View Full Version : can weight affect hair growth?

October 15th, 2008, 08:27 AM
Hi everyone,

I don't know if something similar has already been posted, but I am wondering if my weight could be affecting my hair growth. I have always been on the thin side, and, currently, I am 5'9 and around 115 lbs, which is on the low side of normal. I eat healthy and I exercise moderately, so I don't think that I am too thin, but I do wonder if my hair would grow faster if I gained weight. I take a Centrum multivitamin everyday and drink a moderate amount of water. Oh, I am a coffee drinker, which I know supposedly stunts body growth, but I haven't heard that it affects hair growth.

I would appreciate any responses! :)

October 15th, 2008, 08:39 AM
I can say then when I was skinny (about 90 pounds (I'm 4'10.5" tall and weigh about 106 now) and married to my first husband) that my hair was VERY thin as well and prone to damage.

5'9" and 115 sounds rather thin to me. Your BMI is 17, which is considered underweight. A healthy BMI starts at about 18.5, which would put you at about 125 pounds.

You can play with this for some fun and see some variations:


October 15th, 2008, 08:44 AM

October 15th, 2008, 08:44 AM
I think that as long as you're getting the proper types and amounts of calories, fats, and protiens then your weight shouldnt matter to your hair growth. But when you say you eat healthily are you making sure you're getting enough protein and fat in your diet? We all need some and hair does too. healthy fats can be found in nuts, avocados, olive oil, fatty fish like salmon. And you should get a bit of protein with each meal too - lean meats, chicken and turkey, and fish are good sources. I only ask because some people think that they're eating healthily by just making sure their diet consists of mainly fruit and vegetables. While there should be many veggis and some fruit in our diets, that's not enough to get all the nutrients we need - unless you're making sure to get enough protein and fats from soy and other veggie sources.

October 15th, 2008, 08:51 AM
Thanks for responding. This is what I usually eat in a day:

Breakfast: A bowl of wheat flakes with about 1/2 cup of raspberries on top and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk, cup of coffee

Lunch: Peanutbutter or turkey sandwich (with cheese, lettuce, tomato, etc.) on whole wheat bread; an apple; water

Snack: peanutbutter or chocolate chip cookie (organic/no hydrogenated oils, etc.) and hot chocolate (made with milk)

Dinner: whatever--generally, salmon with green vegetables such as beans and sweet potatoes or chicken with vegetables or a tofu stirfry--it really depends and water

Dessert: Usually a fruit popcicle or a small icecream bar (probably 3X a week)

October 15th, 2008, 09:03 AM
I just noticed your age along with the weight.
When I was 17, I weighed just as much as you and I was just as tall.
I ate HORRIBLE!!! I basically lived off of Mountain Dew and Twizzlers, and whatever my mom made for dinner. I did't gain any weight no matter how much I ate, or what it was I ate. My metabolism was just fast. It sounds like what you eat is rather healthy. I say stick with it. I wish that I ate as healthy as you do when I was younger. I wouldn't have developed the bad eating habits I still struggle with...along with the extra 10 inches I put around my waist in the past year:rolleyes:
As long as you are healthy, active, and taking vitamins...you shouldn't worry. If anything you could always speak to your doctor about nutrition and what your body needs

October 15th, 2008, 09:10 AM
that seams healthy but probably you should eat in more quantity! If i ate only that per day i would consider myself on diet....

Lady Verity
October 15th, 2008, 09:25 AM
When I was clinically anorexic (BMI of 14, I believe) my hair growth and condition wasn't good. I simply wasn't eating though, and my body had gone into starvation mode and converted muscle into energy. I think hair growth is one of those things the body sees and non-vital and will stop in times of need.

You seem to be eating very healthily, though. Do you take vitamins? I find those help my hair no end.

October 15th, 2008, 09:27 AM
According to what that calculator tells me I am underweight. The recommendation is 130 and I am 123; however I don't consider myself underweight. My hair hasn't suffered, but then again i also take vitamins.

October 15th, 2008, 09:40 AM
I've not read all the replies, but the basic answer is that anything which puts you in any situation other than the optimum in terms of health, both physical (eg under/overweight) and mental (eg stress) could affect your hair grown and condition.

However, I don't think that becoming 10lbs or 20lbs heavier would necessarily make a lot of difference. Most important thing is not to get to stressed about it. Hair is to be enjoyed.

October 15th, 2008, 09:41 AM
I sometimes dislike BMI because it doesn't typically take muscle into account, but regardless, you don't sound on 'the lesser side of normal'. That said, I have ridiculously healthy friends who are underweight (as well as me; healthy, but on the lower side of normal).

Like i said, i'm skinny for a guy, and I don't notice any difference. The only thing I can think of even RELATING weight to hair would be food consumption, side certain foods can supposedly affect hair growth, which can obviously affect weight, but a direct relation? I don't think so.

October 15th, 2008, 09:50 AM
While you do sound thin to me, your diet plan looks good and you appear to be getting everything you need from it. If your growth rate still is to slow for you, I think taking a multivitamin might help.

October 15th, 2008, 10:02 AM
longingforlocks, you have described my diet almost to a "T". Except, that I eat a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit for snacks. I am 5'7" and weigh 117 lbs and have weighed the same since my college years. So I do not think there is anything wrong with your particular weight, especially if you are fine boned like I am. Just be sure you are using some oils like olive oil in your cooking and do not eat too much sugar. From my own experience, your hair will change somewhat during your life time. Hormones play a big part.

(btw, I'm 60)

October 15th, 2008, 10:37 AM
I do take a multivitamin (when I remember), and I've been trying to get some more exercise. I'll let you all know how things are going--perhaps I'll try to add more protein to my diet. As of right now, my hair is stalling at about 21 inches which is extremely frustrating. I thought I would be well on my way to BSl by the end of the year, but I guess not.

October 15th, 2008, 10:47 AM
Your diet looks just fine! You are young and probably naturally thin. I am too, though at your age I was around 98 pounds and not even close to anorexic.

If you do lack in calories, your hair will not grow very much and will be brittle. Many anorexics actually lose their hair in clumps.

Since I have severe dietary restrictions(I have celiac disease and am vegetarian by choice), I take a boatload of vitamins with lunch and dinner. Maybe you should try adding that? You could also benefit from a bit of protein at breakfast.

October 15th, 2008, 10:52 AM
The BMI doesn't take into consideration of muscle tone. So, if said person is highly athletic, muscle is denser than fat---so, if you have a lot of muscle mass, you can be obsese by the BMI's standards. It's just a basic way to go by, but not to live by.

If you are starving yourself, your hair will suffer, along with the rest of your body. However, if you are just naturally thin, eat right, well, are healthy (don't smoke, drink occassionaly), that shouldn't affect your hair growth.

Best way to calculate your hair growth? Family. Genetics play a huge roll. My mom's hair grows super fast, as does mine and my brother's. in fact, most of my family has weed-like growing hair. This is one of the many reasons I choose to keep my hair long. Mom has opted for a short short cut, as has to go to the salon every month to manage it. I don't have the money or time or desire, so I keep it long. :)

The diet show here looks well balanced. Some people are naturally thin. Some people are naturally bulky---a healthy diet and lifestyle is more important than numbers on a scale.

October 15th, 2008, 10:59 AM
I am very happy to say that my dad's hair grows like a weed and in the 70's when my mom was a teenager, she had bum length hair.

I know mine can become long, as I had waist length as a teenager!

October 15th, 2008, 11:00 AM
It looks like you are meeting your nutritional needs which are more important. Don't forget natural fats like avocados, nuts, coconut oil, etc.

You are still young so your being slim is normal.

October 15th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Very good advice so far.

You sound healthy, and your hair is probably growing normally. :) Height and weight tables or BMI are not necessarily an indication of health OR of if you are over/underweight, especially if you are still growing, are athletic, have a naturally high metabolism, etc etc. I happen to know two very athletic, active women who eat well and heartily and are both stick-thin, whereas I myself have always been "overweight" even as a competitive athlete, thanks to an unusually muscular frame, yet eat less than most people I know.

Numbers are not always the whole truth!

If you FEEL good - energetic, good skin, not sick often, sleep well, not hungry - then you are probably perfectly healthy.

If you are really worried you should talk to your doctor, but I suspect everything is just fine.

October 15th, 2008, 11:17 AM
Your food intake seems all right, so you may be in a resting stage, or yielding to genetics. Maybe a better place to look at is your haircare and hairdo routine?

October 15th, 2008, 09:37 PM
I really wouldn't think so, but I'm no doctor I'm afraid.

October 15th, 2008, 10:34 PM
As most of the people said before me, weight can certainly affect hair growth, but you seem to have a pretty healthy lifestyle, and your diet sounds pretty well-rounded. To be honest, it doesn't sound like very much to me, but if it works for you, that's great!

I also think you should look at how you treat your hair to see if there's anything there that might be causing a stall. Also, you should just be aware that sometimes stalls just happen. Sometimes your hair just needs to take a break. Take a deep breath, it'll work itself out.

October 15th, 2008, 11:06 PM
Sounds like a very healthy diet but maybe not enough calories for a teen to grow on at this stage of life AND grow a mane of hair. Add some healthy oils, increase your proteins and healthy carbs. Oatmeal is good, brown rice wonderful.

Several years ago i went on the Atkins Diet and lost 70 pounds...but my hair started thinning and the shower drain had lots of hair in it. I was in starvation mode even though i was eating lots of protein and calories, in this case, i needed carbs. Your body knows what it needs and can't expend extra energy and nutrients growing hair when those building blocks just aren't there.

October 15th, 2008, 11:33 PM
Hi everyone,

I don't know if something similar has already been posted, but I am wondering if my weight could be affecting my hair growth. I have always been on the thin side, and, currently, I am 5'9 and around 115 lbs, which is on the low side of normal. I eat healthy and I exercise moderately, so I don't think that I am too thin, but I do wonder if my hair would grow faster if I gained weight.

I would not so much try to judge weather you are underweight from your stats or even BMI. They both can give you a wrong picture especially BMI that does not really take things like body fat, muscle and especially built into consideration.
You are very young so being on the thinner side is common while you grow.
Look at yourself in the mirror and see for yourself if you look unealthy thin? Do you look boney and unhealthy or are you just a slender young woman.

As far as eating I would just listen to what my body tells me, no good if you try to overeat now since you might regret it when you get older and your metabolism is not the same.

Btw. - Underweight does not affect the hair unless it is getting severe or the person is not eating right, has anorexia or bulimia etc., sudden weight drops also result into sheds.

HTH :)

October 15th, 2008, 11:46 PM
I don't think it's that much the weight, but rather the weight fluctuations that affect hair growth (f.e. if you lose a significant amount of weight, it will affect your hair etc). if the weight for you is normal (i.e. you've always been like that) then it should not affect your hair, especially if your eating is OK. I'm naturally skinny as well, always have been, so it doesn't bother my hair at all.

October 16th, 2008, 01:11 AM
You really shouldn't worry about your weight when your 17. Your body is still growing and all your internal organs keep develop until you're about 25 so you're no where near done with it yet. The only thing that would be missing in your diet is iron as you don't seam to eat much red meat.

October 16th, 2008, 03:13 AM
Huh. Well I am a cow by my own estimates and my hair grows quite well, but it did that even when I was much thinner. I do make an effort to eat a very healthy diet, one that is rich in salmon, nuts, avocado and supplemented with additional fish and flax oil. When I WASN'T eating like that my hair was good but dry and weaker, and my skin was in worse shape, too.

I think it's more the quality of your diet rather than your overall weight, unless you're body weight is so low you can't produce adequate amounts of hormones.

October 16th, 2008, 04:36 AM
From personal experience, you have to very, not slightly, very underweight to really have it affecting your hair growth. And that said, I think the hair doesn't as stop growing as it just shredding in horrible amounts.
At one point I weighted 86 pounds while being 5'4. I definitely crossed the red line, and I knew that for sure. I couldn't think or focus, and all i could do is lay down and wait for my destiny to change. At that state, my hair was shredding horribly - I was leaving each shower with enormous hair balls, when packed tightly they were bigger than table tennis balls. After that saga my braid was 1/3 thinner (no kidding, I swear).
Do you experience heavy hair loss? I guess not, so you're fine.
I think that as long as you keep it reasonable, and take your vits, you are providing good enough foundation for your hair to grow.

November 22nd, 2008, 12:08 AM
Hi everyone,

I don't know if something similar has already been posted, but I am wondering if my weight could be affecting my hair growth. I have always been on the thin side, and, currently, I am 5'9 and around 115 lbs, which is on the low side of normal. I eat healthy and I exercise moderately, so I don't think that I am too thin, but I do wonder if my hair would grow faster if I gained weight. I take a Centrum multivitamin everyday and drink a moderate amount of water. Oh, I am a coffee drinker, which I know supposedly stunts body growth, but I haven't heard that it affects hair growth.

I would appreciate any responses! :)

Haha you're like me - I'm 5'7" and 105, naturally so. You might get more curves as you get older - or if you're still like me when you're 24, you might not! I have always been thin, and my hair has always grown pretty quickly.

If you are still getting periods, you should be okay weight-wise. I wouldn't expect your hair growth to change any if you gained weight, assuming you are at a healthy weight now.

Coffee doesn't stunt growth - that's a myth.


November 22nd, 2008, 07:25 AM
I have been underweight my whole life; and I didn't just look slender, but rather emaciated with visible bones everywhere. But I'm very healthy (don't ever get ill) and my hair grows at an average rate (6" to 8" a year). It isn't thick and I shed a lot, but I get that from my mom's side of the family. My sisters are both underweight as well (my one sister is also 17 and tall like you, 5'10", and she only starts to look a bit boney when she's 108 or so), and are also healthy as horses with quite nice hair.

I think weight matters very little, whether you are thin or heavy, as long as you eat a nutritious diet (with enough fat, protein and vitamins!). Which I try to.

I am trying to gain weight, however! I am much prettier the bigger I get.. I've gained around 12 lbs in the past few months. I write down what I eat and that helps me to get a few more calories in. Since I've been eating more I've noticed absolutely no difference in my hair, unfortunately.

Pegasus Marsters
November 22nd, 2008, 09:54 AM
I'm underweight and I get around an inch growth a month, most of the time. Make sure you're getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. A few months ago I was chugging Slim Fast alongside meals to bulk everything up so I'd get the right daily calorie intake. Slim Fast is full of vitamins and minerals I wouldn't normally get, so my hair and nails grew SUPER fast when I was drinking it.