Are you experiencing hair loss after weight loss? Here’s why



Temporary hair loss or telogen effluvium is often seen after weight loss. It occurs 3-4 months after weight loss and lasts up to 6 months.

Experts say the main reason for this temporary hair loss is sudden stress on the body which is inevitable during weight loss.

What is the normal limit of hair loss?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, losing 50-100 hairs per day is normal. “It’s normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day. When the body sheds significantly more hairs every day, a person has excessive hair shedding. The medical term for this condition is telogen effluvium,” it says.

Hair loss vs. hair shedding

While hair loss is a serious issue where the growth of the hair is stopped, hair shedding is somewhat temporary, says American Academy of Dermatology. After the stress event in the body subsides, hair shedding stops and hair growth returns back to normal.

There are several reasons for hair shedding like losing weight, birth of a child, high fever, surgery, etc. As soon as the body adjusts to the stress, the hair shedding stops.

But hair loss, or anagen effluvium, will stop only when the factor holding back the growth of hair is stopped. Among the various factors responsible for hair loss, some of the common ones are harsh hair care products, hereditary hair loss, drugs and medicines.

​Understanding hair growth

Hair is made of keratin protein. The overall life cycle of hair can be broadly categorised into three phases: the first phase is when the hair is growing and will last for many years, the second one is a transitional phase and in the last phase the hair will fall out and new hair will grow in the follicle. When there is stress in the body, the human hair enters the second phase prematurely and then falls off.

The rate of growth of hair varies from person to person. On an average it is said that the hair grows half an inch in a month.

What are the symptoms of Telogen effluvium?

Telogen effluvium is noticeable when the volume of hair fall increases during normal combing or hair washing. One can also notice hair everywhere in the house, especially on bed and on pillows. “Usually there are no symptoms, but occasionally telogen effluvium can be accompanied by tenderness and altered sensations in the scalp, known as trichodynia,” says a report by the British Association of Dermatologists.

Is hair loss after weight loss dangerous?

While experts say it is neither dangerous nor permanent, it is wise to notice this beforehand and try to take sufficient nutrients and supplements to compensate for the deficiency that has caused the hair to fall. As per British Association of Dermatologists, “Telogen effluvium usually resolves completely without any treatment over several months. The normal duration of telogen is approximately 100 days (3 to 6 months) after which period the hair starts growing again.”

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