Be it teens, young adults, or seniors, becoming and staying lean is an obsession common to all. A lot of men and women who embark on a weight loss journey often witness some hair loss and thinning. This gives birth to questions like:
What exactly is the connection between hair loss and weight loss?
What causes hair loss after losing weight?
What risks are associated with hair thinning and hair loss?
How to prevent hair loss while losing weight?
Since you are reading this blog, there must be similar questions in your mind about weight loss-related hair damage. But don’t you worry, Lordhair will try to answer all the important ones in this blog.
From hair cycle to causes and risks to treatments, we will cover everything about hair loss and thinning after drastic weight loss. Let’s first understand why hair loss occurs after losing weight fast!
Why Does Hair Loss Occur After Weight Loss?
Hair experts say that hair follicles are one of the most metabolically active tissues in the human body. Amongst other things, they are impacted when we minimize caloric and protein intake or develop a micronutrient deficiency in order to lose body weight.
Hair loss that occurs after drastic weight loss is generally associated with telogen effluvium. One of the most common causes of hair fall, it takes place within 3-4 months of starting a weight loss regime and can last up to 6 months.
Normally, we all lose 50-100 strands per day but the volume of hair fall increases when telogen effluvium settles in. People who are suffering from hair loss caused by aggressive weight loss will notice a lot of broken strands during combing, bathing, and also after waking up in the morning.
Although there are no serious symptoms associated with this condition, some have reported tenderness and altered sensations in the scalp.
How Does Hair Fall After Weight Loss Take Place?
In order to understand hair loss caused by weight loss, we need to get to the bottom of the human hair cycle. There are 3 stages of hair growth, namely:
Anagen phase: The first stage is the anagen phase in which active mitotic division takes place in the basal matrix of hair follicles. In simple words, hair continuously grows during this stage. Around 80% to 90% of scalp strands remain in this stage for 2-7 years.
Catagen phase: The anagen phase is then followed by the catagen phase. During this transition stage, hair follicles begin to squeeze and strands detach from the blood supply. The Catagen phase only lasts for 10-15 days.
Telogen phase: In this stage, hair strands do not grow but stay attached to hair follicles. They continue to rest in hair follicles while new strands grow beneath them. One will notice a white bulb at the end of the hair strand during the telogen phase. This stage holds out for 3 months.
Proper nutrition is critical to the contour of healthy hair shafts and hair growth progress. Turns out that dieting causes physical and emotional stress to everyone undergoing the same. It can disrupt the hair growth cycle and make a lot of strands shift suddenly from the anagen phase to the telogen phase.
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What Are the Causes of Hair Loss After Weight Loss?
Till now, we have learned that hair loss after weight loss is triggered by telogen effluvium. But that’s not the sole reason behind hair damage during dieting. There are many other causes that can promote hair fall or thinning once an individual goes on dieting.
Here are some of those reasons:
#1 Crash Dieting
This is literally one of the biggest causes of hair loss during and after weight loss. Some men and women adopt a drastic weight reduction technique known as a crash diet to get quick results. Also known as the total diet replacement (TDR) program, it accounts for a significant reduction of calorie intake, something between 800 - 1200 per day.
According to a study, 8 women found that crash dieting is the main cause behind their bad hair condition. Crash dieting can result in a deficiency of essential nutrients like fatty acids, zinc, protein, and overall calories.
As mentioned before, human hair needs the right amount of nutrients to grow properly. If your scalp doesn't get it, there’s a big chance that hair loss will occur.
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#2 Protein Deficiency
Protein deficiency appears when an individual’s protein intake is unable to fulfill the body's requirements. Amino acids - also called the building blocks of protein - are essential for hair growth. They are responsible for keratin production which is the main formational protein of hair strands. They smoothen down the cells that partly cover the hair strands.
Men and women who are following a low-calorie weight loss diet that doesn’t include enough protein can experience hair loss and thinning as a result. The human body always gives precedence to important protein-dependent functions such as tissue repair, digestion, pH, and water balance regulation.
Since hair production isn’t important for survival, the core systems restrict the supply of protein to the hair. The same kickstarts hair loss.
#3 Weight Loss Surgery
Another known cause of hair loss and thinning after drastic weight loss. Weight loss surgery can help men and women change the shape and function of their digestive system. It can help them lose weight and manage certain medical conditions, primarily concerning obesity. But just like any other surgery, it also comes with its share of side effects.
Dermatologists say that a weight loss surgery commonly results in deficiencies in protein, vitamins, and minerals. That’s because it reduces the stomach capacity. It leads to the malabsorption of nutrients and boosts the risk of deficiencies. Put simply, it can trigger hair loss in men and women.
How to Prevent Hair Loss After Losing Weight?
Here’s some good news: hair loss triggered by weight loss is neither critical nor permanent. According to experts, most adaptations in the human body happen slowly. Your hair production after starting a weight loss plan will resume within a few months.
Also, there are some treatments and lifestyle measures that can help men and women address hair loss after weight loss and stop it from getting worse. Here are some of those:
#1 Balanced Diet
The first and foremost thing to do to prevent hair loss after losing weight is to switch to a balanced diet. Crash and restrictive diets can be terrible for hair, and overall health. Switch to a balanced diet to provide the body with the nutrients it requires to function at its best.
Consume nutrient-dense foods and supplement them with nutrients that your diet lacks. Include the following eatables in your diet:
We highly suggest seeing a licensed nutritionist or dermatologist if you are not sure what your body needs to prevent hair loss after sudden weight loss.
Medications like minoxidil and finasteride are widely prescribed for treating hair loss and thinning after losing weight in men and women. Available over-the-counter as an oral and topical solution, they can help in reducing the telogen (resting phase) of the hair growth cycle, and shift strands into the anagen phase.
However, be careful as these medications can also pack some negative effects. Here are some known ones:
- Scalp irritation
- Abnormal hair growth
- Swelling of hands or feet
A complete list of medications that cause hair loss
#3 Hair Systems
A lot of men and women nowadays are choosing hair systems to overcome temporary hair loss after weight loss. Also called best hair replacement systems and modern-day wigs, they are designed using real human hair hand-woven onto a base made of premium skin-friendly materials.
Attached using glue, tape, or clips, they are made of 100% real human hair and provide men and women with an appearance of hair coming out of the scalp. And that’s not it! There are many other benefits that make hair systems a better solution for temporary hair loss caused after losing weight:
- Can be attached and secured easily
- Highly cost-effective
- Delivers quick hair results
- Breathable, durable, and long-lasting
As a leading wig brand, Lordhair designs top-quality hair systems for men and women so they can look their best. Check out how our hair systems are changing lives globally:
Hair Loss After Weight Loss: Final Words
There you go!
We told you everything about hair loss and damage after weight loss. As we witnessed, hair fall and thinning can be triggered by a number of factors including physical stress and nutrient deficiencies. Although it is temporary, we highly recommend addressing your hair loss as soon as possible.
The sooner the hair fall gets addressed, the farther one can remain from permanent damage. Speak to a dermatologist if nothing works well for you.
Got any queries to ask? Send them to email@example.com and have them answered by our hair experts.
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