Losing over 120 pounds caused some of my hair to fall out. Here's what I'm doing to combat it.

Jennifer Sill/INSIDERMe, on a recent visit to my local hair salon.

About a year ago, I weighed more than 300 pounds. I was out of shape, pre-diabetic, had high blood pressure, and was generally sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, as they say. With a family history of obesity as well as its related health conditions, I knew it was time to make a change, so I decided to embark on a new lifestyle which has led me to lose more than 120 pounds and given me a whole new lease on life.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been without its negative side effects. While most are innocuous like needing to buy new clothes regularly as my old ones become too big, perhaps the most upsetting has been the extreme amount of hair loss I’ve experienced.

My hair has become much thinner and finer since losing weight, sometimes coming out in what seemed like handfuls when washing it. While it’s beginning to improve as I get closer to my goal weight, I’m trying to help speed up the process by doing these five things.

I make sure I’m getting adequate protein

Cutting steak meatShutterstockProtein can help with hair growth.

Not only is protein important for muscle growth and maintenance, but it also plays a vital role in hair growth as it’s the substance most of our follicles are made of. To put it simply, the rest of your body usually gets priority when it comes to protein so, with the wrong diet, your hair can suffer.

Of all the macros I aim to hit daily, protein is perhaps the most important one. How much do you need? The general guideline differs for everyone, but to find out your recommended daily allowance, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36. The answer is the number of grams you should be having daily.

It’s not just red meat either. There are plenty of surprising foods that are rich in protein.

I’m taking supplements

I’m a fan of nutritional supplements in general. Biotin is perhaps the most obvious supplemental choice for those trying to get stronger hair and nails and I do take that (though there is mixed evidence that this is effective). I also take a half-dosage of Viviscal daily and I mix pure collagen peptides into my green juice in the morning for the extra boost.

While it’s hard to tell if the improvements I’ve begun to see can be attributed to the supplements, I’m willing to do anything I can to help my hair.

I’m doing regular scalp massages

Massaging your scalp is said to promote blood flow to the area and therefore create a more suitable environment for your hair to grow. This can be done any number of ways but I use a shampoo brush with soft silicone “bristles” whenever I’m washing my hair. After applying my shampoo, I use this to rub it in, moving it around my scalp in 15-20 second bursts until I’ve covered my whole scalp.

I also massage my scalp by hand, using my fingertips, a few times a week. The whole process only takes about five minutes and while I’m not sure how effective it is, again, I’m willing to give anything a shot.

I’m trying derma stamping

Dermarolling derma stamping mirconeedlingkarelnoppe/ShutterstockDermarolling is a technique that uses microneedles to pierce the skin and encourage collagen production. Derma stamping is a similar idea.

While researching potential ways to speed up my hair regrowth, I came across the idea of derma stamping. It’s similar to dermarolling, a technique that uses microneedles to pierce the top layer of your skin to encourage collagen production to help form a new, fresh layer.

Many people do this on their face for anti-ageing but some studies have shown positive results in helping with hair loss as well. I’ve only just started doing this so it’s far too early to tell what effect it will have, if any, since results are said to take upwards of nine months.

I’m waiting it out

At the end of the day, I understand that my body has undergone a major change. Dropping more than 120 pounds is bound to have some side effects, but I’m willing to take thinner hair temporarily as opposed to the health risks and symptoms that came along with being morbidly obese.

I know things will right themselves in their own time, but I’m just trying to help the process along.

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