Keto Hair Loss!
There could be many underlying factors of why you are losing hair on a ketogentic diet. I'm going to start with the most obvious one.
1. Extremely LOW calories!
Many people, myself included, drop their calories excessively low in the early stages of their keto journey. In most cases it's accidental, as ketogenic foods leave you feeling fuller, longer, with less food than a high carb diet. However eating too few calories: less than 1200 calories a day, long term will often result in hair loss!
While it is true that your body will eat it's own body fat for fuel, there are many macro and micro nutrients like Zinc and Iron you will be missing by going super low calorie. The human body is capable of producing all the fatty acids it needs, except for two: linoleic acid (LA), an omega-6 fatty acid, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid. This is why you are recommended to eat 75% of your daily calories in healthy Fats. (coconut oil, fatty meats, ect..)
This type of hair loss generally shows up 2 to 3 months after starting keto or any low calorie diet. It can be unnerving!
Personally: My hair grows out very fast, but it has never been thick! I have always had thin, fine, blond hair. It's a family trait! So when I started losing hair it was noticeable and frightening! Before it stopped I had many places where my scalp was visible.
I started keto in July 28 2017, my hair, one of my most prized features was touching my tushy! As my hair fell out I began to cut it to make it look thicker, 1st 10 inches, then another 16 inches, until my hair was up to my ears. Still the balding was apparent!
After several months of this I started to notice that my hair seemed to stop falling out, then I noticed short "baby hairs" sprouting up everywhere and slowly my hair started to return to normal. It's all back now (thank goodness) and I'm once again allowing it to regrow.
Sometime later I realized what had happened by reviewing my daily videos and my daily food log. Several months before my hair had started to fall out my caloric intake was well below 1200 rather often, it wasn't until I allowed more calories from both fat and protein back into my life that my hair began to regrow.
I have known many people on keto who did experience hair loss, but all of them have also experienced total regrowth over time. Keto is 100% worth it, but if you want to avoid this, keep those calories above the 1200 mark at least.
Bariatric Surgeons will often prescribe Zinc to halt hair loss from the low calorie diets needed before and after weight loss surgery.
Note: You can also include things like: Biotin, B-12, collagen, beef gelatin, Zinc, and iron (and vit C to help absorb the iron) in your diet or as supplements to help support your hair!
2. Some keto-ers will experience some hair fall out due to the dramatic change in their diet. rapidly changing your diet can put stress on the body and mind, two things that can cause fall out. Rest, relax, get plenty of that good 8 hour sleep!
3. Hormonal changes. Keto tends to right the wrongs you have done to your body from many years of bad dietary advice from our elders and those we trusted to keep us healthy. Naturally our hormones are all outta wack and as they change other body functions change as well. This too can cause short term hair loss.
4. Thyroid issues! Look for thinning hair, cold hand and feet, and numb/tingling fingers. Check with your doctor. (Personally my thyroid is functioning just fine, but my hand, feet, and the rest of my body does tend to be colder now, I think this is because my body was use to 300 pounds of fatty padding!)