The Risks of Hair Loss With Extreme Dieting
The effects of rapid weight loss can be dramatic for your appearance, but it can also have consequences. Often, people resort to extreme dieting to shed those pounds quickly, leading to nutritional deficiencies. With fewer nutrients feeding your scalp, it’s common to notice thinning hair.
Acute Telogen Effluvium
If this is a predicament you’re facing, you may have acute telogen effluvium or TE. It causes a hair loss condition called androgenic alopecia, male pattern baldness. However, TE can affect women as well as men.
Stressful events can often trigger TE, which can be noticeable in as short as three months. Extreme dieting and malnutrition also have been linked to TE and male pattern baldness. Sometimes, the hair thinning effect can last for months and may be permanent.
Types of Weight Loss Linked to Hair Loss
When you go on a diet, your goal is to lose weight, not your handsome locks. Are you possibly at risk for thinning hair due to weight loss? Here are some risk factors to consider.
1. Restrictive Eating Habits
Isn’t it ironic that you suddenly crave a food that’s not high on your list as soon as you deprive yourself of it? Restrictive diets may work short-term, but they are seldom realistic. Unfortunately, you can also restrict nutrients necessary for a strong body and healthy hair.
2. Crash Diets
If you are a fan of late-night TV, you’re bound to have seen your share of dieting infomercials. No wonder diet and fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry across the globe. These fad diets lure people in with the promise of losing weight quickly with little effort.
Maybe you’ve tried some of these crash diet gimmicks with short-term success. You took handfuls of supplements and “miracle” pills and drank chalky shakes and bars that tasted like plywood.
Then, you spent a king’s ransom on the newest trend in home exercise equipment only to have it turn into a handy clothes rack.
While you quickly shed the pounds, most of them were probably fluid loss. Plus, these dangerous diets can lead to malnutrition and noticeable hair loss.
3. Low Carb Plans
It seems like you find something related to keto dieting everywhere you look. Supermarkets are adding more keto-friendly products on their shelves, and people are buying them. The highlights of keto dieting are low-carb, moderate protein, and restricting many healthy food options.
Keeping your body in ketosis can make you lose weight too quickly, affecting your health and your hair. Since hair is made of proteins, not getting enough protein in your diet can make your attractive locks thinner.
4. Weight Loss Surgery
For some morbidly obese people, weight loss surgery is a life-saving option. It’s often the last resort to get pounds off quickly before it’s too late. Still, bariatric surgeons warn their patients that weight loss surgery still requires dieting and isn’t a magical cure.
After surgery, most patients achieve impressive weight loss in just a few weeks. Then, the momentum slows down to a more moderate pace. During the process, many patients also notice a significant hair loss.
Is Thinning Hair a Health Risk?
Losing your hair may not be hazardous to your health, but it’s often a detrimental blow to your self-esteem. You may have worked hard to lose weight only to face a less-than-impressive head of hair. So, it could cause some issues mentally, emotionally, and psychologically.
If you’ve noticed more hair in the shower drain than usual, it’s time to talk to your healthcare provider. While thinning hair may be the genetic consequence of male pattern baldness, it can also be a red flag. Your healthcare provider can run some tests to rule out any health problems.
Keep Your Hair Nourished
When you follow a sensible, healthy eating habits as your doctor recommends, you won’t need all those fad diets. You’ll be saving a lot of cash and your attractive mane. Remember that your hair needs vitamins, minerals, and TLC to stay strong and healthy.
Incorporate whole foods into your day that are nutrient-dense. Lean meat, dark green leafy veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and fruit are suitable for your hair. You may also discuss multivitamins and other hair-friendly supplements with your healthcare provider or dietician.