Anyone experienced hair loss while on Medifast?

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Has anyone experienced hair loss during the Medifast plan?.

I'd been on the plan since mid August '09 and by Christmas, I noticed my hair seemed to be falling out much more than usual. Not clumps, but more like "excessive strands" - hair falling out with the bulb attached during shower and combing/blow drying it. I find lots of it on the bathroom floor. This never happened before. I had my dermatologist do blood tests and he eliminated the usual physical causes (scalp infection, anemia, thyroid, perimenopausal) and told me it's not uncommon for people to have lost a lot of weight [in a short time] to have hormonal upheavals and that evenutally my body will right itself and the hair will grow back. Meanwhile I'm scared to death to wash my hair (only doing it 2X a week) and am afraid to go to a stylist since just about anything done to my hair causes it to come out..


Comments (21)

Mine has recently started falling out so I am trying to use less heat on it and not pull it up so often hoping that will help..

Comment #1

2 words...Super Biotin! From that I've heard, and my own personal experience, the hair loss hits after about 30-40 lbs. I take Omega 3 and Super Biotin and it helps tremendously!..

Comment #2

Hi De, That's interesting, I have always taken Z-Bec and never had any hair loss. Turns out, it has biotin in it. My hair grows like crazy, but no complaints here. I am going to check out Super Biotin though. Thanks for the info...

Comment #3

Dan - It's been a godsend to me! Throw the hairloss I have regularly due to my thyroid med issues and then the weight loss hair loss on top of it, I'm lucky I have any hair left!..

Comment #4

Eeeek, I don't want to lose any hair!.

My nails have been growing at an insane rate since I started MF, though - I mean, I have to cut them every other day. They are also stronger and healthier than before, so I am not complaining...

Comment #5

I have noticed thinning hair as well after a 15 lb loss. I stopped the program for a few weeks now, but I miss my energy level and the loss, so I am starting up again. I plan on using biotin as well. If anyone has any other suggestions please post. A friend of mine suggested hair skin and nails by GNC for me to take...

Comment #6

Anything done by a stylist should NOT cause hair loss, unless he/she is doing something wrong, such as causing breakage. hair loss stems from your inner body, hair breakage, can come from misuse of chemicals.

Back when Weight Watchers first appeared, in the 70's or so, it was an abundance of fish eaten, and very little red meat, and as a result, we saw many women in the salon losing large amounts of hair. When the program changed through the years and different protein sources were introduced, we noticed a much slighter hair loss in our dieting clients. Any loss, especially quick loss, will cause a bit of trauma to the body, in relation to balances of proteins, vitamins and minerals. This will right itself in time. Until it does, remember that stress can also affect these balances, so just go with it, don't worry, it should be ok...

Comment #7

Hi there, Biotin helps and so does a Vitamin B complex. I too had the hair loss at the beginning but the rate at which it fell slowed down considerably and then I had regrowth and now all is fine. When you lose weight you are putting stress in your body and different people feel different effects. The Medifast meals have 24 vitamins and minerals but Biotin and Vit B supplements will definitely help...

Comment #8

There is a hair care system sold only in salons called NIOXON.... suppose to REALLY help. the kit costs 40 bucks and comes with shampoo, scalp treatment and conditioner...

Comment #9

I haven't used any of the vitamin regimens mentioned here but I have used the Nioxon system. My hair stylist suggested that I use Nioxon the first time I was on Medifast and I consistently complained about my hair thinning. So, I tried it... and it seemed as if my hair was thicker, longer, and stronger all over. But honestly, nothing to drastic happened at the problem site because I think it may run in my family.

I still use Nioxon everytime I shampoo mostly since the minty smell is addictive and it makes my hair feel super clean. In the long run, 2 yrs later, my hair doesn't seem to be getting any thinner. It is healthy and it feels good to the touch. I buy the 32 oz bottles of Shampoo and Scalp Treatment Conditioner and I'd have to say, it is worth the money.


Comment #10

I already lose alot of hair in the shower, blow drying, etc...due to my thyroid condition. The severity of it waxes and wanes. I did notice more shredding the past week or so and wondered if Medifast had anything to do with it, but then I read it usually happens around the 30-40lb mark and I am only at 11lb loss (3 weeks in).

Is the hair loss my MF, if it does occur, just a shredding/thinning, or does it cause bald patches?..

Comment #11

Thanks for the info on Super Biotin - I am just starting to notice some hair loss (pretty minor right now) - but it is a scary thought..

Comment #12

I lost a lot of hair along with 92.5 lbs of fat. Fast weight loss is the cause...the body is's not Medifast per's the speed of the loss according to my doctor. I never had 'bald patches' just got real wispy at the ends...flyaway. It started happening after I'd been OP for 6 months & had lost around 70 lbs. I took Biotin after the second month of the 5/1. I can't say if it helped...because who knows how much hair I would've lost w/o it?.

But the good news is, that once the weight loss phase ended, all my hair grew back just as thick & shiny as it used to be. It took about a year.

It's the price we pay for fast weight loss. And well worth it in the end..


Comment #13

Just fyi - but an olive oil and green tea mixture on the hair for 15 minutes once a week will help too. the good fats directly to the scalp can help to minimize hair loss)..

Comment #14

And I think I read that the soy in Medifast can aggravate some thyroid conditions. There are precautions recommended about eating non-soy meals for at least 3-4 hours after taking thyroid meds. Just FYI..

Comment #15

Soy does not aggravate thyroid issues. It works against thyroid medications and can possibly prevent the meds from being absorbed. It is suggested that patients wait at least 1 hour between taking meds and ingesting soy-based products...

Comment #16

As stated here before - it's a result of rapid weight loss. Many people who have gastric surgery or have used some other way of rapid weight loss - experience the same thing. If you are really concerned you could see a dermatologist to be sure there isn't anything else going on. After that - as stated - lots of folks swear by Biotin and nioxin. I started using it as soon as I saw the hair loss happening but it did take a few months before I saw a change. Of course it could be that I just hit the end of that cycle of hair loss.

Shedding is normal, each hair has it's cycle so unless caused by chemo - we won't lose it all at the same time. Each person has their own "normal" cycle of hair loss and regrowth. Stress speeds up the rate of those cycles. Being gentle or shampooing less will help a little. So will care with your hairstyle - not wearing it pulled back etc. However, basically your body is going to do what it's going to do.

That might mean that it looks even worse (hair that would have fallen out in skipped shampoo 1 or 2 will still probably fall out in that shampoo 3). The big concern is if there is some reason that slows down the regrowth..

I've had long hair for a long time and don't want to lose it either. I've always lost more hair than most so you can imagine what happened when I started losing more than normal. When your hairdresser says OMG - you know you've made an impression. On the other hand, I do want to lose the weight and the slow boat to China route wasn't working for me. I am keeping my hair shorter (almost waist length to just below shoulder). I console myself that it was time for that anyway.

So now I'm using an extra styling product to help keep all the shorter hairs laying smooth with everything else..

Here's a question though. How long do you take the biotin etc....? I know I'm going to keep using some Medifast in maintenance but have no idea what my calorie limit then will be. Or should I just add Biotin to my "buy in massive quantities whenever it's on sale" list?..

Comment #17

You can take Biotin for the rest of your life if you want to. It is water soluble and has no toxicity levels...

Comment #18

Thank you for the great info - my hair has been coming out like crazy - and not breaking off, but the hairs have the bulb attached. I think I'm gonna start taking biotin and omega 3s and see if it helps at all. My mom is worried because she did nutrisystem about 20 years ago and lost a lot of hair but it never came back - it stayed thin after that.....

Comment #19

Jen - I highly recommend Bosley shampoo/conditioner. I started losing my hair months ago and started using Biotin. Then my hairdresser commented on my hair loss and recommended Nioxin shampoo. But after a few weeks I started seeing even more hair in my hair brush and ordered Bosley. I went back for a haircut a few weeks ago and my hairdresser said he saw lots of new growth. A friend at work this week also commented on it. I couldn't find it in any stores/salons so I ordered online...

Comment #20

Two years ago I did a very low carb/calorie diet and lost 60lbs in 3 months. Once I went off the diet, my hair started falling out. And it was breakage hair, it was full hair strands from the root. My doctor told me that when doing extreme dieting the hair folicks stop growing and then when you go off the diet they start growing again, pushing the old hair out (causing the extreme hairloss). I tried Biotin, Nioxin, and many other vitamins and hair products. I had blood work done to check thyroid and hormone levels too.

After using Nioxin for for 4 months and still loosing hair, I took a more drastic approach. I have been using walgreens brand of rogaine. Within 6 weeks my hair stopped falling out. I am now in the fourth month and I am noticing new hair growth...

Comment #21

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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