You might have read tons about the ketogenic diet, and how it can be one of the best weight-loss programs around, however, as you might have also learned, it may bring unwanted side effects. Among these is the possibility of a change in the condition of your hair and even hair loss.
Luckily, there are things that you can do to counter these keto hair loss effects. In most instances, this involves increasing your intake of specific vitamins and tweaking your meals.
This condition usually happens between 3 to 6 months after introducing a new diet, and only a small percentage of your hair will be affected.
Reasons Why this Happens
Studies have shown that hair loss can be one of the side effects of a low carb diet. Although the keto diet is not the main thing responsible for this, the initial side effects of starting this diet could be the real cause
Your body uses carbohydrates from the food that you eat to produce energy. But if you are on a keto diet, you follow a high-fat low carb diet to help you go into a state of ketosis.
When this occurs, your body will start using fats as opposed to carbohydrates to produce fuel. Therefore, there are a number of aspects of ketosis that can affect the health of your hair and trigger hair loss.
Some of these causes include:
1. Fewer Nutrients
If you limit your intake of carbs, including vegetables and carb fruits, you may significantly reduce the number of nutrients that your body needs for healthy hair growth.
This may make you lose more hair than usual. Your hair growth may also slow down and leave you with fewer strands of hair on your head.
2. Your Body’s Response to Reducing Calories
When you minimize your calories, your body will respond by ensuring the energy you have goes into essential functions. This may include the functioning of the heart, lungs, and other organs and other items, such as cell growth. Studies have also shown that significant weight loss can significantly affect the growth of your hair.
Those on a ketogenic diet rarely replace the calories they get from carbs with just proteins and healthy fats. This may lead to a severe deficit of calories that may end up impacting your health.
Having a proper meal plan can help mitigate this by ensuring that you consume the right quantity of nutrients.
3. Stress May Play Some Role
One of the main culprits of hair loss during keto diet is stress. When your body undergoes a major dietary change or you alter the foods your body consumes typically, stress is likely to occur.
Here are some reasons why you may be faced with stress:
- Keto flu
- Psychological stress
- Major caloric deficit
- Extreme calorie restrictions
- Keto rush
- Acute stress due to a negative work environment
Stress can even cause you to unknowingly pull out your hair. This is a condition called trichotillomania, that can be caused by stress or severe changes in your lifestyle. Since going to a low carb diet can lead to this, you need to try to keep stress at a minimum level during keto.
4. Gut Health
Did you know that your gut microbiome affects almost every system in your body, including your skin, hair, and nails?
With this in mind, an unhealthy system may cause your gut to leak and lead to stress and worsen your hair loss symptoms. Therefore, it can be concluded that improving the health of your gut could effectively help prevent hair loss when on a keto diet.
5. Lack of Biotin
Biotin also called vitamin H can help your body to convert food into energy quickly. According to a study conducted on mice, a high-fat low carb diet regime may lead to biotin deficiency.
This means those on a ketogenic diet might want to look to supplement their diet with biotin to avoid hair loss.
6. Lack of Enough Proteins
Many beginners of the keto diet consume too little protein, thinking that they may come out of ketosis if they eat a lot. While you will want to stay under a certain percentage, in the first few weeks you want to make sure you are not pushing yourself too hard. It can take time for your body to adjust and evolve with the varying levels of fats and proteins.
Recent research has shown that protein under consumption and calorie deficits were some of the main factors responsible for hair loss.
Moreover, if you lack iron while on a low carb diet you are likely to suffer severe hair loss. For instance, the lack of iron can lead to symptoms such as hypothyroidism, which can end up affecting the health of your hair.
7. Minerals and Vitamin Deficiencies
When going on a keto diet, most people forget about replacing essential minerals and vitamins that they flushed out during their first days.
Since you are on low carb, your body produces less insulin. Your glycogen stores may also get depleted. When you deplete your glycogen, your kidney will excrete water and electrolytes such as zinc, magnesium, iodine, and potassium.
If you want to have healthy hair, you must replenish all these minerals and vitamins.
How to Avoid Keto Hair Loss
Although replenishing your electrolytes and eating enough calories is among the best ways to prevent keto hair loss, supplements and certain food products can also help you.
Here are some ways to help you prevent this:
This is perhaps the most effective way to increase the thickness of the hair follicles. To boost your biotin intake naturally concentrate on the following food products:
- Dairy products
Since adults only require 30 grams of this, if you are on a low carb diet, consider enjoying some of these food products, and you’ll get rid of your hair loss within no time. You can also find a biotin supplement at your local health food store or online.
Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM is a compound commonly found in vegetables, animal products, and algae.
As one of the most important compounds, MSM helps to form links in the body’s structural tissue, including the nails and skin. It also helps build up fibrous structural proteins keratin, a protein responsible for nail and hair health.
When in supplement form, it can be used to strengthen connective tissue and cartilage. Since it’s rich in nutrients, it may also help boost the health of your hair.
Eat Bone Broth
The ketogenic diet and bone broth can be considered complementary. Since it has several health benefits, bone broth has also been deemed liquid gold.
With collagen content, it enhances hair health and also improves the gut.
As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is responsible for hair growth, the elasticity of the skin, proper organ and muscle growth, and much more.
Bone broth has type II collagen that only happens to be in the connective tissue and bone. It also helps boost leaky Gut Syndrome, which enhances the nutrients for healthier hair.
Go For the Right Collagen Supplements
If you want to add more collagen directly to your system, you can go direct for the right supplement. Oral collagen will help you prevent hair thinning, early hair loss, and hair graying.
As part of the hair follicle stem cells, lack of collagen can lead to early aging in the cells that may trigger hair loss.
But since your natural collagen production may go down as you grow older, you need to supplement it to improve the levels.
Choose good collagen supplement made of grass-fed cows and then pair it up with MCT optimal ketosis support. The best part is that it comes in different flavors; hence you can choose the right one.
Use Coconut Oil
While coconut oil may not directly help you with hair growth, it can help prevent the loss from occurring in the first place. Using it regularly, both orally and topically, can make your hair moisturize and soften the hair. Also, it’s full of antioxidants and essential nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron.
Research has shown that zinc deficiencies can easily lead to extreme hair loss and hypothyroidism. Some of the ketogenic friendly foods rich in zinc include grass-fed beef, lamp, pumpkins seeds, cashews, chicken, and mushrooms.
Try a Head Massage
Apart from being so pleasurable, massage is useful in treating pain, muscle tension, and different kinds of stress that your body may be faced with.
These massages also increase blood flow to the scalp, stimulate your blood capillaries, and promote hair regrowth.
It may also block the effects of DHT, the hormone that’s responsible for hair loss among humans.
Our pick is Terez and Honor’s Caffeine Anti Hair Loss Shampoo. Wakes you head up a bit!
Consider using Pumpkin Seed Oil
Research has shown that pumpkin seed oil can help men with mild and moderate baldness. Those who are treated with this oil have reported more hair after the treatment.
After only 24 weeks of treatment, hair count improved by around 40 percent.
Support the Liver and Bile
If you want to prevent hair loss, you need to support your liver and bile. Your liver help metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
It also manufactures bile, which is vital in the digestion and absorption of fats.
Since the liver directs and regulates hormones, it’s important to support the liver’s function if you want to prevent hair loss.
This is particularly true if you’ve had gallstones in the past.
Go For Optimal Hydration
If you are on a ketogenic diet, then optimal hydration is critical. Since the hair shaft is made up of 25% of water, if it’s dehydrated, it becomes weak and brittle.
Water will hydrate your body and regulate your circulatory system, feed your hair follicle, and stimulate hair growth.
If you want to stay hydrated on the ketogenic diet, you need to drink tons of water. In theory, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be an intake of 75 to 150 ounces of water a day.
The best thing is to super hydrate the first thing in the morning with clean water and lemon.
To grow healthy hair, it needs a good supply of blood. With this in mind, anything that might interfere with this is likely to lead to hair loss.
While keto hair loss is a minor thing that passes relatively quickly, it may affect your self-esteem and quality of life. Although a ketogenic diet can play a role in hair loss, it shouldn’t be the reason to fret since it comes with numerous health benefits.
But if you are faced with severe hair loss that does not seem to go away, contact your health physician as there could be an underlying reason.
Overall it may just be a temporary nuisance; hence will soon reappear healthier and even shinier.
If you are faced with hair loss due to your change in diet, the most important thing is to pay attention to nutrient deficiencies, calorie deficits, and stress levels.
Always be sure to check with your doctor before starting new diet regimen and follow a proper ketogenic diet plan to enjoy the benefits of rapid weight loss while maintaining healthy hair.