The keto diet focuses on high-fat, low-carb foods. Many people choose to follow the keto diet because it helps them lose weight. Unfortunately, a few people find that switching to the ketogenic diet can also cause thinning hair and hair loss.
How the Keto Diet Works
The standard ketogenic diet consists of:
- 70% fat
- 20% protein
- 10% carbs
Other versions of the diet include:
- Cyclical ketogenic diet – following the standard ketogenic diet with occasional days for more carbohydrates.
- Targeted ketogenic diet – a version of the standard ketogenic diet that lets you eat carbs on days when you exercise.
- High protein ketogenic diet – 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs.
By lowering the amount of carbohydrates you eat, the keto diet forces your body to enter a ketosis state, which means you burn fat instead of carbs for energy.
Keto Diets and Hair Loss
Most people following keto diets never experience hair loss. Some, however, will notice thinning or patchy hair. Changes in hair can come from several aspects of the diet.
Restrictive Diets Can Mean Eating Fewer Calories. When you switch to a restrictive diet like keto, you may find it difficult to adjust your meals. With keto, the increased amount of fat that you eat can make you feel full from smaller portions of food. As a result, you could end up consuming fewer calories than usual.
If your body feels stressed about the lower caloric intake, it could respond by shutting down some unnecessary functions. From your body’s perspective, hair doesn’t matter much. Until you return to your normal level of calories—or your body adjusts to the new diet–you could experience hair loss.
The Keto Diet Might Not Give You Enough Protein
Unlike most low-carb diets, the keto diet typically asks you to eat a minimal amount of protein. Your follicles need protein to produce hair. Without enough protein in your diet, the follicles in your scalp could slow production and leave you with thinning hair.
You can get all the nutrition you need while following the keto diet. It requires more meal planning, though. If you haven’t prepared for the change in your diet, you might discover that your body doesn’t get the nutrition it needs to look healthy. Hair loss is one of the possible side effects of poor nutrition.
Preventing Hair Loss While Eating Keto
One way to prevent hair loss while following a keto diet by eating balanced meals with enough nutrition. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before changing your lifestyle. A healthcare professional may have advice that helps you stay healthy and keep your hair.
If you’re struggling with hair loss, Transitions Hair Loss Centers can help. To find a location near you click here.