Hair loss after bariatric surgery is common, but the good news is that it is temporary. If you do lose your hair after bariatric surgery, it will grow back.
Why is hair loss after bariatric surgery so common? Because you are losing weight rapidly after the surgery, your body will shift nutrients to major organs, such as your brain and heart. Because of this, the functions that determine hair growth get fewer nutrients, causing your hair to fall out. Again, this is only temporary (usually six months or less), and there are a few things you can do to manage your symptoms.
Here are a few things you can do after bariatric surgery to manage and perhaps prevent hair loss:
Take iron: Iron helps you maintain healthy hair. If you are still losing hair six months after surgery, get your iron levels checked. You might to take a supplement. Iron also is among the vitamins and minerals your body really needs.
Take vitamins: Many people experience nutritional deficiencies after bariatric surgery, and vitamins can keep your body balanced and your nutrient levels high. Always ask your bariatric surgeon and dietitian which vitamins you can take and how often.
Get more protein: Speak to your doctor for guidance but working protein into your diet is a good way to combat hair loss. Lean proteins include string cheese (low-fat), cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, soy and lean red meat and chicken.
Get enough zinc: If everything else has failed, you might need more zinc because it is an essential building block of healthy hair. Too much zinc, however, can hurt your health. We get zinc from poultry, oysters and red meat.
Be sure to consult with your bariatric surgeon and/or dietitian before you take any supplements or eat anything that has not been specifically approved. You doctor can advise you on the best options to combat hair loss after surgery.