Significant hair shedding is common after bariatric surgery like gastric sleeve due to the sudden change in nutritional intake. But there are steps you can take to help minimize post-op hair loss and maintain healthy locks.
How to Prevent Hair Loss After Gastric Sleeve
Strategies to reduce hair shedding after gastric sleeve include meeting protein needs, maintaining key nutrient levels through diet and supplements, getting regular bloodwork, using biotin and collagen supplements, avoiding harsh haircare, and being gentle when brushing and styling hair.
Meet Your Daily Protein Goal
Consuming 60-80 grams of protein daily provides the amino acids and building blocks your hair needs to grow. Focus on lean meats, low fat dairy, eggs, beans and lentils.
Monitor Nutrient Levels
Get bloodwork done regularly to check iron, ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and zinc levels. Take supplements if low to nourish hair follicles.
Take Biotin and Collagen
Biotin and collagen supplements support keratin production for stronger hair strands and strands less prone to breakage.
Use Gentle Hair Products
Avoid harsh chemicals, dyes, bleaches or heat tools that weaken hair in the post-op period. Focus on gentle shampoos, deep conditioners and leave-in treatments.
Brush and Style Carefully
Use a wide-tooth comb and detangle gently starting at the bottom. Avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the scalp. Reduce heat styling.
Why Does Hair Loss Happen After Bariatric Surgery?
Common reasons for post-op hair shedding include:
- Sudden caloric restriction
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Protein inadequacy
- Hormonal shifts
- Stress on the body
When Does Post-Op Hair Loss Begin?
Most patients notice increased shedding around 3-6 months after bariatric surgery. It may continue for 6-9 months as the body adjusts to nutritional changes.
What Nutritional Deficiencies Contribute to Hair Loss?
Nutrients that must be adequate to support hair health include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
Will My Hair Regrow Normally After Shedding?
Yes, the post-surgical hair loss is usually temporary. Hair regrowth typically returns to normal once nutritional intake stabilizes at 6-12 months post-op.
Should I See My Doctor About Post-Op Hair Loss?Yes, discuss any excessive shedding with your bariatric team. They can check levels and ensure you're getting adequate nutrition for hair regrowth. See a dermatologist if shedding persists.
The Bottom Line
Getting sufficient protein, key nutrients, gentle haircare and frequent monitoring helps minimize temporary hair shedding in the months after gastric sleeve surgery.
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