While women are warned about the obvious risks of gastric band surgery such as infection, blood clots, internal bleeding, slipped band, blocked food canal and the risk of malnutrition and death if the band does too good a job, few women are warned about another risk – hair loss.
Following weight reduction surgery, the body is forced to live on a drastically reduced number of calories. To compensate for this reduction, the remaining nutrients are channelled to the organs that need them most. Hair isn’t one of these. In effect, the body goes into survival mode.
Suddenly hair finds itself sidelined and expected to survive without the nutrients it needs to grow. To compensate for this loss it understandably sends more strands into the “resting” phase and temporarily suspends production of new hairs. This can be compounded by hormones going haywire as body fat is both lost and the remainder metabolised.
So what can you do to help your hair after weight loss surgery? Well you can ensure you consume at least 60gr of protein a day, ideally 80gr – use health shakes and protein snacks if this is too hard to digest in conventional form.
Your body also needs vitamins – lots of them – to stave off the risk of vitamin deficiency and malnutrition. Eat lots of fresh fruit (good sugar) and drink water and juice for starters. Then focus on boosting the vitamins your hair truly needs, Biotin, Iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Lysine, Silica and Calcium (though do not go above safe levels) and consuming what healthy fare you can such as home-made organic stew full of superfoods and chosen for maximum vitamin content.
Find a gentle shampoo, preferably sulphate-free and containing as few ingredients as possible and try to avoid any kind of colour, perm, harsh style or harsh heat. Keep hair products to a minimum. A shoulder length hair style is often best for thinning hair as it is short enough to show some bounce when freshly washed, and hopefully give the appearance of volume. Too long and it can hang lankly and thinly. Too short and there may not be enough hair to disguise the thinning or allow for styles to hide it. A gentle blow dry after washing also helps with bounce and the appearance of volume. Treat yourself to the odd 10 minute organic coffee hair mask to stimulate the follicles before washing.
The general rule is ‘Take care of your hair’ and you’ll be taking care of the rest of your body too after this surgery.