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Keto Diet and Hair-loss: What Can You Do About It?

We can all collectively agree that the keto diet does wonders if you’re looking to shed those extra KGs. However, we would not be giving you the full picture if we didn’t discuss the adverse effects of restricting your nutrient intake. Why am I losing my hair so much ?

Turns out, if you’re on keto, the chances are that you will experience some form of hair loss and hair damage. But don’t be alarmed! Keep reading to find out why you’re experiencing hair loss and what you can do to counter it.

Why am I losing my hair so much?

A girl holding her weak, brittle hair
Skitterphoto

There could be two major reasons for your hair falling while you’re on the keto diet:

Fewer Nutrients

As you have restricted the number of carbs you consume in a day, your body is receiving fewer nutrients than it did before you went on the diet. This could potentially result in hair fall and slow growth.

Calorie-cuts

After reducing your calorie intake to achieve your target weight, your body starts rationing out its energy and uses it for more important functions such as cell repair. Once our organs have received the required energy to function, it’s possible there may be less of it left for hair growth.  Lacking vital vitamins and minerals in one’s diet may also mean a lack of overall calories. In fact, studies have shown that extreme weight loss can cause hair loss.

What Do I Do Now?

Your body requires certain vitamins and nutrients in order to maintain the health of your hair. Since you can’t turn to fruits and other starchy foods for hair growth, here is a list of important sources of vitamins that you can add to your diet:

Biotin

One of the complex vitamins needed for the body to convert food into energy is Biotin. Since most biotin-rich foods include fruits and legumes (not keto-friendly), mentioned below are food sources that help keep your skin and hair healthy.

These include:

Vitamins (A, C, D, E)

These healthy vitamins help in producing collagen and contain antioxidant properties needed for hair growth and strong immune systems. Some popular foods rich in these vitamins include:

  • Yellow Capsicums
  • Green veggies (kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach)
  • Fatty fish (tuna, salmon, sardines)
  • Meat (red meat, fish, dark turkey meat, poultry)
  • Seeds (pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds)
  • Nuts and nut butters (almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts)

Protein & Iron

The traditional keto diet recommends about 20% of protein portions to your daily consumption. However, if you’re on the vegetarian keto diet, your options tend to lessen if you exclude meat. Here are some plant-based options that are a great source for iron and protein:

  • Unsweetened chocolate (100% cocoa)
  • Olives or EVOO: 3 mg of iron and 3 grams of net carbs per 3.5 ounces (100 grams)
  • Heart of palm
  • Eggs
  • Green veggies
  • Nuts and nut butter
  • Seeds

Main Takeaway

Shifting to a low-carb diet with limited calories can result in your body not getting enough nutrients for healthy hair growth. By carefully managing your food choices and adding vitamin-rich produce to your cooking, you can reduce the risk of hair loss and enable healthy hair growth.

A girl holding her weak, brittle hair

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