When undergoing a serious change in weight, a lot of people experience an unexpected side effect – hair loss after weight loss. If the process of losing weight was a little too sudden or too extreme, such changes can result in a more active hair loss. While your ultimate goal might be to lose weight, it is important to also be in control of other aspects of your health that you might be sacrificing while pursuing your weight loss goal.
Why do we experience hair loss after weight loss?
Extreme calorie deficit
Over the years, multiple studies have shown that major and sudden weight loss causes hair loss. The relationship between these two factors has been widely studied and researched. In the time periods when you experience a large calorie deficit, the body spends less resources towards non-vital processes such as hair growth. So when your body runs on low calories for long enough then your hair, skin and nails tend to suffer a lot.
Too much stress
Sometimes, factors such as stress also have a strong influence on your hair growth. According to research, it is one of the biggest factors standing behind hair loss. Stress can lead to triggering various hair diseases, such as for example alopecia.
Not enough vitamins
Another reason behind your hair loss after weight loss could simply consist in a vitamin deficiency. When dieting, we tend to cut out a lot of foods that bring us the necessary nutrients and vitamins for our hair growth. For example, some studies have shown that a lack of amino acids in your diet can be responsible for hair loss. In a similar way, if your diet lacks some necessary minerals such as zinc, it will also have a negative impact on the health of your hair.
In some cases, protein deficiency can be to blame for the decrease in your overall hair health. In one particular study, the research uncovered that protein deficiency and extreme calorie deficit were the two main reasons responsible for hair loss.
6 tips on how to prevent hair loss after weight loss:
1. Avoid extreme calorie deficits
Large calorie deficits induce a big stress on your body. In that state of stress, the body prioritizes certain functions over other ones, which results in poor health for your non-vital systems, such as hair growth. In order to make sure your body is “running” correctly and is not under too much stress, try avoiding diets that restrict your daily calorie intake too severely. Instead, opt for diet plans that are more gentle, even though they might take more time in order to have you achieve your perfect weight. Generally, such dietary practices result in a more sustainable and effective weight loss.
2. Add certain foods to your diet during your weight loss journey
In order to make sure that you still get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients during your weight loss journey, make sure you include a variety of foods into your diet. Specifically for healthy hair, focus on foods that are rich in vitamin B (whole grain, meat, eggs), biotin (fish, seeds, nuts, sweet potatoes), vitamin C (citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers etc), vitamin D (fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks etc).
3. Get good sleep
Another important factor for your overall health and particularly your hair health is good sleep. The expression “beauty sleep” is no coincidence – sleep plays a very important role in regulating your hormone levels. The growth hormones that are produced while you sleep are crucial to your hair growth rates. Additionally, a good restorative sleep is vital for the protein synthesis of the hair, so think twice before you decide to skip a good night’s sleep.
4. Diet under supervision
In order to avoid unpleasant side effects of a quick weight loss, such as hair thinning, it is best to diet under medical supervision. Before picking a diet plan, consider consulting with your doctor. Looking at your medical record and running a few tests before starting a diet can help the doctor find you a diet that is best suited for you, as well as uncovering and preventing any future health complications that could be the result of your weight loss journey.
5. Consider taking some supplements
To make your weight loss easier on your body and especially your hair, you could also consider taking additional supplements. The most well-known supplements for improving your hair health are biotin and collagen. Some research suggests that taking biotin will prevent hair thinning and help your hair grow thicker, as well as stimulating nail growth. Another option is collagen supplements, which you can find in various forms – powder, drinks, pills etc. Taking collagen as a supplement will protect your hair follicles from being brittle and improve the health of your skin underneath your hair.
6. Pay attention to your gut health
Another approach you could take in order to improve the overall health of your hair and prevent hair loss after weight loss is to remember to take care of your digestive system. This might sound counterintuitive, but a well-functioning digestive system is not only crucial for your physical health, but also for your mental health. Taking care of your gut health will not only make sure that your hair is getting all the nutrients it needs, but it will also help stabilize your well-being and reduce your levels of stress.
Even though it is possible that your hair loss has to do with an extreme diet, it is important to consult your doctor before you start taking any supplements or medications. A doctor will be able to help you figure out if your hair thinning is related to a diet, a deficiency, a medical condition or a genetic disorder, which will help you take a more focused approach to tackling this problem.