100 lb. Club - Dieting = Losing Hair?

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02-08-2012, 06:12 PM
I've recently lost 41 pounds on a reduced-calorie diet. About 3 weeks ago I noticed that more of my hair was falling out than usual. I have very thick, thick hair so imagine my dismay when I realized my hair was falling out.

Has any one else experienced this kind of hair loss? How long did it take before your hair stopped falling out excessively? A vitamin or mineral deficiency maybe?

02-08-2012, 06:33 PM
There have been times during my weight loss when I started losing hair. I got alarmed but I never lost enough to make my hair thin. This seemed to come and go. I don't know what causes it.

02-08-2012, 06:43 PM
Biotin is great for hair loss, (skin & nails too) it takes a while but after about 3 months in it did for me. I have been taking biotin for years and rarely lose any hairs these days..

02-08-2012, 06:50 PM
Are you taking a multi? Deficient in anything?

Had thyroid checked?

That's all I can think of.


02-08-2012, 06:50 PM
I've had hair loss off and on through this whole thing. No matter how you suppliment your body will try to protect itself when you shed weight and part of that is turning off hair follicles. They'll come back!

02-08-2012, 06:51 PM
Try reading this article: Weight Loss & Hair Loss (http://www.ehow.com/about_5333600_weight-loss-hair-loss.html)

Did you lose the weight really fast? If so, that could be why, your body is lacking the proper nutrition.

02-08-2012, 07:50 PM
It usually happens because you aren't getting enough good fats on a daily basis.

02-08-2012, 08:37 PM
Not having enough protein as well can cause hair loss as well. Are you getting at least 60 grams daily?

02-08-2012, 10:58 PM
I've always lost more hair while dieting, regardless of the diet. I've talked to my doctors about it over the years, and they've all said that a person can do everything right (nutritionally) and still lose more hair while losing weight. One doctor said it was common/natural when a person cuts calories, their body may start shutting down or cutting back the energy spent on non-essential processes. Losing hair is often a side-effect of the body trying to reserve energy.

However, during many illnesses, the body also does this same "cutting-back," which is why you should see your doctor when you're having unusual hair loss, because there could be a more serious problem.

So see your doctor to rule out other possible causes.

02-08-2012, 11:57 PM
I have never lost this much hair before when I was dieting but there is a first time for everything right?

No I do not take multi-vitamins they make me deathly ill for some unknown reason.

02-09-2012, 02:18 PM
Yep! Totally! It is some scary stuff to realize that your hair is falling out. I didn't lose my weight fast. I get enough protein and fat and had my thyroid tested. And still it was falling out in handfuls. And I have really fine, thin hair to begin with.

I started taking 5,000 milligrams of biotin and using a shampoo for thinning hair. My hair has stopped falling out and is growing back. I am trying to back off on the shampoo because I don't like what it does to the texture of my hair, but I will take the biotin until I lose the rest of the weight and then for a while after that too.

I would get my thyroid tested just to make sure something else wasn't going on and then I'd try the biotin.

02-09-2012, 02:22 PM
When I was younger and dieted, hair shedding was always a side effect. Back then, I know I wasn't eating a well balanced diet.

I haven't had any issues in the past few years (knock on wood LOL).

As others have mentioned, are you getting enough protien/fiber/leafy greens etc? That might be the culprit.

02-09-2012, 04:27 PM
Not sure what biotin is but I will check it out. I also forgot to mention that my hair texture is completely off too. I wash my hair every night and the next morning it looks all weighed down greasy looking. I have changed shampoo I am going to see if that helps.

02-09-2012, 04:30 PM
I think I am ok in the protein department Jen but a few other areas I know I am lacking in. I may try a multi vitamin again and see if I still have the same responds I use to which was severe vomiting very shortly after taking it.

02-09-2012, 11:16 PM
I had a "thyroid episode" in October. I discovered I have nodules (3) on my thyroid when they became enlarged causing some discomfort. My family doctor and an ENT specialist ordered tests, including biopsies. All is normal. Inflammation went down and the discomfort in swallowing went away. I have to get a sonogram once a year now to keep an eye on things. Just before this happened, I lost some hair. I noticed the pile of hair in the drain was bigger than normal. I noticed that there was more hair in the sink. It went on for several weeks, but stopped just about the time the nodules showed up. My hairline has very slowly been changing as I age anyway, and I equated this with the thyroid issue. I didn't think it was weight related because it happened 9 months after I was well into the diet changes. I started using a bit of mousse to add a little volume to the front where my hairline has been in trouble anyway. I thought I'd give things a few months to see if it started coming back. Well, it has. I wear my hair short. It's almost totally grey and my friend colors and cuts it about every 4 weeks. We've both been noticing changes. The new hair is softer than my other hair, but that could be due to the fact that it hasn't been colored as often. But the biggest thing is - wait for it - it's curlier! Can't explain that one!

I do remember a person I knew a number of years ago whose hair fell out after chemo. When his hair grew back in, it was curly for a while. Then it got straight again like it always had been. And my friend (the hair dresser) know someone who lost hair due to chemo who got curly hair for good!

Maybe my hair loss was weight related. No way to tell now for sure since everything tests normal now. Maybe something was off and caused the nodules to become inflamed and also triggered the hair loss. Who knows. I'm glad SmallSteps started this thread, though, because it makes me realize just how many of us have the problem.

I'm going to check out Biotin tomorrow after work. There's health food store near by. I'll let you all know if the curly hair stays. LOL


02-03-2013, 08:42 PM
bump to the top

02-03-2013, 08:56 PM
I may try a multi vitamin again and see if I still have the same responds I use to which was severe vomiting very shortly after taking it.

I can't take vitamins on an empty stomach. Try taking it after (on top of) food rather than before eating, or taking it at bedtime. If it's a stomach issue, one of those might help.

I'm worried about losing hair--my hair is already thin :-(

02-03-2013, 09:24 PM
I actually lost less hair, my husband just commented on how he has not found my long hairs on him lately, maybe it is a vitamin deficiency I take like 15 different things. I don't know what on my list has helped but I take calcium, d, Folic acid, magnesium, chlorella, spirulina, olive leaf, cayenne, chlorophyll, potassium, flax seed oil, omega red, c, vitamin e, fruit and veggie blend. I take iron like a couple times a week cause I used to test anemic in the past. Hope u remedy your problem, I know hair loss causes stress which in turn causes more hair loss.

02-03-2013, 10:10 PM
I don't know what changed, but I was losing quite a bit of hair up until this month. I am taking biotin, but only 500mg per day. I've lost 35 pounds this month so it isn't due to a loss slow down. Maybe the primrose oil I added?

02-04-2013, 05:46 AM
SmallSteps when I was pregnant I couldn't take the pre-natal multi-vitamin, it made me want to puke. I was pretty sure it was the high iron content in it. I took a regular multi, iron separately (as a liquid) and a folic acid only supplement and had no problems at all.

I know it will be expensive, but you might want to experiment with supplements that aren't an all-in-one. You can isolate and avoid the one or more that makes you ill.

02-04-2013, 09:03 AM
I have never lost this much hair before when I was dieting but there is a first time for everything right?

No I do not take multi-vitamins they make me deathly ill for some unknown reason.

Do you take them with food? If I don't have food in my stomach when I take a multi, I get nauseated and very uncomfortable. You also might try taking a children's multi rather than an adult's multi. See if you can tolerate one of those.

I also agree with a previous poster who mentions eating enough protein and good fats. If you are eating very low fat, you may not be getting enough protein and fat to maintain hair growth.

I aim at 1200 calories most days, which is pretty low. But I make sure to eat at least 80 grams of protein each day. I think it helps my hair and nails. Other times when I've eaten very low fat (think Pritikin), I've definitely noticed hair loss and split nails.

02-04-2013, 10:35 AM
New Chapter Vitamins are incredibly incredibly gentle on the stomach. http://www.amazon.com/New-Chapter-Every-Womans-Daily/dp/B003DGZREM

I would definitely look more into vitamins, since you are taking a rather aggressive dieting approach.

I also second biotin. I use it on a daily basis. I also use krill oil.

02-04-2013, 03:07 PM
I have medium length blond hair and I always start losing a lot when I go on a diet. The more rapid the weight loss, the more hair I lose. I estimate I lose 20-30 strands per day and these are long hairs from my scalp, not broken ends. Fortunately I started with very thick hair, so now (after 6 months of dieting) it looks like average thickness.

I eat the proper amount of protein. I also take a multi-vitamin every morning. (I find my stomach easily handles pills in the morning but it's more fussy later in the day.) I do take levothroxyin as I have a low thryoid but I have had that for 10 years and the hair loss is not related to that--it's definitely triggered by losing weight.

Cutting down to 1400 calories or less per day, no matter how balanced the diet, results in losing weight and losing weight = losing hair for me. I hope that when my body gets used to the lower calorie way of life, it will resume normal hair replacment. Because I'm not going back to 3,000 calories a day!

Thanks for the tip on biotin--I will research that.

02-04-2013, 04:42 PM
The last time I lost a lot of weight quickly, I definitely noticed hair loss but ironically I didn't notice it when it was happening. I have very thick, long, curly hair. I noticed it when I went to get a haircut 4 months later and the stylist was working on my layers and noticed a new "layer." There was so much regrowth that it looked like I had a short layer put in - I like long ones only. Ick!! But, it kept growing and is normal now. So, yeah, it grows back. You just might have a new hairstyle when it does. But, getting a new haircut to go with your weight loss can be fun ;)

*Definitely what kaplods said - it's worth it to make sure this is just related to weight loss.