Gastric bypass surgery and hair loss

Specific Conditions

Weight loss following a gastric bypass or gastric band can cause stress, lack of essential vitamins and minerals into the body which can have a dramatic effect on the health of the body and in turn hair. Many dieters find their hair thins due to lack of nutrients.

Having a gastric bypass is surgery which cannot be taken lightly. There are many consultations and even weight loss first before this operation can be done. Losing weight for most is a case of cutting down on food intake, more exercise and maybe joining a club for support and advice. This is a sensible way to lose weight but does not work for everyone. Some go to extremes and stop eating which leads to bulimia and anorexia disorders. A steady weight loss is by far the better way for both body and mind.

Having said that for a few this still does not work and they feel their only option is a gastric bypass. This is a major operation which basically reduces the stomach so eating small amounts will make you feel full. Immediately after surgery only drinks can be taken followed by soups and food of similar consistency and may not have all the nutrients the body requires. Supplements will be advised by the consultant. The body goes through shock not only with the surgery but with the fact the stomach has suddenly shrunk and cannot take in normal food. Hair loss is one of the biggest side effects and happens to some degree in those who have the surgery.

Hair will grow back once the body has got over the shock, hormones are balanced and additional supplements are being taken hair will grow back. Hair loss is reported to be one of the concerns for the patient. They do not want to lose their hair which to them is a valuable asset, they may be overweight but their hair can be their most beautiful feature. It will be healthy, thick and shiny with the amount of vitamins and minerals it receives.

Hair against weight loss for some is a big decision and something that has to be discussed with a consultant in order to know the full facts as to the side effects. The good news is that it is a temporary situation for most and there are ways to cover up during this time depending on how much hair is lost. A new hair style will cover thinning patches and be the start of the new ‘you’.

As stated this form of hair loss is temporary but there are other conditions that will be a cause and needs to be investigated. If hair loss continues long after surgery the advice of an expert needs to be sought. Diet and supplements may need to be looked at to ensure enough and not too many, vitamins and minerals are being taken, there is no underlying problem or illness such as hormonal imbalance or maybe it is hereditary.

Some may have a history of hair loss in the family, even if not their parents, and the surgery has triggered what is known as pattern hair loss. This form of hair loss can be permanent as the hair follicles become damaged by DHT, shrink and can no longer hold hair. There are two recognised medications that can be used as a treatment to help slow down the loss and in some cases help with regrowth. These should only be used under the advice of an expert as the correct dosage needs to be administered and only one can be used by women.

Scalp Micropigmentation can be used to camouflage all types of hair loss, including loss induced by sudden weight loss. For more information please see the following links:


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