Is there a connection between obesity and hair loss? Let’s find out

Being overweight or obese has a number of negative effects on overall health. The World Heart Federation (WHF) reports that more than 2.3 billion children and adults worldwide are believed to be overweight or obese. As a result, it is fair to call obesity an epidemic that can lead to serious consequences, if left untreated. Did you know that obesity and hair loss also have a strong link?

Health Shots spoke to Dr Monica Chahar, Senior Dermatologist and Director, Skin Decor, Dwarka, Delhi, who shared that overweight and obese women may experience hair health problems like hair loss. Read on to understand the connection between obesity and hair loss.

Can obesity lead to hair loss?

It is known that obesity is associated with an increased risk of several diseases. Obese people are prone to heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. However, it is not clear whether chronic obesity causes organs to deteriorate and lose function.

Researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) recently investigated the effects of genetic obesity and a high-fat diet on thinning and hair loss using mouse model experiments. According to the findings of this study, obesity can cause hair loss by inducing certain inflammatory signals that destroy hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs), prevent hair follicle regeneration and ultimately cause hair loss.

weight gain and hair loss
Lose weight to control hair loss. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

The expert’s take on the link between obesity and hair loss

Being overweight can affect the health of your hair and lead to problems. Dr. Chahar says, “A lot of belly fat can cause hormonal imbalance, especially increased production of androgens, such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Elevated DHT levels can shrink hair follicles, leading to thinning hair and eventual hair loss.

She also explains that women who are overweight or obese develop insulin resistance, which can lead to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, one of the most common reproductive problems in young women. Additionally, PCOS may be a cause of hair loss because the condition is linked to high levels of normal testosterone, which affects hair growth.

How to control hair loss?

Here are the 5 most important tips to keep in mind to control hair loss:

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1. Maintain a nutritious diet: A healthy diet plays an important role in hair health. Choose nutritious foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Include foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as biotin, protein, zinc, and iron, which support hair growth and follicle health.

weight gain and hair loss
Increase your vegetable intake for healthy hair! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Manage stress: Chronic stress can increase hair loss. Be sure to incorporate stress-relieving techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing into your daily routine.

3. Lose weight: If your hair loss problem is because you are overweight or obese, you should lose weight to control it. Regular exercise not only helps in weight control but also improves blood circulation, which is important in bringing nutrients to the hair follicles. Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes and you will see the difference.

4. Avoid harsh hair care routines: Excessive heat styling, harsh hairstyles, and harsh chemical treatments can damage the hair shaft and contribute to hair loss. So avoid making these mistakes.

heat styling side effects
Avoid these common hair care mistakes. Image courtesy; Shutterstock

5. Head massage: One of the best ways to stop hair loss is to give yourself regular scalp massages because it has been shown to improve blood circulation. As well as promoting hair growth, it maintains the health of your hair and helps you deal with stress, which is a key factor in hair loss.

Seek professional help if it doesn’t work!

If hair loss continues or worsens, it is important to consult a health professional or dermatologist. They can diagnose your specific condition, identify the causes, and recommend the appropriate treatment or intervention, such as medications, topical solutions, or treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, he said. Dr. Chahar.

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