Several studies pinpoint accelerated hair loss among those participating in a low-carb diet. The ketogenic diet is not wholly responsible for hair loss, but it does serve as an explanation for those experiencing sudden hair loss.

The ketogenic diet (or “keto”) is a diet that forces the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates, moving the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones. People adopt this diet widely to lower blood sugar, boost insulin sensitivity, and lose weight.

Millions of men and women struggle with weight loss. Many succeed on the keto diet but often experience unwanted side effects. You may experience specific side effects as your body adapts to the keto diet, including digestive issues, sleep issues, decreased energy levels, nausea, an increased appetite, and hair loss. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons the keto diet spurs hair loss.

Substantial Calorie Deficits

Not everyone on the keto diet will experience hair loss with their weight loss, but it is not uncommon for keto dieters to shed pounds and hair. Calorie restriction might cause hair loss or interrupt hair growth. In their most extreme form, Keto diets can cause people to lose significant portions of their total body weight. Some people end up losing 25% of their total weight. To successfully shed this weight, participants must consume a fraction of the calories they normally would. During periods of low-calorie intake, our body has less energy to function. When our bodies don’t have proper power, they do not expend resources on non-vital functions such as hair growth.

Lack of Protein

Entering ketosis and suddenly shifting to fat for energy, as suggested by other studies, can trigger hair loss. A standard ketogenic diet plan advises that participants eat a high amount of fat, a medium amount of protein, and a meager amount of carbohydrates. Many people beginning the diet will under-consume protein for fear that too much protein will cause them to leave a state of ketosis. We cannot naturally consume the iron storage molecule ferritin when we don’t eat proteins. Low ferritin levels within the body can directly affect hair health.

Not Replenishing Mineral and Vitamin Stores

Vitamin deficiency can affect hair health as well. A lack of micronutrients and amino acids like zinc can cause hair to thin suddenly.

When you reduce carb intake, it can lead to less insulin production and depleted glycogen stores. As new keto diet participants begin eating reduced carbs, essential vitamins, and minerals are flushed out during the first week of the diet.

While eating a reduced number of carbohydrates, your body begins to produce a lower amount of insulin, and your glycogen stores also start to deplete. When our bodies deplete glycogen, our kidneys excrete water and electrolytes. These electrolytes include magnesium, potassium, sodium, iodine, and zinc. These nutrients are flushed almost entirely out of our bodies in just a few days. To produce healthy hair, replacing these vitamins with a natural diet or supplements is essential.

Hair loss is an unwelcome side effect for many dieters, including those on the keto diet. Many men and women experiment with various treatments to cope with this loss of hair, and unfortunately, most do not provide long-term solutions to hair loss. 

But you don’t have to choose between improved metabolic health through a ketogenic diet and the appearance of a full head of hair! Scalp micro pigmentation is a cosmetic process that can create the natural appearance of a fuller head of hair by injecting small amounts of pigment into the skin. Most of our clients complete their treatment within 2 to 3 sessions!

Let the scalp micropigmentation experts at Hairline Ink help you resolve your hair loss issues, so you can fully enjoy the new level of health you’ve worked hard to achieve. We offer Scalp Micropigmentation in over 50 US cities. Call or text us today at 833-HAIR-INK (833-424-7465) to schedule an appointment, learn about our pricing, or get a free quote!


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