Many patients will experience some degree of hair loss after bariatric surgery. Most commonly, hair loss occurs between four and six months after having had bariatric surgery. The hair loss can often be caused by the rapid loss and stress the body goes through after surgery. This hair loss is called Telogen Effluvium and should continue no longer than six months post-op. The hair will grow back!
If your hair loss starts later than six months post-op, it could be caused by a nutritional deficiency in biotin, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6, zinc, or, most commonly, protein. It is very important to come to follow-up appointments and have your blood work checked regularly to make sure you are getting the proper nutrition.
Ways to prevent or stop hair loss post-op include:
- Meeting daily protein goals
- Taking all vitamins and minerals as recommended
- Eating a variety of nutrient dense foods
Meeting your daily protein needs will prevent hair loss and muscle wasting. Try to meet your minimum protein goals by weeks 4 – 6 post-op, with the majority of your protein, needs to be met with solid foods by week 8 post-op.
- Women — minimum 60 grams of protein daily
- Men — minimum 75 grams of protein daily
- 80 grams of protein daily is the optimal for men and women
If you are having a hard time reaching your protein goals, don’t forget, you can always reach out to one of our registered dietitians for help!