Common Keto Hair Loss Cause #: Inadequate Protein Intake
A popular keto concern is that eating too much protein will keep us from ketosis. This often influences keto dieters to limit their protein intake before learning that too much protein means much more than most of us would expect.
In fact, even those who are on a carnivore diet can easily maintain ketosis despite eating high-protein meals all day.
Furthermore, the downsides of eating too little protein far outweigh what might happen when we eat too much. Compared to a moderate-protein keto diet, someone who limits protein intake may lose the same amount of weight, but much more of it will come from their muscle and hair.
If inadequate protein intake is then added to a diet that restricts calories excessively, muscle and hair loss will be accelerated and compounded. In fact, one study on nutrient deficiencies and hair found that severe calorie deficits and low protein intake were the two main factors responsible for hair loss.
You May Be Eating Too Few Calories On Keto
For a diet that allows butter and cheese, youd think youd be packing in the calories. Because of the high fat intake, people generally are not as hungry and end up cutting calories, says Alicia Galvin, RD, whos based in Dallas. Going too low essentially sends a shock to your body that can lead to a shutdown in less critical functions, like hair growth, she says.
How Can We Make Our Hair Healthier
Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to have good healthy hair. Keep your stress levels down and eat a balanced diet with all the required nutrients in order for your body to function properly. Exercise regularly and drink lots of water. Get enough sleep and regularly wash your hair. If you have any further questions, please let us know by commenting down below!
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Where Can We Find More Information About Hair Loss And The Keto Diet
There isnt any reliable information or research that we could find on the internet. If you want to try it for yourself, make sure to consult with a doctor before doing so and do some more research on your own! And if youre looking for a good book about ketogenic diets, there is one here.As always, please let us know if you have any questions or comments! Thanks for reading.
Does The Keto Diet Cause Hair Loss
You’ve probably heard of the keto diet by now. The high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet is currently one of the biggest food trends, with celebs like Kourtney Kardashian and your co-worker among its fans.
However, just like any other health fad, the keto diet has its downsides. While the diet may be an effective way to lose weight, whether or not ketosis is good for your body is debatable. Along with the keto flu and blood vessel damage, there’s a growing list of physical side effects, too.
One example that’s been a hot topic among women on the diet is “Keto crotch,” where the vagina emits a strong smell after the diet. Yep, it’s about as pleasant as it sounds.
On top of unwanted odor, the keto diet can potentially cause hair loss, too. According to dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco of Wexler Dermatology in New York City, your diet plays an important role in maintaining healthy hair.
“Hair is composed of keratin, which is made up of protein, so adequate protein intake is necessary ” she explains. “The scalp is where the hair follicles reside, and they need to be nourished by the oil glands and rich circulation to support healthy hair.
So, what can you do if you shed? You can take a multi-vitamin or hair supplement like Nutrafol, but going off keto could be a better, long-term option.
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What Nutrients Are Important For Your Hair
As with any function in your body, you need key vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for everything to work well. Your hair is no different. Specific nutrients are essential for healthy hair growth and to prevent hair loss.
With the emphasis on high fat, low carb foods, some key nutrients may be less abundant if youre following a keto diet and trying to stay in a state of ketosis.
To protect the health of your hair, you may want to look at ways to add more of the following vitamins and nutrients to your diet.
If its hard for you to get these nutrients through food, consider adding them as supplements to make up for any deficiencies in your eating plan.
Youre Experiencing A Caloric Deficit
The big thing with a keto diet is that youre mainly consuming fat, which is very filling. This means that your body is probably getting many fewer calories than its used to getting. One of the most common signs of a caloric deficit is your hair falling out. Try to use a calorie counter app on your phone to make sure youre still getting the number of calories your body needs.
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Your Body Is Dehydrated
Your body uses water to break down food into essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, process carbs for energy or use them as building blocks for tissue and muscle, and for many other important functions, including keeping your hair growing.
If youre not getting enough water in your diet while following a keto diet, then its possible that dehydration can lead to hair loss.
When you follow the keto diet, be sure to drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated.
Tell Me The Truth: Is My Hair Going To Fall Out On Keto
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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Youre Missing Out On Key Nutrients That Contribute To Healthy Hair
Supplements that promote hair growth and a thick, shiny appearance are popular right now, and they almost universally have something in common: the B vitamin biotin, which promotes healthy hair. Despite the fact that biotin is plentiful in many animal-based foods like eggs and salmon, as the International Food Information Council Foundation notes, Lustgarten says there is a small amount of evidence that following a strict keto diet may lead to biotin deficiency, per a study on mice published in the journal Nutrition. One caution, she points out, is that the research is limited and only in animals . The data isnt strong enough to say that everyone on keto needs to take more biotin, she says. Still, you may want to focus on eating biotin-rich foods at this time.
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Derma Roller A Natural Regrowth Solution
The derma roller can be used in conjunction with essential oils, or alone. It comes in different micro-needle lengths, from 0.25 mm to 1.5 mm in length.
Micro-needling works by stimulation of stem cells and inducing activation of growth factors. They go right down and help stimulate hair follicle growth. In this randomized blinded study on the effect of micro-needling with derma rollers in Androgenic Alopecia, they concluded that yes, it works. And it works really good.
Results from the micro-needling study:
There were significant results.
Hair counts The mean change in hair count at week 12 was significantly greater for the Micro-needling group compared to the Minoxidil group .
Heres an image from the study:
Image Source: Derma Roller Study
The study concluded that microneedling is a safe and promising tool for hair stimulation and also useful to treat hair loss refractory to Minoxidil therapy.
As far as hair counts, the mean change in hair count at the 12 week mark was significantly greater for the Microneedling group compared to the Minoxidil group.
Best Derma Roller To Buy?
It comes down to the needle length. They vary. In the study mentioned above, they used a dermaroller with 1.5 mm sized microneedles.
Heres a good one:
How To Use?
This is a good presentation showing how to do a proper dermaroller procedure with essential oils for hair loss:
In the study, the microneedling procedure was done on a weekly basis for 12 weeks.
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How Can Ketosis Affect Your Hair
Typically, your body uses carbohydrates from the food you eat for energy. But if you follow a low carb, high fat keto diet, you can go into a state of ketosis. When this happens, your body starts using fat, instead of carbohydrates, for fuel.
Several aspects of ketosis can trigger hair loss and a change in the health of your hair. Two of the most common reasons include:
- Fewer nutrients. By limiting your intake of carbohydrates, including some higher carb fruits and vegetables, you may be reducing the variety of nutrients your body typically needs for healthy hair. This could cause you to lose more hair than normal, or for your hair growth to slow down.
- Your bodys response to cutting calories. When you reduce your calorie intake, your body responds by making sure the energy thats available goes to the most important functions first. This includes things like cell growth and the functioning of your heart, lungs, and other organs. This means there may be less energy for hair growth.
Stress Plays A Large Role
Stress is one of the main culprits behind hair loss, and when your body undergoes major dietary transitions, stress is at an all-time high.
Here are a few reasons why you may be experiencing major stress on keto:
- Nutritional deficiencies
Stress can lead to the following conditions:
- Alopecia Areata Sudden loss of large clumps of hair in areas around the scalp
- Telogen Effluvium Condition where more hairs than usual are ready to fall out
- Trichotillomania A habitual condition caused by stress where a person pulls on their hair without realizing it
Telogen effluvium is the most common hair condition at the start of the ketogenic diet. In most cases, it is temporary and only lasts for two to three months.
Since a transition to a low carb diet can trigger stress, its important to keep stress to a minimum in every other area of your life during the beginning stages of your keto journey.
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How Can You Reduce Hair Loss When On A Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet may help you shed pounds quickly, but it may not be wholesome in terms of nutrition. The same goes for expensive keto supplements. The nutrient deficiency during ketosis triggers side effects like hair loss.
To reduce the risk of hair loss when on a keto diet, it is best to compensate for the nutrient deficiency. This can be done by either using dietary supplements or introducing foods rich in micronutrients to your diet.
Here are a few foods and their nutrients you should consider adding to the keto diet to reduce hair loss:
- Biotin: To compensate for ketosis-caused biotin deficiency, you need to have an adequate intake of about 30 mcg of biotin. Foods high in biotin are :
- Beef liver
- Cod liver oil
You can also use dietary supplements to control hair fall. However, consult your nutritionist/doctor for the right dosage. Apart from addressing nutrient deficiency, ketosis-induced hair fall can be reduced by:
- Frequently nourishing the scalp with oils and vitamins.
- Being gentle while washing the hair.
- Avoiding heat and harsh chemical treatments.
- Following medical advice.
- Using softened water to wash hair.
- Treating hormonal imbalance issues .
- Avoiding stress and tension.
It may, however, take a few months to recover from ketosis-induced hair loss. Talk to your nutritionist or healthcare provider about treatment options. Stop stressing about hair fall and focus on nurturing your body and mind because that is all that matters.
If Not Keto Then What
If youre eating a ketogenic diet and have noticed hair loss, the two may not be connected at all. It could be a coincidence that theyve occurred at similar times.
One thing we know about the keto diet: its difficult to stick with.
Restrictive diets arent super sustainable, so theres a chance youve only recently begun eating keto, whereas your hair loss has been going on unnoticed for some time.
Many men experience androgenetic alopecia as they age, and many before they get to what theyd consider old! Its entirely possible the hair loss youre experiencing is male pattern hair loss and unrelated to your diet.
In any case, chatting with a doctor or dermatologist will help you sort out the cause and the best course of action for finding treatment. Because treatment does exist.
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Lack Of Dietary Protein Bad For Hair
Not consuming enough protein is a good indicator as to why youre losing your hair on a keto diet. Its simply nutrient deficiency. If youre not hungry, they say its good to listen to your body and lay off the food, but at some point youre going to need to fulfill your nutrient requirements, especially protein when it comes to hair and nail health.
In the following keto hair loss video presentation by Dr. Berg, he starts off with some good news, saying that if youre losing hair on keto or intermittent fasting, its most likely going to come back and grow more.
If your keto diet doesnt include enough protein, this can cause hair loss and hair thinning.
When on a keto diet, although its not a high protein diet , its also far from a low protein diet. An optimal ketogenic diet, as one practiced and talked about in Dr. Mercolas, Fat For Fuel, is a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet.
Low stomach acid:
If you have low stomach acid, you wont digest your protein properly. This could be a key reason why the protein you eat does not end up in your hair. Heart burn, indigestion, bloating and gas are good indicators of this. And a daily quick shot of apple cider vinegar should solve the problem.
A quick calculation for sufficient protein consumption: 0.37 grams of protein X your body weight. So, 180 X 0.37 or 0.7 will give you a good amount of protein to shoot for each day if you weigh 180 pounds.