Thinning hair after weight loss?

BlondeBeautyBlondeBeauty Registered Users Posts: 71
I usually weigh 120 and have maintained this weight for years. But last year in July due to my anxiety, I lost 10 pounds in a month and went down to 110. At that point, my hair started appearing not as thick as it was before. My hair has always been very thick. I pulled up a picture from January and from April and my hair was very thick. I managed to get up to 112 but then a few months later, went down to 105-106. I looked very emaciated and my hair had majorly thinned. It wasn't falling out anywhere, it was just overall thinner. It was also very dry and tangly. I tried clarifying but that wasn't the problem. I maintained this weight for a few months.

Anyway, now I'm on some anxiety medication and it's under control. I've gotten back up to 110 and am working on getting back up to 120. But my hair still isn't better. It's very thin and I have been wanting to go blonde for a while now but I don't know if it can handle bleaching right now. But it could take months for my hair to go back to normal and the blonde is something I really want now.

Prior to ever losing any weight, I got blood tests run in June. My vitamin D was in range - 41.3 (25.0-80.0) and my vitamin B12 was in range - 571 (200-1000). My iron was low and my TSH was elevated. But I wasn't having any hair problems at this time. Right after I lost the weight, the hair problems began. The next month after losing 10 pounds, I got tested again and found out I have elevated thyroid antibodies (meaning I have a thyroid condition) which just needed to be watched and could change at any time. My TSH and T4 were in range this time, just the T3 was slightly elevated.

I got everything tested again in March (this is when I was 105-107) and all my thyroid tests were normal (TSH/T3/T4). The only thing is I still had the antibodies. My ferritin was low, 7.7 and my vitamin B12 and D had went down. B12: 346 (200-1000) and D: 31.3 (20.0-50.0) I guess they changed the range for Vitamin D cause it was 80 before. Anyway, I got another test done a few months ago and my thyroid was normal again (TSH/T3/T4) and my ferritin had gone up to 8 something.

So I'm just trying to figure out what is going on so I can get my hair back to normal. It's not the thyroid since that's been normal this entire time and the only time it wasn't normal, my hair was thick and healthy. I'm assuming it can't be the iron since that was low when my hair was thick and now it's slightly went up but Idk. B12 and D maybe since both of those have gone down? Or is it all the weight loss? But I assume now that I'm eating like 2,300 calories a day and my weight has gone up, that my hair would be back to normal. But's only been a month or so.

What are your thoughts? Should I see my doctor again? How can I get my hair thick again? I don't want to take any pills or anything. I like to get my vitamins and minerals naturally through food.

Thanks in advance!


  • BluebloodBlueblood Registered Users Posts: 1,748 Curl Neophyte
    You need to take iron tablets.

    I can't remember off hand the ferritin range in the US but your ferritin levels need to be near the higher part of the range to first stop losing hair and then for it to grow again. Most medical doctors do not recognise low ferritin as a factor in hair problems, but trichologists, some dermatologists and sports scientists know this.

    You also will need to supplement your B12. It should be much higher ideally in the middle of the range.

    In regards to your vitamin D level you also want this to be in the higher part of the range not were you are now. Again most medical doctors ignore this particularly if you aren't severely deficient. (Lab ranges differ between labs.) For some people particularly those with specific diseases having a high level of vitamin D is required to keep them in good health.

    You will need blood testing every 3-6 months to check your levels so I strongly suggest that if your doctor hasn't mentioned your levels being low even though they are in the lab range, you find yourself a trichologist. This trichologist may or may not also be a dermatologist.
  • BlondeBeautyBlondeBeauty Registered Users Posts: 71
    Thank you so much for the help! I have a couple more questions. I actually can't take iron supplements because I can't swallow pills and my doctor said you can't crush those and take them with food. My doctor says the liquid version stains your teeth and tastes nasty. They have the chewables for kids but I know I'm allergic to one of the color dyes because I've had a reaction to it before. So I don't know how to get my ferritin up besides eating it in food but I'm a picky eater. I'll eat turkey, ham, and chicken but I don't eat red meat or fish. I also don't like spinach. So I'm just really unsure how to get it up, as far as that goes.

    For the B12 and D I do like foods that contain those such as eggs and milk. So I prefer to get it that way if possible. I just like the natural route rather than supplementation (unless absolutely necessary). How many times would I have to eat eggs a week to get B12? And what about milk for D?

    My doctor did say all these were low but she didn't really tell me what specifically to eat and how often to eat it to get them up. I've met with a dietician before who wasn't very helpful but maybe I should try another one?
  • BluebloodBlueblood Registered Users Posts: 1,748 Curl Neophyte
    I've read on a few forums about it and my own hair stylist takes a liquid iron supplement. It's called "Feroglobin" and it has vitamin C and vitamin B12 in it. She hasn't said it tastes nasty and hasn't complained of it staining her teeth.

    I've done some googling and Harvard University reckon you would need to drink between 10-20 glasses of milk per day to get the amount of vitamin D you need as a healthy non-deficient individual. As you are insufficient you would need to drink much more and that's unrealistic.

    The best way is for you to get out in the sun for a few hours a day between April and end-September. (Though if you burn easily you actually only need 15 minutes with no sunscreen at around 11am) You also need to make sure where you are outside isn't polluted as this limits the penetration of UV rays. If you can't do that then you will have to take supplements. (Vitamin D supplements are tablets or gel capsules, and vary in size from large white tablets to teeny tiny gel capsules.) Here is a link to a story vitamin D deficiency.

    Your doctor is being unhelpful as she probably isn't trained in the area. Also if you refuse to take supplements when you are deficient in one mineral, and insufficient in another vitamin and mineral then no one can help you.

    In regards to the nutritionist if you are really fussy about what you eat they can't really help you either. If you have a medical condition which limits what you can eat they know what you can avoid, and generally people with medical conditions that limit certain types of food will happily eat other food.

    I suggest instead of seeing a doctor or nutritionist again, go and talk to a trichologist. While the person may not be a doctor they are more realistic on how people live their lives and make useful suggestions. S/he will also work out what level you should supplement and ensure you get monitored.

    I also suggest you educate yourself on food.

    For example you don't like spinach but vegetable sources of iron aren't the easiest for humans to absorb. You are actually better off eating turkey or chicken every day as you will get your B12 as well as some iron. You do however need green leafy vegetables for other minerals e.g. calcium, magnesium plus other vegetables, and there are lots of vegetables to choose from. Preferably eat vegetables with colour on the inside as well as out. Also eat some chickpeas or lentils with your food.

    Lots of the prestigious US universities have websites and Youtube channels with information on nutrition. You just need to check who sponsors them for example Harvard University states it's Nutrition Source is not sponsored or funded by commercial interests.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file