Hair and Nail Vitamins after Bariatric Surgery

Hair and Nail Vitamins after Bariatric Surgery - Bariatric Fusion

Hair loss after gastric sleeve, weight loss or other metabolic and bariatric surgeries can be managed. The first thing to remember is not to worry about it too much. Stress can make hair loss worse.

It’s normal to feel alarmed by this change. But it’s a common side effect of gastric sleeve surgery or gastrectomy. It happens to over half of metabolic and bariatric patients.

Prepare beforehand or start the right healthcare routine as soon as possible. Hair loss after a gastric sleeve will then, in most cases, be back to normal in a few months.


What This Article Covers:

  • Stages of Hair Loss
  • Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
  • How Can Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery Be Prevented?

Stages of Hair Loss

Hair loss after bariatric surgery or significant weight loss can be common in both men and women. Hair follicles are present in three stages including:

  • Anagen (growth) phase
  • Catagen (transition) phase
  • Telogen (dormant, hair loss) phase

Metabolic and bariatric hair loss is usually called Telogen Effluvium, which is a temporary hair loss. This issue is not fully understood, but hair follicles tend to be forced into the dormant phase which lasts 3-6 months and then falls out. This is usually when many people see hair loss after metabolic and bariatric surgery.

Common Causes of Hair Loss

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Surgery
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • High stress
  • Extreme diet change
  • Protein-calorie malnutrition
  • Medications
  • Iron or zinc deficiency
  • 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.

Who is Most at Risk of Hair Loss?

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.(1)

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.

Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery

Why Does Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery Occur?

hair loss after gastric sleeve

Hair loss is one of the side effects of gastric bypass surgery and usually occurs as a result of the drastic change in weight, the corresponding loss of nutrients, and as a general bodily response to surgery.

What happens a few months after surgery is that the body reroutes nutrients from the process of hair growth to your vital organs. This hair loss is known as telogen effluvium.

Hair has a growing phase and a dormant phase referred to as the telogen and anagen phases respectively.

Telogen Effluvium refers to the hair loss that occurs after gastric bypass surgery and occurs when your hair enters its dormant (telogen) phase. This means it stops growing and falls out.

This occurs after 3 or so months, but can also happen sooner. Typically, this does not result in extreme hair loss or even bald spots, but you may notice that you are shedding hair.

This process is mostly brought on by the calorie restriction that happens post-surgery, as well as the stress and hormone changes after bariatric surgery that occur.

There are also other factors that may lead to this condition after gastric bypass surgery.

This includes medications, metal toxicity, chronic disease, hypothyroidism, and other common complications after gastric bypass surgery.

Some people also experience anxiety or depression after bariatric surgery, which heightens the body’s stress response and may lead to side effects, such as hair loss.

The onset of Telogen Effluvium is sudden, but should not last longer than 6 months post-surgery.

How Can Hair Loss After Gastric Bypass Be Prevented?

Women's One Per Day Multivitamin With Iron Capsules

The Women's One Per Day Bariatric Multivitamin Capsule with Iron is made to meet the unique nutritional needs of women who have undergone bariatric surgery.

This all-in-one capsule simplifies the daily vitamin regimen by providing a comprehensive blend of vitamins and minerals, including a high dose of iron, recommended by the ASMBS.

vitamins for hair loss after bariatric surgery


The multivitamin also includes a special blend for women's health, supporting digestive function, cardiovascular health, and bone strength, making it an essential part of post-surgical care and recovery.*


Protein intake is one of the most important steps to ensuring speedy recovery post-surgery. It has also been found that adequate protein intake can prevent some gastric bypass complications years later.

bariatric surgery and hair loss

The common recommendation is 60-80 grams of protein daily for most bariatric individuals. For many patients, it is difficult to get the right amount of protein in.

The great thing about protein is that it supports building and maintenance of muscle, promotes wound healing and metabolism, and curbs hunger. Protein can be consumed through dietary food sources like lean meats and fish. For those that that a difficult time reaching daily protein levels through food intake, there are supplements available.

Many patients opt to add in bariatric meal replacement protein shakes to their diet.

Consuming a protein shake will ensure that you get the right amount of protein without effort. Many bariatric-specific shakes are also filled with additional nutrients and are low in sugar.

Additional supplements are a great way to ensure that you get your daily dose of protein in, which will assist your body in healing properly.

Due to the nutrition protein supplies, it can prevent or minimize the body’s compensatory responses, such as hair loss.

In fact, hair follicles are made up of protein and a protein-rich diet can assist hair growth, whereas a protein deficiency often leads to hair loss.

Biotin, or Vitamin B7, may be recommended for hair growth because it plays an essential role in the production of a hair protein called Keratin.


gastric bypass hair loss

Iron is one of the most common deficiencies that bariatric patients can face. Not meeting daily iron guidelines may produce hair loss in patients with an existing deficiency.

Iron is one of the recommended supplements taken for life post-surgery to assist with recovery and to minimize other side effects.

In terms of hair loss, it has been found that iron deficiencies may play a role in placing stress on the natural hair cycle. In fact, iron is the micronutrient that has mostly been associated with hair loss.

It is wise to stay consistent with your daily multivitamin regimen that includes iron to prevent unwanted side effects, such as hair loss.

With some food intolerances after surgery, it can be difficult to consume enough iron from the diet. Luckily, you can get 45mg to 60mg of iron in by using a daily bariatric multivitamin with iron. Bariatric Fusion offers Iron Supplements in a Soft Chew and Capsule

It has been said that patients who experience hair loss longer than six months after surgery should have blood levels checked for deficiencies, such as iron that could be causing this issue.


Along with iron, some patients who experience lingering hair loss post-surgery have been found to have a zinc deficiency. It has been found that zinc can have a regulatory effect on hair loss and also the development of alopecia (permanent hair loss).

For this reason, bariatric patients are encouraged to get 8-22mg of Zinc per day based on procedure type.

Zinc is most commonly found in oysters, red meats, and poultry, all of which are not included in the diet in the early weeks post-surgery.

A bariatric specific multivitamin that contains adequate Zinc should be taken to ensure that you maintain healthy levels of all essential vitamins and minerals. Sometimes your healthcare provider will recommend starting a multivitamin before surgery.


hair loss after bariatric surgery

Staying consistent with your bariatric multivitamin is going to be the best way to ensure you are keeping up with daily recommended vitamin and mineral levels for your bariatric needs.

If you find that hair loss is still occurring, even while you are consistent with vitamin and mineral levels, make sure you are also getting enough daily protein, water, and a variety of whole foods.

If you are in need of further prevention and minimization of hair loss, your doctor may recommend a hair and nails supplement, Biotin or a multi-collagen supplement formulated for bariatric needs.

In general, any bariatric vitamin that have been approved and prescribed by your doctor will, in one way or another, minimize the risk of hair loss.


So what’s the bad news? You probably will shed some hair after undergoing gastric bypass surgery.

The good news is that this is not permanent. The hair will grow back. It also means that the surgery is working by promoting rapid weight loss.

Luckily, there are many preventative measures to minimize and even prevent hair loss. All these measures will work to assist you in your recovery process as well.

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This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.

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