Some people can see that they are going through hair loss after bariatric surgery. That is one of the most common side effects of bariatric surgery.
Almost 57% of bariatric patients experience hair loss. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium, the most common type. So, do not worry when you see it happening to you. Of course, if the hair loss is severe, then it is time to act.
The takeaway of this article is:
- HAIR LOSS AFTER BARIATRIC SURGERY IS TEMPORARY.
- CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS AFTER BARIATRIC SURGERY ARE MOSTLY STRESS, RAPID WEIGHT LOSS, AND NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES.
- BARIATRIC SURGERY PATIENTS LOSE AROUND 5-15% OF THEIR HAIR DURING THIS STAGE.
- HAIR STARTS TO GROW BACK AFTER 6 MONTHS.
- THERE ARE METHODS YOU CAN USE TO MINIMIZE OR PREVENT HAIR LOSS AFTER BARIATRIC SURGERY.
- PROTEIN AND OTHER NUTRIENTS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR HAIR HEALTH.
- IF SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY IS GOING ON, IT SHOULD BE CHECKED IMMEDIATELY.
What Causes Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery?
There are mainly two reasons for hair loss after bariatric surgery.
- The stress that the surgery puts on the body
- Nutrition deficiency
Bariatric surgeries, or weight loss surgeries, cause significant stress to the body due to the alterations done during the procedure. The body focuses on healing the injured tissue. This can cause a change in the hair growth cycle and increase the number of hair follicles that are in the telogen phase (resting phase) instead of the anagen phase (growth phase). That can cause bariatric surgery hair loss after a few weeks or months in bigger amounts.
Bariatric surgeries can be malabsorptive and/or restrictive and cause patients to go through rapid weight loss. This can cause certain vitamin deficiencies and may cause one to get insufficient protein. Meaning there is a direct connection between dieting and hair loss. Not getting enough nutrients that are essential for hair health can cause hair loss after weight loss.
Does Not Eating Enough Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, not eating enough can cause hair loss. By not eating enough, you are not getting enough nutrients. This causes certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies, Vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy hair.
These deficiencies later will cause hair loss and other health problems.
Does Protein Intake Affect Hair Growth?
Yes, protein intake can affect hair growth. You are going to need the protein after surgery for healthy weight loss. Along with that, protein also helps with hair growth.
Hair follicles are mostly made out of protein. That is why it is important to get a sufficient amount of protein to help promote hair health.
How Long Does Hair Loss Last After Bariatric Surgery?
The hair falling out from weight loss stops and the hair starts to grow back in less than 6 months after surgery. Sometimes, this time can be 9 months depending on your nutritional status and recovery.
This much amount of time is necessary for hair follicles to move on the the growth (anagen) phase.
Best Treatment for Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
After your certain recovery stages, provided your service provider also approves, you can start to take precautions to minimize, stop, or prevent hair loss from rapid weight loss and promote hair growth after weight loss.
- TAKING ADEQUATE PROTEIN (60-100 GRAMS OF PROTEIN DAILY)
- EATING NUTRIENT-RICH FOODS
- TAKING SUPPLEMENTS LIKE BIOTIN
- SCALP CARE
- USING NATURAL REMEDIES FOR HAIR GROWTH LIKE ROSEMARY OIL
These are the best tips on how to stop and regrow your hair.
⚠️ After bariatric surgery, it is important to prioritize your recovery. Never go beyond what you are allowed to at the time. Always consult your service provider before making dietary adjustments.
Vitamins for Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
You can use almost all vitamins and minerals that are essential for hair health. Vitamins to take to help regrowing hair after bariatric surgery are:
- VITAMIN A, C, E, AND D-3
- VITAMINS B (FOLIC ACID), B-2 (RIBOFLAVIN), 5, 6, 9, AND 12
The most commonly used vitamin for hair loss is biotin for bariatric patients due to its essential role in hair health. Hence, it might be important to prioritize biotin intake.
Should Hair Transplant Be Considered?
Whether you should get a hair transplant or not depends on the situation. If the hair does not grow back, then it can be considered as a treatment option.
However, losing hair after weight loss is mostly connected with nutrition. So, it is temporary. In most cases, a hair transplant after hair loss after bariatric surgery may not be necessary.
How to Thicken Hair After Hair Loss
You can use all the other methods for hair care to help thicken your hair. You can also use newly FDA-approved medicine for hair loss from weight loss: minoxidil.
Minoxidil is a foam-formed medicine that is applied on the scalp that helps thicken hair follicles after hair thinning after weight loss and promotes hair growth.
How to Prevent Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
It may be difficult to start taking supplements right after a bariatric surgery to prevent hair loss. However, there are other methods that are great helpers for minimizing and even preventing hair loss after bariatric surgery.
- MASSAGE YOUR SCALP
- USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HAIR GROWTH
- USE HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
- DO NOT USE EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
- AVOID TIGHT HAIRSTYLES
- AVOID OVERHEATING YOUR HAIR
- TAKE LIQUID/SYRUP MULTIVITAMINS
When to Be Worried
Yes, hair loss after bariatric surgery is mostly temporary and is nothing to be worried about. However, there are some circumstances that might need to be looked at. It is time to get help for bariatric hair loss when:
- THE HAIR LOSS IS EXCESSIVE
- THE HAIR LOSS DOES NOT STOP
- THE HAIR DOES NOT GROW BACK EVEN AFTER 9 MONTHS
- THE METHODS DID NOT WORK ON YOUR HAIR
- YOU FEEL ITCHING, BURNING, OR TINGLING ON YOUR SCALP
- YOU OBSERVE PUS ON YOUR SCALP
- THE HAIR FALLS OUT IN PATCHES
- YOU ARE LOSING HAIR, INCLUDING BODY HAIR
These signs might indicate some other condition that causes extreme hair loss after bariatric surgery such as thyroid disease, heart disease, diabetes, etc. It might be important to get them checked as soon as possible.
Setting Light into Gastric Sleeve Hair Loss
Are you observing hair loss and itchy scalp after VSG? Do you have some concerns about hair loss after VSG? Here are some insights about hair loss after gastric sleeve. If you have another question, do not hesitate to contact us!
How Much Hair Loss From Gastric Sleeve Is Normal?
After gastric sleeve, one might see around 10–15% hair loss on their scalp. Considering you have 100.000 strands of hair, you can expect to lose 10.000 strands of hair. This amount of VSG hair loss is normal and will grow back in time.
Does Cutting Hair Sort Help With Hair Loss VSG?
Cutting your hair short can help with hair loss from gastric sleeve. Due to a little malnourishment after gastric sleeve, hair follicles weaken.
If your hair is long, it might cause hair to fall out due to its weight. So, yes. cutting your hair will put less burden on your hair follicles.
How Much Protein Do You Need to Prevent Hair Loss After Gastric Sleeve?
Your daily protein intake should be around 60–100 grams to prevent or minimize hair loss after gastric sleeve. Of course, this can only be possible after a certain dietary stage as your stomach might need a bit more time to heal.
(1) Zhang W, Fan M, Wang C, et al. Hair Loss After Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Obesity Surgery. 2021;31(6):2649-2659.
(2) Şen O, Türkçapar AG. Hair Loss After Sleeve Gastrectomy and Effect of Biotin Supplements. Journal of Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques. 2021;31(3):296-300.
(3) Cohen-Kurzrock, Rena & Cohen, Philip. (2021). Bariatric Surgery-Induced Telogen Effluvium (Bar SITE): Case Report and a Review of Hair Loss Following Weight Loss Surgery. Cureus. 13. 10.7759/cureus.14617.