be a trigger for a temporary shedding of your hair called telogen effluvium. This usually occurs 3-4 months after you have lost a significant amount of weight and lasts for up to 6 months.
This shedding of hair is often caused by stress, such as emotional or physical strain. It may also be a result of nutrient deficiencies or an immune-compromising illness.
It’s important to get the nutrients your body needs while you’re losing weight, including a lot of protein. These types of foods can help your body maintain a healthy metabolism, and they can also aid in the growth of hair.
You should also consider eating enough iron, which is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies linked to hair loss. You can get sufficient amounts from lean meats, fish and beans. If you’re not getting enough iron, talk to your doctor about a supplement.
Restrictive Diets Can Trigger Hair Loss
Restrictive diets, such as fad or crash dieting, can cause the body to go into starvation mode, sending energy and nutrients to other areas of the body rather than your hair. This can lead to hair thinning and other problems, such as loss of muscle mass, heart issues, and intestinal issues.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you should avoid crash dieting and extreme fasting, and instead opt for a gradual approach to your nutrition and exercise routine. This way, you can create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle that helps you keep your weight off in the long term.
It is also important to eat plenty of nutrient-rich, whole foods while you’re dieting. This will ensure your body is getting the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs to function properly.
Taking a bariatric specific multi-vitamin can be beneficial and should contain the B vitamins, vitamin A, zinc, folate, biotin and iron. Consult your doctor if you’re not sure which vitamins you need or have any other questions.
Your body has a natural cycle of hair growth and shedding. It goes through an anagen phase and a catagen phase before entering the telogen phase, allowing your hair to fall out. After a few months, new hair will grow in the follicles.
When a person loses a lot of weight quickly, it can trigger an overproduction of the anagen phase and a depletion of the catagen phase, which is the phase where hair falls out. It can be particularly pronounced in people with a history of autoimmune disorders or other health conditions that affect the way their body absorbs nutrients.