Did you know that most people experience some temporary hair thinning after weight loss surgery? Scary right?
Loss of locks is a big concern for a lot of people and has been known to prevent some from going ahead with weight loss surgery altogether. The good news is that there are a bunch of options for improving hair appearance and quality while you wait for it to grow back.
So, why oh why does hair loss occur after weight loss surgery?
Our hair growth cycle is disrupted by the shock of surgery, anesthetic and the extreme calorie deficit that follows surgeries like Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy.
Our reduced tummy size means we can no longer absorb vitamins and minerals like before, and this drastically impacts hair follicle strength and condition, as well as new hair growth.
Hair loss can begin as early as six weeks post-surgery and could continue for up to a year.
While there seems to be no definitive way to actually prevent hair loss from happening after bariatric surgery, you can minimise its impact…
- Take a bariatric strength multivitamin from day 1. With a smaller tum comes vitamin and mineral depletion. A lack of iron and B12 are major contributing factors of not only hair loss, but loss of condition too. My New Tum’s Multi was designed with hair loss in mind and is packed with hair strengthening goodness.
- Get enough protein (approx 80g daily). Adequate protein levels are super important because hair follicles are mostly made of protein! If you’re struggling to physically eat enough protein, try My New Tum’s Protein with a massive 30 grams of protein in each shake for a quick and easy protein boost.
- Stop stressing. Hair loss totally sucks, but it is normal and temporary. Significant stress can push hair follicles into a resting phase, so think happy hair growing thoughts!
My own experience with hair loss..
When hair thinning started for me 3 months after my gastric sleeve in 2019, I was lucky to have gal pal and owner of Yazu Hair Lounge in Christchurch, Kaye, who knew a thing or two about transforming limp locks into haircuts strategically designed to help fine hair look and feel fuller.
I should clarify that this is not an ad or a gift, but a genuine plug for the team of hair styling wizards at Yazu, who supported me through the challenges of hair loss and helped me to regrow my hair and confidence too.
Kaye's advice? Try a new do. The look of thin hair can change dramatically with the power of the humble scissor, especially when in the cutting hand of someone with a tonne of first hand, in-depth knowledge of hair loss and how to help.
Kaye had this to share “please don’t bleach or use permanent hair colour until you get the inner strength of your hair built back up! Temporary hair colour is best and creates shine, body and volume. We can guide you on the best cuts and colours for fine hair that will also suit your face shape and complexion. For example, shorter cuts will help get rid of the weight pulling down limp strands and blunt cuts will feign thickness”
A professional team with experience in treating hair loss, like the Yazu crew, can create a programme for regenerating hair and follicle strength, recommend products that actually work, and support you through what is happening to your hair.
Then, simply be patient, it can take three to six months for the hair to come back.