Between Obesity and Hair Loss?
08 / 16 / 17

Is There a Link Between Obesity and Hair Loss?

Identifying the cause of hair loss is an important step toward hair restoration. Although our clients experience hair loss from various causes, maintaining a healthy weight might reduce the risk and severity of hair loss. We've taken a closer look at how obesity affects hair growth, and how weight loss and surgery affect hair loss. Does obesity cause hair loss?

Does obesity cause hair loss?

Fortunately, obesity is not a direct cause of hair loss. However, some habits and lifestyle choices associated with obesity affect your hair growth. People with obesity may see improvement in their hair growth with just a few minor lifestyle changes!

  • A little exercise helps!
    • Many people in today's modern world lead a sedentary lifestyle. The pressures of demanding jobs and increased computer use makes it hard to fit in enough exercise. But even a little exercise makes a big difference for your hair. Exercise promotes blood flow to the scalp and other peripheral areas, which keeps your hair follicles healthy. 
    • Don't worry if you don't have time to spend hours at the gym each day. Simple, gradual changes over time lead to significant improvements in your health and hair growth. Choose an easy exercise that you can commit to every day, whether it's parking at the back of the grocery store parking lot or walking to the end of the street and back after work. Even very gradual changes help you keep your hair healthy, and you might start seeing positive changes all over!
  • Reduce your stress
    • A growing body of evidence links obesity to stress. Chronic high stress levels lead to challenges for your whole body, and hair loss might be the first physical sign of chronic stress. Having a high-stress job doesn't mean you don't have any options. Try incorporating a little physical activity or carving out some time to relax. Yoga, meditation, or participating in a hobby you enjoy lowers your stress hormones and helps you find positive ways to manage even the most stressful situations.
  • Hormones
    • We mentioned stress hormones, but obesity causes other hormone imbalances that lead to hair loss. Taking small steps to manage your body weight helps regulate your hormones. In addition to improved hair growth, weight management brings your hormones into balance. This can help regulate hunger cycles, reduce cravings, and improve overall wellness.

But doesn't weight loss cause hair growth problems?

Slow, gradual weight loss doesn't cause any problems with hair growth. However, suddenly losing lots of weight can cause hair loss. In addition, crash dieting often causes hair loss, especially if you're losing lots of weight and quickly regaining it. Make small, gradual changes to your diet over time instead of trying to completely change your lifestyle all at once. You'll keep your hair, and you're more likely to maintain a lower weight.

What about surgery?

Doctors suggest surgery for some clients with obesity. If your doctor recommends a surgical solution, you might wonder about the effect on your hair. It's true that major surgery can result in temporary hair loss while your body recovers. This is normal, and your hair will usually grow back as you recover.

Rapid weight loss following bariatric surgery also occasionally leads to hair loss. In the long run, however, improvements in your nutrition lead to better hair growth. In most cases, your hair will grow back within about six months. 

There are many causes of hair loss, and obesity is just one factor that affects hair growth. To learn more about hair restoration or to get a personalized hair assessment, please contact us at Hair Professionals today.