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It’s common for weight loss surgery patients to notice another less-desired loss following their bariatric operations: hair loss. If “will I lose my hair after weight loss surgery?” is a question on your mind, here are some tips on how to reduce hair loss after your surgery, as well as some of the reasons behind this common symptom.
Remember, the pros of weight loss surgery far outweigh the cons of minor side effects that won’t last forever.
Why Does Hair Loss Occur After Weight Loss Surgery?
Hair loss can affect bariatric patients for an average of three to five months after their surgeries. Some of the reasons behind hair loss following bariatric surgery are from losing weight rapidly, not getting enough protein in your diet, and the stress your body undergoes from having surgery. Other less common reasons for post-surgery hair loss might be a lack of important dietary nutrients such as zinc, biotin, potassium, vitamin B6 and/or phosphorus.
A deficiency of these nutrients can damage the hair root, which makes follicles unsalvageable. Not having enough protein in your diet can cause your hair to break off as it grows through the scalp.
Other less common reasons for hair loss after weight loss surgery can include hormone imbalances, chronic iron deficiency, certain medications and too much vitamin A. Always check with your doctor to check for any underlying medical causes of sudden hair loss.
How Can You Minimize Hair Loss After Weight Loss Surgery?
Ensuring your post-surgery diet is rich in protein and the right combination of vitamins and minerals can help lessen hair loss, and even prevent it. Here are some tips to make sure you’re eating the right nutrients to protect your hair:
- Consume 60 to 80 grams of protein every day
- Drink plenty of water, aiming for 80 ounces per day
- Eat a wide variety of healthy, nutrient-rich foods as a habit
- Include a protein with every meal and snack
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements as your provider recommends
- Use liquid or powdered protein supplements to ensure you’re getting your daily protein
If hair loss happens after weight loss surgery, don’t worry; it will grow back! Hair loss rarely lasts more than six months after the surgery. If you do experience hair loss for longer than 12 months, be sure to let your team know.
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