Weight Loss Surgery - A Hair Thing
01-06-2013, 04:07 PM
So I'm hitting my 3rd month and they say thats when you start to lose your hair. I try my hardest to get my protein in but there are some days that I fail. I have my 3 month appt on the 11th and I'm going to talk to my doctor about it but those that have gone through this....how long does this last? And how long before it started growing back? My hair is about 4 inches past my shoulders and I'm thinking about cutting it off today. I'm getting grossed out and kinda freaked out when I see how much hair I have in my hand when I shampoo it and brush it. I think that it'll help with me dealing with it a lot better lol.
01-06-2013, 04:53 PM
I had surgery the day before you and I haven't started shedding yet (knock on wood) but I've been pretty good about getting in my protein for the past 2 months. I drink 2 protein shakes a day and continue eating protein throughout the rest of the day, so I probably get around 100g of protein. I'm hoping I can skip the hair shedding phase but I'm sure in a month or 2 it will start :/
01-06-2013, 06:11 PM
Well I get protein in besides my shakes so idk
01-06-2013, 08:46 PM
hair loss is actually the result of the hormone changes that come from the rapid weight loss. keeping up with protein can help, but doesn't always take care of the whole thing.
it generally lasts for a couple of months, and then it starts to come back. so that's why it's REALLY important to not give up with eating protein and veggies and vitamins and so on. Some folks swear by Noxon shampoo. I've never tried it.
Lots of people cut their hair for this period of time. but i PROMISE you that it'll grow back. pinky swear [i almost had a bald spot at the front of my head - in part because of a bad habit i have when stressed - i grab and hold onto the hair right in front. pressure on the hair plus surgery = massive thinning]. it grew back. But i STILL keep my hair short simply because i like it that way
01-07-2013, 06:50 PM
My stylist didn't want to cut my hair shorter as she felt it would expose my thin/bald spots more. My hair is still thin at 15 months out, but it is definitely not as bad as it was at 12 months (when I think it was at its worst). I love, though, how much curlier it is now and the color has definitely changed for the better.
It does get better.
I've read that hair loss can be protein related at some point in your recovery. In other words, the initial loss is surgery/stress related, but at some point, if it comes back or doesn't improve, it can be protein related.
I'm pretty sure I was hitting my protein requirements most of the time post op and still had falling hair. It's not just the protein, like jiffy said, it is changes in hormones and there are other factors as well I believe. I think it is just one of those unavoidable side effects of WLS but luckily for most people it doesn't last too long.
01-08-2013, 05:30 AM
At Christy's stage, her hair loss is a result of the surgery (telogen effluvium) and completely normal. There isn't much she can do to avoid it and I agree, a result of stress/hormones.
I was referring to further along in recovery, such as one 12 months out or longer, as to protein needs. Most docs recommend patients consume 60g of protein a day. That number is way too low for me (based on lab results) and I need 100g of protein to keep excessive hair loss at bay now. At one year, I will still losing a LOT of hair; I've finally gotten it under control, but I have to keep my protein levels high.
But this has been my experience only. I'm not sure if it applies to others. I had to up my protein as per my surgeon; I noticed the corresponding improvement in my hair on my own. I've read from others who also noticed an improvement in hair loss with increased protein levels (but again, at further out, not at the 3 month stage).
01-08-2013, 09:57 AM
Hey christy - I have not had WLS, but have lost a good deal of weight and am also having hair loss. I think it is normal for anyone who loses a great deal of weight. I think it would be good to cut your hair to shoulder length. Not off, but shoulder length! That helps you still cover up the bald places, but still gives you some length.
Also: get yourself some satin pillowcases. Seriously! It will help you keep your hair just a big longer. When my mom was going through chemo we made her some, and since then she's made them for anyone she knows who has been diagnosed with cancer. Since I've been having hair loss, I asked her to make me some. Even if they don't help, they're pretty and feel nice. And whether or not you know a seamstress, you should be able to find some online for $15 or less.
I recommend pink. Or red. If pink or red satin pillowcases don't make you smile everytime you go to bed... :) Good luck!
01-08-2013, 03:17 PM
Hey Christy- I was gonna say pretty much the same thing as mnemosyne did, which is what jiffy was saying. Hormone changes! I have lost 70 pounds and I have noticed my hair has been falling out much more than it used to.
As far as cutting your hair...
This is my experiences with cutting my hair. I lose weight, I want a "new look", I cut my hair, I LOVE IT...for about a week. I start to miss my hair, I even get a little depressed, I start gaining weight, I continue to gain weight, I continue to gain weight.
When I started losing weight this time I asked my hairdresser to NOT let me cut it all off, no matter how hard I begged. We actually have a "pact". If I ask to have my hair cut she will cut off no more than 3 inches at one time and not cut another 3 inches off for at least 6 weeks.
01-13-2013, 12:04 PM
Thanks y'all :) I went to my 3 month check up and she confirmed everything y'all just said lol. I was having a freak out moment :)
01-13-2013, 11:29 PM
I've never had WLS, so can't address that. I did have a total ovariohysterectomy, at age 30 and my hair fell out like crazy for several months, and I work for a veterinarian.
Nutrition and hormones do have a lot to do with hair and hair loss. Along with environment, but that can be another story where I work. (druggies and environment)
We always tell clients, it will take at least 90 days of compliance to see any difference, hair is slow. Have patience!
We always promote a good brand of food, along with the addition of an omega fatty acid supplement. If they can't afford that, 1/4 can of tuna in oil daily, and a table spoon or 2, of bacon grease, or good quality olive oil, depending on the size of the dog once a week.
I know that the bacon grease for wls folks is not a good idea, but figuring out how to get in your omegas is important along with patience.
It takes patience, and compliance with diet guidelines to get the hair and nails back to where they should be!
Other nutrients for hair: iron and zinc. For WLS patients, 45 mg of zinc a day, or more.
My hair is a nightmare right now (8 mos out, MGB). My stylist had to cut it off because from my jawline down was so thin it was see-through - and I had enough hair for two people preop.
It's so hard to get that 60 mg of protein in, and I think I am one who will need more than that to keep what hair I have left. I'm making these crazy 40g protein shakes in the morning, because I can usually count on getting in 25-50 grams from food and that's about it. I'm using two scoops of one shake to give me 15 mg and the nice flavor, and a bodybuilder 26-gram scoop - all in one shake. It takes forever to drink but I think it's helping.
Also of note: there's a reason for wigs. I own one, I just haven't gotten the guts to wear it outside yet :)