Hair Loss After Weight Loss & How Biotin Can Help

Hair loss after weight loss surgery is very common and can bring stress to men and women. While we all want to achieve great weight loss results, there are some potential risks associated with having this type of surgery. Hair loss related to bariatric surgery is known as Telogen Effluvium and is associated with the normal hair growth cycle.

Anagen, the growth phase, is the place where nearly 90% of our hair is in at any time. The resting phase known as Telogen lasts about 1 to 6 months. With 5-15% of our hair in this resting phase, stress or any hormonal changes to the body can cause more hair to go into the resting phase. This is the type of hair that bariatric surgery patients are most likely to shed. Once hair starts to grow again, mature hair follicles are released and then the patient loses that hair.

Hair Growth Cycle

Hair Growth Cycle

Reasons for Hair Loss

There are many common causes of hair loss with bariatric surgery. Some of them include:

  • Trauma
  • Acute illness or surgery in general
  • Chronic diseases
  • Hormonal imbalances and thyroid diseases (associated with obesity)
  • Crash diets
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Low protein intake
  • Medications
  • Excess Vitamin A

Most often hair loss results from surgery, low-calorie intake, and also low protein intake. Add any illness such as vitamin deficiencies or an underactive thyroid and you have hair loss. A common complication of weight loss surgery is nutritional deficiencies, and any lessened levels of zinc, folate, essential fatty acids, or Vitamin B-6 can all lead to hair loss.

It is important to note that while these factors can contribute to hair loss, individual experiences may vary, and hair loss can also be influenced by genetics, age, stress, and other environmental factors. If you are experiencing significant hair loss or have concerns about your hair health, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

Suggestions for Hair Growth

Hair Loss After WLSWhile hair loss may last for several months after nutrition and a regular diet begin again, patients can expect steady hair growth again. If hair loss continues for more than six months, visit a primary care doctor to be thoroughly evaluated for any underlying condition.

The primary care doctor or healthcare professional may conduct a comprehensive medical history review, perform a physical examination, and possibly order additional tests to identify any potential causes for the continued hair loss. These tests may include blood work to check for hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, or other markers of underlying health issues. Based on the evaluation findings, appropriate treatment options can be explored to address the underlying condition and promote hair regrowth. This may involve targeted interventions such as hormone therapy, nutritional supplementation, topical treatments, or referrals to specialists in dermatology or endocrinology, depending on the underlying cause.

Vitamins & Supplements

Always follow the dietary instructions given to you by a nutritionist following surgery as limited calories and low protein can lead to continued hair loss. Also, take a multivitamin regularly with B vitamins, zinc, biotin, and folate. Also don’t forget to take Vitamin D, B12, and calcium citrate the following surgery daily. If you are iron deficient, also take iron supplements regularly. Fish oil can also help with hair growth.


A deficiency in biotin can lead to more than just hair loss, but fatigue, numbness, tingling in the hands and feet, and a red rash. While the deficiency is rare, it can lead to continued hair loss. Many patients have added a biotin supplement into their daily vitamin routine because of its positive results.

As for a diet, eat omega three fatty acids several times a week and follow a balanced diet that promotes overall good health.

Explore Essential Oils 

Not only do essential oils possess pleasant fragrances, but they may also have the potential to stimulate hair growth.

A small-scale study conducted by trusted sources revealed that the topical application of pumpkin seed oil led to a significant increase in hair regrowth among participants with female pattern baldness after three months. However, more extensive studies are necessary to further substantiate this finding. Additionally, research conducted in 2015 indicated that rosemary oil might be similarly effective to minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine, in terms of promoting hair growth. Nonetheless, additional research is required to corroborate this discovery.

Furthermore, a review of research published in 2020 suggests that other essential oils, such as peppermint oil, jojoba oil, and lavender oil, demonstrate promise in preventing hair loss.

It is important to note that while these initial findings are encouraging, more comprehensive research is necessary to establish the efficacy and safety of essential oils for hair growth. Before incorporating essential oils into your hair care routine, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified aromatherapist to ensure appropriate usage and to discuss any potential risks or allergies.

Avoid Heat Styling 

The excessive heat generated by curling irons, hair dryers, and straighteners has the potential to harm your hair and lead to breakage. Although completely avoiding heat styling may not always be feasible, it is advisable to consider reducing the frequency of using these tools. Another effective approach to minimize hair damage is by lowering the temperature settings on heated styling tools.

Moreover, based on a comprehensive review of research conducted in 2019, applying a heat-protectant product prior to using heated styling tools can considerably decrease hair breakage. Heat protectants function by creating a safeguarding layer that helps retain moisture and shields the hair from the damaging effects of heat.


Related Resources: