The Hair Loss and Weight Loss Connection

Is hair loss permanent?

No matter what manner people use to lose weight, the more weight they lose, the more likely they are to experience some temporary hair loss. Your body needs adequate calories and protein to feed your hair follicles. According to some experts, the more weight you lose, the more likely you’ll experience some degree of hair loss. Losing and regaining weight over many years can impact your metabolism and hair growth as well. Some people may experience hair loss within 3-6 months of starting diets (e.g. keto). While frustrating hair loss is usually temporary. Hair usually grows back when the person stops losing weight and gradually increases calorie intake by going on to a nutritionally balanced maintenance eating plan.

Other causes of hair loss

Hair loss can also be a symptom of certain medical problems such as fungal infection or disorders of the thyroid, pituitary or parathyroid glands. Exposure to some medicines and pesticide also can cause hair loss but are quite rare.

Stress and hormonal changes can also trigger temporary hair loss. Either of these conditions may accompany a weight reduction regime. Because a small amount of estrogen is produced in fatty tissue, some individuals may experience hormonal changes with weight loss. Stress can be a factor as new habits and lifestyle changes are implemented and food is no longer used as a coping mechanism.

It’s normal to lose hair at certain times of the year. You’ll notice it more at some times than others, even when you’re not dieting. If you’re one of the people who tend to have temporary hair loss with dieting, and it’s a time when you’d naturally lose some hair, it will certainly be more noticeable to you.

What can I do?

Lack of protein and vitamin supplementation can be a factor for some individuals during weight loss as can a low fat intake. There have been anecdotal reports that adding “Essential Fatty Acids” (also known as EFAs and sold in most health food stores) or oil (such as 1 teaspoon of olive, safflower, flaxseed, soybean, oil per day) to the diet may help, but no well-done studies are available to the best of my knowledge. Digestive enzymes and high-sulfur foods, such as eggs, have also been reported to help. It’s also important to drink adequate amounts of water each day, to keep the body well-hydrated.