Many factors can impact hair loss. A significant change in a person’s life is one of them. For those who have lost a large amount of weight in a short period of time, that can lead to a stress on the body that creates changes in hormone levels. In some cases, this may cause a temporary loss of hair. What does it mean? Why does it happen? For those with hair loss after weight loss, it can be scary because you may not know what is really happening. There are a few things to keep in mind.
Rapid Weight Loss? It Could Be Nutrients
There are several potential reasons why a person may start to lose hair after they start weight loss. A new diet or a drastic change in what you are eating can cause a shift in nutrients consumed. When this happens, it can quite often create such a shock to the body that tasks that are considered less important, such as growing hair, are slowed or stopped. This may cause you to experience hair shedding or loss.
It is also important to remember that your hair needs proper nutrient access to grow. If your hair follicles and skin cells are not getting those nutrients, it is not possible for hair to grow the way it should. You will notice this within a few weeks in most cases.
If you are using a fad diet that causes a significant change in the foods you are consuming, especially a diet that requires a loss of full food groups, this can lead to hair loss. This is especially common if you have a sudden and significant amount of weight loss. It can lead to a widespread loss of hair on the scalp for many people.
Acute Telogen Effluvium
This condition is called acute telogen effluvium (TE). It may occur about three months after the sudden weight loss occurs. For many people, this amount and type of hair loss will last about six months. After that point, assuming you have restored good nutrition to the body, the hair is likely to start growing back naturally.
Low Protein Diets
Another common reason for hair loss after weight loss is related to a low protein consumption. If you are using a diet that requires you to eat a limited amount of protein – especially a vegan diet that is not properly balanced – that may cause hair shedding or loss. That is because your body needs amino acids – which come from protein – to grow hair. When you take away those amino acids, it becomes impossible for your body to produce hair. Amino acids are a critical component of the production of keratin. This is a structural protein found in hair.
When the body’s protein needs are not met, this can impact many factors of health. That includes digestion and water balance regulation. It can also impact hormone levels in the body. Hair growth is not an essential part of living, which is why, when protein intake is low, the body switches off hair growth to focus on supplying other systems in the body with the nutrients it needs.
Shifts in Hormones
Hair loss can also occur when there is a significant shift in a person’s hormone production. This may occur when there is a high stress event in the body – such as a sudden and significant amount of weight loss. Hormone regulation is a common cause of hair loss in men and women, even if there is no significant weight loss.
If you suspect it is related to hormones, your doctor can find out with a simple blood test. Your doctor can then use this information to help determine what steps are necessary to restore balance to your health.
What Happens After Hair Loss
If you have hair loss that has occurred after weight loss, take a step back and assess what you are consuming. If you are eating a healthy diet with ample protein and nutrients in it, then you may just need to wait it out. The body will eventually start growing hair again. However, making corrections to your diet to ensure proper nutrient intake is critical for this to happen.
To learn more about the options available for hair loss prevention and healthy hair growth, contact the hair professionals at Unique Hair Concepts and schedule a free hair and scalp analysis.