Excessive Weight Loss & Hair Loss: Is There a Link?

Hair fall might not be a concern for someone who has not experienced it. But for people who have their greatest complaints on losing excessive hair, perhaps it is one of the most concerned areas. It is true that in general the amount of hair grown is far much higher than the amount of hair fall. However, under certain conditions some people suffer from a tragic condition where hair loss is a real big reason to worry. Now, when we are talking about the hair loss and the causes of hair loss we would surely come up with one of the major cause of hair loss and that is the loss of weight in a person. So, this much would be all to give a hint on guessing what the topic of the current article would be. Well! In the present article we are going to discuss on the fact if weight loss can actually lead to hair fall. So go through the write-up and make out if that fall of hair from your scalp is due to dieting or a fall in your body weight.

Causes of Excessive Weight Loss & Hair Loss

The General Concept of Hair Growth and Hair Fall:

“There are two sides of a coin.” The same things implies to the hair. We all meet with a phase of hair growth that runs parallel with a dormant phase of hair fall or loss of hair. Our hair follicles grow vigorously in a phase known as anagen and a phase termed as Telogen is the one which is the dormant phase and one meets with the hair fall during this phase. A total of 90% of hair remain in anagen phase while only 10% of the hair exhibit telogen phase. It means we experience more of hair growth than hair loss. It is explained that all our hairs lives anagen phase for some period and then comes to the dormant stage or the telogen phase. During the anagen phase, our hair grows about one inch every month for about 2 years and then shifts to the telogen phase when one meets with hair fall in dormant state.

Now, though this is the general concept of hair growth and hair fall in a person’s lifetime, there are also certain conditions when one meets with an excessive hair loss. Stress usually causes hair loss in a greater amount. There are a number of known stresses which leads to an adequate amount of hair fall during the time of telogen phase. We will be taking a look on some of the major causes of hair fall, though our prime area of concern here would be the weight loss as a cause of excessive hair fall.

Some Common Causes of Hair Fall:

Apart from dieting and weight loss; some other common causes of hair fall includes:

  • Hair disorders
  • Serious infection
  • Disease like cancer, end stage of liver diseases
  • Excessive fever
  • Post major surgery
  • Hormonal imbalances like during pregnancy, childbirth, menopause etc.
  • Certain medication
  • Iron deficiency
  • Lack of protein intake

Excessive Weight Loss As A Major Cause Of Hair Fall:

“Nothing tastes as good as losing weight feels!” This smart quote on weight loss perhaps doesn’t work with someone who is feeling the bitterness of hair fall with the weight loss. So, now coming to one of the major cause of hair fall, i.e. the weight loss here we can come up with the following paragraphs. We will also include dieting, eating disorder and weight loss surgery under this section explaining hair loss due to weight loss.

Now coming to the real fact also explained in many research studies that the more a person loses his weight, the more likely he experiences some sort of hair fall for some temporary time period. One of the major reasons in this is the diet plan or the lack of proper nutritional value in daily food. So, the loss of hair with a person continues unless there is a restricted weight loss and unless the person starts taking nutritionally balanced diet with increased calorie, and various essential nutrients.

Now let us explain the cause of hair fall due to weight loss in a much better manner below.

  • Taking a clear picture on the fact that during weight loss because of any reasons including dieting, more of exercise or malnutrition, the body suffers from a kind of starvation on energy. As a result of this the amount of energy essential for the less priority chores like the hair growth, is utilized by the task of more priority. Thus here the person meets with hair loss
  • Taking another reason behind explaining on why a weight loss causes hair loss; we can let you know about the term “Telogen Effluvium”. This is the condition when a person during the telogen phase of hair meets with excessive hair fall. This happens mainly due to dieting or lack of proper protein, fats, vitamins, iron etc in the diet during the dormant phase when hair follicles usually fall or stop growing. It is known that vitamin especially Vitamin A, protein, fats, iron, etc are highly crucial for the hair health and lack of such nutrients in the diet can lead to excessive fall of hair. Apart from dieting as a common fact on weight loss, eating disorder anorexia is also one reason that leads to weight loss and further grows the risk of losing hair during telogen phase and known for contributing to the Telogen effluvium.
  • Weight loss surgery also accounts to a greater amount of hair fall in patients undergoing the surgery for losing weight. It is already explained above that weight loss and also major surgery are couple of the reasons leading to hair fall. When one person undergoes weight loss surgery, he/she has two reasons stored for losing hair, i.e. the surgery and weight loss after the surgery. It is advised that post surgery the person must intake a proper nutritionally balanced diet rich in iron, zinc, vitamin A, protein etc and help the hair in telogen phase come up to anagen phase in a quick time. Usually the hair lost with a weight loss surgery, starts growing within 3-6 months after the surgery.

Essential Steps To Follow During Weight Loss So As To Prevent Hair Fall:

  • Now if you are someone actually worried about your hair fall and you know it might be the loss of weight causing hair loss then make sure you are taking some of the essential steps so as to restrict more hair to fall any further during weight loss. Here we have mentioned some of the crucial steps to follow during loss of weight so as to prevent hair fall.
  • Though taking low calorie diet can help in reducing your weight, but it is also to be kept in mind that lack of sufficient calories in food can result in more of hair fall. So it is recommended to maintain a proper diet with the necessary calories in it. 
  • It is advised by many doctors that an iron therapy can help you gain hair in a quick time by allowing the hair follicles grow faster and come out of the telogen effluvium. By taking foods rich in iron one can prevent hair fall to a fair extent and hair growth highly require iron. Add some good amount of whole grains to your diet which contains a good percentage of iron in it. Apart from iron, it is also recommended to take foods like fruits and vegetables which are rich in zinc content and vitamins essential for healthy hair.
  • Hair contains a lot of protein components in it. So, in case you are not taking a proper diet or having a weight loss and suffering from hair fall, make sure you are adding enough of protein to your diet.
  • One of the most crucial steps to stop enough of hair loss during a weight loss program which one needs to keep in mind is go for a weekly weight check up in case you prefer a healthy weight loss. It is recommended by American council on Exercises that one must not lose more than 2lbs in a week. In case you are losing more than this then you have chances of hair fall.

Now that we are aware of what all steps one needs to take care so as to prevent hair fall in weight loss and dieting, it is a smart person’s act to have the necessary steps and for a better result in preventing hair fall during weigh loss go for an expert consultation.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 10, 2019

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