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Can a ketogenic diet cause hair loss?

Published on: April 23, 2018

Hair goes through 3 stages of growth: active, transitioning, and resting. With any dietary changes, but especially calorie restriction, fewer hairs enters the first stage and more remain in the last stage leading to hair loss [1]. This is known as "telogen effluvium" and is not uncommon in those experiencing any major change or stressor such as weight loss due to being on a low-calorie keto diet. 

Another possible cause of hair loss, or lack of active hair growth, is not eating enough protein as hair is made up mostly of protein [2]. Try eating 0.6-1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. More rarely, hair loss can happen due to hormonal imbalances from conditions like hypothyroidism [3]. 

Nutrient deficiencies can also show on your locks. Try consuming vitamins and minerals like zinc, biotin, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and vitamin E can to get stronger and healthier hair. Certain ingredients in shampoos and conditioners can irritate your scalp and damage hair. Go for gentler, sulfate and silicone-free products. 

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