Bariatric Surgery and Hair Loss

Bariatric Surgery and Hair Loss

We’ll delve into why bariatric surgery can cause hair loss and provide actionable tips on how you can tackle it head-on.

Losing weight is a tremendous achievement, but it can also come at an unexpected cost: hair loss. Bariatric surgery patients are often caught off guard by the sudden shedding of their locks, causing anxiety and panic about what to do next. Fear not- if you’re experiencing post-surgery hair loss, this blog post is for you! We’ll delve into why bariatric surgery can cause hair loss and provide actionable tips on how you can tackle it head-on (pun intended). So get ready to rock that new body confidence with a full head of luscious locks!

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is any procedure that involves modifying the stomach and/or intestines to help a person lose weight. There are several different types of bariatric surgery, but they all work by either decreasing the amount of food the stomach can hold or by reducing the absorption of nutrients from food.

While bariatric surgery can be an effective way to lose weight, it’s important to be aware that there are potential risks and side effects associated with the procedure. One potential side effect is hair loss.

Hair loss can occur due to the rapid weight loss that often follows bariatric surgery. When a person loses a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, it can put stress on the body and cause hair to fall out. This is usually temporary and hair will typically grow back once the person has stabilized their weight.

In some cases, however, hair loss may be permanent. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and side effects, including hair loss.

How Does Bariatric Surgery Effect Hair Loss?

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, can have a number of different effects on hair loss. The most common side effect is telogen effluvium, which is a condition where the hair follicles enter a resting phase and stop growing new hairs. This can happen because of the sudden change in weight that occurs after surgery. In most cases, telogen effluvium is temporary and the hair will eventually start growing back.

Another potential side effect of bariatric surgery is anemia, which can also lead to hair loss. Anemia is a condition where there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues. This can be caused by a lack of nutrients like iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12, all of which are important for healthy hair growth. If you are experiencing anemia, your doctor may recommend supplements or other treatments to help improve your symptoms.

Bariatric surgery can also cause changes in hormone levels that can lead to hair loss. For example, surgery can cause a decrease in testosterone levels, which can lead to thinning hair or even baldness in some men. Women may also experience changes in their estrogen levels after surgery, which can result in thinning hair or diffuse hair loss. If you are concerned about any changes in your hair after bariatric surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor.

What Types of Hair Loss Can I Expect Following Bariatric Surgery?

Hair loss after bariatric surgery is typically temporary, and patients can expect to see hair regrowth within six to twelve months. However, some patients may experience more permanent hair loss. The type of hair loss experienced depends on the type of bariatric surgery procedures performed.

The most common form of hair loss following bariatric surgery is telogen effluvium. This form of hair loss is characterized by thinning hair all over the scalp. Telogen effluvium usually occurs within two to three months after surgery and is often accompanied by other stressors such as illness, medications, or pregnancy. In most cases, telogen effluvium is a temporary condition and your hair will eventually return to its normal thickness.

Another form of hair loss that can occur after bariatric surgery is anagen effluvium. Anagen effluvium is a Rare but serious condition characterized by the sudden onset of diffuse hair shedding. Anagen effluvium typically occurs two to four weeks after a major stressful event such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or nutritional deficiency. In most cases, anagen effluvium is a reversible condition and your hair will eventually regrow. However, some patients may experience permanent hair loss due to scarring of the follicles from the underlying treatment (e.g., radiation therapy).

Alopecia areata is another form of hair loss that has been associated with bariatric surgery. Alopecia are

What Are Some Tips to Help Reduce Post-Surgery Hair Loss?

There are a few things you can do to help reduce post-surgery hair loss:

1. start taking a biotin supplement daily
2. use a conditioning shampoo and conditioner
3. avoid heat styling
4. use gentle hair care products
5. give your scalp a massage

Are There Any Alternative Treatments or Medications to Treat Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery alters the body’s metabolism and hormones, which can lead to temporary hair loss. However, there are alternative treatments and medications that can help treat hair loss after bariatric surgery.

Minoxidil (Rogaine): Minoxidil is a topical solution that is applied to the scalp twice a day. It is FDA-approved for treating hair loss associated with androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness).

Finasteride (Propecia): Finasteride is an oral medication that is used to treat pattern baldness in men. It is not FDA-approved for use in women.

Hair transplants: Hair transplants are a surgical procedure in which hair follicles from the back of the head are transplanted to the balding areas of the scalp. This procedure can be performed by a licensed surgeon or doctor.

How Can I Help Keep My Hair Healthy After Bariatric Surgery?

After bariatric surgery, it is important to keep your hair healthy. There are a few things you can do to help keep your hair healthy:

1. Avoid tight hairstyles – Hairstyles that pull on the hair, such as tight ponytails or cornrows, can put unnecessary stress on the hair and lead to breakage. Instead, opt for loose styles or those that allow your hair to flow freely.

2. Keep your scalp clean – A clean scalp promotes healthy hair growth. Be sure to shampoo regularly and gently massage your scalp with your fingertips or fingertips during washing. You may also want to use a soft-bristled brush to help remove any dead skin cells or build-up on the scalp.

3. Protect your hair from the sun – The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage the hair and lead to dryness and breakage. When spending time outdoors, wear a hat or scarf to cover your head and protect your hair from the sun’s harmful rays.

4. Use gentle products – harsh chemicals in shampoos, conditioners, and styling products can strip the natural oils from the hair, leaving it dry and brittle. Instead, look for products that are labeled “gentle” or “for sensitive scalp.” These products will be less likely to strip away natural oils and cause irritation.


While bariatric surgery can certainly be a beneficial method for long-term weight loss, there are still potential side effects associated with the procedure. Hair loss is one of these possible side effects and as such should be discussed in detail with your doctor before undergoing any kind of weight loss surgery. With the right preventative measures such as proper nutrition and medication, it is often possible to minimize or even eliminate hair loss after bariatric surgery. By understanding what causeshair loss after bariatric surgery, you can take steps to protect your scalp and maintain healthy locks while you enjoy the benefits of this lifechanging operation.