One of the most common complaints patients have following bariatric surgery is hair loss. This is mainly associated with nutritional deficiencies from reduced food intake, the lack of adherence to supplement programs and inadequate absorption of important nutrients that are required for the maintenance and growth of hair.
Everyone loves a good head of hair, so hair loss can be a stressful side effect for bariatric patients. But there is some good news – in most cases hair loss after surgery is temporary, lasting six to twelve months, causing no harm to the follicle so the hair can grow back!
Hair follicles go through two stages in their life cycle:
1. Anagen phase – where the hair grows for a period of time before moving into the;
2. Telogen phase – which lasts around 100 to 120 days, then the hair falls out.
This process, if accelerated, is called telogen effluvium and is the cause of hair loss in bariatric patients. It is usually associated with patients who don’t comply with supplement programs, have had rapid weight loss, have poor dietary habits or food intolerances (especially with protein sources).
The nutrients possibly related to hair loss are protein, iron, zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, and biotin. Patients lacking in these vitamins need adequate supplementation to prevent further complications.
Read the full article about hair loss in bariatric patients and current methods of treatment
View the info graphic ‘Hair loss after bariatric surgery’