Keto Diet

Keto Hair Loss : Causes And Ways To Stop It

keto hair loss

Before you started the keto diet, you probably already knew about some of the side effects, such as fatigue, constipation and nausea. Others – like potential hair loss – may be more surprising. The restrictive nature of the keto diet is what can lead to keto hair loss (and what makes it an unhealthy and potentially dangerous choice for some people). According to research, hair loss is one of the many side effects that can occur during the initial phase of a keto diet. If you don’t follow a keto diet in a careful manner, which is difficult to guide even by a dietitian yourself, you’re likely to miss out on important nutrients. These are the nutrients that promote hair growth.

Here are four potential reasons keto is causing hair loss:

1. You May Be Eating Too Few Calories on Keto

For a diet that allows butter and cheese, you’d think you’d pack in the calories. Because of the high fat intake, people are generally not as hungry and end up with fewer calories. This is one reason why people who follow a keto diet may lose weight. However, lowering calories too quickly is a risk. This basically gives your body a shock that can cause less critical functions to shut down, such as hair growth.

2. You May Not Be Getting the Protein Your Body Really Needs

As mentioned earlier, in order to keep your body in ketosis, at least on a standard keto diet, it is recommended that you limit your protein intake. While in the typical American diet we get enough protein, it’s possible that in a keto diet so focused on fat, you don’t get enough protein. A study published in December 2018 in the journal Dermatology and Concepts states that you have 100,000 hair follicles on your head, 90% of which are in the growth phase and therefore need enough protein, vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy head of hair. Without adequate amounts of these nutrients, including protein, your mane may suffer.

3. You May Be Losing Weight Rapidly Due to Ketosis

Many people who adopt the keto diet report rapid, temporary weight loss, which is one reason it remains popular. However, the stress of rapid weight loss and cutting protein intake can lead to what’s called hair loss (TE), notes a study published in January 2017 in Dermatology Practice & Concepts. According to past studies, TE is the most common type of hair loss and occurs when hair shifts from the growth phase to the resting phase. It is usually temporary and can be triggered by hormonal, autoimmune or nutritional imbalances. For example, many women experience TE after childbirth due to hormonal fluctuations. certain medications, emotional stress and overeating are also known causes of TE.

4. You’re Missing Out on Key Nutrients That Contribute to Healthy Hair

Supplements that promote hair growth and thick, shiny hair are popular these days, and they almost all have one thing in common: the B vitamin biotin, which promotes healthy hair. Although biotin is abundant in many animal foods, such as eggs and salmon, as noted by the International Food Information Council Foundation, there is little evidence that following a strict keto diet may lead to biotin deficiency, per a study in mice published in the journal Nutrition. One thing to note is that this study was limited and only conducted in animals (meaning it is far from conclusive and human studies are needed). These data are not enough to say that everyone on ketosis needs to take more biotin. Nonetheless, you may want to focus on eating biotin-rich foods at this time.

How Can You Prevent Hair Loss on the Keto Diet?

To help prevent hair loss, take a multivitamin to make up for any potential deficiencies. A multivitamin is like an insurance policy that provides at least some basic nutrients. You should also aim to get the protein you need from high-quality sources, such as eggs and poultry, she says. Studies have found that foods including eggs, liver (beef and chicken) and salmon are also good sources of biotin. If you are already losing hair and are struggling despite having a good diet plan, you may want to consider relaxing your diet or working with someone who can help you personalize your diet plan based on your goals. If you’re trying to lose weight and are experiencing the side effects of ketosis, there are other diets you can follow to both lose weight and feel better.

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