Weight loss surgery changes your body. It brings your weight down and improves your nutrition profile. After weight loss surgery, your body tries to adjust to the new diet you are consuming. Since your body does not consider hair growth as vital to its survival. In the face of nutrition scarcity, the body cuts off the nutrient supply to hair follicles to maintain supply to other vital functions in the body. So, a loss of hair after weight loss surgery is a common phenomenon. However, bariatric hair loss can be easily tackled. You can try different methods to reduce or completely stop hair loss.
Expect Changes in Hair Growth Cycles
Changes in hair growth cycle or Telogen Effluvium is a normal phenomenon observed in patients who undergo surgery. The hair growth cycle comprises of two phases – growing phase (anagen) and resting phase (telogen). In a healthy individual, 90% of the hair are in the anagen phase, and 10% are in the telogen phase. However, the general anesthesia administered during the surgery often causes the hair to stay longer in the telogen phase. So, thin hair after weight loss surgery is expected. This is not a characteristic of weight loss surgery but that of any surgery that requires general anesthesia. It does not last longer than 6 months. If you continue to suffer from severe hair loss even after 6 months, then it is not due to Telogen Effluvium.
Improve Protein Intake
L-Lysine is an amino acid that makes up more than one-third of our hair structure. After weight loss surgery, your protein intake may have reduced. Eggs, fish, and meat are high in L-lysine, so they should be incorporated in the regular diet. Protein is essential for the healthy growth of a body. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, ideal protein intake should be 60-80 grams per day, however, you should confirm that number with your doctor/nutritional team, as you may have different needs
Ensure Optimum Vitamins & Minerals
It is common for people to suffer from vitamin & mineral deficiencies with or without the surgery. However, due to the restricted diet after bariatric surgery, such deficiencies may quickly become severe. Lack of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Zinc, and Iron can contribute to increased hair loss after weight loss surgery. If you are experiencing hair problems, then talk to your bariatric surgeon, who can prescribe you the necessary vitamin supplements. They can also increase your vitamin & mineral levels by changing your diet and enriching it with the deficient minerals & vitamins.
Relieve the Stress
Emotional stress plays a significant role in exacerbating hair loss. In fact, hair falling out after surgery may add to your stress. After a gastric sleeve surgery, people often experience a change in hormonal levels which can cause mood swings, stress, and depression, among other emotional changes. Usually, eating your favorite food was your stress reliever. However, after the bariatric surgery, you have to change the old habits. You should replace it with exercising, walking, jogging, and other such healthier habits. If the problem persists, then talk to your bariatric surgeon about your emotional state who can get you the help you need.