Your waistline may be coming back into view and your skinny jeans might be back in rotation, but there is a lesser-known loss experienced by some (including us at Konscious Keto), and we’re going to share a few ways to keep your locks luscious while also shedding fat on the keto diet.
Despite the many health benefits of starting a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, making a significant dietary change poses stress to the body, even if the change leads to something positive, like weight loss or a decreased risk of many diseases.
Fortunately, those who do experience hair loss as they work to become fat-adapted on keto usually find the excessive shedding short-lived.
Also, eating foods rich in vitamins like biotin or taking a high-quality exogenous supplement can act as a powerful means to make your hair, skin, and nails thrive on a ketogenic diet.
Are You Experiencing Hair Loss on Keto?
Symptoms like fatigue, bad breath, and even brain fog are all associated with the process of establishing ketosis.
This host of symptoms—collectively referred to as the keto flu—is most often the concern when beginning the plan, but a small percentage of followers also notice increased hair shedding.
Our bodies are complex and dynamic entities, and hair loss can be the result of many different factors when we begin a ketogenic, or any new, diet.
We'll touch on the most common causes of hair loss for those embarking on a ketogenic diet, and also share some crucial tips to prevent excessive shedding, to make your transition to the LCHF-life as painless as possible.
The following are the top pitfalls newbies fall into when starting keto, so you can navigate around the initial growing pains of the plan, as much as possible, and get to enjoy the many benefits of living in a ketotic state more easily.
Causes of Hair Loss on Keto
Add butter to your coffee. You can lose fat without excessive or rigorous exercise. Eating fat doesn't make you fat.
We get it, embracing a ketogenic dietary framework requires as much of a mindset shift as it does a change in the foods we choose to eat.
No one wants to welcome hair loss; it's never going to be on anyone's 'goals' list—not by a long-shot.
Thankfully, there are many steps we can take to keep our heads of hair flourishing while we work toward establishing nutritional ketosis.
#1 - Not Eating Enough Calories
Again, shifting into a ketogenic way of eating requires repenting from many dietary frameworks that simply don't work well for many people long-term.
Hence the legions of serial dieters in the US tripped up over and over again attempting to restrict calories to unsustainable levels as a lifestyle.
It's essential to eat the best types of fats (e.g., avocados, MCT oil, chia seeds, etc.), and comprise about 85% of our total daily calories of healthy sources of fat to thrive on a ketogenic diet.
Remember, most aspects of keto living represent the inverse of what you've been told for some time, and the same is true regarding eating enough food.
Eating fat does not make you fat and depriving the body of calories (save intentional fasting), does nothing to aid in improving health.
Release the fallacy that misery-inducing levels of calorie restriction are required to release body fat quickly and consistently.
Embrace the keto way of life, and you'll soon find yourself eating more intuitively with less focus on counting every single calorie consumed.
#2 - Not Eating Enough Keto Veggies
The concept of a ketogenic menu plan from someone unfamiliar with doing the diet healthfully may assume that all those on a low-carb, high-fat, diet eat is bacon and butter, to the exclusion of any dark leafy greens or other low-glycemic produce—wrong!
In addition to providing an abundance of nutrition, serving up a few additional sides of sautéed kale throughout the week also includes fiber which aids in digestion and regularity—a challenge for some following a carnivore or zero-carb dietary approach to keto.
Make an effort to comprise your diet of an abundance of dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, and chard, to make sure you eat a broad spectrum of vitamins and nutrients in your daily meal plan.
Also, other low-carb keto veggie staples like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and mushrooms all come in handy to round out the flavor and nutritional profile of your keto plan that provides an abundance of nutrients to cultivate healthy hair.
#3 - Not Taking a Keto Supplement (Biotin Deficiency)
Let's face it, sometimes our meal plan isn't perfect despite our best efforts to keep it all together.
To this end, supplements are a really convenient way to make sure we hit our micronutrient targets, even during weeks when we're frequenting the drive-thru more often than we might prefer.
Our newest addition to our keto wellness products, is a fantastic option to incorporate into your balanced keto regimen—as a blend of food-based and exogenous supplements is often beneficial to those who want to keep it keto despite the many demands of modern life.
#4 - Hereditary Hair Loss
We don't mean to add a damper to an otherwise upbeat read, but some hair loss is entirely out of our control and the result of our genetic make-up.
In the case of a family history of hair loss, the most one can do is commit to the highest level of best practice to avoid any more hair loss than necessary.
#5 - Stress
No one is entirely immune to it, and it comes from many different directions in our ultra-connected culture. Stress is a huge factor in our quality of life and directly impacts our level of health and well-being.
Carve out some time to enjoy silence or the depth of your thoughts without interruption, or venture into a hot yoga class to purge some frustration while helping the body release excess body fat—whatever works for you is best, as long as you feel you can be consistent to keep stress and its harmful effects at bay.
#6 - Compromised Gut Health
The healthy bacteria found in our gut aids in digestion and feelings of overall well-being.
And our gut health is imperative because the intricate symbiotic systems in the gut, the microbiome, referred to by some as the second brain, affect the function of all systems in the body.
Fortunately, supplements serve a powerful benefit as it contains an abundance of biotin and this B vitamin is renowned for its ability to aid in preventing hair loss and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, as well.
# 7 - Iron Deficiency
Those following a ketogenic diet, particularly women, and more specifically still pregnant women, should all take great care when composing their meal plan to ensure the consumption of adequate amounts of iron.
While fatigue is often an associated symptom experienced by those with an iron deficiency or anemia, hair loss is another common and troubling side effect of this nutritional deficiency.
Fortunately, dark leafy greens are a great source of iron and low enough on the glycemic index to eat them in abundance while maintaining ketosis—a win-win!
Take a Biotin Supplement
Incorporating a high-quality supplement is an excellent tool to help ensure the integrity of your strands as you change your style of eating while getting a metabolic boost to aid in weight loss.
Be sure to select a biotin supplement with the cleanest ingredients possible, free of fillers and artificial ingredients!
In addition to the use of a quality biotin-based supplement, use the following tips to prevent hair loss while keeping it keto:
- Stay hydrated
- Mind micronutrients as much as macros
- Reduce stress
- Commit to getting restorative sleep (at least eight hours a night)
- Eat organic and pasture-raised foods to avoid chemicals
- Eat your set caloric target and get most of your calories from healthy fats
Use a Biotin Supplement
Even if for a short period, the idea of our crowning glory thinning is concerning, even if it is for the worthy cause of establishing metabolic ketosis.
We have thoughtfully and precisely curated our hair, skin and nails formula with a potent dose of biotin, along with other healthful elements, to offer a highly-effective, premium blend sure to produce positive results.
Check out our recent article dedicated to the benefits of biotin and why it's a particularly important part of any well-conceived keto regimen, needed to set yourself up for success as you begin your life-changing lifestyle journey.
Again, all significant dietary changes pose stress to the body, and this is to be expected.
The body doesn't interpret drastic fluctuations necessarily as good or bad but more as stable or unstable—mainly as a survival measure to detect a possible and immediate threat.
Rest assured, although adjustments are needed to offset the possibility of excessive hair shedding on the road to adopting an ultra-low-carb diet, like most things, the risk of hair loss can be mitigated by following some tried-and-true tips, like those we’ve shared above.
Consider eating biotin-rich foods that are lower on the glycemic spectrum and implement the use of effective exogenous supplements to stack the proverbial nutritional deck in your favor, as you cut the carbs while wishing not to compromise your precious mane in the process.
- Gladwin, R. (n.d.). Hair Diseases and Hair Loss. Encyclopedia of Global Health. doi:10.4135/9781412963855.n534
- Nonmedical approaches to hair loss: What is available? (2015). Hair Loss and Restoration, Second Edition, 203-212. doi:10.1201/b18330-9
- Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to biotin and energy-yielding metabolism (ID 114, 117), macronutrient metabolism (ID 113, 114, 117), maintenance of skin and mucous membranes (ID 115), maintenance of hair (ID 118, 2876) an. (2009). EFSA Journal, 7(10), 1209. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2009.1209
- Trüeb, R. (2016). Serum biotin levels in women complaining of hair loss. International Journal of Trichology, 8(2), 73. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.188040
- Yardimci, G. (2017). Alternative Medicine for Hair Loss. Hair and Scalp Disorders. doi:10.5772/66593