How Long After Weight Loss Surgery Will My Hair Start Shedding
Approximately half of all patients who have weight loss surgery experience hair loss which can begin anywhere from one to six months after surgery. If you have had weight loss surgery within the past several months, and are noticing an increase in hair loss, do not panic! Shedding hair is normal for about 50% of bariatric surgery patients and is usually temporary.
Ensure Youre Getting Enough Protein And Iron
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, adequate protein and iron intake has also been linked to healthy hair growth.
You may be able to help minimize hair loss by eating foods rich in these nutrients, but its unclear whether you can prevent surgery-related hair loss with any particular diet.
A blood test can determine whether youre deficient in any of the above nutrients, and your doctor may recommend certain foods or supplements based on the results.
However, you shouldnt take supplements on your own without any established nutritional deficiency. According to a , doing so may increase your risk for worsening hair loss from toxicity.
Be Gentle With Your Hair
As your weight stabilizes and your hair begins to grow back, treat your strands gently.
- Brush your hair when its dry, as wet hair is more fragile and prone to breakage.
- Avoid brushing too hard. Doing so can damage your hair and even pull it out at the root.
- Dont wear tight hair styles like ponytails, braids and buns for extended periods of time as they can pull on the hair around your hairline, causing a hair loss condition called traction alopecia.
- Dont overuse or misuse hot styling tools such as blow dryers and flat irons. They can dry out your hair leaving it brittle and vulnerable to breakage.
- Use a heat protectant spray to help shield your strands from damaging effects, and hold blow dryers at least 4-5 inches away from your hair to minimize heat exposure.
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How Long Does The Hair Loss Last For
Under normal circumstances, hair loss lasts for an average of 3-4 months, but no longer than 6 months.
Hair follicles arent damaged during telogen effluvium, so hair your hair will grow back stronger and better than before.
If your hair continues to fall out six months after your bariatric surgery with Dr Padovan, we recommend you contact our clinic at 9544 5200.
Causes Of Hair Loss In Bariatric Patients
According to the book Micronutrition for the Weight Loss Surgery Patient, the most common causes of hair loss after bariatric surgery are:
- Shock from the surgery itself
- Underlying chronic illnesses
- Thyroid issues, such as hypothyroidism or Hashimotos disease
- Effects of certain medications, such as beta blockers or blood thinners
- Low protein intake or vitamin deficiency
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Ways To Minimize Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
Hair loss after bariatric surgery is one of the most frequent fears I hear from those that just had weight loss surgery or are considering it. Many ask me How can I prevent hair loss?
To minimize hair loss after bariatric surgery, its important to understand why it occurs, and what you can do before and after surgery to reduce your risk of hair loss.
Does Everyone Lose Hair After Bariatric Surgery
No! Im just lucky, I guess. My Doctors at Cooper Bariatric told me 50% of WLS surgery patients lose hair but the loss isnt permeant. Hair loss typically starts between 4-6 months post-op.
Mine started falling out once I hit the 4-month post-op milestone. I mean just when I started feeling sexy and healthy again, my hair fell outwhomp whomp. By month five I was getting scared with the clumps of hair coming out in the shower, so I headed to my hairdresser. I chopped my hair to a very short curly bob.
It was traumatic seeing my long, thick, curly hair fall out constantly, so I went for that short and sassy look. As a side note, invest in a hair catcher and hair de-clogger for your shower so you dont kill your plumbing.
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How Is Human Hair Made Up
Human hair is mainly composed of the keratin protein It also contains lipids, water, pigments and metal trace elements. Each individual hair comprises a strand that extends over the skin from a root embedded in a bag called a follicle, which has a lower, middle and upper segment. A structure called dermal papilla is found at the base of the lower segment or bulb. Formed from connective tissue, it supplies the hair with nutrients from the bloodstream. In the scalp hair also contains receptors for steroid hormones, known as androgens, that regulate hair growth.
Each strand of hair comprises several layers. The medulla is a central nucleus. Absent of thinner hairs, its role is not fully understood. The middle layer or bark occupies the largest proportion of the hair shaft. It contains bundles of keratin filaments that give hair flexibility and tensile strength. The bark also contains pigment granules such as melanin that provide color. The cuticle is a translucent and colorless outer layer of overlapping scales that protect the cortex.
Do Gastric Banding Patients Experience Weight Loss
Since the weight loss process is more gradual in the case of lap-band procedure patients, there is 0 or little chance of hair loss among them. However, other conditions such as a feeling of psychological stress also increase the rate of hair loss. So, there is a chance that some gastric band patients experience hair loss.
Lap-Band patients, however, lose weight gradually and have less risk of hair loss. This is because they lose weight at a slower rate when compared to other bariatric surgery patients, and dont suffer from a high level of nutrient deficiency.
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Why Patients Experience Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
As mentioned above, after weight loss surgery, your hair will transfer into what is medically referred to as telogen effluvium. This is a situation whereby a sudden or stressful event can cause certain hair follicles to stop growing and prematurely enter into the telogen phase.
The normal span that hair is in the telogen phase before falling out is 100-120 days. This is why about 3-4 months after surgery you may start to notice excessive hair loss. Combine this with a very low-calorie diet, and telogen effluvium is manifested to an even greater degree.
This is because since your body will be undergoing extreme changes, it will take nutritional storage from certain areas and give it to your vital organs. To your body, it is more important for your brain and heart to receive adequate nutrition than your hair.
Stressors that may cause an increase of hair to the telogen effluvium phase include:
- Major surgery,
- Iron and zinc deficiencies.
During telogen effluvium, the actual hair follicles are not damaged so your hair should return to normal within a few months.
If Youre Worried About Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery And Want To Know Why Its Happening How To Fix It And When It Will End Keep Reading
Hair loss is a complicated subject hair loss after bariatric surgery is even more complicated.
Researchers and pharmaceutical companies have been trying for decades to find the solution to prevent and reverse hair loss without much luck.
Today there are pills, shampoos, supplements and more that are supposed to help with hair loss. So whats the answer?
Well, first its important to understand whats going on when our luscious locks start showing up on our pillows in the morning.
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Coping With Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
Choosing bariatric surgery for weight loss is a difficult decision. You probably tried every diet, lost and gained weight over many years, and finally decided after much thought that bariatric surgery was the best choice to get you on the right track to a healthier life.
In taking this gigantic step to improve your health, its important to know about some of the side effects.
Bariatric surgery creates a sudden change in your nutrition and calorie intake. With this, patients experience rapid weight loss but, unexpectedly, most experience hair loss as a side effect as well.
Were here to ease your mind that this is common and normal. And, it can be managed with help from your bariatric surgeon. Heres what you need to know.
How To Prevent Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
Admittedly, hair loss is not entirely understood however, there are things that you can do to proactively help yourself maintain a healthy head of hair after bariatric surgery.
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Micronutrients And Hair Loss
Micronutrients, meaning vitamins and minerals, are vital to overall health and it cannot be emphasized enough how important they are in your long-term health after bariatric surgery.
But to place even more importance on micronutrients, it turns out they play a roll in hair growth, too.
You see, vitamins and minerals are major elements in the normal life cycle for hair follicles. The hair follicles need the micronutrients for healthy cell turnover.
Just like skin cells, there is a constant turnover of old and new cells in the follicle bulb. Vitamins and minerals support natural cell turnover
Research has found that providing proper amounts of micronutrients plays a significant role in genomic stability.
Here are the most impactful micronutrients that support hair health:
Nutrition And Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
And as it turns out, prioritizing your nutritional intake isnt just important for your overall health and healing. If your hair loss continues after six months, I suggest looking into your nutrient intake as this may be contributing.
Many people are under the impression that biotin is the most important nutrient in terms of hair loss prevention and regrowth, but this isnt necessarily true.
While biotin can certainly play a supportive role, there are a few other nutrients that are more important to minimize hair loss. Biotin has only been shown to be helpful in preventing hair loss if you have a biotin deficiency. I typically dont suggest a biotin supplement following surgery because there is not much evidence to support it and I would rather you focus on your multivitamin.
If you would like to eat biotin rich foods you can include foods like salmon, egg yolks, nuts and spinach in your diet.
Instead of biotin there are several other nutrients that have been shown to affect hair loss, including iron, zinc, and protein.
If youre taking a bariatric multivitamin youre likely taking the suggested amount of iron and zinc. But just to make sure you can check out this article here that I wrote about vitamins.
As always, including foods that are high in these nutrients is also suggested. Foods can include poultry dark meat, red meat, light tuna, quinoa and beans.
Bariatric Patients And Hair Loss
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- Life After Surgery
Hair loss after bariatric surgery can be frustrating and emotionally exhausting. Youve taken on a huge lifestyle change to improve your health and appearance and then out of nowhere, large clumps of hair start appearing on your brush, in your shower, and on your pillow.
It can be stressful, but in most cases, theres an underlying cause that can be addressed.
Medications And Hair Loss
So far everything weve discussed has been major occurrences or internal stressors that can affect our bodys ability to regulate the hair growth process. But the fact remains that external influences affect the hair growth cycle as well. Namely medications.
Its normal for bariatric patients to be taking medication to help regulate comorbid conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. These medications can certainly have an impact on bodily functions, including hair growth.
Here is a list of commonly prescribed medications that can affect the natural hair growth process:
- Antibiotics and antifungal medications
- Some medications
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What Causes Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery And How To Prevent It
by Dr.Ceyhun Aydoan | Aug 25, 2021 |
Of all the side effects that bariatric patients might face after the operation, hair loss is one of the most irritating ones. Of course, the main reason people undergo any type of weight loss surgery is to regain their health, but the importance of ones appearance is undeniable for patients, which is why hair loss is one of their biggest concerns.
Hair loss occurs for many reasons with or without surgery. But each time you face this problem, first you need to find its reason, otherwise, treatment is almost impossible.
What you will read in this blog post is all the possible reasons for hair loss after weight loss surgery, a more common type of hair loss, alongside the solutions that will help you get rid of it and feel better about yourself.
Hair Loss Has Many Causes
The most common type of hair loss after weight loss surgery is telogen effluvium. This can have nutritional and non-nutritional causes. Stress on the body can move more hair into the dormant phase which means a greater percentage of hairs falling out. Stress on the body can come in many forms, such as fever, infection,surgery, weight loss, deficiencies and some medications.
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Hair Loss After Weight Loss Surgery
Hair loss, or to give it its technical name can be a distressing and worrying side effect of weight loss surgery, gastric band, sleeve and bypass.
It is a common type of alopecia where there is widespread thinning of the hair, rather than specific bald patches. Your hair may feel thinner, but youre unlikely to lose it all and your other body hair isnt usually affected. It can be caused by a number of factors and the body reacting to:Hormonal changesIntense physical stress, after the operationChanges in your diet, and the reduced energy intake
It can occur after any weight loss surgery but tends to be more likely when your weight loss is rapid, which is more often the case with a gastric bypass. Hair loss will usually start at 6 months after the operation, you will notice when you wash or brush your hair that it is coming out in clumps which can be very upsetting. In most cases of telogen effluvium, your hair will stop falling out and start to grow back within six months.
Minoxidil is available as a lotion you rub on your scalp every day. Its available from pharmacies without a prescription. Its not clear how minoxidil works, but evidence suggests it can cause hair regrowth in some men
The Bariatric Group
The Bariatric Group specialises in weight loss surgery. We started the service in 2003 and now have seven surgeons so meet The team, undertaking operations in four towns/cities in the South of England see all Locations.