Does Obesity Cause Hair Loss? By Robert True on August 24, 2013

Does Obesity Cause Hair Loss?We get a lot of questions at our hair loss clinic regarding the causes of balding and the effectiveness of hair loss treatments. Some of them are stranger than others. With the obesity epidemic in America over the last few years, we've fielded a number of questions about hair loss and excessive weight. Our hair restoration team wanted to look at this issue briefly right now.

So is there a link between obesity and hair loss?

No, there is not a link between obesity and hair loss. There may be a correlation that people noticed, but remember: correlation is not the same thing as causation.

What causes hair loss to occur?

Hair loss is most often genetic in nature (i.e., male pattern baldness). Injury and sudden hormonal changes can also cause hair loss, but genetics is the primary reason that hair loss occurs, and genetic hair loss is what a hair restoration specialist will often treat.

How did this myth about obesity and balding come from?

In the internet age, it's easy for false information or misinformation to be taken as the truth. While we can only speculate on the origin of this tidbit of misinformation, it was probably promulgated via web forums, forwarded emails, and just general wives' tales in the digital world.

To some extent, it follows the logic of wives' tales and makes sense intuitively even though it's not factual. Obesity (and especially morbid obesity) has been linked to a number of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, and so on. It's not surprising that a condition like baldness may be lumped into these other conditions.

Is there a link between weight and hair loss at all?

There are a few cases where weight gain and weight loss may result in hair loss, actually. If you have a thyroid issue, it can throw off hormones and result in some degree of hair loss. Similarly, hair loss can occur after losing a lot of weight rather quickly, as in women after pregnancy or people in general going on crash diets or extreme diets. The body will be placed under a certain amount of stress in such cases and will respond in kind.

Poor health, which is often associated with obesity, can sometimes lead to situations and lifestyles where hair thinning may occur, but even then, we'd hardly call this obesity itself resulting in hair loss.

Treatments for Balding to Consider

If you do suffer from balding, there are plenty of options out there to consider for treating the problem. Surgical options such as follicular unit transplantation have shown tremendous results in patients, and non-surgical solutions/medications have been quite effective at promoting hair growth or improved hair thickness.

Which option is the right one for me?

This will vary from patient to patient, which is why the consultation process is so crucial. When you stop by our practice for a visit, we will be sure to go over all of your options for advanced care so that you know what each treatment can achieve and decided which is right for you.

Learn More About Hair Loss Treatments

For more information about all of your treatment options for hair loss and balding, be sure to contact our New York, Boston, and New Jersey hair loss clinics today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible hair restorations results.

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Dr. Dorin

The Hair Loss Doctors
By Robert J. Dorin

At The Hair Loss Doctors with our Surgical Headquarters in Garden City, NY and clinics in Manhattan, NY; Boston, MA; and Short Hills, NJ, Dr. Robert J. Dorin helps men and women reverse the effects of hair loss through various surgical and non-surgical treatments including Follicular Unit Transplantation and Follicular Unit Extraction. Our Founder & Medical Director is affiliated with:

  • The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery
  • The American Board of Restoration Surgery
  • The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons
  • The American Osteopathic Association

For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us online or call (212) 826-2525.

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