How Does Hair Grow
A single strand of hair is forced upwards from the root, through the hair follicle, towards the surface of the skin known as the shaft. This process is conducted with the help of the small blood vessels that carry enough nutrients to the follicle bulb, giving enough power for the new hair to grow.
To fully understand hair growth and the possible problems you might experience with your hair, its important to understand the cycle that each hair strand goes through.
Hair grows in three cycles or phases: anagen , catagen , and telogen phase. Every single hair strand has its own growth pace. At any moment, from starting to grow to falling years after, each hair is in one of the three phases. Shedding is considered to be a part of the telogen cycle.
Anagen phase. The first and the most active phase this is when the cells are dividing in the root of the hair. This is also the time when the amount of melanin the pigment that decides the hair color is at its highest point. During the anagen cycle, each strand of hair grows about a centimeter, or little less than half of an inch every month. This phase lasts three to five years on average, and little longer in Asian population.
Catagen phase. This is a short transitional period that lasts around 10 days and only about one percent of hair follicles are in catagen phase at a time. Most of the hair follicles are in anagen phase, and 10 to 14 percent in the third phase.
Keto Hair Loss: Why It Happens And 15 Ways To Prevent It
Hair is among the first and most noticeable characteristics of human appearance. Good hair is often a sign of virility it can enhance personality and make us appear healthy and beautiful. On the contrary, weak hair or baldness may suggest an illness.
You are born with all the hair follicles you will ever have in a lifetime, which is about five million distributed across the body. However, only around 100.000 follicles belong to the head.
New job, giving birth, new food regimen no matter what the change is, it might cause you to shed some hairs because change often comes with stress. If you experience hair loss following keto, dont get discouraged it is often a temporary problem. Follow our how-to tips below to fix keto hair loss once and for all.
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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Plan Ahead For Success:
Create a plan and give some thought to the menu you’ll eat and activities you’ll engage in as you begin a ketogenic diet, so you can work your plan to achieve the desired results.
Consider doing some form of meal prep to make sure you have a variety of delicious, keto-friendly foods ready, for whenever hunger strikes.
Also, prepping food eliminates an element of stress since it removes any guesswork around whether a given food will compromise ketosis or bump you out of your set caloric target needed, to create a deficit and produce fat loss.
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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You May Not Be Getting The Protein Your Body Really Needs
As mentioned, to keep your body in ketosis, at least on the standard keto diet, you must limit your protein intake. While in a typical American diet, we get enough protein, its possible that being so focused on fat in the keto diet, youre not getting adequate protein, says Lustgarten. There are 100,000 hair follicles on your head, of which 90 percent are in the growth phase, thus requiring adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals to maintain a healthy head of hair, notes a study published in December 2018 in the journal Dermatology and Therapy. Without enough of these nutrients, including protein, your mane may suffer.
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The Two Reasons A Keto Diet Might Trigger 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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Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies Can Lead To Hair Loss
Iron levels in the blood can determine the quality of hair. If they are low, the body cant produce enough hemoglobin, which is required to provide oxygen to the hair follicles. In a study conducted on women with iron deficiency, eight out of nine experienced hair loss, which might be an important indicator that persons with anemia are at a risk of losing hair.
Another larger research study showed not only that iron deficiency plays a role in hair loss, but that it also makes hair fall out in a way similar to the loss caused by androgenetic alopecia .
Despite eating beef, many people who follow ketogenic diet still lack this important nutrient. Some good low-carb sources of iron other than beef include dark chocolate, chicken liver, Swiss chard, spinach, almonds, and seafood such as oysters and octopus.
Deficiency in Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B3 . Nicotinic acid is crucial for the overall health of the body, but also plays an important role when it comes to hair health. At the beginning of your keto journey, it might be that youre missing most of the B vitamins, not just niacin. To prevent hair loss, make sure to add a B-complex supplement to get all the necessary nutrients.
Just to be on the safe side, make sure that you dont leave out foods rich in B12 from your diet. Some low-carb sources of vitamin B12 include vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts, as well as poultry and dairy products, eggs, and seafood.
Reasons For Keto Hair Loss:
1. Drastic Calorie Reduction:
Studies have shown that significant weight loss causes hair loss. When calories are reduced dramatically, your body uses its energy on vital systems, rather than hair growth. In short, fewer calories = less energy to go around. If you need ideas to up your caloric intake in a healthy way, check out my weekly keto meal plans!
2. Telogen Effluvium:
Big diet changes can throw you into a common condition called Telogen Effluvium, which means youll shed a lot of hair for 2-3 months. Its temporary in most cases, although very alarming! Once your body gets over the shock, it should adapt, and your hair cycle will get back on track.
3. Nutritional Deficiencies:
When starting a low carb diet, many people forget that theyll need to replace the vitamins and minerals theyre losing. Your kidneys may flush out electrolytes your body needs like zinc, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and iodine. Replacing electrolytes on keto is essential to feeling your best.
A Biotin deficiency could be another culprit. Biotin helps convert food into energy, and some studies show that a lack of Biotin can cause hair loss. Start with 1,000 2,500 mg of Biotin daily.
Does stress ever not play a role? When starting a restrictive diet, your body will undergo all kinds of new stress. It can cause temporary hair loss or even Alopecia Areata . Try to limit stress in other ways if you can.
6. Underlying Medical Condition
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Nutrients To Add To Your Diet To Avoid Keto Hair Loss
To avoid vitamin deficiency and improve hair health, make sure you get enough of these nutrients in your diet:
- Vitamin B3 : Fish and poultry are great sources of B3, while peanuts and mushrooms are good alternatives for a vegetarian diet.
- Vitamin B5 : Found in meat, fish, and egg yolks as well as avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and mushrooms, B5 is easy to fit into your meal plan.
- Vitamin B7 : While vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots are off the menu, try snacking on almonds or walnuts to avoid a biotin deficiency. Eggs, fish, and meat are also rich in biotin. If you can’t get enough in your daily diet, consider biotin gummies, as well as biotin gummies with a boost of CBD.
- Vitamin C: Instead of high-carb root vegetables or sugary citrus fruits, which may be reduced or eliminated from a ketogenic diet, try broccoli, kale, red or green peppers, tomatoes, or a small portion of strawberries.
A low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet can still be rich in nutrients. Plan your meals carefully and you can enjoy the weight loss results of ketosis while minimizing side effects. And always consult your doctor before starting a diet.
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Bone Broth And Collagen
Some people cringe at the mere idea of eating cartilage, but its where the most collagen is stored. With its whopping collagen and amino acids content, bone broth is a healing superfood, and we all know how important collagen is for a healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Its best to make your own keto bone broth at home, just make sure that the meat /bones you purchase come from healthy animals. A broth made like this is packed with essential nutrients to keep every cell in your body healthy, and its a smart option for every diet, especially keto.
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Hair Loss And Mineral Deficiency
What if youre eating all the right foods, could you still be mineral deficient? The answer to that question is, yes.Since the early 1900s, our soils have become progressively more and more depleted of vital minerals and trace minerals necessary for optimal plant, animal and human health. This is due to things like chemical spraying and single crop farming practices. Remember plants cannot manufacture minerals, so if any mineral is not in the soil where the plant is grown, its not in the plant no matter how good of a reputation that plant has for a particular mineral.I highly recommend you watch the documentary, Kiss the Ground for more on why our soils are failing, and why this is a serious issue for humanity.
In parallel to the issue with our soils, we are also living in the most toxic time in history. Toxins like pesticides, glyphosate, heavy metals, and plastics are ever present in our environment, homes and workplaces. When these toxins enter the body, they clog up the cells receptor sites. Receptor sites are an opening in the cell wall that is essential for allowing hormones, information and nutrients to enter. If these sites are blocked by toxins, it doesnt matter how well you eat, or how many quality supplements you take, nothing is getting in.
Supplementing with IonBiome can help fortify the gut lining, to strengthen the guts barrier function from toxins you ingest, preventing toxins from entering the body in the first place.
What Salad Dressing Can I Use On Keto Diet
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