Weight loss surgeries are becoming increasingly popular for long-term weight loss. Some benefits of a bariatric surgery like gastric bypass, lap band, and sleeve gastrectomy include improved health, energy, and overall well-being.
Read more: Benefits of Bariatric Surgery.
But unfortunately, with many successful bariatric surgeries come the issues of hair loss. We will explain the reasons for hair loss after bariatric surgery, what you can do to prevent it, and solutions for regrowing your hair.
Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery: Causes
Weight loss surgery is a life-changing event for many people but can also bring unexpected side effects. Here are some of the causes of hair loss after bariatric surgery:
1. Nutritional Deficiencies
During your post-surgery recovery, your body may not get enough specific essential vitamins and minerals needed to maintain healthy hair growth. This can cause your hair to become dry, brittle, or thin.
2. Hormonal Changes
Rapid weight loss can cause hormonal imbalances, leading to hair thinning or hair loss.
Some types of hormonal imbalance are:
a) Hypo- or hyperthyroidism: This condition occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough or too many thyroid hormones, which can cause problems with hair growth.
b) PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects how the ovaries produce and use hormones. It can cause irregular menstrual cycles and lead to hair thinning.
Bariatric surgery is a significant life change and can be stressful on your body, leading to hair loss. Stress can also lead to poor dietary choices that don’t give the body enough essential vitamins and minerals for healthy hair growth.
4. Metal Toxicity
When your body has too many metals, such as arsenic, mercury, and lead, it can cause hair loss. After bariatric surgery, your body may be exposed to higher levels of these metals due to increased fat breakdown and excretion. This is especially true if you consume many foods with heavy metals before your surgery.
5. Chronic Illness
One of the long-term risks associated with bariatric surgery is the development of chronic illness. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies that cause hair loss, such as iron and protein deficiency. To prevent this, taking a daily multivitamin supplement and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential.
6. Crash Dieting and Dehydration
When you deprive your body of the nutrition it needs, it can start to break down its cells for energy and nutrients. This can lead to hair loss in both women and men.
Tips To Prevent Hair Loss
Here are some tips to help prevent hair loss after bariatric surgery:
1. Take Supplements:
Ask your doctor if there are any supplements you can take to help with your hair loss. This may include vitamins, minerals, or herbs that can help stimulate healthy hair growth.
2. Avoid Traction Alopecia:
Traction alopecia is caused by tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, and cornrows that pull on the hair. This type of hairstyle can cause traction alopecia which leads to hair loss, so make sure you’re not using tight hairstyles that could pull on your hair follicles and cause them to break off.
3. Avoid Heat Styling:
Heat-styling tools like blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons can damage the hair if not used correctly. If you use these tools, use a heat protectant spray and keep the temperature setting low.