Is hair loss associated with rapid weight loss?
There are several triggers for hair loss and nutritional triggers are indeed among them. Furthermore, in the medical literature there are reports of hair loss after drastic reductions in caloric intake.
In the 1970's the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article in which a doctor gave details about abundant hair loss observed in some of his patients. These patients had completed what is described as 'vigorous' weight loss programs where they were on crash diets. The patients reported losing between 26 to 54lbs.
Within 2 to 5 months after starting the diets, the patients were observed to have between 25% to 50% of their hair in the telogen or inactive stage.
To understand what this means lets take a quick look at three basic stages of a hair's lifecycle. The first stage is the growth stage which can last for several years. When the hair strand stops growing but remains in the hair follicle, it is inactive. This is called the telogen stage. Typically hair will remain in this stage for 2 to three months before the last stage. The final stage is exogen. Exogen simply means the hair strand falls out. So hair goes through a growth phase, an inactive phase and then it falls out.
Under normal circumstances 85% to 90% of your hair should be in the growth phase. In other words, only 10% - 15% of your hair should be...(click for the full report)