Penn Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program

Penn Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Update

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hair Loss After Weight-Loss Surgery


Hair loss is common after bariatric surgery. It can be caused by stress on your body from surgery, inadequate protein intake or rapid weight loss.

Hair is made of protein, and in the weeks and months following bariatric surgery, patients are often restricted to a liquid diet. Liquid protein supplements can help you compensate for the lack of protein during the post-operative time.

Depriving your body of protein can damage hair roots and weaken hair growth. Once the root is damaged, hair follicles cannot be salvaged. A few months after the lack of protein in your diet, your hair will break off as it grows through the scalp.

The good news is that with an adequate protein intake, your hair will grow back. A minimum of 60 to 80 grams of protein each day is recommended for optimal nutrition. In general, it is best to include a protein with every meal and snack.

Although less common, hair loss can also be caused by a deficiency in nutrients such as zinc, biotin, potassium, vitamin B6, or phosphorus. To prevent nutrient deficiencies, it is important to take the recommended vitamin and mineral supplements and nutrient-rich foods.

By consuming a wide variety of healthy foods, you can maintain your healthy head of hair.

- Cara Stewart, RD, LDN

Get more information about weight-loss surgery at Penn

Learn if bariatric surgery is right for you and attend a free information session about the Penn Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program.

At this free session, you will learn more about weight-loss surgery at Penn, and meet physicians and team members from the Penn Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program

Register for this free event here.

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