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Can Keto Diet Cause Hair Loss

Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies

Can a ketogenic diet cause hair loss?

One study observed vitamin deficiency and its relation to hair health. The authors found that a lack of amino acids and micronutrients such as zinc were responsible for hair thinning in the participants.

When going low carb, many people forget to replace essential vitamins and minerals that got flushed out during their first days on keto.

As you eat fewer carbs, your body produces less insulin, and glycogen stores get depleted. When glycogen stores are depleted, your kidneys excrete water and electrolytes like sodium, zinc, magnesium, potassium and iodine in large amounts.

You have to replenish these electrolytes to enjoy healthy hair.

Hair Loss Due To Stress On Ketogenic Diet

While the ketogenic diet is scientifically proven to aid in weight loss, it requires a significant adjustment for many people. These changes can shock the body, causing temporary hair loss. Telogen effluvium is a resting phase of the hair growth cycle that results in rapid hair loss as a response to shock. Nutritional deficiencies, sudden weight loss, and physical or psychological stress are all clinically proven causes of telogen effluvium. If you notice an increase in hair shedding and appear to have thinning hair, this could be a sign of TE. Fortunately, it often resolves in less than six months and can benefit from additional habits like applying a daily hair serum.

Read: How to Minimize Stress-Induced Hair Loss

Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent Hair Loss On The Keto Diet

Some good news: You might be able to stave off keto-induced hair loss if youre intentional about your nutrient intake from the get-go.

Palinski-Wade recommends making sure youre consuming at least 15 percent of your total calories from protein each day to avoid becoming deficient. She also suggests avoiding other nutrient deficiencieswhich can also cause hair lossby taking a high-quality multivitamin.

Finally, even though one of the selling points of keto is that its weight-loss results are often crazy impressive, Palinski-Wade says that slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to avoiding some of the diets more unpleasant side effectsincluding hair loss. “Focus on slow to moderate weight loss versus a rapid weight loss of more than two pounds per week, which can accelerate hair loss,” she says.

The bottom line: While keto hair loss is possible, check in with your doctor to confirm a diagnosis before you panic or make any changes.

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Calculate And Track Your Macros As You Adapt To Keto

With this step, you can address the top two causes of hair loss on keto: Inadequate calorie and protein intake.

To figure out what you should aim for, plug your info into our keto calculator. This will help you establish a baseline to start from.

In general, it is best to stay within the range of a 5-30% calorie deficit. If you have lower body fat levels , aim for a lower deficit to prevent muscle and hair loss.

When it comes to protein intake, you can either follow the numbers you get from the keto calculator or figure out your daily limit with these guidelines:

  • If you are sedentary consume 0.6 0.8g of protein per pound of lean body mass.
  • If you are regularly active have 0.8 1.0g of protein per pound of lean body mass.
  • If you lift weights eat 1.0 1.2g of protein per pound of lean body mass.

To decrease the likelihood that youll lose hair and muscle mass, it is best to shoot for the higher end of these protein intake ranges.

Once youre equipped with your keto macros, track what you eat using a keto-friendly tracking app to make sure you are hitting your macro goals and minimizing your risk of hair loss.

During your first week of keto, you may lose 2 to 10 pounds of water weight. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water with electrolytes during this time.

How Can You Prevent Hair Loss On The Keto Diet

Can Low Carb or Ketogenic Diets Cause Hair Loss?

To help prevent hair loss, take a multivitamin to cover any potential deficiencies, says Galvin. A multi will act like an insurance policy and at least provide some base nutrients, she says. Also, get the protein you need from high-quality sources, such as eggs and poultry, and biotin from foods like almonds, onions, tomatoes, walnuts, salmon, pumpkin seeds, and cashews, she says. If you are already losing your hair and youre struggling despite having a well-planned diet, you may need to consider liberalizing your diet a bit or work with someone who can help personalize your eating plan based on your goals, she says. If you are looking to lose weight and are experiencing side effects from keto, there are other diets you can follow to both lose weight and feel better doing it.

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Common Keto Hair Loss Cause #: Quick Drop In Carb Intake

As you cut carbs and you shift into ketosis, your body will start using more fat and ketones, instead of carbohydrates, for fuel. Due to a concept known as metabolic flexibility, the transition from carbs to fat can vary significantly from person to person.

Some of us, for example, experience a relatively smooth transition into ketosis, while others will struggle through flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and increased stress levels.

Often, the transition to ketosis will be eased by addressing the previous three keto hair loss culprits. However, if going strict keto is still too stressful for your body, then you may need to decrease carb intake at a slower pace.

How Your Thyroid Affects Hair Loss

Hair loss while on a ketogenic diet is often related to a thyroid issue. When your body has low thyroid function or thyroid hormone imbalances, hair loss can result.

Thyroid hormones directly alter human hair follicle functions . Thyroid hormones regulate mitochondrial function, energy metabolism, and biogenesis of hair follicles 36455-1/fulltext#s0050″ rel=”nofollow”> 6). Hair follicles are direct targets of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3. Someone with hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid hormone activity may experience hair thinning and hair loss. It is important to support your thyroid and incorporate the following tips if you are experiencing hair loss on the ketogenic diet.

Many hypothyroid conditions are autoimmune in nature, which is called Hashimotos thyroiditis. The nature of autoimmune conditions is that if you have one, you are more likely to have autoimmunity effecting other tissues as well. So, someone with Hashimotos may also have autoimmune activity toward their hair follicles, which would lead to increased hair loss.

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How To Tweak Your Diet And Lifestyle To Counter This Side Effect

The good news: This hair-loss side effect is completely reversible. For most women, it takes about three months to start noticing hair loss thats a result of too much stress or too little protein. So with the appropriate diet and lifestyle changes, you can start to reverse this hair loss in about the same amount of time, says Miller.

As mentioned above, if you already have too many stressors in your life, keto could push you over the edge. So if youre adamant about trying a keto diet right now, you may have to adapt elsewhere. This could mean prioritizing your sleep, scaling back your HIIT workouts in favor of hiking and yoga, or adopting a meditation practice. You should also avoid taking on too much too soonmeaning, dont necessarily try keto and intermittent fasting at the same time. If youre unable to peel away some other stressors in your life to accommodate keto, now might not be the right time to try this diet.

Eating more protein, eating more protein, biotin, and staying adequately hydrated is also in your best interest. Of course, the specific amount of protein you want to aim for will vary depending on your body weight, muscle mass, and activity levels, but for most women, Miller recommends consuming between 60 and 90 grams of protein per day .

Bottom line: The ketogenic diet, when eaten with a real food approach, can be extremely nourishing and anti-inflammatory, says Miller. But without appropriate planning, it may have some pretty unpleasant side effects.

Tell Me The Truth: Is My Hair Going To Fall Out On Keto

Hair Loss and the Ketogenic Diet

Hair loss on keto is definitely possible, but it’s not so black-and-white. According to Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet, there are two main reasons for hair loss that could be associated with the diet: rapid weight loss and lack of protein.

Because keto tends to swap carbs for high amounts of fat , it would be unusual for a dieter to not be getting enough protein in their daily intake. But it could happenand New York City dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, agrees that the deficiency could be the source of your hair loss woes.

Without adequate protein, “the skin will not have the necessary building blocks for healthy hair growth, he explains. But again, not getting enough protein on the diet is rareand severe calorie restriction may be the bigger reason for hair loss, says Palinski-Wade.

“Severe calorie restriction can cause the body to conserve energy and spend less energy on hair growth,” she says, “which can result in shedding of hair and slowed or halted new hair growth.

Another possible reason for keto-related shedding? The diets stress on the body. Zeichner says that while actual evidence linking keto to thinning hair is sparse, some people theorize that the strain placed on the body while its in a state of ketosissimply because using fat for energy is far different from using carbs as energycan limit its ability to allow hair to grow optimally.

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Essential Nutrients To Prevent Hair Loss

Certain nutrients are required for proper hair growth and functioning, which we consume through our daily intake, however, there can be a shortage in the availability of these nutrients on the keto diet which contributes to hair loss. You can cover the damage by increasing the foods that contain these essential nutrients or take them as supplements if required. By consuming these nutrients, you can prevent hair loss on the keto diet:

Tweak Your Macros To Meet Your Needs

The standard keto diet gives guidelines for three macronutrients: low carbohydrates , moderate protein , and high fat . Some people use customized macros to meet their personal needs and goals, something you can do as well if your goal is to reduce hair loss while remaining on the ketogenic diet. By slightly increasing carbs and protein, you can reintroduce a variety of foods to your diet, like vegetables, beans, fruits or whole grains. With this comes nutrients and better hair health. But keep in mind drastic changes could move you out of ketosis.

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How Does Keto Diet Cause Hair Loss

There are two main reasons for keto hair loss nutritional deficiency and rapid weight loss.

In a daily 2,000-calorie keto diet, you are supposed to eat 55%-60% of fat, 5%-10% of carbs, and 30%-35% of protein . This causes a significant imbalance in nutrition intake.

Note: The exact ratio varies person-to-person.

Vitamins A, D, and E, niacin, folic acid, biotin, and minerals like iron, zinc, and selenium are vital for hair growth, follicle development, and texture maintenance. Deficiency of these nutrients causes hair loss , . Moreover, the stress of rapid weight loss and reduced protein intake also contributes to hair fall .

The restrictive nature of keto makes it a potentially unhealthy diet option. And unless a dietician supervises your keto diet, there are high chances of missing out on essential nutrients and experience hair fall. Here are the potential reasons that may trigger hair loss when on a keto diet.

Biotin Deficiency & Keto Hair Loss

How to Prevent Hair Loss On Keto Diet

A biotin deficiency could cause hair loss on a ketogenic diet. If youre doing a completely proper keto diet, and have been for a long time, theres always the chance that your body is giving you a sign that a low carb high-fat diet is not right for you. However, there is proof showing that keto diets cause biotin deficiency. Because of this, if you feel great other than this annoyance of hair loss on a keto diet, then Id look into upping your biotin intake. Either by eating more biotin foods or taking a biotin supplement. Before drawing any conclusions, Id try to see if its the biotin deficiency causing the hair loss or thinning on your keto diet.

This study performed on mice showed that ketogenic diets can cause biotin deficiencies. It increases biotin bioavailability and consumption which results in exaggerated biotin deficiency in biotin-deficient mice. Heres the concluding statement to the mice and biotin study:

Therefore, biotin supplementation is important for mice that consume the ketogenic diet. It is suggested that individuals that consume the ketogenic diet have an increased biotin requirement.

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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.

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.

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