Hair Loss Due To Missing Nutrients On A Ketogenic Diet
Hair is made of keratin, which is a protein. And while the keto diet encourages moderate protein consumption, it restricts many foods and entire food groups.
If you plan to follow a keto diet, you may find advice from sources to eliminate certain foods or drinks that are high in carbs, such as:
- Wheat-based products like whole grains
- Starches like breads, pasta and potatoes
- Fruit, with one exception: small portions of berries
- Beans and legumes
- Sugary foods and drinks
- High-carb alcohol like beer, sugary cocktails and certain wines
Limiting calorie intake from some categories can be helpful with weight loss. However, restricting entire food groups like whole grains, vegetables and fruits means lowering the amount of nutrients in your diet, some of which are needed for healthy hair growth.
Reduce Stress On Your Mind And Body
Starting a new diet can be challenging. But there are ways to reduce the stress on your mind and body. Be sure to:
- Get enough sleep. Aim for seven to eight hours per night.
- Drink plenty of water. Try water with electrolytes as these can be missing from a low-carb diet.
- Add salt. Low-carb diets mean low sodium. Replace it to avoid getting the keto flu.
- Be patient. It can take two to three weeks for ketosis to begin, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Accept that the keto diet might not be for you. Losing hair may not be worth losing weight. If it’s not working for you, accept it and talk to your doctor or nutritionist about other options.
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How To Minimize The Risk Of Hair Loss When Starting Low Carb
First, temporary hair loss is relatively rare after starting a low-carb diet, most people never notice anything like it.
There are no studies on how to minimize this small risk, but its likely helpful not to restrict calories, i.e. dont do a low-carb and low-fat diet . Instead eat as much fat as you need to feel satisfied and not hungry, an LCHF diet.
It may also be helpful to reduce other sources of stress during your first few weeks on low carb. Sleep well, be kind to yourself in general, and preferably dont start an intense exercise program at the same time.
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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.
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.
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Youre Not Getting Enough Protein
If youre eating a keto diet high in healthy fats, its important to ensure that youre also getting enough protein.
Protein is an essential nutrient for building and maintaining your muscle mass. If you dont get enough, then your body will cannibalize itself by breaking down existing tissue and muscles so that it can use them for fuel. That includes your hair tissue, which is made from protein.
If youre eating too few calories, dont consume enough protein or any other nutrients on a regular basis, then its possible to lose hair.
Why Does A Ketogenic Diet Cause Hair Loss For Some
There are a few reasons why a ketogenic diet may cause hair loss for some people. And, to figure out what might be going on with you, you will need to critically analyze a few variables of your regimen including protein intake, calorie consumption, vitamin levels, and just how fast you are losing weight.
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How Long Does A Hair Loss Phase From A Ketogenic Diet Last
If the reason for your hair loss is due to a transition from high carb to low, and you are taking good proportions of protein in your diet with decent calorie consumption overall, the hair loss phase should not last for more than 3-4 months, even under the diet.
If the hair loss is due to a protein crisis in the body, it will stick until your weight is stabilized and increase your protein consumption.
Youre Missing Out On Essential Nutrients
Just like protein, your body needs certain nutrients to keep your hair healthy and growing.
Therefore, you must eat a variety of food from the different food groups while following a keto diet to get all the essential nutrients you need for good hair health.
When eating such a low-carb diet, its important to eat healthy fats, keto snacks and make sure youre getting enough fiber while avoiding unhealthy carbs.
If you dont get enough protein or nutrients from the food you eat in your diet, then its possible that your hair can become dry, brittle, or break off at the roots due to a lack of nutrition.
Its also common for people to experience hair loss while transitioning into a keto diet as their bodies adjust.
If youre not eating enough calories or getting the right nutrition, then it could be the cause of your hair loss during a keto diet.
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Have More Coconut Oil
Coconut oil may not directly improve growth, but it can help prevent hair loss. Regular application and consumption of coconut oil can make your hair softer and moisturized.
Additionally, coconut oil is loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin K, vitamin E and iron.
Wherever you are in your keto journey, always remember that keto induced hair loss is only a temporary setback.
It usually happens three to six months after any new diet and only a small percentage of your hair will fall out.
The truth is, any major nutritional changes will cause additional stress on your body, which could trigger temporary hair loss.
Once your metabolism gets used to your new, healthier way of eating, your hair will go back to normal.
If you continue to experience hair loss on a keto diet after following these recommendations, seek medical advice from your healthcare provider.
Pay attention to factors like calorie deficits, nutrient deficiencies and stress before blaming the ketogenic diet.
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Stop Hair Loss On Ketogenic Diet
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What Causes Hair Loss When On A Keto Diet
- Vitamin Deficiency: Mice studies reveal that the keto diet creates a deficiency of vitamins A, D, E, and biotin, causing hair loss, and triggers dermatitis. These vitamins activate hair stem cells and promote follicle growth. They delay the onset of hair loss, condition the scalp, and encourage new hair development when taken as supplements , , .
- Zinc And Selenium Deficiency: Zinc plays a vital role in the hair follicles development and maturation. Selenium protects hair fibers from free radical damage and promotes follicle development. Several animal studies reveal the crucial role these minerals play in hair growth and hair loss , . The deficiency of these minerals triggers hair fall during keto.
- Protein Deficiency: Often, in high-fat and low-carb diets like the keto, the body gets deprived of amino acids and proteins, affecting hair growth and scalp health , .
- Rapid Weight Loss: Hair loss happens when your body is under stress. Rapid weight loss caused by the keto diet is stressful for the body. This results in longer hair shedding cycles .
Also, calorie restriction causes the body to focus on conserving energy rather than spending energy on hair growth. How do you deal with this? Is there a way to prevent hair loss due to ketosis? Is this hair loss permanent? Scroll down for these answers and more.
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/5are Your Following A Keto Diet
The low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat keto diet has garnered a lot of limelight in the recent past. This diet is beneficial when trying to lose weight, stay fit, reduce inflammation and balance blood sugar levels in the body. This diet is not only popular but is also controversial.
Most people following a keto diet also suffer from keto flu in the initial phase when their body shifts from sugar burning to a fat-burning state. But the weirdest side effect of following a keto diet is hair loss.
Is Hair Loss A Side Effect Of The Keto Diet
While solid research on the topic is hard to come by, the increasing number of hair shedding complaints from the keto-loving community has experts speculating where the connections may be. One possible reason has to do with the hair growth cycleâs response to stressâand not only stress as in, I just missed my train. Even the work it takes to digest your food is technically a stress on the body so in that context, itâs easy to see how your body performing an overhaul on how it creates energy may bring some stress to the table. This stress can increase our stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to increased hair shedding. We commonly forget that hair follicles are all tiny organs that respond to stress just as other organs do: by reprioritizing your resources. So if your body has decided it needs to pay more attention to this new job of burning fat, it may shift hair growth farther down on its to-do list.
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Does Keto Cause Hair Loss
One often overlooked cause of stress that can lead to hair loss is making a major diet change.
In many cases, following a new diet requires us to eliminate certain types of foods, which increases the likelihood that we dont eat enough calories, protein, or specific micronutrients to support optimal health. This forces your body to prioritize the function of your vital organs over hair growth.
If the stress from inadequate nutrition continues, more hair follicles will shift into the telogen phase and hair shedding will soon increase .
Put in another way if your diet is deficient, this can cause excess stress that leads to hair loss.
To keep this from happening or promote hair regrowth, we must address the following keto hair loss culprits:
- Inadequate calorie intake
- Gut health issues
The Weird Reason You Could Start Losing Hair On The Keto Diet
While the low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat keto diet remains a bit controversial, there are plenty of reputable functional nutrition experts who recommend this style of eatingciting benefits like weight loss, reduced inflammation, and blood sugar balancewhen formulated correctly. Of course, these experts also acknowledge potential keto side effects, most notably the “keto flu,” an initial period of intense cravings, fatigue, and irritability that occurs when your body shifts from a sugar-burning to fat-burning state. The cause of keto flu is due to dehydration from increased water loss from the kidneys and intracellular loss from decreased glycogen storage. So, in order to reduce the keto flu you must make sure you’re adequately hydrated.
But theres one surprising keto side effect that no ones really talking about yet, and it primarily affects women: hair loss.
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How Can You Prevent Hair Loss On The Keto Diet
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.
What Causes Hair To Fall Out
Everyone loses up to 100 hairs a day, even the healthiest heads of hair. So when you clean out your brush and pull some hair out, it does not necessarily cause for alarm.
If you find yourself losing hair more rapidly than that you have a right to be worried. A Keto diet may not be the real culprit, but there are some side effects of this way of eating that could be causing hair loss. Dramatic calorie reduction, stress, nutritional deficits, and too little protein all may have a role to play.
Other causes of hair loss are hormonal changes, anemia, and low thyroid function.
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