The keto diet caught the whole world by storm a few years ago. From Silicon Valley to Hollywood, slim figures would boast how easy it was to lose weight on this magical discipline. Nevertheless, searches for keto hair loss flooded google as the diet continued to gain steam. Here is what you have to know if you are worried about hair loss on keto.
What is the Keto Diet?
The Keto diet is a high-fat diet that tricks your body into thinking it’s in starvation mode. Since you consume minimal carbs, your body starts running on fat and fat reserves. It uses ketones for energy and people that adhere to this type of eating report quick weight loss.
Can it Really Affect Your Hair?
Model turned registered clinical nutritionist, Gabriela Peacock of GP Nutrition, gives us the scoop, “As long as the Ketogenic diet is varied and healthy, ensuring all essential nutrients are consumed and the body’s needs met; the keto diet itself should not directly cause hair loss.” That being said, you aren’t completely in the clear. “It’s possible that indirectly through the course of lifestyle changes (these can be changing diets & habits) or inadequate nutrition consumption an impact on hair growth could be experienced,” she continues.
Dr. Eric Westman is a proponent of keto and he has shepherded many through the intricacies of the diet. He asserts that people following the keto diet may indeed experience hair loss. He notes that people notice hair loss after stressful events and fast weight loss can be categorized as one such event. He categorizes this type of hair loss as telogen effluvium. This occurs when stress causes the hair roots to prematurely enter a resting stage. Your doctor can recognize this type of hair loss too if they notice your hair loss isn’t causing scarring. Another telltale sign you are experiencing telogen effluvium is that hair loss happens three to four months after the “stressful” event on the body, aka the extreme weight loss.
“Undertaking a significantly large change in diet can be a huge stressor on your system,” agrees Gabriela. “Even when you are changing your diet for the better. This stress can impact on several things within the body including hair growth.”
What to do if you’re embarking on the Keto Journey?
“If you are planning to undertake a significant dietary change, it is worthwhile to do so under the consultation of an appropriately qualified and Registered Dietitian or Registered Nutritionist,” says Gabriela. You need to make sure you are receiving adequate nutrients through food and opt for a multi-vitamin if you feel you are falling short in a certain category. Remember, dieting isn’t for everyone and every extreme change will eventually freak your body out. Treat your body with kindness and stop immediately if any diet is producing negative side effects.
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