You’ve probably heard of the keto diet, but did you know that the global keto market is now worth over $9.7 billion?
As many of us turn to the keto diet, we’re familiar with the initial side effects before the weight loss kicks in. A bit tired, headachey, and lack of focus is expected. But there are also some lesser-known side effects.
Keto hair loss is a common problem, but that doesn’t make it right. If you want to do the keto diet and protect your gorgeous hair, there are things you can do.
Read on to learn about hair loss on keto and how to stop it.
What Is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a restrictive diet used for weight loss. It is an extremely low-carb, high-fat diet, and moderate protein diet. But how is it different from other diets?
The keto diet’s goal is to kick your body into a state of ketosis – this is when your body switches from burning carbohydrates as the primary fuel to fat.
Ketosis can only be achieved by limiting carbohydrate and protein intake. Switching into ketosis is an intense process for the body, so flu-like symptoms can occur in the first week of the diet. Otherwise known as ‘keto flu.’
How Does Keto Cause Hair Loss?
As the keto flu subsides, people usually see rapid weight loss, and many claim they feel healthier. But because the diet is so restrictive, there can be some more less-than-pleasant side effects, like hair loss.
People that have done keto will tell you that keto and hair loss go hand-in-hand. But they don’t always know why. There are several reasons, and the science is simple to understand.
1. Low Energy Intake
keto diet hair loss is often caused by insufficient calorie intake. Because the keto diet is rich in high-calorie foods (butter, cheese, olive oil, full-fat cream, etc.), you might think your calorie intake is higher than usual.
But, carbohydrates are where we get most of our calories. When you eliminate an entire food group, it’s natural that your overall intake decreases.
Also, a diet that is so restrictive makes you think about everything that goes into your mouth. While on keto, you’re eliminating every small sweet snack that you usually wouldn’t think twice about – no more cookies for you!
Finally, high-fat foods are very dense, leading to a decreased appetite. When you’re eating high-fat, you feel fuller for longer.
But how does this cause hair loss? Your body goes into overdrive, trying to protect itself and preserve essential processes. This causes less critical processes (such as hair growth) to take a back seat.
2. Rapid Weight Loss Causes Telogen Effluvium
Keto is so popular because it gets results; rapid weight loss is guaranteed if you stick to the diet. But, it’s not always healthy.
Your body isn’t designed to lose weight so fast and causes a massive stress response. This weight loss (caused by the low-calorie intake explained above) contributes to a process called telogen effluvium (TE).
TE is when the hair is shed in excessive amounts due to shock. At any one time, 15% of your hair follicles are in the ‘resting state,’ known as telogen hair. These hairs are prone to shedding.
However, up to 70% of the hair follicles can switch to the resting state during keto. Even everyday hair brushing can cause excessive shedding of these once active hair follicles.
TE can be dramatic, but it is also temporary. Resting follicles will switch back to the active state when the body recovers from an extreme shock (such as carbohydrate deprivation.)
3. You’re Nutrient Deficient
Hair supplements are wildly popular and are full of vitamins and minerals to support healthy hair. When you’re eating a varied diet, these aren’t necessary to stop hair loss unless you have underlying health problems.
However, the keto diet leaves you prone to nutritional deficiencies. Many carbohydrates like bread are fortified with additional nutrients – suddenly, you’re not eating them anymore.
For hair health, B-vitamins are vital. Although there are nutrient-rich foods allowed on keto, your reduced overall intake will lead to a diet lower in vitamins and minerals.
Although everyone’s diet is different, you must take extra care to ensure you’re supporting your body through the process of ketosis. Hair loss is a critical indicator that you’re not getting what you need.
How to Prevent Keto Hair Loss
Many of us want to lose weight, but none of us want to suffer keto hair loss. Luckily, by tracking your calories and nutrients, it can often be prevented.
Taking a multivitamin supplement can help support your body during a keto diet and promote natural hair growth. However, if you’re thinking about doing such a restrictive diet, you should consider more specialist options.
Hair loss during keto is a common problem; there are specialist products designed to combat the telogen effluvium process.
These products work in several ways:
- Reduce hair loss by nourishing the hair bulb cells
- Promote hair growth by increasing the hair growth phase of the cycle
- Increase the hair shaft diameter for stronger hair
- Delayed-release to support prolonged hair nourishment
You should look for products that have proven clinical efficacy if you want to prevent keto hair loss. Many products are available that don’t contain the essential active ingredients to prevent telogen effluvium, so make sure you always buy from a reputable company.
Keto Hair Loss Is Preventable
Now you know all about the possible reasons for hair loss if you’re doing keto. Some hair shedding is normal during this process, but keto hair loss is preventable with the proper monitoring and products.
If you love keto but don’t love hair loss – support your hair health today!