Why I’m losing hair on a keto diet?

This is a recurrent question, you can skip to the short answer to the bottom of this article, or you can read all of it to better understand this quite complex issue.

Hair loss is due to a number of factors, including genetics.

Hair loss caused by stress
Stress is a very unhealthy state, with negative effects on a number of metabolic processes and organs, including hair. Under acute stress, you can start losing hair quite dramatically, a condition called telogen effluvium. It’s a temporary hair loss, and when it happens it’s actually because the hair are starting to grow again! Normally about 15% of our hair follicles are dormant (telogen hair), while the other 85% are growing hair for approximately 4 years; after that period, those follicles stop growing hair and become dormant, while some other dormant follicles “wake up” and start growing hair. This is a process that happens continuously in a healthy person, and the number of hair lost is balanced by the hair that start to grow.

But in case of acute stress or another shock to the system, most of the growing follicles turn into telogen follicles. This can be due to a number of factors, including:

– nervous shock
– significant weight loss
– significant changes in eating habits
– some drugs
– hormone changes
– illness

The hair loss in case of a low carb or ketogenic diet could be caused by the diet changes or the weight loss, and could bring to an evident thinning of the scalp over a few months.

It’s generally not an issue, because as explained before, when you start seeing the hair falling it’s because the dormant follicles are awakening and pushing out the old hair to regrew the new one.

It’s quite easy to identify the change in diet or weight loss as the source of stress, because if that’s the case, your hair will stall to fell off after 2-3 months from the changes (remember, the hair loss starts several weeks *after* the cause).

Of course this isn’t the only cause of hair loss. An unbalanced diet, with a lack of proteins or vitamins B, could also be the trigger to the problem.

In any case, eating some nutrient dense foods like grass fed beef, liver or other organs, together with green vegetables, can help providing the missing nutrients.

Also, try to relax as much as possible, life isn’t just working and career, spend some time with friends and relatives, enjoy a sunny day with a walk in a park or in the bush if you aren’t a city dweller.

Short answer: often losing weight and changing eating habits causes a temporary hair loss.

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