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 for 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.

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.

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 multi-vitamin 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 and 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.

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