Is Your Diet Causing Your Hair Loss?
A lot of you have asked me about hair loss or hair thinning and what could be causing it. First, I think you should always talk to a dermatologist to see if there’s a medical reason for your hair loss. However, if you’ve noted hair loss within 1-2 years of trying to lose weight or changing your diet, it could be related.
Some Weight Loss Diets Can Lead to Hair Loss
Hair loss can occur when you don’t get enough proteins, minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids. So if you’re on a weight loss diet where you’re restricting healthy foods, it could lead you to have hair loss. This could include a lot of different diets such as ketogenic, no or low carb diets, calorie restriction diets, and intermittent fasting diets among many others. Basically, any diet that has you cutting back on fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins or healthy grains.
Is This Really True?
The studies I could find about this are limited, but if you haven’t been able to find any other cause for your hair loss, it’s worth considering.
According to the studies I could find for healthy hair your diet should contain protein, healthy low glycemic index carbohydrates, vitamins (including vitamin C, B group, and A), and minerals (including zinc, iron, copper, selenium, silicate, magnesium and calcium). Before you run to GNC or Amazon and buy all these supplements, consider that the supplements may not work. As they note in this dermatology journal article trying supplements for vitamin, mineral, or protein deficiencies doesn’t seem to be effective for hair loss reversal. In some people it even made their hair loss worse.
What Can You Do About It?
If your hair loss is concerning to you it may be worth trying to change your diet. Obviously, the most effective thing to do would be to add back in whatever food you took out of your diet. This doesn’t mean add back cupcakes and cookies. It means add back the healthy food you took out. However, it’s possible this could cause you to gain the weight you lost. You have to decide if the hair loss is concerning enough for you to take this risk.
This is how you could try to add back in some of the healthy food you took out while trying to minimize the related weight gain:
- Try adding back the food you took out slowly, for example, one serving per day.
- If you’re on a diet that restricts the amount of food you’re eating (fasting or calorie restriction) try adding back one serving of low saturated fat protein first, for example, almonds, walnuts, and soy nuts. If you think protein is not the problem, then add back one serving of raw vegetables.
- If you’re on a ketogenic or low/no carb diet, then try adding back one serving of carbs that are lower in glycemic index.
- Don’t forget about cheat meals as I mentioned in the guide you got when you signed up for the If We Were Family email list. This will help you stay in a cycle of losing weight and keep your weight loss from plateauing.
How Long Does It Take For Your Hair to Grow Back?
Let’s say you start eating the healthy foods you took out of your diet; you might be wondering how soon your hair will start growing back. This depends on your hair and your hair follicle cycles. It could be anywhere from a few months to a few years. It’s very person to person dependent so try to be patient if your hair is important to you.