Can Weight Loss Cause Hair Loss in Women?


Lost quite a lot of weight in a very short time? Facing an increase in hair loss at the same time? Not many of us know that weight loss and hair fall are very much related to each other. A sudden weight loss certainly has its effects on your hair. Here’s what you need to know to understand the cause of hair fall due to weight loss.

How Does Weight Loss Affect Your Hair?

Weight loss doesn’t always end in hair loss and hair thinning. Many other factors need to be considered when it comes to hair fall due to weight loss. The way you lose weight has much to do with it. For eg:

  1. Was weight loss achieved through a crash diet? 
  2. Did you lose a lot of weight in very little time?

And more.

A few common reasons for hair loss are:

1. Body mistakes weight loss as a stress signal

When you lose weight, your body perceives it as a stress signal which in turn affects your hair’s growth cycle. Your hair suddenly starts shedding. But it’s nothing to worry about, this kind of hair loss is temporary & usually reversible. 

After you lose weight, it is normal to have excess hair fall for 3 to 6 months. Give your body some time to adapt to the new bodyweight conditions.

2. Deficiency in nutrients and vitamins

If you’ve lost weight through an unusual low-calorie diet regimen by excluding certain foods, it can lead to lack of energy & nutritional deficiency. Your hair gets the hardest hit due to these deficiencies.

3. Hormonal imbalance

Certain hormone levels in your body may get disturbed due to a sudden drop in your weight. Fluctuations in androgen or thyroid hormones result in heightened hair fall.

4. Favourable conditions

If hair issues such as the male pattern baldness or the female pattern baldness run in your family, the stress caused on the body due to weight loss may trigger hair fall much earlier.

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How To Prevent Hair Loss Caused By Weight Loss?

Follow these dermatologist-given tips to keep hair loss at a minimum while trying for a weight loss.

1. Take it slow

Sudden weight loss is dangerous as it shocks your body’s metabolic activities, causing extreme hair loss. Take your time to drop your weight. Losing 2 to 4 kgs per month is considered safe. Also, do not panic about the sudden extreme hair fall. They usually  grow back as you settle down to your new weight

2. Follow a balanced diet

Our body needs a wholesome diet with enough calories, proteins and macronutrients. Your everyday meal should meet your body’s daily requirements. Avoid crash diets like liquid diets, fruit diet or keto diet as they may lead to nutritional deficiency, causing hair loss.

3. Include nutrients and vitamins

Even small quantities of vitamins and minerals play important roles in your hair growth and maintenance. 

Add the following nutrients in your diet to prevent hair loss.

✔ Proteins

Our hair is primarily made up of proteins. Consuming a protein-rich food is vital for hair growth and scalp health. Check out the ideal foods for hair growth.

✔ Iron

Iron is responsible for new hair. Iron deficiency can badly affect your hair cycle. Make sure to include iron in some form or a supplement.

✔ Fatty acids

Weight loss diets cut out fats. Do include good fats such as omega-3 and DHA essential for the growth and shine of your hair.

✔ Micronutrients

Deficiency of micronutrients such as zinc, biotin, vitamin D and niacin adversely affects the health of your hair. 

4. Get Treatment

If you observe excessive hair fall beyond 6 months, you should consider visiting a dermatologist

Make sure to consult a Dermatologist and get the right treatment that slows down your hair fall and stimulates new hair growth.

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Is Hair Loss From Weight Loss Permanent?

Fortunately, hair loss due to weight loss is often temporary. Once your bodyweight stops fluctuating and you go back to your regular diet, your hair starts growing back.

If you notice hair loss for a long time (> 6 months), despite stopping further weight loss,  consult a doctor as this can indicate other health issues.

Summing it up

Whether your weight loss regimen is to obtain a perfect figure or to avoid health issues, keep your body’s best interests in mind. Keep a general practitioner in loop before you start on a weight loss journey. Carefully monitor your vitals at regular intervals to avoid any serious damage that your decreasing weight might be causing your hair and body.

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Chaitra K

I’m a Skin Care Enthusiast from Bangalore, a writer here @CureSkin teamed up with Expert Dermatologists to spread awareness on the right kind of skin and hair care for men and women. Inspiring people to explore the skin and hair care that suits their need and help them look and feel beautiful is my full-time job. Skin & hair problems affect every person's self-esteem and confidence. Hence I love helping people by giving them the best information about skin and hair health with my writing, driven by the BEST Dermatologists.