Can Sudden Weight Loss Make My Hair Fall Out?

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

If you are about to embark on a weight loss journey, it is important to note that sudden weight loss can cause your hair to fall out. Read on to find out more about how this happens and how to avoid it.

Before we jump in, just because social media tells you that you should go on a diet, or a celebrity is endorsing a weight loss program doesn’t mean that you should. Hair lost as a result of weight loss is known as telogen effluvium and is temporary. It happens during the telogen phase where you will lose more hair than usual and typically lasts for 3-4 months after a drop in weight1Karen Veazey,, Medical News Today.

Weight loss and hair loss can go hand in hand. The more weight you lose in a short space of time; by restricting your calorie intake, the more hair that can fall out. According to the NHS2, NHS sudden, or even gradual weight loss can cause your hair to fall out. Emotional or physical stress can also lead to losing weight which can trigger hair loss. Thus, you should watch out for when you’re in your down moments, to help determine the trigger.


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A dramatic drop in weight, especially through restrictive dieting, causes a nutrient deficiency3Kayla Garritano,, Eat This, Not That!. When we don’t supply our bodies with the correct or required supply of nutrients, especially proteins for its body building and repair duties, it sets into the “intelligent” mode. Whereby it, rations the amount of nutrients each part of the body can get from the insufficient nutrient supply.

Bad news: your body doesn’t think too highly of your hair because it isn’t crucial to your survival. So, our hair becomes protein – thirsty and deprived of their desired nourishment. This can lead to it looking dull, dry and in drastic cases falling out.

How can you lose weight without impacting your hair?

The following tips can help you to lose weight without causing hair loss.

  1. Avoid a Crash Diet

Crash diets, juicing diets, detoxes, appetite suppressants and any other faddy diets. No matter who is endorsing them, they aren’t healthy or sustainable. A diet needs to be gradual so you can monitor any potential side effects and keep the weight off. A poorly planned diet can cause deficiencies in essential nutrients and vitamins which ultimately lead to hair loss.

  1. Sufficient Protein Intake

Proteins are essential for your hair, skin, and nails. Ensure you are getting an adequate amount to avoid hair loss. Your hair is made of proteins, and they are essential in maintaining hair growth. A lack of proteins will cause your body to prioritise where the little protein you are eating goes, unfortunately your hair will be the least important.

  1. Eat the Correct Foods

Incorporate veggies like broccoli and spinach, fruits like avocado and fig, eggs, and lean meats. Also include other foods like beans, citrus fruits, and whole grains for a healthy, well-rounded diet to help you lose weight correctly and safely.

  1. Calorie Intake

Don’t deny your body of a sufficient supply of calories; they help in promoting proper functioning of the body. You can be mindful of your calories consumption for your weight loss goals but don’t go overboard and deprive yourself of too many calories. Your body still needs them to function, and a lack of calories will show in your hair.

  1. Nutritional Supplements

Consider other nutritional supplements such as zinc, biotin, iron, prenatal, and Vitamins A, C, E. These minerals can help in promoting hair growth. They also ensure you are getting the correct nutrients and vitamins that may be lost in the change in diet.

  1. Workout Regime

Find a workout regime that suits you and your lifestyle, and you actually enjoy! It isn’t enough to just change your diet and eating habits. Working out will help you to lose your desired weight and keep it off. It is recommended work out at least 150 minutes a week with moderate intensity workout, or 75 minutes a week for a high intensity workout4, Mayo Clinic.


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It is important to remember that weight loss should be a slow process to help you keep the weight off and prevent any side effects. The NHS Weight Loss Plan is a great resource to help you lose weight and have healthier eating habits.

You will need to embrace hair protection techniques to reduce the physical impacts of hair loss caused by weight loss. A simple and effective method is wearing silk hair wraps, scrunchies, and headbands, especially to bed. Doing this will help to conserve hair moisture and nutrients, thus, promoting hair growth.


Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.