Are you losing hair after weight loss? Nutritionists tell you WHY and WHAT to do!

From extreme dieting to rigorous workout plans, there is no dearth of options that people are willing to try when it comes to losing weight. With the advent of social media and an increasing influence of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, flatter tummies, bigger booties with a teeny-tiny waist has become a viral trend.
To achieve an envious physique, more and more women are getting inclined towards crash and fad diets, without really keeping in mind the consequences. The fact is when you deprive your body of the bare essentials, it needs to function properly, it can actually result in ghastly repercussions.

One of the most common problems that women often face when they go on an extreme diet is the loss of hair. The reason behind this hair loss is the extreme diets we follow in order to reach our weight loss goal. More often than not, these crash diets are devoid of the adequate nutrients which a human body requires to function properly.

Why does it happen? According to the experts

Whether you believe it or not, it all actually boils down to nutrients. Lack of nutrients like iron and protein can actually result in hair loss as your body starts sending the required nutrients to the body parts where they are needed the most (which in this case is not hair).

Times of India spoke to Dr Seema Khanna, a consultant nutritionist to elaborate on the same and help us understand the exact scenario. She shared, “Usually when an individual starts dieting they end up searching for the solution on the internet, which is never fruitful. Consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables for months together surely increases the vitamin intake but no protein goes in. This deficiency of protein leads to not only hair loss but also dull skin, fatigue and pain in the body.”

We also consulted nutritionist Niti Desai, who further explained the relation between weight loss and hair fall. She said, “Basically, we see the problem of hair fall far more commonly when people go on a crash diet. So when anyone tries to lose weight quickly by completely eliminating certain food groups, it generally leads to hair loss. The most common reason for hair loss is a diet which is low in protein. A lot of times, people just start having fruits, soups and salads in order to lose weight. As a result, their protein intake almost drops to zero. If you are restricting certain food groups, it may lead to low haemoglobin levels in the body which can further increase the hair fall.”

Sadly, people are not aware of the fact that if their daily diet is low in biotin and zinc, it can also contribute to the loss of their lovely mane.

What should you do?

Dr Seema further added that as commonly observed, the Indian vegetarian diet lacks protein content. People usually eat paneer (cottage cheese) twice a week, whereas they should have about 500 grams per week (60-80 grams per day). An average individual needs around 60-70 grams of protein per day to maintain a healthy body. Iron is another important micronutrient which our body requires to maintain hair growth.

She also stressed that consuming raw vegetables with a dash of lemon and adding amla (gooseberry) to our daily diet is really important. Secondly, it is extremely important that one restricts the intake of tea to prevent losing iron from the body. Hence, it is advisable to get rid of the common habit of drinking tea after breakfast if you are on a diet.

According to nutritionist Niti Desai, “When you lose weight gradually, the right way, we do not witness hair loss as much. Unless someone has lost a huge amount of weight, like 20 to 25 kilos, there might be slight hair fall. So make sure that your protein intake is optimum and your diet includes suffice iron-rich foods. One of the most common sources of biotin in a vegetarian diet can be a variety of nuts and seeds. For the non-vegetarians, salmon fish and egg yolk can do the trick.”

The bottom line

Dr Desai suggests that one can have a handful of mixed nuts daily for their optimum biotin intake. If you are counting calories, pistachios are the lowest in calorie. However, do keep in mind that if you are opting for biotin supplements, make sure that your daily intake does not exceed 3 milligrams.