Can weight loss cause hair fall, you ask? The answer is an astounding yes. Hair loss as a result of weight loss is a temporary condition that occurs when an individual loses weight due to restrictive dieting or weight loss surgery. The primary causes are nutrient deficiencies or stress on the body. In this article, let’s discuss how hair loss and weight loss are interlinked, preventive tips for hair loss due to weight loss, home remedies to reverse hair loss, and more.
Hair loss And Weight Loss: What Is The Link Between Them?
This hair fall condition is referred to as telogen effluvium. It usually happens 3 to 4 months after a rapid weight loss and may last for 6 months. It is natural for us to lose 50 to 100 strands of hair every day and this is known as hair shedding. Hair shedding is completely different from telogen effluvium. The major reason is that the latter leads to far more hair fall. This hair condition usually reduces 6 to 9 months after the body adjusts to the rapid changes in weight.
4 Possible Causes Of Hair Loss Due To Weight Loss
If you have been wondering – “does weight loss cause hair loss?”, here’s exploring 4 factors why that can happen.
1. Telogen Effluvium
This is closely associated with a sudden spurt of hair fall, which is far more than your normal daily count of 50 to 100 strands. This generally happens when your body experiences a sudden or excessive weight loss and interprets it as a stress signal. This stress signal changes the normal growth cycle of your hair. The growing phase gets significantly shortened, which is why there is sparse hair growth, while hair continues to fall. The result is significantly more hair fall and far less hair growth.
2. Nutritional Deficiencies
If your weight loss diet entailed giving up on certain foods or restricting their quantity, it may lead to nutritional deficiencies. A low calorie which does not cover the essential nutrients that our body needs for functioning normally affects the structure and growth of your hair. Nutrients essential for healthy hair growth are as below, the deficiency of which is likely to affect hair regrowth:
Keratin, a type of protein, is a primary component of your hair. Protein like collagen is also important for hair roots and scalp. Hence, it is necessary for you to have a protein-rich diet for maintaining overall hair health.
Vegetarians and vegans, along with menstruating women, are at risk of experiencing hair fall as a result of the lack of sufficient protein in their diet.
c. Fatty Acids:
Individuals planning to lose weight tend to cut down on fats. And, unfortunately, they end up excluding good fats like Omega-3 fatty acids from their diet. This, in turn, adversely affects the growth of their hair.
Lack of nutrients like vitamin D, biotin, zinc, and niacin also has a negative effect on hair health.
3. Hormonal Imbalance
A drastic dieting schedule may cause changes in certain hormones in your body. An imbalance in the levels of thyroid or androgen hormones can increase hair fall. This is one of the primary factors behind hair loss after weight loss.
4. History Of Hair Health Conditions
Individuals with a family history of hair conditions like female pattern baldness may experience an aggravated form of hair loss as dieting may trigger the health condition and even make it worse.
3 Ways To Prevent Hair Fall While Losing Weight
1. Don’t Follow Unhealthy Diet Fads
Restrictive and crash diets do you more harm than you can imagine. Not just hair fall concerns but various other health conditions as well. So, pack in a lot of proteins, fruits, and vegetables in your diet and have carbs in moderate quantities. This way you will be able to sustain your diet, without giving rise to other health problems.
2. Make Up For Dietary Deficiencies With Supplements
For those of you who are vegetarians and vegans, make up for the deficiencies in your diet with supplements, so that the deficiencies do not have the scope to cause hair loss.
3. Prepare For Weight Loss Surgery
If you are undergoing weight loss surgery, make sure that the levels of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 are optimal before you go under the knife. This will help you prevent surgery-induced hair loss.
Medical Treatments For Weight Loss-Induced Hair Loss
If you prefer going in for a medical procedure to grow your hair back, you can opt for a hair transplant procedure. This involves the surgeon moving your hair from the side or back of the head to the top of the front of your head.
How Long Does It Take Your Hair To Grow Back After Weight Loss?
Hair fall as a result of weight loss usually grows back within 6 to 9 months because the condition here is temporary. Your hair starts growing back gradually when your body adjusts to the new weight and the essential nutrients in your body have been restored. However, it takes longer for your hair growth to be significantly visible.
6 Natural Remedies For Hair Regrowth
If you believe weight loss and hair fall are interconnected in your case, here are 6 home remedies that can come to your rescue.
1. Onion Juice
This is well known for boosting hair growth and treating health conditions related to hair fall like alopecia areata. It also improves circulation by enhancing follicle growth. Squeeze out the juice from a few onions, as much as required for your hair length. Apply this on to your scalp and hair, right from the root to the top, leave it on for 15 minutes, and finally wash it off with a mild shampoo.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil comprises fatty acids, known as lauric acid, which make their way into the hair shaft and control protein loss from hair. You can champi your hair with it and leave it on overnight or for a few hours before washing it off with a mild shampoo and conditioner to make your hair follicles and scalp healthy.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is known for treating hair loss by conditioning your hair and soothing the scalp. It is also an excellent anti-dandruff solution and unlocks hair follicles that are blocked by your natural oil, called sebum. You can invest in a shampoo and conditioner that is enriched with aloe vera or massage the gel on your hair and scalp.
When you want to improve your hair growth and quality, lemon juice or oil shouldn’t be too far behind. It helps you maintain a healthy scalp and encourage hair growth. Apply fresh lemon juice to your scalp, leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off thoroughly with shampoo. Alternatively, you can mix lemon oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil as a hair mask before washing it off with a mild shampoo.
5. Fish Oil
This is one of the best supplements to prevent hair loss during weight loss. Fish oil is enriched with the goodness of Omega-3 fatty acids that help in improving the quality of your hair from within. Replete with antioxidants, it not only arrests hair loss but also improves the density and diameters of your hair strands.
Ginseng supplements are closely associated with stimulating hair follicles and promoting hair growth. However, it is recommended that you take them on the advice of a doctor.
Medical Treatments For Hair Regrowth
As discussed earlier, the hair takes about 6 to 9 months to adjust to the physical changes and regrow again. Hence, medical treatments for regrowing the hair you’ve lost due to weight loss are generally not required.
When To Consult A Doctor?
You need to consult a doctor if you do not see your hair growing back even 6 to 9 months after weight loss. In case of unexplained weight loss and hair loss, the doctor will be able to find the primary reason behind your medical condition.
Weight loss-induced hair loss is so much more common than we think it is. The article explains – does weight loss cause hair loss, how to stop hair loss due to weight loss, and more. However, there’s no cause for concern if you follow the above home remedies to grow your hair back. So, follow the DIYs and see your hair growing back in a few months.
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