Hair Loss After Weight Loss Surgery

Hair Loss after weight loss surgery

By Kishani Turner
Bariatric Dietitian

Hair loss is a common concern after weight loss surgery. What causes it? How can you reduce it? How much hair will you lose? Keep reading to find out more.

What is hair loss called?

Telogen Effluvium which is an acceleration of normal hair loss.

Telogen effluvium is when some stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state. Telogen effluvium can be acute or chronic. If there is some “shock to the system”, as many as 70% of the scalp hairs are then shed in large numbers about 2 months after the “shock”.


What causes hair loss?

  • Surgery 
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Nutritional deficiency 
  • Medical conditions e.g. thyroid (hype + hypo thyroids)


How can I reduce the amount of hair I lose?

Not losing weight too quickly and ensuring adequate nutrition by:

  • Ensuring you get in adequate protein, Iron and Zinc
  • Taking your post bariatric vitamins recommended and dose that has been suggested for you
  • Eat a variety of healthy nutrient rich foods daily
  • Completing routine blood tests and reviews to monitor your nutritional status and ensure you are not low in protein, zinc and iron, as these can contribute to continued hair loss. 


Will I lose all my hair?

No! Generally you will see the most amount of hair loss in the first 2 – 6 months post-surgery. Ensuring your nutritional requirements are met during this time, your hair will eventually grow back.


Is hair loss a life-long issue?

Hair loss rarely lasts for more than six months post Weight Loss Surgery. As the hair follicles are not damaged in telogen effluvium, hair should then regrow. For this reason, you can rest assure that with time and patience, and good nutritional intake, hair will grow back.


If hair loss continues post 6 months, it may be a good suggestion to touch base with the Dietitian or GP to ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrition into your diet, and to rule out any other medical condition that could be contributing to the continued hair loss.


Are you ready to find out more?

Call us today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation with our Bariatric Nurse Educator or one of our Bariatric coordinators.