Hair Loss
  • Viv
    Hi, I just wondered if anyone can tell me about hair loss due to the surgery. I have read that quite a few people experience a lot of hair loss and I wonder if the hair grows back later or is it lost permanently? I lose a lot of hair now, without the surgery so am envisaging me ending up bald! - Is there anything I can do to minimise this happening?
  • Maddy
    Hi Viv,

    I'm starting to lose a little hair and am 10 weeks post-surgery. I thought I'd do a little reading but I didn't want to go to Docter Google for information. I'm lucky to have access to journal articles due to my university degree and this is some of the information I found in one article:

    - The hair loss associated with bariatric surgery can't be avoided.
    - 70% of our hair can be lost (not what I wanted to hear).
    - Hair loss usually occurs around two months after surgery (exactly where I am now).
    - The GOOD NEWS is that the hair should grow back 3-6 months after it is lost as long as there are no other causes for the hair loss (inadequate protein intake, inadequate zinc, infections, chronic illness, under-active thyroid gland).
    - Advice for reducing hair loss = adequate hydration, adequate protein intake, multivitamins, sleep, reducing stress.
    - This author is skeptical of the benefit of biotin intake
    - Be careful of zinc supplementation on-top of your usual multivitamin intake (get advice from your doctor about this)

    Information from:
    Furtado M. 2010. What should we tell our patients when they ask about what they can do to prevent hair loss after bariatric surgery and what causes it. Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, vol. 5, no. 4, pp 323. *peer reviewed*

    Just keep in mind that this is ONE article only and appears to be one opinion... I'll be looking for others later. I'll post up anything else I find worth mentioning.
  • Viv
    thanks Maddy, That's really helpful. I have my fingers and toes crossed that I don't lose 70% of my hair! That's an awful lot. I have started taking Swisse Hair, Nails & Skin tablets to see if it helps.
  • Jenni
    Me too I haven't had any problems yet. touch wood.!!!!
  • Maddy
    I will say that no one else would be noticing my hair loss at the moment. I'm only seeing it because I'm looking for it and noticing a little more hair coming out in the shower and when I brush.

    If I look closely I can see some thinning at my hairline around the fringe. But again, I doubt anyone else has noticed, it's fairly minor at the moment.

    I hope people don't think that they will get to 10 weeks post surgery and be bald!
  • Please keep me informed of your progress with hair thinning and if supplements work. I am booked in for August 3rd and as I have very little hair at the front to start with so I am quite worried and will do what I can to prevent hair loss
  • Maddy
    Hi Katherine,

    I'm now almost 26 months out from my gastric sleeve surgery and I've actually stopped thinking about the hair thinning.

    The best way I was able to measure it was by the amount of hair dye I needed to dye my hair before and after surgery.

    Before surgery I used 2 packets to dye my hair (which was a little more than I needed). About 6 months after surgery I only needed 1 packet, now I need 1.5 packets.

    So I think I've regained about 1/3-1/2 of the hair that I had lost but it certainly isn't as thick as it was before surgery.

    I am still noticing short hairs around my fringe so I guess this means that there is still hair growing back. It certainly hasn't all suddenly grown back.

    And I don't know if supplements would help as I didn't really take any after the first couple of weeks specifically for my hair. I was worried about toxicities (I was already taking a multivitamin). From what I had read I'm not sure there is much you can do to stop the hair-loss.

    But in comparison to the benefits of the weight loss the hair thinning pales in comparison!

    Hope this helps :)
  • Thanks, I'm sure the benefits do and I'm really excited about the sleeve. I can't really afford to lose any at the front but clever hair cuts, hats and scarves may be necessary!

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