Can a Keto Diet Cause Hair Thinning – 4 Reasons!!

Can a Keto diet cause hair thinning

Most people who wish to lose weight and shred fat, follow keto diets and many other diet plans which restricts the total caloric intake.

I myself was overweight during my early twenties during my time at the university. I followed various calorie restricting diets to lose my weight and excess fat. But to be honest keto was not one of them.

Most of the diet plans out there in the world including keto would help to lose weight and shred that excess fat. But there is a common belief that keto diets will also cause hair thinning.

Can a keto diet cause hair thinning? Yes, a keto diet could cause hair thinning due to the total caloric restrictions and other nutritional deficiencies such as protein, biotin, and vitamin c, when following a keto diet.

Although hair thinning can be pretty common in any person who is following a diet plan, a person who is following a keto plan would be at a higher risk.

I have listed below, the ways how the keto diet could cause hair thinning, so that you could make necessary adjustments in your life to overcome this while being on a keto diet.

Why keto diets cause hair thinning

Keto can lead to hair thinning in several ways. The following are the key reasons why you would experience hair thinning in a keto diet.

1. Calorie restriction can cause hair thinning

Keto and other diet plans restrict the caloric intake so that your body would use the body fat as a source of energy, thereby losing the weight and the fat gradually.

Hair thinning due to keto happens when you restrict your daily caloric intake by 1000 Kilocalories per day from the standard caloric requirement of your body to function and remain at homeostasis.

This is where the body will go into a safe mode where it will automatically shut down the energy allocation to non essential activities like hair growth and allocate energy to activities like functioning of the heart.

Therefore your hair growth will be halted until your body adapts to the current caloric intake. So it is better to talk to your dietician or nutritionist who guides the keto plan about the caloric restrictions that you are going to make.

It is always advisable to make caloric restriction around 500 Kilocalories per day when you follow any type of diet plan.

2. Can cause mental stress

Keto diets will keep the carbohydrate intake at a minimum level, which is the main source of energy in the human body.

Research indicate that when your body is deprived of energy you could be feeling tired and stressed [1], which could cause telogen effluvium [2].

A keto diet could be stressfull

Telogen effluvium is the hair loss that occurs due to a situation which occurs due to stress and could cause more of the hair strands to go into the resting phase and fall off.

Since you could be feeling tired due to the lack of carbohydrates, you must drink more water every now and then to keep your body hydrated and mind lucid.

On the other hand, within a couple of weeks your body will adapt to survive under low carbs, when you stick to your diet properly. Then your body will not be deprived on energy and will not be stressed all the time.

3. Restriction in protein could cause hair thinning

A major portion of your keto diet will be covered by fats, followed by proteins and then a little bit of carbohydrates.

The meal which you take could deprive you of the daily requirement of 50g of protein on average per day, which could lead to weaker and thin hair.

Research indicates that lack of protein in our diet could  lead to hair thinning [3]. Protein helps to repair the damaged tissues and cells, and it is crucial to keep the hair strong and healthy. 

4. Deprived in micro nutrients

There are pre cooked, processed, law quality keto diet meals available in many supermarkets. These products can deprive you of other micronutrients which are crucial for a healthy hair growth and skin.

Your body could be deprived of essential vitamins such as C and Biotin [4] which are crucial to keep the hair thick and strong, when you are in a keto diet.

You could miss out these micro nutrients in your diet, even if you prepare your keto meal by yourself. Therefore talk to your nutritionist to adjust your diet so that you could eat healthy sources of vitamins every day without being deprived.

If you are following a keto plan on your own, make sure to include fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C in your diet. But be mindful about the carbohydrates in them. Whole eggs are a good source of biotin which includes both proteins and fats. 

Fruits must be included in your keto diet

Is hair thinning in keto diet permanent

No. Fortunately hair thinning due to the keto diet is not permanent, and your hair will be back to normal once your body adapts to the keto diet or once you take the required nutrition level.

None of the reasons which cause hair thinning due to keto is permanent and damage the hair follicles.

Human body is amazing and it adapts to the challenges and hardships that you put it on. Once your body adapts to the keto diet, there is a chance that your hair would return back to its normal condition.

On the other hand, your hair will return back to normal once you come off the diet and take the required level of nutrition. I believe that your keto diet plan would continue only up to a maximum of 6 months.

Can you stop hair thinning in keto diet

While some people do not experience hair thinning due to keto at all, some might experience hair thinning. This is due to the lack of nutrition received by the body and it cannot be stopped.

However there are several treatments which you could follow to minimize the effect of hair thinning. Other than adjusting your diet and drinking adequate level of water as I mentioned before, you could follow these below mentioned tips.

  • Applying minoxidil (ingredient in Rogaine) based product, could help to improve the thickness in your hair. You must apply minoxidil straight into your scalp and give a gentle massage so that it is absorbed into the scalp.
  • Applying an oil and massaging your hair could help to restore the hair thickness. You could choose coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, and mix them with vitamin e oil and apply it on the scalp. Then massage it gently so that it absorbs to the scalp and the hair roots.

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