Losing Hair after Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric Surgery
November 2, 2012
1 min read

Losing hair after weight loss surgery is a relatively common occurrence due to the suddenly reduced caloric and nutritional intake after a bariatric procedure. This change in diet can traumatize the hair follicles, causing some hair loss. Anywhere from 30-50% of weight loss surgery patients may experience some form of hair loss or thinning.

Hair loss solely attributable to weight loss surgery is most often a temporary condition, which is often reversed once the patient has stabilized their weight. While some hair loss is almost unavoidable in certain patients, there is one, important piece of advice that every weight loss surgery patient should understand: Follow your prescribed diet carefully. Our dietitian will create nutritional guidelines that will give your body the proper amount of nutrient intake that should minimize the amount of hair loss. Trying to modify the diet for any reason, especially to help avoid hair loss, may be counterproductive.

There's no way to predict if you will lose hair after surgery. However, for those concerned about the aesthetic effects of losing hair, please remember that that this may only be a temporary condition and unlike hereditary issues – e.g. male pattern baldness, it is not due to genetics or factors other than dietary intake.

We do not suggest seeking treatment for hair loss until your weight has stabilized and we can evaluate the longer-term effects of your procedure. However, if you do seek treatment for your hair loss, please advise your surgeon before doing so to ensure compatibility with your aftercare program.

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