keto diet and hair loss

Exploring the Keto Diet and hair loss

The Keto Diet has become one of the most popular diets in recent times. Originally designed to help those who suffer with epileptic seizures, the diet is now most commonly used to achieve speedy and significant weight loss.

However, while followers of the Keto Diet may indeed drop the pounds, it can also produce some rather unpleasant side effects. ‘Keto flu’ is one of the most common side effects experienced by those who embark on the diet, but did you know it could also cause hair loss?

Here, we’ll look into the link between the Keto Diet and hair loss, and how diet can generally impact our hair’s health.

Could the Keto Diet really cause hair loss?

While it isn’t guaranteed that the Keto Diet will cause hair loss, it is a possibility. This is down to two main factors, which are:

  • A lack of protein in the diet
  • Rapid weight loss

Protein is one of the most important macronutrients responsible for healthy hair growth. Therefore, if there’s a lack of it in the diet, your hair will likely suffer. In terms of the Keto Diet, it typically delivers moderate levels of protein. Therefore, it’s uncommon that the diet would lead to a protein deficiency. However, those who aren’t getting enough could experience hair loss, or hair thinning.

The second and most likely cause of hair loss in those following the Keto Diet is rapid weight loss. It’s well-documented through research, that rapid weight loss can trigger hair loss. Extreme dieting interrupts the natural hair growth cycle, pushing more hairs into the resting phase while growth slows down. Once the hair reaches the shedding stage, it falls out together, causing more noticeable hair loss. So, those following the diet who do experience hair loss, are likely experiencing the issue due to rapid weight loss.

Can you prevent hair loss on the Keto Diet?

It’s possible to prevent the nutrition-related hair loss associated with the Keto Diet. Ensuring you consume a minimum of 15% of your daily calories from proteins will prevent a deficiency. Taking a multi-vitamin can help to ensure you avoid any nutritional deficiencies while following the diet.

However, preventing hair loss associated with rapid weight loss isn’t as straight forward. The only way would be to slow down the weight loss, aiming to lose around 2 pounds per week. This may not be possible when you’re following the Keto Diet, as it’s renowned for its rapid, impressive results.

The link between diet and hair loss

What you eat can have a significant effect on your hair. While it is uncommon, nutrition-based hair loss is a possibility, particularly if you’re deficient in specific nutrients. Therefore, it’s best to focus on a healthy, balanced diet which includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, alongside protein and complex carbohydrates.

If you are following the Keto Diet and you’re experiencing hair loss, then the effect should be temporary but if your follicles aren’t recovering, then consult with a hair loss specialist. They will be able to assess the condition and determine the actual cause. From there, a suitable treatment plan can be created.