Are you the one who is experiencing hair loss after bariatric surgery? Well, it’s a common problem post-surgery that can last up to 7-9 months. The good news is that hair loss after bariatric surgery is not permanent! Just take the right steps to reverse the situation and your hair will grow back.
To fully understand the causes and prevention tips for post-bariatric surgery, keep reading!
Why does hair loss occur after bariatric surgery?
Hair loss can affect individuals after bariatric surgery for almost 5-8 months and there are four reasons behind it-
- Sudden weight loss – Hair loss and sudden weight loss are co-related with each other. As a result of weight loss, the body undergoes many changes and does not prioritize hair growth. This is the reason why patients experience hair loss after bariatric surgery.
- Telogen effluvium – A stage when hair stops growing and enters the telogen phase. This type of condition occurs when the patients take too much stress and hair roots go into a resting phase. Crucial surgeries may cause telogen effluvium.
- Nutritional deficiencies – Another major cause of hair loss after bariatric surgery is nutritional deficiencies. Post-surgery patients have to restrict their calorie intake and it eventually causes a deficiency of vitamins, proteins, and other important dietary supplements.
- Change in estrogen/androgen balance – Estrogen and androgen are stored in fat and a sudden weight loss causes a change in the balance of these hormones. A decrease in these hormones triggers hair growth, resulting in slow and thin hair growth.
What’s a normal amount of hair to lose?
An individual sheds 70-100 hair strands a day on average. However, it differs from person to person according to their diet intake, sleeping pattern, age, and other factors. Most patients experience hair loss after bariatric surgery but there is no exact number of hair strands an individual can expect to lose. Hair loss is an outcome of many factors. Consult with your bariatric surgeon if you are experiencing major hair loss post-surgery.
4 tips to prevent hair loss after bariatric surgery
There is a misconception among patients that hair loss after bariatric surgery is unavoidable and cannot be prevented. But the reality is different! Here are some simple and effective tips to ensure you enjoy the process without worrying about hair loss.
Intake of a balanced diet
After bariatric surgery, it is very important to eat a balanced diet that is rich in protein and iron. Some of the protein options that you can add to your diet include baked or grilled fish, chia seeds, soy, and beans. Discuss the diet plan with your bariatric surgeon if you need any help.
Take your vitamins
Deficiency of vitamins can also lead to hair loss after the surgery. Vitamins help promote hair growth and also ensure that you get strong and healthy hair. Start taking your chewable vitamins consistently at least two weeks before the surgery to prevent hair loss and fatigue.
Do not forget your iron and zinc supplements
Iron and zinc are also important nutrients associated with hair loss. You must take an iron-rich diet before the surgery, some good sources of iron include green vegetables, cereals, beans, egg yolk, and others. Furthermore, add zinc to your diet such as red meat, mushrooms, nuts, and others.
Sleep well and relax
Besides eating a balanced diet and taking all the necessary supplements, you should check your sleeping pattern by sleeping at least 6-8 hours. Post-surgery give your body some time and relax by taking care of your mental and physical health.
Will hair grow back after a few months?
Yes, hair will grow back in about 6-8 months after bariatric surgery. Your body will start showing positive changes after you follow the preventive tips. However, if you experience hair loss longer than 12 months then consult with the bariatric surgeon.
What is the best shampoo for hair loss after bariatric surgery?
After bariatric surgery, individuals can try using shampoos with minoxidil ingredients to help stimulate hair growth. Some patients’ hair growth has shown positive results after using minoxidil shampoo. However, there is no evidence or guarantee that this shampoo will work for you.
Hair loss after bariatric surgery isn’t permanent and it will grow back after 7-8 months. Follow all the prevention tips and instructions as advised by your bariatric surgeon. You will start noticing less hair loss over time and hair will begin to regrow. If you are not able to see positive changes in your hair growth in 12 months then you should consult with the dermatologist for a better treatment.