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Can Keto Cause Hair Loss

What Is The Keto Diet

Hair Loss on Keto | Reasons & What to Do

The keto diet has been around since the 1920s and was originally and still is used as a treatment for epilepsy. More recently, slight adjustments made it into a popular diet that can deliver rapid weight loss. Instead of eating a typical American diet , on the keto diet you eat mostly high-fat foods while moderating protein intake and restricting carbohydrates.

On a typical diet, carbohydrates convert to glucose in the body and then cells burn that glucose for energy. But, when the body gets a low-carb diet, it must start using ketones and fatty acids for fuel in a process called ketosis.

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Missing Important Vitamins And Minerals

Another issue with the keto diet is that its lacking in some of the key vitamins and minerals that contribute to the health of your hair. When the vitamins that your hair needs to grow are on short supply, they wont continue to be used for the purpose of hair growth. Your body will divert them to other functions that are more important.

Can I Regrow My Hair After Keto Ruined My Hair

Yes you can. Keto hair loss regrowth can occur when the underlying cause of the hair loss has been identified and reversed. Female hair loss is a complicated health issue so it is important to understand what else may be going on in the body that is affecting overall heath. There are likely to be other health issues in a woman who is overweight, especially if she is chronically overweight. That is, having been overweight for many years. As referenced earlier in this article, insulin resistance, high cortisol levels and systemic inflammation are usually present. And these factors can predispose to keto hair loss.

But you can regrow hair by limiting the stress you are under. Read more about that here.


Wester VL et al. Long-term cortisol levels measured in scalp hair of obese patients. Obesity 2014 Sep 22: 1958-8 DOI: 10.1002/oby.20795. Accessed 29/10/2020


Bambi Staveley is a nurse , author of How to Make Thin Hair Fat – Causes and Solutions of Unexpected Thinning Hair in Women and herself a female hair loss sufferer. Following her own hair loss journey which began in 2008, Bambi dedicated her life to female hair loss research and to finding some way to solve the mystery and at the very least, cover up the problem so it was her own secret. Naturally, once she was able to both cover up her hair loss and eventually, grow her hair back, she was driven to share that information with female hair loss sufferers the world over.

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Consume Plenty Of Healthy Fats

Essential fatty acids play a big role in hair growth. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that help reduce inflammation and regulate hormone production. It is important to have the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in your diet which is 1:1 to 4:1.

Supplementing with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids along with antioxidants has been shown to reduce hair loss and improve hair diameter and density by around 90% . Omega-3 fatty acids can also help with hair loss by increasing thyroid hormone signaling pathways in the liver .

A great way to get the proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is with ProEPA with GLA. ProEPA with GLA contains 257 mg of GLA , a critical omega-6 fatty acid with numerous health benefits. It also contains the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. This supplement provides both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for reducing hair loss.

Weight Loss Diet: The Relation Between Keto Diet And Hair Fall

Hair Loss on Keto: Causes and 16 Tips to Prevent It ...

The main reasons behind hair loss when following a keto diet are low carb intake and increased stress. The major fluctuations in the diet lead to such outcomes.

Also read: Weight Loss Diet: Following Keto Diet? Try These 5 Tricks To Get Rid Of Keto Flu

Dr. Anuja Gaur explains, “One should understand the meaning of a balanced diet properly. It should include all the foods from all the food groups. According to the food pyramid, there is a distribution of all the components in a definite quantity. The food pyramid describes that fat should be consumed in a restricted quantity. This is how our body should consume different nutrients. On the other hand, keto diet restricts the consumption of carbs and majorly increases fat consumption. All the essential nutrients are eliminated from the diet and the body faces many complications. Some essential nutrients required to promote hair health include vitamin A, B vitamins especially biotin, iron, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc. Keto diet is deprived of these essential nutrients which cause hair fall.”

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How To Use A Low

If you want to follow a diet for hair growth that also helps your heart and overall health, your diet should involve:

  • Excluding grains, legumes, sugars, and dairy. Essentially, this means following a paleo-type diet that focuses on whole foods, but that also involves
  • Reducing your carbohydrate intake. If ketosis is what provides the biggest health benefits, especially in regards to arterial calcification, youll want to limit your carbs as well. On the Keto Zone diet, this means keeping your carbs at 20 grams or less per day.
  • Focusing more on low-carb and high-quality than calories. In some people, severely limiting calories may shock the body too much in the beginning. In very rare cases, this may trigger temporary hair loss. So be sure to replace those carbs youre restricting with plenty of healthy fats and a moderate amount of proteins.

Overall, focus on these foods:

  • Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and avocado oil, grass-fed butter, lard, and ghee
  • Low-carb vegetables like kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, brussels sprouts, swiss chard, zucchini, olives, asparagus, cauliflower, and more
  • Healthy meats like fatty fish , grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken and eggs
  • Healthy, hydrating liquids like water, tea, bone broth, coconut water, and kombucha

So, if youre looking to prevent hair loss, youll want to also prevent calcification of the arteries. And a low-carb keto diet, especially ketosis in the Keto Zone, may help you do this.

Youre Losing Weight Too Fast

According to a study published in January 2017 in the publication Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, losing weight too fast and not eating enough protein can cause telogen effluvium , a process where hair changes from the growing phase to a resting phase, and so you might experience temporary hair loss, 3.

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The Keto Hair Loss Solution: 3 Steps To Fix Or Prevent Hair Loss

Although there are five common hair loss culprits, it will not be necessary to apply five separate solutions to resolve each one. In fact, all it takes is three simple steps to address them:

  • Calculate and track your keto macros.
  • Eat more micronutrient-rich keto foods.
  • Transition to ketosis carefully with the help of the right foods, supplements, and strategies.
  • The Two Reasons A Keto Diet Might Trigger Hair Loss

    Can a ketogenic diet cause hair loss?

    I first heard about the keto/hair loss connection on one of my favorite podcasts. It mentioned how this effect often occurs a few months after transitioning to a keto diet, but the hosts didnt delve too much into why this happens or what you can do about it. So I reached out to integrative dietitian Ali Miller, R.D., who personally eats keto and has been using nutritional ketosis in her clinical practice for 10 years.

    According to Miller, the reason some people may experience hair loss on a ketogenic diet is two-fold: stress and/or malnourishment.

    First, keto may be an added stressor that your body just cant handle right nowunless you make some tweaks to your lifestyle. While keto can be a powerfully healthy diet, its also a stressor on your body, says Miller. There are many health-supporting behaviors that are stressors, like intermittent fasting. But if youre someone whos type Aover-caffeinating, under-sleeping, intermittent fasting, and doing ketothats just too much.

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    Reasons For Keto Hair Loss

    1. Nutrition deficiency

    Keto diet limits the intake of carbohydrates. This means many high carb fruits and veggies are off the table. This also limits the supply of essential nutrients like sodium, zinc, magnesium, potassium and iodine.

    The body needs key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and nutrients for functioning. Hair is no different. Hair too needs specific nutrients for healthy hair growth. A deficiency of amino acids and micronutrients is responsible for thinning, hair fall and slow hair growth.

    2. Scarcity of calories

    In a keto diet, the nutrition intake is very less. It leads to a drastic drop in calories. The body responds to this calorie cut by directing the energy available to the most important functions. Whatever energy is generated goes for cell growth and the functioning of vital organs. As such very less energy is spared for non-vital processes like hair growth.

    3. Hunger Stress

    The keto diet causes major dietary transitions which result in high stress. The nutritional deficiencies, caloric deficits, psychological effects result in an outburst of stress. The keto stress often results in

    • Alopecia Areata Sudden loss of large clumps of hair around the scalp.
    • Telogen Effluvium A condition that causes hair-fall out.
    • Trichotillomania Person pulls their hair without realizing out of stress.

    Telogen effluvium is the most common hair condition triggered by the ketogenic diet. It can cause hair loss of as much as 30-50%.

    B Vitamins & Minerals During Keto Adaptation

    Sometimes its all the B vitamins youre missing out on. Not just biotin. If youre not consuming extra B vitamins or minerals when becoming fat adapted in the beginning stages of your keto diet, this could be a good reason why youre suffering keto hair loss. As a solution, add some nutritional yeast , minerals and trace minerals and see what happens.

    Best B-Vitamin Sources:

    Our post on the best keto supplements includes 3 great options for getting sufficient B vitamins. These include nutritional yeast, spirulina powder, and a great quality whole food B vitamin.

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    The Process Of Hair Growth And What Causes Hair Loss

    Though the part of our hair we can touch is mostly composed of inert protein fibers, there is a lot going on underneath the surface of our skin to create this strong tissue we call hair.

    In general, the anatomy of our hair can be simplified into two fundamental structures:

  • The follicle Residing deep in your skin, the follicle is where hair growth starts in response to the nourishment and chemical messages it receives from the body.
  • The shaft This is the part of the hair that you can touch. It is made primarily of a protein called keratin, which is compacted and fused together.
  • Whether or not your hair grows, falls out, or grows back is determined by the hair growth phase your follicles are in:

  • Anagen phase This is when hair growth happens. During this phase, the hair grows about 1 cm every 28 days, pushing the old hair up and out of the follicle. The length of each anagen phase depends on where the hair follicle is. For example, scalp hair typically stays in this phase for two to six years.
  • Catagen phase A transitional stage where growth stops, lasting two to three weeks.
  • Telogen phase Also known as the resting phase, this is when growth completely stops for up to 100 days. Around 6% to 8% of all hairs are in this phase while the rest is growing. Typically, 25 to 100 telogen hairs are shed each day.
  • Simply put, excess stress means more hair loss.

    Keto Hair Loss + Rapid Weight Loss

    Can a keto diet cause hair loss? ...

    If youve recently started a keto diet, have started losing weight, and now youre noticing hair loss, it could be from the weight loss. This would be considered Telogen Effluvium, a type of hair loss that stems from drastic or rapid weight loss in men or women. The good news is that this type of hair loss will almost always be temporary and things usually get back to normal in acute cases of Telogen Effluvium.

    As described by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology,

    If there is some shock to the system, as many as 70% of the scalp hairs are then shed in large numbers about 2 months after the shock. This sudden increase in hair loss, usually described as the hair coming out in handfuls, is acute telogen effluvium.

    This temporary hair loss is tied to yo-yo dieting. It makes 90% of your heads hair growth go into a resting phase. Normally, only 10% of the hair on your head is in the resting phase. This hair loss connected to keto diet weight loss slows the growth phase down as well. It can last up to 6 months. Anything longer than that would be considered chronic Telogen Effluvium. The type of hair loss connected to ketogenic diets is more often the acute kind if you read other peoples experiences.

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    Adapt To Ketosis Carefully With The Right Foods Supplements And Strategies

    This step will help address any remaining gaps in your keto diet, easing your bodys transition into ketosis.

    Keto Supplements to Consider:

    Keto Strategies and Medicinal Foods:

    Though there are a lot of suggestions in these three steps to stopping hair loss, the bottom line is to follow a well-formulated ketogenic diet plan with nutrient-dense low-carb recipes. This will naturally address the nutritional deficiencies that cause hair loss while supporting healthy hair growth as youre losing weight.

    Consider An Autoimmune Approach

    Hair loss and thyroid issues are often associated with autoimmune activity in the body. Individuals with an autoimmune condition seem to do best when they eliminate some of the more common immune reactive foods. A keto diet eliminates many of these already since it is grain and sugar free. The keto foods that are more commonly immune triggering include dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshade vegetables.

    To replace these foods, we would add in more coconut fats, bone broth, fermented veggies, green leafy veggies, avocados, olives and olive oil. In addition to this, it would include several of the worlds most anti-inflammatory herbs and nutrients. These foods tend to reduce inflammation in the body and support healthy bone and joint structure. For more info on the autoimmune nutrition plan read this article.

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