Hair Loss and Weight Loss: Are They Related?

Hair Loss and Weight Loss

Hair Loss and Weight LossIf you are trying to lose weight, you may want to be sure that you aren’t losing anything else—as hair loss might occur after weight loss. But can shedding off extra weight actually cause you to lose your hair too? The answer is more complex than a simple yes or no. It’s important to understand the connection between hair loss and weight loss in order to stay in great shape and keep a healthy head of hair.

Relationship between Weight Loss and Hair Loss

Hair loss and weight loss are connected, although losing weight doesn’t always lead to balding. It can depend on a variety of factors, and each individual is different.

Losing weight can be difficult and stressful on both our minds and bodies. When you are losing weight, you are placing your body under a lot of stress. Your diet may be changing, along with your hormone levels. All of these things can mean hair loss.

There are many different types and causes of weight loss, some which are less likely to be linked to hair loss. For instance, if you are eating a healthier diet and taking a slower approach to your weight loss, hair loss may be less likely. However, if you are undergoing a crash diet or experiencing weight loss due to a medical condition, then balding may be a greater risk.

Causes of Hair Loss Due to Weight Loss

There are many different causes of hair loss that can be connected to weight loss.

Physical and Emotional Stress

When you put your body or mind under extreme stress, your hair is likely to fall out. Crash diets, which can cause sudden and extreme weight loss, can place your body under extreme physical stress. As well, dieting and exercising can be mentally stressful, which can lead to thinning hair.


When you switch to a new diet, you need to be making sure you’re getting all the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Malnutrition can cause hair loss, as well as poorer quality of hair (e.g. thin hair, dry hair).

Hormone Levels

Hormone disorders can cause both weight loss and hair loss. If you notice that you are losing weight and hair at the same time, it could be because of an undiagnosed thyroid disorder. Hormonal imbalances have a big effect on the health of our hair and scalp.

Diseases and Health Issues

There are variety of other diseases and health issues, besides hormone disorders, that can cause hair loss and weight loss as their symptoms. For instance, AIDS is linked to both hair loss and weight loss. Furthermore, even chronic diarrhea and digestive disorders can cause both of these symptoms.

Hair Loss after Weight Loss Surgery

People who undergo weight loss surgery often experience hair loss afterwards. In fact, up to 40 percent of patients will lose hair following bariatric surgery, making hair loss a very common problem.

Hair loss after weight loss surgery is usually due to the subsequent dietary changes. Following bariatric surgery, there can be a drastic drop in the amount of nutrients being eaten. Often, weight loss surgery leads to protein and iron deficiencies, both of which can have a big effect on the health of your hair and scalp.

Treatment for Hair Loss after Weight Loss Surgery

If you are experiencing hair loss during weight loss, then there are a variety of treatments that may be effective.

The best treatment depends on the type and cause of your weight loss. For instance, if you have a medical condition that is causing your weight loss, then the appropriate treatment for your hair loss is to have your health issue addressed and treated. If you have a thyroid disorder, your hair should return to normal once you have balanced your thyroid hormone levels.

If hair loss is due to nutrient deficiencies, then changing your diet or taking supplements can solve the problem. If your hair loss is due to stress, then reducing your stress levels should lead to a return of hair growth.

Usually, hair loss linked to weight loss is temporary and the hair will grow back with treatment, but in some cases, there could be genetic hair loss occurring at the same time, which could be permanent. This type of hair loss requires more advanced topical solutions or even hair loss surgery. The best way to find out what type of treatment will work best for your hair loss is to speak with a specialist.

For a free hair loss consultation, The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists is an experienced hair transplant organization located in the heart of Mississauga. We have 20 years of experience in hair transplants, replacements, and hair loss treatment procedures. Feel free to contact us for more information about hair transplants or any other hair or scalp concern at 905-272-0190.

by Ken Robson

In business since August 1, 1986, I am the president and also a client at The Canadian Institute of Hair & Scalp Specialists. Having worked with a team of Doctors and Chemists over the years I have compiled a great deal of knowledge in this area, originally involved with a Pharmaceutical company manufacturing vitamins for the hair loss industry. Years ago I was fascinated by the new developments in this area as my own hair was beginning to thin. Studying Trichology at the Toronto clinic I then opened my own office and have enjoyed it ever since.