Several studies pinpoint accelerated hair loss among those participating in a low carb diet. The ketogenic diet is not itself 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. This high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet is being widely adopted by individuals who want to lower blood sugar, boost insulin sensitivity, and lose weight.
Millions of men and women struggle with weight loss. Many of them find success on the keto diet but often experience unwanted side-effects. You may experience certain 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 on 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. Experts report that this loss of hair, or interrupted growth of new hair, is a result of the body’s reaction to severe calorie restriction. Keto diets in their most extreme form can cause people to lose significant portions of their total body weight. Some people end up losing 25% of their total weight. In order to successfully shed this type of weight, participants must be consuming a fraction of the calories that they normally would. During periods of low-calorie intake, our body has less energy to function. When our bodies don’t have proper energy, they do not expend resources on non-vital functions such as hair growth.
Lack of Protein
Other studies suggest that the shock your body experiences when it goes into this state of ketosis (and thus suddenly required to use fat for energy instead of carbs) can result in hair loss. A standard ketogenic diet plan advises that participants eat a high amount of fat, medium amount of protein, and extremely low 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. When we don’t eat proteins, we are unable to naturally consume the iron storage molecule ferritin. 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. As new keto diet participants begin eating a reduced amount of 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 our glycogen stores begin to deplete as well. When glycogen is depleted, our kidneys react by excreting water and electrolytes. These electrolytes include magnesium, potassium, sodium, iodine, and zinc. All of these nutrients are flushed almost completely out of our bodies in just a few days. In order to produce healthy hair, it is essential to replace these vitamins through a natural diet or supplements.
For many dieters, including those on the keto diet, hair loss is an unwelcome side effect. 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 micropigmentation is a cosmetic process that can create the natural appearance of a fuller head of hair through 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!