Before thinking of weight loss, many ask me, does keto diet cause hair loss? Well, the answer is “it depends”. In general, Yes, Keto causes hair loss and it is one of the most common side effects of the keto diet.
Keto diet is a ketogenic dietary diet therapy which is a rich-fat, high-protein, and low- carbohydrate diet that was prominently used to treat epilepsy in children in the 1920s.
The ketogenic diet burns body fats rather than carbohydrates. This diet therapy has little carbohydrates and enough protein for body growth and repair, and adequate calories to maintain the accurate weight for height and age as well. You may also check our recent publication on the foods that won’t make you gain weight.
#There are 03 Types of Keto Diet
- Standard ketogenic Dieting is ideal for weight loss that usually includes 30 grams or less carbohydrate intake a day.
- Targeted Ketogenic Dieting allows small carbohydrates either before or after doing workouts.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Dieting is a more progressive keto diet. One might follow the traditional keto diet Monday to Friday and then have a higher-carb diet on weekends.
Therefore, this dietary regime is widely used for supporting weight loss, promoting brain and cognitive health, treating type-2 diabetes, reducing inflammation, and others. You must see this: Side Effects of Keto Diet [Revealed]
But it has some side effects. Among those, a changed condition of hair and the possibility of hair loss is most common. Luckily, taking certain vitamins and adjusting the foods slightly one eats may help one’s hair to its pre-keto version and volume. You may also check does green tea help you lose weight?
Can keto cause hair loss? or lead to hair loss?
Without appropriate planning, the keto diet shows some unpleasant side effects. And, losing hair is one of them. The low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet lead to malnourishment initially.
This diet therapy violates the normal functioning of the body. Most of the time, low-carb, little protein, and much stress can trigger hair loss. Carbohydrates turn into glucose and the body uses carbohydrates from the food one eats for energy. don’t miss does lemon juice burns belly fat?
Lack of protein is an important reason to lose hair. Again, the transition from carb to fat affects the fuel for the body. The body uses more of its energy in vital organs’ functions than focusing on hair health.
Does keto make your hair fall out?
Most of the cases a new diet requires eliminating several types of foods and varies the proportion of foods. The ketogenic diet also does the same.
In a keto diet, calorie intake becomes inadequate. Also, too little portion of protein, vitamins, and minerals are another reason for hair loss. So the body prioritizes the vital organs’ function over hair growth. Therefore, the keto diet is responsible for hair fall for a certain period.
#The 06 Reasons Why does keto cause hair loss
There are certain aspects of ketosis that can trigger hair fall. There are mainly two reasons why a ketogenic diet might cause hair loss. These two-fold reasons are stress and malnourishment.
I believe you also need to know how ketosis affects hair. Let’s see the below 06 reasons on why and how keto causes hair loss
Firstly, a keto diet might add stress to the body as intermittent fasting. According to Miller, keto is a stressor on the body instead of being a powerfully healthy diet. This also can stress the thyroid and impact adrenals. And these can contribute automatically to temporary hair loss called Telogen Effluvium or large clumps of hair fall named alopecia areata.
Secondly, many may not eat enough protein and biotin when they start a keto diet. And a low protein diet is one of the leading causes of hair loss. A classical keto diet therapy results in protein and vitamin deficiencies such as, biotin and water-soluble vitamin B that cause protein loss in the keto diet. And protein malnourishment causes loss of iron which leads to hypothyroid symptoms to hair fall.
Then biotin deficiency is another major culprit. As it helps convert food into energy. For strong and healthy hair, one needs 1000 to 2500 mg of biotin daily.
04. Drastic Calorie Reduction
Also, drastic calorie reduction is one of the main reasons to lose hair. When calories are reduced suddenly then the body uses most of its energy for vital functioning rather than hair growth.
05. Nutritional deficiencies
Another reason is nutritional deficiencies. The Keto diet is a low-carb diet. Hereby, the kidney flushes out electrons like zinc, sodium, magnesium, iodine, potassium, etc. So, the body needs the replacement of the vitamins and minerals it is losing. That’s why one can lose more hair or hair growth can slow down for a period.
06. Body’s response to cutting calories down
body responses with available stored energy to the most important bodily function first with reduced calorie intake like cell growth, heart, lungs, kidney, and organs’ function. Therefore, lesser calorie intake produces less energy for hair growth.
How long does hair fall out excessively on keto?
The hair loss during the ketosis period is temporary. Most hair loss lasts for two to three months on a keto diet. When the stressors and growing pains of this new keto diet fade then the hair enters the Anagen phase which is the growth of new hair. Typically new hair starts to regrow after two to three months. Also, check the benefit of hot lemon water.
Telogen effluvium is the most common phrase which is a temporary form in the ketogenic diet. Overall, most of the cases of lost hairs are resolved within a year.
Do you lose hair on keto?
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet with little protein. Mediocre intake of protein is a vital consideration in shedding hair. Then an abrupt change from carb to fat diet is a major part of the initial hair loss phase in ketosis. let’s see foods that make you look younger.
Stress is another fact for falling hair. In short, one loses hair at the beginning of the ketosis period for all these reasons. However, this stage is temporary and curable by following a proper diet and proper lifestyle.
Can low carb diet cause hair loss?
In a ketogenic diet, one needs to restrict carbohydrate intake. Therefore the body starts using more fat instead of carbohydrates, for the body’s fuel. At this point, the body focuses more on vital organs of the body rather than on hair growth. And this sudden transition from carbs to fat causes hair loss.
Also, losing hair is a common affair with a low carbohydrate diet plan due to the increased stress that happens with the dietary changes in the keto diet.
#The 06 Keto Diet Side Effects Hair Loss
The side effects of the keto regime are called “keto flu” which is an initial period of cravings, fatigue as well as irritability that occurs when the body suddenly shifts from a sugar-burning to a fat-burning state.
Keto flu happens due to dehydration from water loss from the kidneys and intracellular loss from decreased glycogen storage. So, one must drink lots of water and fluid to stay adequately hydrated.
Here are the keto diet hair loss side effects are given below:
01. Large calorie deficits
In the keto diet, food consumption is certainly low compared to the usual diet. The sudden transition of carbohydrates to healthy fats and protein leads to a drastic calorie deficit. Therefore the body spends less energy on the hair growth process.
02. Vitamins and Minerals Deficiencies
An unplanned keto dieter forgets to replace needed vitamins and minerals that got flushed out during the ketosis period. Consuming fewer carbs produces less insulin in the body. And then glycogen stores get depleted and kidneys excrete water as well as electrolytes such as zinc, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and iodine in large amounts. These disrupt enjoying healthy hair.
03. Stress Plays a Large Role
Stress is one of the renowned culprits behind hair fall. One experiences stress on ketogenic diet for a few reasons:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Caloric deficits and restrictions
- Psychological stress
- Keto rash
- Keto flu
However, stress can also lead to certain conditions:
- Alopecia Areata: This defines the sudden loss of large clumps of hair in the scalp.
- Telogen Effluvium: Here, one loses more hairs than usually fall out.
- Trichotillomania: in such a condition, a person pulls on his hair even without realizing it.
Moreover, Telogen effluvium is the most common condition at the initial stage of the ketogenic diet. Mostly, the stage is temporary and lasts for about two to three months only.
04. Lack of Protein
Under consumption of protein in the initial time of the keto diet becomes a common factor that is responsible for hair loss. Then ferritin, which is the main iron storage molecule, is a protein. Thus, altogether lack of protein affects hair health.
05. Lack of Biotin
Biotin is also known as vitamin H. It helps the body to convert food into energy. The low-carb and high-fat regimen causes biotin deficiency.
06. Gut Health
A sudden change in the diet chart may disturb the gut system. An unhealthy gut microbiome leads to a gut syndrome which creates stress on the body. Also, gut bacteria prevents biotin production which can cause hair loss.
#The 10 Remedy to counter hair loss effect
As a nutritionist, I frequently get this question: What nutrients are important for hair growth? And what is the remedy to stop hair loss from the keto diet?
As hair loss side effects occur as a result of too much stress and too little protein, an appropriate diet and lifestyle changes can completely reverse the situation. Getting more sleep, proper hydration, enough consumption of calories and protein, and less stress minimizes keto hair loss.
Lean protein is very helpful for thinning hair. However, consuming an amount of 60 to 90 grams of protein per day will nourish the body. Here are some excellent sources of protein include:
- Soybean such as edamame, tempeh, tofu, etc.
- Nuts and nut butter
- Green peas
- Chia seeds
- Vegetables, for example, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and others are some of the plant-based proteins.
This is the main structural protein and vital to nail and hair growth. Oral collagen could prevent: Early hair loss, hair thinning, and hair graying. Collagen creates new hair cells. So one can take collagen supplements for replenishing the collagen level.
Biotin deficiency is associated with a ketogenic diet. Biotin is present in a wide range of foods. For instance,
- egg yolks
- organ meats such as liver and kidneys
- Nuts like, almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts, walnuts, etc.
- Cauliflower, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, avocados, etc.
- Dairy products
- Biotin is also taken as a supplement. 30 micrograms of biotin a day is recommended for adults by experts daily.
It promotes good thyroid function and increases the hair growth cycle. Some ketogenic friendly foods that contain zinc are:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cocoa powder
- Mushrooms etc.
05. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the most important element for overall immune system and health. Vitamin C produces collagen which is needed for healthy hair. Following foods are rich source of vitamin c:-
- Citrus fruits like berries, oranges, lemons etc.
- Yellow peppers
- Mustard spinach etc.
06. Vitamin A
This is an important nutrient for hair health. Men should take 900 mcg and women should take 700 mcg per day. Good sources of vitamin A are:
- Lean meat
- Dairy products
- Fish etc.
But one should keep in mind that vitamin A should not be consumed in high amounts because too much vitamin A can cause toxicity. Some of the symptoms are:
- Visual disturbance
- Bone and joint pain
- Poor appetite
- Hair loss and others.
07. Vitamin E
This antioxidant promotes growth and cells. Adults need the RDA of vitamin E 15 mg a day. To ensure the amount each day, one needs to include the following foods in the diet:
- Sunflower seeds etc.
08. Essential Oils
Oils are what water is for the tree. Oiling the scalp stimulates the Anagen stage. Massaging oil into the scalp promotes blood flow in the scalp. Oiling also stimulates hair growth and protects hair from breakage as well. Some of the options are-
- Castor oil etc. show effective results for hair loss.
Adequate hydration is bliss for hair. One should drink water at least half of one’s body weight in ounces. Apart from drinking water, massaging hot oil and applying a mask will help a lot to maintain the healthiness of hair.
10. Intermittent fasting
At first, trying the keto diet and intermittent fasting at the same time should be avoided. Fasting for 10 to 16 hours generally causes the body to turn the stored fat into energy. This leads to the increase of stress hormones and dehydration that can cause hair fall.
To conclude, having more protein, biotin, and staying properly hydrated will work in your best interest.