Can losing weight cause hair loss? Is it possible that more strands are falling out because you’re also shedding unwanted pounds? The unfortunate news is that yes, it can be the case. The good news is that it is only in certain specific circumstances, and it is typically both preventable and temporary if it does happen.
Losing weight can cause hair loss in a number of ways. The most common include:
These issues are all most common when rapid weight loss happens, when exceptionally restrictive diets are followed, or as a side effect of weight loss surgery.
Highly restrictive diets for losing weight are notorious for causing side effects such as hair loss. They strain the body in a spectrum of ways, including making it difficult for it to function at its fullest.
Side effects of extreme dieting are easily among the most common reasons that losing weight can cause hair loss. In these cases, the body is stressed, it usually doesn’t receive the nutrients it needs, and the hormones can become imbalanced.
For some people, the onset of the alopecia – another word for hair loss – is fast. For others, it doesn’t occur until a few months have passed, making it difficult for many people to connect the side effect to its cause. If the crash dieting doesn’t last long, the alopecia doesn’t tend to last long too. However, with rounds of crash dieting, yo-yo dieting or sticking to extreme diets that cut out food types or groups containing vital nutrients, the alopecia can last, too.
Some of the worst type of dieting can make losing weight cause hair loss for six months or more, until it becomes a chronic problem. This can occur in both men and women and can take some time to reverse.
There are many ways to help prevent hair loss when you’re losing weight. The biggest is to avoid extreme dieting, including anything that would involve cutting out too many foods, eating too few calories, or not eating enough protein or nutrients such as zinc, iron, selenium, or essential fatty acids.
Making sure your body gets the nutrition it needs even as you control your portions and calorie intake can help you to stop hair loss from happening in the first place. When in doubt, always talk to your doctor.