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9 Reasons For Hair Loss During Ketosis

Longevity logo Longevity 2018-09-11 Editor LL
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The ketogenic diet is one that has been making headlines recently and stayed on the lips of everyone from dieticians to bodybuilders. It’s a low carb, high fat and moderate protein diet, which puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. In this state, the liver produces ketones, which become the main energy source for the body. While a normal diet contains high quantity of carbohydrates, followed by a lesser amount of fat and protein, a keto diet includes fewer carbs and a whole lot more fat. During this diet, you may experience flu-like symptoms as well as a reduction in energy. Side effects you may have to face include cramps, constipation, heart palpitations and reduced physical performance. For reasons that will soon become clear, you may also experience hair loss.

Foods that can help you enjoy a ketogenic diet include natural fat such as butter and olive oil, fish and seafood, meat, eggs, cheese, and vegetables that grow above the ground such as cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, capsicum, and brinjal. Also, make sure to avoid foods containing a lot of sugar and starch such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. They are also very high in carbs. This diet is favoured by bodybuilders, as it is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

However, if your body is producing too many ketones, it could result in ketoacidosis.

Keto and Hair loss

Hair loss is considered a less common side effect of a ketogenic diet. Extreme changes in diet can affect your body and hair in one way or another. As your hormone levels adjust and metabolism shifts to burning fat, you may even notice an increase in the rate at which your hair sheds. With low calories, the body reduces the number of calories used in reproduction as well as hair growth.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, in a natural hair growth cycle, you shed between 50 and 100 hairs daily. If you lose more hair than that, it could be the result of a dramatic change in your diet.

However, not everyone will experience hair loss while switching to a keto diet. It depends on the kind of lifestyle you have been following and how your body adapts to the new diet. Hair loss experienced within five months of starting a ketogenic diet is most likely temporary and can be cleared by taking multivitamins.

In certain cases, hair loss starts 3-6 months after starting a new diet. You can minimize hair loss by not restricting calories too much and making sure that you get enough sleep of around 7 to 8 hours at night. This state is temporary and after a few months the hair follicles will start to grow new hair, and when re-grown your hair will be as thick as before.

Of course, if you have long hair this could take a year or even more. It’s ideal to follow a well-formulated diet that will correct issues such as hair loss and less fat. There are matcha tea recipes that you can prepare which are considered perfect for the keto diet and “hair-friendly”.

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Top 9 reasons for keto hair loss

1. Quick weight loss

Extreme weight loss could contribute to hair loss, as the body lacks calories due to changes in food intake. When you’re on low-calorie diets for a long-term, it results in a deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals. Telogen effluvium is a common type of hair loss that can occur as a result of sudden weight loss. Losing and regaining weight over many years could take its toll on your metabolism and your hair.

2. Biotin deficiency

Hair loss and dermatitis are typical symptoms of biotin deficiency. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as a cofactor for several carboxylases. It is essential for hair growth and helps the hair follicles absorb other vitamins, especially vitamin B necessary for hair growth. Egg yolks are a low=calorie source of the biotin, sulphur and protein that your hair needs to grow. A 2013 study published in the Nutrition journal points out that individuals consuming ketogenic diet have an increased biotin requirement. This research conducted on mice suggests biotin supplementation for those considering ketogenic diet plans.

3. Alopecia areata

Biotin deficiency can further result in alopecia, which is a very rare cause of hair loss. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease linked to food allergies. It can happen at any time, resulting in complete hair loss on the scalp and sometimes body hair too. Monoxide and Propecia are two medications proven to be good against alopecia. Make sure to consult a doctor before using them.

4. Hypothyroidism

Several studies also report that this diet may cause thyroid malfunction. Symptoms include hair loss, dry hair, loss of eyebrows, abnormal thyroid glands and hormones. Along with taking care of your thyroid, you should also try improving your hair growth with vitamins, minerals and foods rich in biotin, zinc, iron, magnesium, vitamin B12 and vitamin E.

5. Lack of protein – Protein deficiency mainly leaves its impact on the skin, hair and nails, which are largely made of protein. A minimum amount of protein is required every day to prevent muscle loss and it’s an essential part of hair growth. Lack of healthy protein in your diet can cause easily broken hair that is hard to grow. Adding a variety of healthy proteins to your diet can help improve the assimilation of amino acids needed to produce keratin.

6. Iron deficiency

Lack of enough iron in the human body can result in hair loss. It’s critical to check whether you are anaemic, because, in anaemic persons, oxygen is used to support vital life processes rather than maintaining the health of the hair. If not by natural means, consider iron supplements that can be beneficial for a period of time.

7. Stress

Stress can contribute to poor hair condition. If you’re losing your hair, stressing out about it can make things worse. Stress hormones can also block communication with the hair follicle, which results in melanin absorption and thus grey hair.

8. Gut health

While adopting a new keto lifestyle, it’s important to pay extra attention to gut health. The leaky gut syndrome can cause major health problems. Make sure that your nutrition intake, as well as current lifestyle factors, is contributing to good gut health. Certain health supplements that are recommended for better gut health include collagen, l-glutamine, and zinc.

9. Not consuming enough calories

Lack of calories via quality fats can result in diverse hair issues. Deficiency of fat-soluble nutrients can also cause the hair to split as well as lead to dry scalp. Make sure to add avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds to your diet.

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How to minimize hair loss

  • Make sure you consume enough calories and never go into starvation mode
  • Drink more water
  • Try to eat tomatoes, oranges or other fruits rich in vitamin C that help the body absorb iron
  • Active people may need more calories to fuel activity and prevent muscle loss
  • Check vitamin levels in your diet
  • Include a variety of meats, poultry and fatty fish, nuts, avocado and fibrous vegetables in your meal plan
  • Eat a balanced diet and reduce stress levels
  • Take enough rest and sleep at least eight hours at night
  • Avoid making big changes to your workout schedule
  • Minimize chemical exposure by using natural and organic products from plant-based ingredients

Consuming more vitamins and minerals such as zinc, biotin, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium and vitamin E can help you get stronger and healthier hair. You can also consider natural hair loss remedies at the same time for better results.

Want to know more?

Click here to find out which superfoods should always be on your grocery list.

Author Bio: a person posing for the camera: hair loss | Longevity LIVE © Provided by ZA Celebrityworx Pty Ltd hair loss | Longevity LIVE

Catalin is the founder of Ecommerce Platforms and Web App Meister. He blogs about matcha, Japanese lifestyle, and mindfulness at He’s a design enthusiast and loves matcha, and is uber passionate about blockchain technology and travel.

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