Keto diet hair loss can be scary! Find out what really causes it as Dr. Eric Westman answers your most hairsplitting questions regarding hair loss on the ketogenic diet. He reveals his surprising answer on how to fix it and weighs in on whether on or not supplements for keto hair loss can help.
Some degree of hair loss on the keto diet is normal. Experiencing keto diet hair loss can be scary, but if you are otherwise healthy, and are on a proper keto diet that’s well-formulated, there should be nothing to worry about. Before starting a keto diet, ensure that you look into some good resources on the keto diet such as the Adapt program, Dr. Westman’s book, “The New Atkins for a new you”, and “Keto Clarity”.
In his clinic, Dr. Westman spends a lot of time reassuring his patients about hair loss in a medical weight loss program using a ketogenic diet. “It’s important to realize that every hair is replaced over a period of three to five years,” assures Dr. Westman.
Why a keto diet might cause hair loss
If you’re experiencing keto diet hair loss, the first conditions you’ll need to check for are anemia, hyperthyroidism (high thyroid levels), hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels), and other nutritional deficiencies. Dr. Westman diagnoses Telogen Effluvium or stress-induced hair loss quite frequently.
“People who have come to my office, have had a check for anemia, for high or low thyroid, for other nutritional deficiencies and they don’t have them, so I know that this is Telogen Effluvium,” says Dr. Westman.
Telogen Effluvium or stress-induced hair loss can be diagnosed by seeing that the hair loss doesn’t have any scarring, that’s an important thing, and that it happened three or four months after the weight loss. People can notice more hair loss after any stressful event, and the weight loss is a stressful event.
How long does keto hair loss last?
Assuming that you’ve had all other labs checked, and the hair loss is caused by the stress of weight loss, your hair will start growing and filling in by about 12 months. These new hairs will be even healthier and shinier than before.
It really depends on the time point of your journey that you are in, if it’s early on, in the first few months, or up until a year, you can take a magnifying glass, and if you see new hairs that are growing in, then there’s no need to worry.
It’s important to remember that the hair will return, it just takes a long time. If you haven’t had labs checked, and it’s not improving in the slightest after perhaps three to six months, and your hairstylist doesn’t see new hairs coming in, then you’ll probably want to see a doctor to have it checked.
Does medication affect hair loss on the keto diet?
There are certain medications that do actually lengthen the time it takes for your hair to regrow. If the hair hasn’t returned by about six to twelve months, and you’re on medications, you may need to bring it up with your doctor or dermatologist to be absolutely certain.
Are there any supplements I can take for keto hair loss?
Collagen biotin b-complex, T3, and iodine are all commonly recommended for keto diet hair loss but there’s very little evidence to support the claims that these supplements actually help with Telogen Effluvium. The same could be said for others such as biotin, silica, and diatomaceous earth. However, Dr. Westmans assures that as long as they’re not harmful, giving them a try should be fine.