Hair loss after weight loss: Causes, risks, and prevention – Medical News Today

Hair loss that results from weight loss is a temporary condition that occurs when a person loses weight through restrictive dieting or weight loss surgery. Stress on the body or nutrient deficiencies may be the cause.

This type of hair loss is generally known as telogen effluvium, and it is a common cause of hair loss. It typically occurs about 3–4 months after rapid weight loss and lasts for up to 6 months.

Not all hair that falls out is hair loss. It is normal to lose about 50–100 hairs per day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This is known as hair shedding.

During telogen effluvium, however, much more hair falls out.

Some causes of telogen effluvium can include:

  • losing a significant amount of weight
  • giving birth
  • having high levels of stress
  • having high fever
  • undergoing surgery
  • experiencing illness, particularly with high fever
  • stopping birth control pills

Telogen effluvium generally subsides within 6–9 months as the body adjusts to the changes.

Telogen effluvium following weight loss is sometimes the result of nutrient deficiencies in the diet and the cumulative effects of weight loss on the body. This is particularly the case if the weight loss is due to crash dieting, weight loss surgery, or restrictive dieting.

Proper nutrition is vital to the formation of healthy hair shafts and the promotion of hair growth. Some studies suggest that diets low in iron and zinc may be more likely to induce hair loss. Other nutrients that may affect hair growth include fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin D.

Hair shafts undergo several cycles during their lifetime. These are as follows:

  • The anagen phase: This occurs when hair is growing and can last for several years.
  • The catagen phase: This is a short transitional phase of a few weeks.
  • The telogen phase: This is a rest phase of 3–4 months. At the end of this phase, the hair will fall out, and new hair will grow in the follicle.

Hair loss happens when stress on the body triggers the hairs to stop …….


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