Does A Keto Diet Cause Hair Loss
The ketogenic diet, often shortened to keto, has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. Its a drastic high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet thats designed to put your body into ketosis, where your body burns fat instead of carbs. But can this diet also cause hair loss? Dr. Richard Goldfarb of the , a provider of hair loss treatment in Philadelphia, PA, explains.
Supplementing To Avoid Deficiencies
Getting enough vitamins and minerals is essential for healthy hair. If you notice hair falling out for any reason, talk with your healthcare provider about potential nutrient deficiencies instead of guessing what nutrients your body needs.
For example, with hair loss, its common to supplement with vitamin D and iron. But, you have to actually be deficient in iron for supplements to make a positive impact. Supplementing with iron when youre not deficient can be dangerous if you take too much.
Another example is biotin. Biotin supplementation may only be helpful in people who were deficient in biotin to begin with. And there are other vitamins that can actually lead to hair loss when taken in excess, such as vitamin A. This is why its best to work with your healthcare provider to correct deficiencies rather than risk over-supplementing .
Thyroid Disorder & Hair Loss
Hypothyroidism is a form of autoimmune disease. It can come from leaky gut or from other factors. Make sure to take care of your thyroid and get tested if you think your keto hair loss could actually be from thyroid issues. On top of taking care of your thyroid, you can improve your hair with vitamins, minerals and foods rich in biotin, zinc, iron, magnesium, vitamin B12 and vitamin E.
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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:
Support The Liver And Bile
Supporting the liver can help prevent hair loss. Your liver helps metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and protein. It also produces bile which is essential for digesting and absorbing fats in our diet.
The liver regulates and directs hormones to perform their proper function. Conversion of the thyroid hormone T4 to the active form T3 occurs in the liver, so it is important for thyroid function to support the liver.
On the Comprehensive Blood Analysis, we look at liver enzymes such as AST, ALT, GGT and Alkaline Phosphatase. These can indicate a liver issue and another sign to look out for would be tiredness after eating a fatty keto meal and stools that float. If you have had gallstones in the past or have had your gallbladder removed, it is super important to support your liver for good bile flow.
I would highly recommend reading this article to optimize bile flow and this article on top strategies to support liver and gallbladder. If you have had your gallbladder removed, you can still successfully do keto and I explain that in this article
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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.
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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Video: What Happened To My Hair On Keto
The craziest things have happened to my hair since I went low-carb, high-fat, keto.
Whether youre eating high-fat, keto right now, are looking into it, or have experienced issues with your hair in the past, youll want to tune into this weeks video. Im breaking it all down sharing how eating keto affected my hair.
Keto shopping lists, recipes, and more! Start keto with this FREE 5-step guide.
How severely low-carb, keto, carb backloading, carb ups and becoming Fat Fueled has changed my hair from frizzy and dry to nourished and healthy .
Plus, steps to boost the health of your hair no matter where youre at.
For video transcription, scroll down.
Common Keto Hair Loss Cause #: Excessive Calorie Restriction
Studies have found that rapid weight loss can cause hair loss. When you substantially reduce your calorie intake, your body responds by making sure the available energy goes to the most important functions first.
At the level of the hair follicle, a process called telogen effluvium will take place, which is when more follicles shift from growing to resting. On the keto diet, this typically occurs when people dont replace the calories they would usually get from high-carb foods with healthy fats and protein.
One simple way to keep keto from thinning your hair is by following a personalized keto meal plan that is designed for steady fat loss rather than rapid drops in weight. Well take a closer look at how to accomplish this after addressing the remaining causes of hair loss on keto.
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Gut Health & Low Carb Diets
Leaky gut syndrome is a sneaky health issue that causes major health problems. Among them, autoimmune disease. While adopting a new keto lifestyle, you should pay extra attention to your gut health as its easier to avoid gut healthy fibers if you dont eat enough low carb vegetables.
Taking a good look at your nutrition and current lifestyle factors will help you pinpoint everything contributing to your leaky gut, and therefore, your autoimmune disease symptoms such as hair thinning and hair loss.
Its another of the many health factors to look into, as it can be connected to your keto hair loss. Health supplements including collagen, l-glutamine, and zinc can help with gut health, but this requires a lifestyle change more so than added products to get to the real root of the gut health problem.
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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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.
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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The Science Behind Hair Growth
Hair is more complicated than it seems. It has two separate structures:
- The follicle: The part of your hair that resides in your skin.
- The shaft: The visible part of your hair. There are two separate shafts inner and outer that surround the follicle. These are the structures responsible for protecting and growing your hair.
To ensure proper hair health, you need to make sure both the follicle and the shaft are healthy.
Heres a brief timeline of a single hair strand:
Lifestyle factors like temporary increases in stress from low carb diets can speed up the rate of your hair cycle, which causes hair loss.
Take the keto quiz
Change Your Diet Plan
If you feel that the keto diet isnt working out for you or youre struggling to deal with its side effects, try to look for alternatives. There are multitudes of diet plans available out there, and you can find yourself one that fulfils your needs and expectations better. For this, it is best to consult a doctor or nutritionist. This can also put an end to keto hair loss.
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The Keto Diet Can Improve Acne Over Time
“There isn’t a lot of research on how the ketogenic diet may affect skin health, but in theory, a ketogenic diet could be beneficial for acne,” said registered dietitian Suzanne Dixon. “Higher levels of insulin and related hormones can worsen acne, and the ketogenic diet lowers insulin levels,” she added.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
The keto diet can cause hair loss in some people, but its usually temporary and often due to nutrient deficiencies.
Beyond temporary hair loss and other short-term side effects, strict keto diets are also linked to longer-term health problems like heart disease, kidney problems, insulin resistance, and a . They also have the potential to cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and hypoglycemia.
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Why Women Experience Hair Loss On The Keto Diet
Quiet as it’s keptunless you scour the keto chat boards online religiouslyhair loss or thinning is a pretty common side effect of eating a very low-carb diet.
For instance, a retrospective study of 45 participants with epilepsy, aged 1219 years, found a ketogenic diet highly effective in mitigating symptoms of seizure disorder. However, two out of the 45 patients experienced hair thinning.
The hair loss experienced by some on keto may be more linked to the stress imposed on the body when switching to nutritional ketosiswhereby we force the body to pivot and use fat instead of sugar for fuel.
Here are a few lifestyle changes common to those starting keto and how they may contribute to hair loss or thinning:
But keep in mind, restricting calories on any diet can lead to hair loss this is not a side effect exclusive to a ketogenic diet.
The issue of hair loss comes into play on a ketogenic diet because many followers of the protocol don’t replace the calories saved by removing carbs with enough healthy fats and protein.
But never fear, a well-composed meal plan will help mitigate or altogether avoid hair loss on keto.
However The Diet Can Also Cause A Keto Rash
“For some people, the presence of high levels of ketones triggers a skin condition called prurigo pigmentosa,” said Dixon. The rash is very itchy, she said, and starts on the trunk with red bumps . These eventually crust over and heal, she added, but they often leave dark marks on the skin, which are sometimes permanent.
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Hair Loss And Foods You Eat
Carbohydrates and protein have 4 calories per gram compared to fat which has 9 per gram.
Removing large quantities of carbs from your diet can also remove a large number of calories.
These types of low carb diets may also cause mineral and vitamin deficiencies, depending on the severity of the restriction.
The body uses carbohydrates for energy and helps all of the body processes to work effectively.
Dont Miss Any New Recipes:
If you arent already following my Easy Keto/Low Carb Recipe Page on Facebook where I post all my new recipes, you can join here and follow me on Pinterest here. If you are just getting started following a keto diet and would like more information, there are tons of fantastic resources. Amazon has several excellent books you may want to check out here. Its all about learning what works best for you and your family.
Disclaimer: While I feel confident offering suggestions for the Keto lifestyle, Im not qualified to give medical advice. As always, when it comes to your health, seek a doctors advice.
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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
What You Can Do To Stop Hair Loss On Keto
Although hair loss on keto does not affect everyone, there are some actions you can take to help support the health of your hair while on keto.
Get enough nutrients
Keto is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, so the key is definitely not starvation calorie intake is important, even if youre intermittent fasting. But not just any calories. You want to be sure to consume enough keto-friendly macronutrients to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Protein intake plays a key factor here. You want to consume enough protein, not too much or too little protein. Micronutrients are also important the B vitamin biotin is responsible for the shiny, lush look of healthy hair, and a biotin deficiency can impact hair growth. An iron deficiency can also cause hair loss.
You can make sure your macros and micronutrients are up to snuff by tracking your macros . You may also want to take a multivitamin.
While eating to your macros may not stop you from losing some hair while transitioning from a high-carb diet to a high-fat, low-carb diet, it will help your body adjust faster, so you can get past the transition period and get back to your normal hair-growth cycle.
Reduce your stress level
Heightened cortisol levels can contribute to temporary hair loss, whether youre on a keto diet or not. To ensure stress isnt adversely influencing your hair health or making your hair fall out, do the following:
Get enough sleep
Explore underlying causes with your doctor
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