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Hair Loss Fight Back – Bariatric Edition

Let’s use my 3 tiered system to fight back against hair loss post-bariatric surgery.
 
Hair Loss – Yes, we know, we know … it is to be expected after weight loss surgery? But why? Why does our hair fall out and what can we do to prevent hair loss? Sure, some hair loss is to be expected, but there are things that we can do to help minimize this hair loss. Let’s FIGHT BACK … 
 
Many of you have had surgery and you lost a lot of hair at about 4 months post-op and it started growing back at approximately 8 months post-surgery. That is 4 very scary months where your scale is moving in the right direction but your poor hair strands are falling out in handfuls in the shower or your brush… faster than you can keep up.
 
As your body makes adjustments to the changes it is going through, the hair loss will decrease and finally, come to a stop (of course regular shedding still occurs – approximately 100 strands each day). Your hair is going to go back to normal as long as there are no nutrient deficiencies and you are consuming sufficient protein each day.
 
What gives and what can we do to slow this hair loss down dramatically? My clients tell me that they “have done everything” to prevent hair loss … but have they done everything? Are there a few other tricks that we can add to get our hair strands to STAY IN PLACE. Let’s go over my 3 tops suggestions to slow down hair loss during those 4 months where it feels like no matter what you do, your hair is still falling out.
 
1/ Protein 2/ Supplementation 3/ The right hair products
 
1/ Protein. Yes, I know, I know. You are so darn tired of hearing “eat more protein, eat more protein, eat more protein”. It almost becomes a joke and you hear yourself recommending this to other people also. Where my clients go wrong is when they think that they can “replace their food protein” with protein powders, waters, and bars, etc. 
 
What they don’t realize is that those protein shakes will NEVER measure up to the real protein source. Protein powders are chemically isolated. It is changed from its natural state and our body will never know how to isolate it and utilize it in the best way possible. 
 
These powders also have a high protein content in proportion to their fat content. Protein cannot be properly used by the body without the added fat content to go along with the protein. These powders are not “real food”. They are manufactured in a laboratory and they will never have the same effect on and in the body overeating “real food”. 
 
Some of my post-bariatric clients make the mistake of believing that their protein shake which states 30 grams per serving on the label means that they are going to digest, absorb and assimilate all 30 grams of that shake in their bodies. Unfortunately, today we know that the impact of protein shakes is not the same as the impact of real food. 
 
This is something positive because we can start to put more importance on real protein food sources which in turn will prevent hair loss!! Instead of having a shake in the morning at breakfast, have a serving of cottage cheese, or a boiled egg with a piece of avocado on the side. It may look like “fewer grams of protein” but in fact, your body knows what to do with real protein food sources and it will in turn be MORE protein over your regular morning shake. We need to swap out the shakes with yogurt, cottage cheese, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, and so on. Your hair will thank you!
 
2/ Supplementation. We cannot supplement ourselves out of a bad diet. If we are not eating sufficient protein, then taking the proper supplements are not going to save our luscious locks. Protein first, and supplements second. Biotin is the B vitamin for hair, skin, and nails. We need to make sure to add biotin to our supplement regimen. It is shown to improve hair help and help with inflammation. The hair follicle, skin, and nails will all benefit with a daily hit of biotin! Here are two supplements that are packed with biotin, taste great, and are of high quality which means they are easier to digest, absorb, and assimilate.
 
 
 
3/ Hair Products. We’ve discussed what to do for the “inside out” to help save our hair from falling down the drain. Now let’s talk about what we can do from the “outside”. Let’s use the right hair products to promote a healthy scalp and hair. Ever checked the back label of your shampoo and conditioner? Do you know what it is that you are putting onto your scalp? I had NO IDEA what a LONG list of TERRIBLE ingredients my shampoo and conditioner contained. I never thought that the ingredients in my shampoo were stripping my hair of the natural oils and drying my hair out from the very roots. I no longer use “regular hair products”. They are way too drying and I want to use products that don’t contain the “baddie” ingredients. Here are a shampoo and conditioner designed just for US. They are made by the line “Bariatric Expert” and they don’t contain the harsh ingredients that most shampoos and conditioners contain. A little goes a long way and they smell wonderful – #WINNING
 
 
 
So in closing, yes, hair loss is considered to be a normal part of weight loss surgery BUT there are still things we can do to minimize hair loss. Let’s get proactive by 1/ EATING our protein sources 2/ taking the right, high-quality supplements, and 3/ using the right hair products to promote a healthy scalp. 
 
Here’s to you and your luscious long locks!
Sheri

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

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