Hair loss is a common side effect of bariatric surgery. The hair loss associated with bariatric surgery is referred to as telogen effluvium and is related to the hair growth cycle. The more you know about telogen effluvium, the less stressed you'll be in the weeks leading up to your surgery.
Why Does Telogen Effluvium Occur Following Surgery?
Human hair has a two-stage growth cycle, which consists of a growth phase or anagen, and a resting phase or telogen. At any given time, 90% of our hair follicles are in the growth phrase. The resting phase lasts between one to six months with an average of three months.
On the other hand, 5-15% of our hair follicles are in the resting phase. Due to the surgery itself and the significant weight loss that occurs as a result of the surgery, more hair follicles than normal may enter the resting stage. Then when your hair enters the growing stage one to six months following surgery, the old hair follicles are released, resulting in hair loss.
Other Factors That May Contribute To Hair Loss
Any sort of trauma, acute illness, or surgery may trigger telogen effluvium. Additional factors that may heighten hair loss include the following.
Unless you have a chronic illness or genetic condition that plays a role in your hair thinning, telogen effluvium is a normal side effect following bariatric surgery.
As your hair runs its standard growth cycle, it will grow back in full. Typically, bariatric surgery patients lose 5-15% of their hair and grow it back completely within six months. During the weeks leading up the surgery, take the following steps to minimize your bariatric hair loss.
Lora Brown is a master stylist and the owner of The Salon by Lora Brown. She has worked in the salon industry for 30 years.