Does the Keto Diet Lead to Hair Loss?

To say that the keto diet has become wildly popular in recent years is a complete understatement. And there’s no shortage of success stories to be found, with celebrities and influencers touting its benefits. But, of course, nothing is perfect and there are side effects to be aware of if you’re considering a ketogenic diet.

While fans of keto swear it leads to better energy levels, less cravings, and weight loss, plenty acknowledge downsides like digestive issues, fatigue, and even hair loss.

Here are four potential reasons why a keto diet may cause hair thinning or loss and what you can do to prevent it.

Too Few Calories

For a diet that allows cheese and butter, you’d think consuming sufficient calories would be a piece of cake. But because of the high fat, people generally end up feeling full faster and end up cutting calories. The good news for some is that this leads to quick weight loss. However, consuming too few calories too quickly can send your body into shock, leading to a shutting down of critical functions such as hair growth.

Not Enough Protein

In order to keep your body in ketosis (a metabolic state that occurs when you burn fat for energy instead of glucose), it is suggested that you limit your protein intake. It’s possible that focusing on fat in the keto diet can result in not getting adequate protein, which is essential for hair growth.

Losing Weight Too Quickly

Many people on the keto diet report quick, temporary weight loss. Yet the stress of both losing weight quickly and slashing protein intake can contribute to what’s called telogen effluvium, the most common kind of hair loss that occurs when hair shifts from the growing to resting phase. It is often temporary, and can be triggered by hormonal, autoimmune, or nutritional imbalances. For instance, many women experience telogen effluvium after giving birth due to hormonal fluctuations. Certain medications, emotional stress, and crash diets are also known causes of this type of hair loss.

Lack of Key Nutrients

Following any restrictive diet can lead to deficiencies in the nutrients essential for hair health, such as biotin. If you suspect you’re not getting the vitamins and minerals you need, consult your doctor.

How Can You Prevent Hair Loss on the Keto Diet?

Talk to your doctor before starting any diet, especially one that restricts any food groups. To help prevent hair loss, take a multivitamin to cover any potential deficiencies and aim to get the protein you need from high-quality sources, such as eggs and poultry. If you are already losing your hair and suspect that it’s linked to a keto diet, you may need to consider liberalizing your diet a bit or work with someone who can help personalize your eating plan based on your health goals. In time, you should be able to reverse this type of hair loss.

And for permanent hair loss caused by age, genetics, and other factors, contact the hair restoration experts at DiStefano Hair Restoration Center. We offer proven surgical and non-surgical solutions specifically tailored to your needs. Ready to find out which hair restoration solution is right for you? Call us today and schedule your free consultation.