Congratulations on your decision to lose weight! You’re about to make some significant changes in your life that will benefit you in untold ways, and almost all of them for the better.
While your goal is to lose weight, you don’t necessarily want to sacrifice anything else along the way, especially your hair. When our patients here at 360 Medical Weight Specialists embark on a journey to slim down, they do so in the hopes of helping their health and their appearance. It stands to reason that they don’t want the end effect marred by thinning hair.
And weight loss can lead to hair loss. It’s by no means a certainty that this occurs, but there is a real possibility, which is why we work with our patients to sidestep this side effect of weight loss. After all, we don’t want anything to get in the way of the big goal — a slimmer, healthier you.
The answer to this is fascinating, and even has a nifty scientific name: telogen effluvium. Telogen refers to a resting state and effluvium means outflow. Let us explain.
Your hair grows in cycles and during its growth stage, it can grow up to half an inch per month. This growth rate continues for two years until your hair goes into a telogen, or resting, state. This state last for two months or so. At any given time, approximately 10-20% of your hair is in the telogen phase, which is completely natural.
When your body undergoes a shock to its systems — such as weight loss, childbirth, or menopause — it can send more of your hair into the telogen state, meaning that the number of hair follicles that are producing hair growth diminishes greatly. This, in turn, leads to shedding.
This shedding can happen all over your scalp but typically starts in areas that are predisposed to balding already, such as the top of your head. Unfortunately, this can lead to patchy balding.
One of the best reasons to lose weight under medical supervision is that we can closely monitor your diet to ensure you’re getting the proper nutrients. In the case of hair loss, we check that your diet has the protein it needs to keep your hair healthy. All too often, fad diets promise quick results, which may or may not transpire, but they’re often at the cost of good nutrition.
In many cases, this close vigilance of your nutrients can offset hair loss as we’re able to make tweaks as we go, and at the first sign of hair loss, we can change courses. We can do this through your diet or through supplements.
In other cases, this may be more difficult if the patient is already prone to baldness thanks to genetics. If you count yourself among this group, rest assured that we have treatments that arrest the balding and regrow your hair. Read on to learn more.
At 360 Medical Weight Specialists, we want our patients to truly appreciate the results of their hard work. So if you begin to lose hair on your diet, we don’t want you to stop your diet. Instead, we can treat the hair loss with a prescribed, compounded topical that combines minoxidil with a steroid. The reason we combine the hair loss compound with steroids is that the minoxidil alone can irritate your scalp and leave it feeling oily. The steroids ease these effects.
If you apply this compound daily, you’ll promote new hair growth that will quickly make up for any hair you may have lost.
We also promote the use of biotin. Biotin is one of the B vitamins that support healthy growth of your hair, skin, and nails. Biotin can strengthen your existing hair and promote new hair follicle production. It also works to keep your hair from entering the telogen state prematurely.
If you’re still concerned about hair loss, we’re happy to sit down with you to review your options. We think you’ll find that when you weigh the two against each other, it’s better to follow your weight loss goals and deal with any side effects as they arise, including hair loss.
If you want to learn more about how to prevent hair loss while you lose weight, please feel free to give us a call, or use the online scheduling tool on this website to book an appointment.