Hair loss is a normal part of life. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most of us shed between 50 and 100 hairs daily. If you lose more hair than that, it could be the result of a dramatic change in your diet. Any dramatic change. And this is where anyone following a restrictive diet (including the ketogenic diet) may experience unusual hair loss within three to six months. This can have to do with anything from a deficiency of one or more nutrients to not enough calories to support normal hair growth.

Let’s talk specifically, however, about hair loss in connection with the keto diet. Not everyone experiences hair loss while on the keto diet, but the condition is common enough to warrant a mention.

* Unlike a protein-heavy South Beach or Atkins-style diet, the keto diet is all about healthy fat. If you are unsure how to balance the diet’s fat requirements with the necessary amount of protein and other nutrients, it is easy to accidently skimp on something your body may need. If that’s why for some keto eaters, hair loss can be triggered by a lack of protein. Make sure to take the time to figure out how much protein you need so you do not end up coming up short. If you do not consume enough protein, within three months you will notice (temporary) hair loss. One good way to ascertain how much protein your body needs while eating keto is 0.7–0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight. (You don’t want to eat too much protein, otherwise you can kick yourself out of ketosis and put yourself at risk for kidney stones.)

* Another, less-common, cause of keto hair loss can occur when calories dip lower than 1200 for an extended period of time (such as a month). Shedding occurs during hair’s resting, non-growth phase, known as the tellogen phase. Known as tellogen effluvium, this type of hair loss is usually temporary; normal hair growth returns in 6 to 18 months of suitable calorie intake.

* A deficiency in any one or more nutrients is another not-uncommon cause of keto hair loss. A study published in the January 2017 issue of Journal of Dermatology Practical and Conceptual, found that deficiencies in a number of nutrients could cause temporary hair loss. These included iron (found in red meat, poultry, dark leafy greens),  zinc (found in shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, grains), niacin (found in organ meat, oily fish, pork and peanuts), biotin (found in liver, egg yolks), fatty acids (found in walnuts, chia seeds, coconut oils, oily fish), selenium (found in brazil nuts, seeds, oily fish, pork), vitamin D (found in salmon, herring, anchovies, sardines, enriched dairy, and manufactured by the body during exposure to sunlight), vitamin A (eggs, winter squash, root veggies) vitamin E (vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, leafy greens), and folic acid (leafy greens, legumes). If you are a keto eater who avoids certain nutrient-dense foods (especially the carb-heavy ones!), you may want to add the appropriate nutritional supplement to your routine.

* Further, keto eating can increase your body’s needs for certain nutrients. At least it does in mice, according to a study published in the October 2013 issue of Nutrition, which found that mice on a keto diet had a greater need for biotin. In other words, the amount of biotin needed for hair growth and other functions, was increased when on a keto diet. Eggs and liver are two rich sources of bio-available biotin. If you don’t eat these daily, you may want to add a biotin supplement to your daily routine.  

What can help prevent or reverse Keto Hair Loss:

1. A visit to your medical care provider. If you are noticing unusual hair loss, a visit to your dermatologist, or your general care provider, is a good place to begin. He or she can run tests and make suggestions to help you (and your hair) stay as healthy as possible.

2. A keto-friendly general multi-nutrient supplement. I prefer one that is whole-food based because it is easier on the stomach.

3. A biotin-based hair growth supplement.There are hundreds of different hair growth pills out there. My family uses a simple and affordable gummy that works as well for my son’s eczema as it does my husband’s hair thinning.

4. Sleep. Hair regenerates cells (including hair cells) during sleep. Do what you can to get seven or more uninterrupted hours each night. Your hair will thank you!

5. Hair-growth-promoting scalp oils. Not everyone believes that scalp oil works, but I find that a high quality oil that is rich in antioxidants and growth-stimulating herbs can help speed up hair growth.

6. Hair growth shampoos, conditioners and styling products. Do shampoos, conditioners and styling products for thinning hair work? Some people swear by them, while others think that anything that claims to help hair loss is a scam. As for me, I love the Nioxin line of products for light thinning and progressed thinning, made in versions for natural hair, chemically treated hair, oilier hair, and dry hair. The company claims to protect what hair you have from breakage, while making it look fuller, all while helping nourish the scalp and encourage new hair growth. I have seen a difference in the strength of my own hair using these products.

7. Silk pillowcases: 100 Percent silk pillowcases are recommended by some dermatologists as a way to prevent hair breakage. They don’t rough up hair’s cuticle layers like cotton or polyester pillowcases, keeping hair damage-free during sleep. As an added benefit, some dermatologists claim that silk pillowcases help reduce sleep-related facial wrinkles.

8. Microfiber, friction-free towels. Choosing a hair that doesn’t catch on your hair’s cuticle and cause breakage is important when your hair is thinning. (You don’t want to risk damaging the hair you have!) If you don’t love microfiber towels, a tee-shirt hair towel is a great alternative that also helps protect hair from breakage.

9. Lay off the heat styling and rough treatment. Protect the fragile hair you have left by giving up your blow-dryer, and other heat-stylers, while also forgoing teasing and clips that can cause breakage. It helps to get a good haircut, invest in hair products designed for thinning hair, and opt for breakage-free towels and pillowcases.

10. Hair-safe accessories: Soft, cotton, seam-free, catch-free ponytail holders are ideal when you are worried about hair loss and hair breakage.

Visit the Website: and you’ll find every single bit of information and support you need to begin your keto journey.

Author's Bio: 

From mindset, to a daily journal , to menus, recipes, do’s and don’ts and common challenges-you’ll find every single bit of information and support you need to begin your keto journey.