Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when the body begins to burn fat for energy instead of glucose. It is often associated with low-carb or ketogenic diets, which are designed to induce ketosis in the body. While ketosis can have numerous health benefits, including weight loss and improved blood sugar control, some people may experience hair loss while in a state of ketosis. In this article, we will explore the relationship between ketosis and hair loss and discuss potential causes and solutions for this issue.
Can Keto Diet Cause Hair Loss?
Many Keto dieters are worried that they might be losing hair while on the new diet. Well, there is some evidence to suggest that ketosis and hair loss are closely related. When the body is in a state of ketosis, it goes through several changes which can contribute to temporary hair loss.
However, it is worth noting that not everyone will experience Keto hair loss. The extent to which the diet may cause hair shedding and the likelihood of it occurring vary from person to person. Additionally, it is crucial to make sure that you are getting enough of the essential nutrients that are necessary for improving hair health and your general health while following a ketogenic diet. Good health practices such as drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced diet full of healthy fats, and vegetables and increasing your protein intake can offer solutions to hair loss, let’s talk more about these later.
Possible Link Between Keto Diet and Hair Loss
So, what causes Keto hair loss also known as “Keto flu,” which is a common side effect experienced by people following a ketogenic diet? Below are some possible explanations:
Nutritional Deficiencies Can Cause Keto Diet Hair Loss
Nutrient deficiency can contribute to thinning hair while on a ketogenic diet because the body needs certain nutrients to support hair growth. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that can lead to the body entering a state of ketosis. When the body is in a state of ketosis, it goes through several metabolic changes that may lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Protein is an essential nutrient for healthy hair follicles, and a protein deficiency can lead to hair loss or thinning hair. Not enough protein in the diet may not support healthy hair growth, especially if you are also restricting your calorie intake. It is essential to make sure that you are getting enough protein intake from sources such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
Other nutritional deficiencies such as iron deficiency, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies are also causes of hair loss.
Calorie Restriction is another culprit
Keto-induced hair loss may also occur due to less energy in the body when you restrict the number of calories you take. Keto can lead to weight loss, but it may also involve calorie restriction if you are also trying to lose weight. When the body does not get enough calories, it may not have enough energy to support a healthy hair growth phase.
Restricting calories means that you’ll also lack other important nutrients which can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle and your general health.
Hormonal Changes can be the reason you’re losing healthy hair
Hormonal changes caused by Ketosis can contribute to hair loss because the body’s hormones play a crucial role in the normal hair growth cycle. One hormone that may be affected by the Keto diet is the thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland, located in the neck, plays a crucial role in regulating the body’s metabolism and energy levels.
An imbalance in the hormone’s levels can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle and cause hair follicles to fall out. In particular, low levels of thyroid hormone, known as hypothyroidism, can cause hair loss. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, and dry skin and hair.
Stress-Induced Hair loss also can be detrimental
Stress can cause hair loss in several ways, including telogen effluvium and trichotillomania. Telogen effluvium is a type of temporary hair loss that occurs when the hair growth cycle is disrupted by physical or emotional stress. During times of stress, hair follicles may prematurely enter the resting phase (telogen) and fall out more quickly than usual, leading to thinning or shedding. Trichotillomania, on the other hand, is a psychological disorder characterized by the compulsive pulling out of one’s hair. Stress can worsen trichotillomania and lead to further hair loss.
In addition to these stress-related causes of hair loss, it is important to note that the ketogenic diet itself can be a source of stress for the body. When the body is in a state of ketosis, it is undergoing significant metabolic changes as it adjusts to using fat as its primary fuel source. These changes can put a strain on the body and lead to feelings of fatigue, dizziness, and irritability, which can in turn contribute to overall stress levels. Therefore, it is important to manage stress while following a ketogenic diet in order to minimize the risk of hair loss.
Rapid Weight Loss on Keto diet Hinder Hair Growth
Ketosis can lead to a reduction in insulin and blood sugar levels, which can cause a shift in the hair growth cycle. During the hair growth cycle, hair goes through three phases: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). When the body experiences a stressful event, such as rapid weight loss, it can cause a higher percentage of hair to enter the telogen phase and shed, leading to hair loss.
Your Poor Gut Health Can Cause You Problems Too
Your gut health has a massive impact on your hair cycle. Some experts believe that an unhealthy gut is one of the leading causes of hair loss.
How exactly does gut health affect hair loss? Well, there are a few ways.
First of all, your gut is home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. When the balance of good and bad bacteria is off, it can lead to inflammation, which has been linked to poor hair health.
Another way that gut health affects scalp health is by breaking down nutrients. If your gut isn’t functioning properly, it won’t be able to break down the nutrients from your food as effectively, which means that your hair won’t be getting the nourishment it needs to stay healthy.
Finally, your gut produces enzymes that are essential for new hair growth. If your gut isn’t producing enough of these enzymes, it can lead to hair loss.
How Do I Manage or Prevent Hair Loss From Happening When on Keto?
While hair loss on Keto is a normal and temporary occurrence, it can be alarming and frustrating for those experiencing it. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent Keto hair loss and keep your hair healthy. Here are some tips and strategies for preventing it:
Drink water, plenty of it
First, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. The Keto diet can cause dehydration, which can lead to hair loss. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and help keep your hair healthy.
Eat Plenty of Proteins
Second, make sure you’re getting enough protein. The Keto diet can be low in protein. Make sure you’re eating plenty of high-quality protein foods to provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs for healthy hair growth.
Good sources of protein include Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu
Don’t forget Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in the health of your hair, skin, and nails. Biotin deficiency can lead to poor hair health and other health problems. Incorporate biotin-rich foods into your diet.
Good sources of biotin include eggs, nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pork chop and ground beef. You can also consider a biotin supplement that can help ensure that you’re getting enough of this important nutrient.
Take care of your scalp
Don’t forget to take care of your scalp. Just like the skin on your face, your scalp needs to be cleansed and moisturized. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner, and consider using a scalp massage oil to stimulate blood flow to the area.
Managing stress while on a Keto diet can be challenging, as the diet itself may be a source of stress for some people. However, there are several strategies that you can try to help manage stress while following a Keto diet:
- Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are all effective ways to reduce stress.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood.
- Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is important for managing stress and maintaining overall health.
- Take breaks: Allow yourself time to rest and relax, and don’t feel like you have to stick to a strict diet all the time.
Seeking medical attention
Finally, It is worth noting that not everyone who follows a Keto diet will experience poor hair health. The extent to which the diet may cause these effects and the likelihood of it occurring varies from person to person. It is essential to consult a healthcare provider or dermatologist if you are experiencing hair loss and are on a ketogenic diet to determine the cause and receive proper treatment
Is Hair Loss on Keto Permanent?
Hair loss, or alopecia, can be caused by a variety of factors, including dietary changes, hormonal imbalances, and medical conditions. The ketogenic diet, which is a low-carb diet that is designed to cause the body to enter a state of ketosis, may potentially contribute to Keto-induced hair loss in some individuals and this is temporary. The hair loss will disappear after some time.
This is because the body undergoes significant changes when it switches from using carbohydrates as its primary energy source to using fat as its primary energy source. These changes can affect the production of certain hormones, including Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which can in turn affect hair health.
How Long Does Hair Loss Take To Disappear While on a Keto diet?
It is not possible to accurately predict how long hair loss may persist while following a Keto diet, as this can vary greatly depending on the individual and the underlying cause of the hair loss.
Hair loss that is caused by rapid weight loss or a dietary deficiency may be temporary and reversible with proper treatment and dietary adjustments.
If the cause of the hair fall is identified and addressed, and proper treatment is implemented, hair loss may improve or resolve within a few months. However, the rate of hair growth is different for each individual, and it may take longer for some people to see improvement.
In conclusion, Keto hair loss is a common but temporary side effect of the ketogenic diet. It is caused by the body’s adaptation to a low-carb, high-fat diet and can be exacerbated by other factors such as nutrient deficiencies and stress. While it may be alarming, it is important to remember that Keto hair loss is typically temporary and will resolve on its own as the body adjusts to the diet.
To prevent or minimize hair loss while following a ketogenic diet, it is important to focus on getting enough nutrients, managing stress, and taking care of your hair and scalp. By following these tips, you can maintain healthy, strong hair while enjoying the benefits of a ketogenic diet.
The information on this website is meant to be used for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as personal medical advice. So, when it comes to ketosis and hair loss, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional or a dermatologist to determine the cause and develop a treatment plan.
In some cases, hair loss may be reversible with proper treatment and dietary adjustments. In other cases, hair loss may be permanent, depending on the underlying cause. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action if you are concerned about hair loss.