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How To Prevent Hair Loss After Weight Loss Surgery

How I Stopped My Hair Loss

Preventing Hair Loss after Weight Loss Surgery

First, can I say I found the hair loss traumatic. My mother died from cancer, losing my hair triggered that memory and rattled my anxiety and depression. So, I had no choice but to get it together.

As always, consult a doctor if you have hair loss to make sure there is nothing else medical going on.

Reasons For Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric patients should always be informed that one of the side effects of weight loss surgery is hair loss. It cannot be predicted whether you will experience moderate or extreme hair loss after bariatric surgery, so you need to be aware of any scenario. Such hair loss is usually temporary and should stop within a few months. But why is there hair loss after bariatric surgery?

Below, we present the common causes of hair loss after bariatric surgery.

Surgical trauma hair loss

Hair loss after surgery may be a symptom of a surgical trauma, which is both physical and emotional. Regarding the physical aspect, the body deals with cutting, incisions, sometimes it has a device left in , scars so it is understandable that all the nutrients aim at healing the affected body area and hair follicles need to wait to get nourished. As for the emotional aspect, surgery triggers much stress that is accumulated for weeks and revealed on the surgery day. The heavy and dominant thoughts about the surgery and its outcome may cause major psychological trauma. So, hair loss after surgery how long does it last? Well, usually patients notice hair loss a few weeks after the surgery, but for the most part, the loss stops after 5-6 months . Even if such a hair loss is temporary and should not do much harm, patients should know how to prevent hair loss after surgery.

General anesthesia hair loss

General anesthesia and hair loss are linked. The hair loss from anesthesia is telogen effluvium type

Why Hair Loss Occurs After Bariatric Surgery

Hair shedding is typically encountered between 3 to 6 months following bariatric surgery. It is believed to result in part from a higher than normal amount of hair follicles entering a dormant state. The medical term for this is telogen effluvium. The condition can be seen in a host of other settings as well including, childbirth, severe emotional distress, and other major surgeries. In fact, hair loss is even encountered even when someone loses a significant amount of weight through dieting alone.

The good news is that hair loss after weight loss surgery rarely lasts more than 6 to 12 months and generally does not require any action unless other underlying causes are suspected. This type of hair loss does not lead to baldness and normal growth will eventually return. The bad news is that theres no proven way to prevent this hair shedding from occurring in the first place.

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Background On Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss characterized by an increase in telogen hairs. There is excess hair shedding and diffuse thinning. Patients start seeing an alarming number of hair strands on their brush, pillow, or down the shower drain.

Psychologically, this can have a deeply upsetting, even alarming effect. To document the extent of their hair loss, patients often present to their doctors with a bag full of shed hair which they have collected. Doctors sometimes call this the bag sign.

Unlike pattern hair loss, hair loss has an abrupt onset and takes place all over the scalp .

Telogen Phase Or Resting Phase

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The telogen phase is also called the resting phase. During this phases hair, follicles can remain dormant for one to four months. However, factors such as stress, hormone imbalances and changes in the bodys normal routine can prolong this period for many people.

6 to 8 percent of the hairs on the average persons head are in this phase of growth at any given time. Eventually, as this cycle passes, hair and follicles will transition to the growth phase again.

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The Facts About Hair Growth

Human hair has a two-stage growth cycle. Anagen is the growth phase and telogen is the resting phase. In the telogen phase, normal hair loss lasts about 3 months on average. This shedding time commonly is shorter in women after childbirth and in newborns about 1 month after birth.

Besides childbirth, other factors that affect the anagen/telogen cycle include:

  • Any type of surgery
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Extreme dieting
  • Medications such as beta-blockers, excess vitamin A, and anticoagulants

Olde Del Mar Surgical Is Here To Help

Its natural to freak out about the potential of hair loss after bariatric surgery, but you really have nothing to fear. In the absence of an underlying condition such a chronic illness, your hair will eventually grow back. Educating yourself about the potential for hair loss and its underlying causes can help you to prepare yourself and make proper choices regarding supplementation and your diet. Olde Del Mar Surgical offers fantastic supplements to help manage this problem.

Are you considering bariatric surgery, but worried about how it will affect your quality of life? Its a natural reaction, but theres nothing to fear. Olde Del Mar Surgical will provide the guidance you need during your weight loss journey.

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Get Your Beautiful Hair Back Fda Approved

A lot of females dont have an issue undergoing this treatment. Depending upon the area being treated, the medical professional might recommend as numerous as two to 6 sessions. Most Effective Way To Stop Hair Loss After Weight Loss Surgery

The lasers work by damaging the hair roots, which will certainly decrease the variety of hairs that will regrow. The laser treatment must target the exact same area greater than once, which can take several months. Even after the first application, users need to proceed making use of the laser hair development tool for a minimum of six weeks to see noticeable outcomes. During this time, hair will re-grow, but the procedure can be quite aggravating. Luckily, a laser hair growth tool will help you eliminate the trouble and have your head feeling great once more.

The best laser hair growth tools can likewise address underlying issues associated with loss of hair. The finest laser gadget can correct the issue of scalp thinning and also can also prevent premature graying. Some lasers even work with damaged areas of the scalp. For the best outcomes, you should utilize the device on your scalp every three to four weeks. If youre prone to establishing loss of hair, speak with your doctor before using a laser gadget to avoid future damage.

What Causes Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery

The TRUTH about HAIRLOSS after Weight Loss Surgery!

The hair loss associated with weight loss surgery is called telogen effluvium and has to do with disruption during the normal hair growth cycle.

Basically what happens with Telogen Effluvium is that hair continues to enter into the resting stage, but the new growth cycle doesnt start up again like usual. This leads to a progressive loss of hair because no new hair is coming in.

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Facts About Hair Growth

Human hair has a natural three-stage growth cycle the anagen phase , the catagen phase, and the telogen phase . During the telogen phase, youll likely experience hair loss in the form of shedding. This phase typically lasts around 3 months.

Factors such as trauma, extreme dieting, chronic disease, nutritional deficiencies, and severe illness can all affect anagen and telogen cycles. Because nutritional deficiencies are common amongst those who struggle with obesity, weight loss surgery patients are often at a higher risk of experiencing hair loss post-surgery.

The first 3 to 6 months after weight loss surgery is often the most challenging, as the body is healing and adjusting. During this time, calorie intake is restricted and can cause a decrease in macronutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins. Patients may also be experiencing increased stress levels and hormonal changes.

All of this can culminate into a condition known as telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss patients often experience after undergoing weight loss surgery.

Include A Wide Variety Of Vitamins And Minerals In Your Diet Using Whole Foods

While supplements are crucial after bariatric surgery, its all suggested to eat a nutrient dense diet including whole foods.

Good sources of iron include tofu, dark leafy greens, lentils, turkey, and chicken. To enhance iron absorption, pair iron-rich foods with good sources of vitamin C, like citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, and dark leafy greens. Some zinc-rich foods include beans, dairy, eggs, and meat. Protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and plant-based sources like beans, peas, soy foods, and lentils.

As long as youve prioritized your nutrition throughout the bariatric process, and dont have underlying chronic illness or other reasons for prolonged hair loss, your hair growth pattern should return to normal soon!

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How Can You Prevent Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery

First and foremost, dont panic. If youre experiencing hair loss just remind yourself youre going through a perfectly natural reaction to bariatric surgery and your hair will be returning in no time.

Lets look at a few tips to help you manage and possibly prevent hair loss from occurring so you can focus on improving your health and getting your life back on track.

Managing Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery

How To Prevent Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery in 2020 ...

Proper nutrition is extremely important in managing post-operative symptoms, including hair loss. Tips for managing hair loss after weight loss surgery are:

  • Take your specific bariatric multivitamin daily
  • Consume 60-80 grams of protein daily
  • Get regular blood work done

It’s better to know exactly what is causing the problem before trying to treat hair loss with random supplements. When it comes down to purchasing a hair supplement, it all depends on your exact needs and what you are looking for. Remember, you should never rely on receiving your nutrition solely through dietary supplements. Food should always be your first source of vitamins and minerals, but in some cases like bariatric surgery, additional supplements are necessary.

Consider checking: Pain Medication After Gastric Bypass. But remember to ask you doctor first before taking any of the medicines!

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Other Stressors And Hair Loss

Whether its physical stress or mental stress, the body is likely to respond by entering into some degree of Telogen Effluvium hair loss.

Research shows that not only does nutrition and major surgery affect hair loss from telogen effluvium, but stressors of many kinds can cause your hair follicles to enter the resting phase.

Whether its physical stress or mental stress, the body is likely to respond by entering into some degree of Telogen Effluvium hair loss. Here are a few:

  • High fever
  • Chronic debilitating illness
  • Hormonal disruption
  • Acute weight-loss
  • Iron or zinc deficiency

Be Gentle With Your Hair Use Quality Products And See Your Hairstylist

Your hair may be fragile after a gastric sleeve. Comb and brush it gently. Dont wash or dry it roughly. Avoid heat-styling and bleach.

Look for shampoos, conditioners, and treatments to strengthen your hair and promote growth. This will help prevent further breakage.

If you already have this problem after gastric surgery, ask your hairstylist about styles that work well for thin hair. Start supplementing your diet as soon as possible. Good nutrition is still the best way to protect your hair.

Consider to check a complete collection of gastric bypass vitamins.

Have a look at our blog as well: Zinc After Surgery

Also you might be interested in our collections of Bariatric Protein and Biotin tablets.

If you have found this article helpful, we have many other resources for bariatric patients. Have a look at our articles on:

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Hair Follicles Go Through Two Stages In Their Life Cycle:

1. Anagen phase where the hair grows for a period of time before moving into the 2. Telogen phase which lasts around 100 to 120 days, then the hair falls out.

This process, if accelerated, is called telogen effluvium and is the cause of hair loss in bariatric patients. It is usually associated with patients who dont comply with supplement programs, have had rapid weight loss, have poor dietary habits or food intolerances .

The nutrients possibly related to hair loss are protein, iron, zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, and biotin. Patients lacking in these vitamins need adequate supplementation to prevent further complications.

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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Who Is Most At Risk Of Hair Loss After A Gastric Sleeve

Recent studies have confirmed that young women are more likely to experience hair loss after surgery. But it can happen to men and older individuals too.

Those with a nutrient deficiency before surgery are at higher risk. If you have seen a dramatic weight change, some of your hair may be sacrificed in the process.

You may not notice hair loss right after your surgery. It may only show about one month post-op for a gastric sleeve or later.

You can read through gastric sleeve surgery testimonials to understand how hair loss effects different patients and what the experience was like over time.

Incorporate A Protein Source At Every Meal

Protein after surgery is imperative for recovery, healing, sustained weight loss, and prevention of muscle loss.

Some sources of high-quality protein include eggs, fish, poultry, legumes, or dairy, as long as you can tolerate them well. Your stomach size is smaller following surgery, making it important to eat a solid protein source at every meal throughout the day. Find some of my recommended protein-rich, bariatric-friendly recipes here.

Generally speaking, protein intake should be between 60-100 grams per day, but your surgical team and registered dietitian will offer personalized guidance for your recovery. Its possible that supplemental protein drinks will be recommended to help you meet your needs temporarily.

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Common Causes Of Hair Loss

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Thyroid issues
  • Trauma

After weight loss surgery, you are causing caloric restriction and/or malabsorption of really important nutrients that the body needs. Naturally, there are going to be repercussions somewhere. After surgery, the body does the best it can to adapt to new changes and unfortunately hair growth is not at the top of the list. Although this seems terrifying, unless you have an underlying condition, you can count on your hair to grow back.


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