Hair Loss After Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery or Significant Weight Loss
Hair loss after gastric sleeve 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.
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
- Hormonal imbalance
- High stress
- Extreme diet change
- Protein-calorie malnutrition
- Iron or zinc deficiency
- Thyroid issues
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.
How Bad Can Hair Loss After a Gastric Sleeve Be?
Usually, about 5% to 15% of hair can be lost, but only temporarily. This is enough for you to notice it, but others may not notice it. About 6 months after a gastric sleeve or other bariatric procedure, the problem should resolve.
Many will agree that the benefits of a gastric sleeve for patients in need of one vastly outweigh this short-term problem of hair loss.
If you lose more than this or the problem doesn’t go away, another cause may be involved. In that case, the best course is to see your doctor.
Ways to Manage Hair Loss After a Gastric Sleeve
If you give your body plenty of what it needs to support healthy hair, you may not experience much hair loss. Follow the 4 tips below to support healthy hair after surgery.
Find Our if Your Nutrient Levels are Low
Metabolic and bariatric patients should have a series of tests before and after surgery. Ask your doctor what the results mean for your nutrient levels. You can ask your doctor if there are extra tests you can go for to check this.
These tests will often show if you have an iron, calcium, or protein deficiency, for example. You can then start supplementing for these at the right dose.*
Managing Hair Loss After Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Proper nutrition is extremely important in managing post-operative symptoms, including hair loss. Tips to support healthy hair after metabolic and bariatric surgery:
- Take your specific bariatric multivitamin daily*
- Consume 60-80 grams of protein daily
- Get regular blood work done
It's better to know exactly what is causing the problem before adding random supplements. When it comes down to purchasing a hair supplement, it all depends on your exact needs and what you are looking for.
Remember, you should never rely on receiving your nutrition solely through dietary supplements. Food should always be your first source of vitamins and minerals, but in some cases like metabolic and bariatric surgery, additional supplements may be necessary.*
Bariatric Fusion Offers Hair, Skin, and Nails Rejuvenator:
This product was formulated for metabolic and bariatric patients, but non-bariatric can also take the supplement. Hair, Skin, and Nails Rejuvenator:*
- Supports the appearance of the skin and nails
- Zinc and Copper that support the natural formation of collagen
- Supports healthy hair*
- Horsetail extract and inositol
- Contains folate, biotin, and vitamin B12
- Metabolic and bariatric patients are at higher risk of being deficient
- Contains OptiMSM
- Supports healthy inflammatory response*
Other Products for Healthy Hair:*
- Biotin supplement*
- Although biotin deficiency is rare, the signs and symptoms can result in thinning hair and hair loss.
Both of these products have been formulated to replenish specific nutrients that can support healthy hair. Click on the links below to view these products.*
Our bariatric supplements are formulated for those who have undergone ASMBS-endorsed procedures, including Sleeve Gastrectomy, Gastric Bypass, Lap Band, and Intra-gastric Balloon patients. They can also be enjoyed by individuals who have not had metabolic and bariatric surgery under the advisement of a healthcare provider.*
Your hair may be fragile after a gastric sleeve. Comb and brush it gently. Don’t wash or dry it roughly. Avoid heat-styling and bleach.
Look for shampoos, conditioners, and treatments to strengthen your hair. This will help prevent further breakage.
If you already have this problem after gastric surgery, ask your hairstylist about styles that work well for thin hair. Start supplementing your diet as soon as possible. Good nutrition is still the best way to protect your hair.*
Consider to check a complete collection of gastric bypass vitamins.*
Also you might be interested in our collections of Bariatric Protein and Biotin.*
If you have found this article helpful, we have many other resources for metabolic and bariatric patients. Have a look at our articles on:
- Iron Deficiency After Bariatric Surgery
- What Are The Best Vitamins After Bariatric Surgery?
- Vitamin Deficiency After Bariatric Surgery
- Bariatric Vitamin Patches
- Multivitamins For Bariatric Patients
- Chewable Vitamins for Bariatric Patients
- The Benefits of Zinc and Copper After Bariatric Surgery
- Importance Of A Bariatric Specific Multivitamin For Life
- Bariatric Recipes
- Gastric Bypass and Anemia
- Unflavored Protein Powder for Bariatric Patients
- Vitamin Patches Proven Ineffective After Bariatric Surgery
- 5 Tips To Healthy Eating After Bariatric Surgery
- Vitamin A Deficiency After Bariatric Surgery
- Most Affordable Bariatric Vitamin on the Market
- Zinc After Surgery
Feel free to check our next articles Sleep Apnea and Bariatric Surgery and Pain Medication After Gastric Bypass.
1. Obes Surg. 2021; 31(6):2649-2659 [PMID: 33675022]
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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 bariatric surgeon or another qualified healthcare 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.