Why am I Losing Hair After Bariatric Surgery?

Losing hair is in the first 2-3 months after weight loss surgery is common. Bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and duodenal switch, is one of the most effective tools for reducing body mass, resulting in significant hair loss. Common causes of hair loss can be low caloric intake, insufficient protein consumption, and bad-quality vitamins.

Is hair loss after weight loss surgery permanent?

No. Hair loss typically occurs within the first six months due to the stress of the operation and the malnutrition created by eating fewer calories. That’s why it’s critical to have every bite of food fully loaded with macros, vitamins, and essential nutrients post-surgery.

You can take certain steps to minimize hair loss and possibly avoid it altogether. This article will show why your hair is falling out and how to stop it.

@mexicobariatriccenter Check out 3 ways to decrease hair loss after bariatric surgery!#mexicobariatriccenter #hairloss #gastricsleeve #weightloss #weightlosssurgerymexico ♬ Classic – MKTO

What Causes Hair Loss After Surgery?

1. Caloric Intake

Not getting enough calories can cause hair loss. Get a minimum of 800 calories daily by adding healthy fats like coconut oil, Barlean’s Essential fatty acid swirl, or avocado in your protein shakes.

2. Protein Intake

Eating or drinking can be difficult in the first few weeks after surgery. However, this post-operative period is the most crucial time to eat a minimum of 60 grams of protein daily to prevent excess hair loss and related nutritional deficiencies.

3. Proper Vitamins

After weight loss surgery, it is important to take bariatric-specialized vitamins to fulfill nutrient requirements. Bariatric-specific vitamins are super-rich; one single vitamin is equivalent to taking over a dozen individual alternatives found at discount stores. Not taking proper supplementation will hinder recovery and can lead to excess hair loss.

4. Nutrient Deficiencies

You may not see it right away, but if you do not take the proper, bariatric-specific vitamins, health issues like osteoporosis, nerve damage, and hair loss may develop over time.

Emerge bariatric vitamins banner. Prevent hair loss after weight loss surgery.

Solutions to Reducing Hair Loss

Lean protein and bariatric vitamins are essential to avoiding side effects like hair loss after weight loss surgery. If you are not taking in the proper amount of nutrients, your body temporarily shuts down functions that are not necessary for living, including hair growth.

Gastric bypass and duodenal switch surgery patients are more likely to experience hair loss due to malabsorption.

  • Check your total caloric and protein intake
  • Take a bariatric multivitamin.
  • Include a vegetarian-based digestion enzyme in your supplement regimen. This will help your food break down and increase the amount that is absorbed.
  • Increase your biotin intake to the recommended 1-2.5 mg daily amount. (Multivitamins usually contain biotin).
  • Ferritin levels below 40 can be associated with hair loss. An iron supplement can help increase ferritin levels
  • The amino acid l-lysine makes up almost 30% of the protein in our hair. Adding 1 to 2 grams may assist with excessive hair loss. Eggs, fish, and meat are high in L-lysine.


How you view surgery and how your body handles it can affect your hair loss. People who are highly stressed can lose more hair than those who are not as stressed.

The first 3 months can be exciting with how much weight you are losing, but consuming enough calories and protein is important to avoid excessive hair loss.

Hair loss will not happen as malnutrition is happening. It takes about 4-6 months to see the aftermath. Even changing your diet won’t change the impact of the malnutrition that occurred in the first few months.

Related Resources: