We hear this question A LOT in the UNJURY Cares Great Start Group meetings.
“Will I definitely lose my hair? What can I do to prevent it?”
We know that hair loss is common. Many bariatric patients report losing some hair following weight loss surgery.
Why does this happen and who is most affected?
According to a recent study in Obesity Surgery1:
- Hair loss after Bariatric Surgery was significant, but it decreased over time.
- Hair loss was more common in younger women.
- Patients with low serum levels of zinc, folic acid, and ferritin had a higher chance of hair loss after bariatric surgery.
- The protein status of patients with hair loss was significantly lower than in subjects without hair loss.
The study also says that hair loss might be attributed to the stress of the surgery as well as other stressors related to recovery and management of obesity. The release of cortisol, a stress hormone, can inhibit hair growth.
Based on what we learned from the study, here are three things you can do that might help prevent or minimize hair loss2:
- Take a bariatric specific vitamin every day. Vitamins such as Opurity® have appropriate levels of zinc, folic acid, iron, and other micronutrients for bariatric surgery patients.
- Get 90 grams of high-quality protein spread evenly throughout your day. High Quality Protein such as UNJURY® Protein, includes all of the amino acids, or building blocks, needed for cell repair and tissue building.
- Manage stress levels. You might try guided meditation, journaling, long walks or even working with a counselor to keep your stress levels in check.
Hair loss happens post bariatric surgery, however, you can prevent or minimize hair loss from the start by trying these three things.
1 Zhang, W. et al. 2021, Hair Loss After Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, Obesity Surgery 31:2649–2659.
2 Hair loss after bariatric surgery is different for everyone. The suggestions above are not based on clinical research to reduce hair loss.