The Connection Between Weight Loss and Hair Loss

You’ve worked hard, faithfully exercised, stuck to a balanced diet. All good. But then comes the moment of truth – when you step on the scale for the first time in a few weeks. Well, praise be, you’ve dropped 20, 30, maybe even 60 pounds. Even better, you look and feel the best you’ve felt in a very long time.

Still, there’s one thing wrong with this picture. As you look up from the scale to the mirror – noticeable hair loss. Not surprising though, since hair is sensitive to stress, hormonal changes, and nutrient deficiencies.

How are weight loss and hair loss connected?

Nutrient deficiencies associated with restrictive diets can result in a condition called acute telogen effluvium, or TE, which occurs about 3 months after a triggering life event such as weight loss. Fortunately, TE is not permanent and lasts about 6 months. Once nutrient levels return to normal, hair should resume i’s normal growth cycle. In some instances, restrictive diets can lead to chronic TE, lasting more than 6 months, and androgenic (male or female pattern baldness) alopecia.

  • Crash Dieting. Your hair, like the rest of your body, requires adequate calories and nutrients for optimum health. When those elements are lacking, hair loss can occur. Poorly planned diets lacking in zinc, iron, protein, essential fatty acids, and enough calories may help you shed the pounds, but hair shedding will often follow along.
  • Low-Protein Diets. Amino acids are essential for hair growth. A diet low in protein forces the body to prioritize more important protein-dependent functions like hormone production, tissue repair, pH and water balance regulation, and digestion – protein deficiency treats each of these with a higher degree of importance vs. hair health.
  • Weight Loss Surgery. The rapid weight loss commonly associated with surgery – such as sleeve gastrectomy – also can lead to hair loss as it not only reduces stomach capacity but allows food to bypass part of the intestines, thus resulting in malabsorption of nutrients.
  • Restrictive Diets. Diets that require entire food groups to be cut out completely can result in nutrient deficiencies, and ultimately, hair loss.

How to Prevent Hair Loss with Losing Weight

Aim to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable, and practical manner. Sure, a fad diet may offer a quick fix, but if it’s not a combined eating and exercise regimen, chances are the pounds will steadily pile back on. Choose a balanced diet that provides your body with the vitamins, nutrients, and calories it needs to function at its best.

If you’re experiencing unexpected hair loss that has you concerned, there’s no bad time schedule a free consultation with DiStefano Hair Restoration Center. Why worry when it’s a problem that will correct itself? Then again, why ignore a problem that won’t?