When a person loses weight, they may notice that their hair seems to be falling out more than usual and wonder if there is a connection between them.
Hair loss can be incredibly discomforting and confusing as the person is trying to improve their health and appearance by losing weight, but they find themselves dealing with the added stress of hair loss.
Hair loss and weight loss might not always be directly connected, but there are a few ways the two can be linked.
Nutritional Deficiencies and Weight Loss
Not everyone who loses weight does so in a healthy manner. Some people may go on fad diets or severely restrict their caloric intake without considering their overall nutritional needs.
In these cases, it’s not uncommon for people to lose hair due to nutritional deficiencies.
Deficiencies of essential fatty acids, zinc, iron, B2, and protein, are all associated with hair loss. This may be due to how your body prioritizes using these nutrients when they are in short supply, with hair growth being one of the functions that are less important than supporting your vital organs.
Losing Weight Without Losing Nutrients
It is essential to do so healthily and sustainably if you consider losing weight. This means making sure that you are still getting all of the nutrients your body needs, even as you are reducing your caloric intake.
Processed foods such as fast food, sugary drinks, pastries, and packaged snacks tend to be high in calories and low in nutritional value. This means that a diet consisting mostly of these items, especially if you are eating at a caloric deficit and losing weight, will likely result in deficiencies that can lead to hair loss.
A better solution is to focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. These options have many nutrients packed into fewer calories, meaning you can more safely reduce your calorie intake without as much risk of developing nutritional deficiencies.
Reducing Stress, Reducing Weight, and Reducing Hair Loss
When you are trying to lose weight, you may put a lot of pressure on yourself to meet your goals. This pressure can lead to hair loss, as can the stress of following a restrictive diet or exercise regimen.
To help reduce the amount of stress in your life, try to find healthy ways to manage it. This may include journaling, practicing meditation, spending time outdoors in nature, or talking to a therapist.
If you can find a way to reduce the amount of stress in your life, it may also help to reduce the amount of hair loss you experience.
While hair loss is not typically dangerous, it can signify that something else is going on with your physical or emotional health. If you are losing weight and shedding more hair than usual, it may be good to talk to your healthcare provider to check if there is an underlying cause that needs to be addressed.