Obesity and Hair Loss


Hair loss can arise from myriad causes and can be quite unpredictable. Some people lose hair as they age, others lose it early in life, while yet others have a full head of hair even as senior citizens. Some people can attribute it to stress, while others can sail through the most stressful phase without their luxurious tresses showing any impact. If you are trying to address hair loss, then the most critical step is to figure out what is causing it. Even if you go for a hair transplant to restore lost hair, it helps to know how to keep the rest of your hair intact and healthy. That way you have both a solution for the hair loss you have already suffered and a preventive method for keeping further baldness away.

One of the most common questions people ask when they are looking for hair restoration techniques is whether their weight gain can be a cause. For obese people who suffer from a host of ailments arising from weight, this is common query. Obesity and hair loss do have links but it is important for you to understand exactly how they are connected.

No direct link

The good news is that just because you are obese, you will typically not start losing hair. If you have recently put on weight, you may not need to start worrying if you will start losing hair as well. If you have always been overweight, that may not be the reason for your excessive hair loss either. That said, there IS some association between obesity and hair loss.

There may be some underlying factors that have led to obesity that may also promote hair loss. Also, obesity may be leading to some conditions where hair loss is inevitable. Treatments that you are taking for weight gain may be affecting your system overall and leading to hair loss. Here are some situations wherein hair loss and obesity can be connected to each other.

  • Stress and obesity:

There is quite some evidence to show that when your stress levels are high, you tend to put on weight. For those who lead a high stress lifestyle, obesity is a common fall out. The same cause also results in hair loss. High stress levels may result in such severe hair loss that you have to opt for medication to promote hair out of the telogen or resting phase.  Hair loss due to stress is not permanent.

  • Diabetes related obesity:

Diabetics often struggle with weight control. Obesity is a common occurrence among diabetics. This same condition also affects your hair, causing hair loss quite significantly. Since diabetes affects the circulatory function within our body, blood flow to the scalp is impaired. This means that the delivery of nutrients to follicles is disrupted and hair growth stops.

  • Hormonal balance and weight gain:

Any imbalance in hormones causes a lot of disruption within the body. When your hormone levels fluctuate you could put on weight incredibly fast. At the same time, such hormonal imbalances also affect your hair follicle regeneration. Hair loss is an inevitable outcome and as is thinning. Remember that thyroid imbalances are known to cause hair loss and thinning. Thyroid imbalance can be a  prime reason for weight gain. In short, hormonal imbalance that leads to obesity may also cause hair problems.

  • Poor diet and weight control:

One of the most common causes for obesity is lack of proper diet control. Eating too much or eating too many little meals, snacking on empty calories- all of these can contribute heavily to weight gain. Eating food that is not replete with the right nutrients and fiber is another reason for weight gain or lack of control over weight. Anemia is a common cause of hair loss especially in vegetarians and vegans. Blood tests can miss an iron  deficiency if the correct tests are not ordered.

The other side of the coin

  • If you are taking medication for weight loss, many of those could affect your hair quality and also impair hair growth rate. As a result, you may be losing hair quickly and your hair may be thinning out at a fast pace. I
  • Dieting to lose weight might promote hair loss. Remember that your hair needs some essential nutrients, such as proteins, vitamin E etc. to grow healthy and strong. If your crash diet has cut down all of your nutrition intake, that could be drastically affecting your hair too. Any diet that you undertake should have a good balance of nutrients so your body is not affected adversely.
  • Another common outcome of obesity is heart disease. With heart disease, the blood circulation is impaired to every part of your body. Poor circulation means poor delivery of nutrients to the scalp and in turn, this leads to hair fall too. This is yet another way in which obesity may lead to hair loss not directly but in an indirect fashion.

In conclusion:

Even if your weight increase is not directly responsible for your hair loss or baldness, keep in mind that maintaining good health overall is a great way to ensure hair health too. Bringing your weight down to the ideal levels, ensuring that your body is fit and well- nourished ensures that your hair is healthy and lustrous too.

You can change your dietary habits, get into the habit of exercising regularly and control your weight without compromising nutrition so that you prevent further hair loss.