There are many health- and weight loss-related benefits of eating a ketogenic diet, but there’s another potential benefit you might not expect: preventing hair loss and hair thinning.
Let’s look at how the keto diet may actually support hair growth along with its other health benefits.
The Keto, Hair Growth, and Heart Disease Connection
There can be many causes of hair loss. But recent research has found one interesting connection: men with male-pattern baldness may have an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease .
This could be due to one factor related to both hair loss and heart disease: calcium and plaque buildup in the arteries.
Your arteries allow blood to flow into your heart and keep it pumping regularly. But when plaque builds up in those arteries, they become narrow. Blood flow becomes slower and less travels to the heart.
And when the arteries become completely blocked, it can cause a heart attack.
In a similar manner, buildup in the arteries can decrease blood flow and oxygen to hair follicles. This can lead to a decrease in hair growth and subsequent thinning or loss.
Now, we know that heart disease can be reversed through dietary changes. So with this in mind, any diet that offers the artery-clearing benefits that prevent heart disease may also prevent a lack of blood flow and oxygen to your hair follicles.
The Ketogenic Diet Fights Plaque Buildup
The research is still new, but case studies show the ketogenic diet may help reverse plaque buildup in the arteries.
Previous beliefs suggested a high fat intake contributes to heart disease. But we can see from the research that this is a myth. Low-carb diets may actually protect against heart disease and atherosclerosis much better than low-fat diets .
So if a low-carb diet, such as the Keto Zone diet, opens up the arteries, it also means a clearer path for oxygen to reach dying hair follicles and support hair growth and health.
Research also suggests that being in ketosis—burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates—is why low-carb dieters see so much benefit. So if you want to get the most benefit from your low-carb diet, including possible hair growth support, the ketogenic diet is the way to go.
In addition, it’s common for keto dieters to notice a new, healthy shine to their locks. This is likely due to all the healthy fats you’re eating!
How to Use a Low-Carb Diet to Prevent Hair Loss/Thinning
If you want to follow a diet for hair growth that also helps your heart and overall health, your diet should involve:
- Excluding grains, legumes, sugars, and dairy. Essentially, this means following a paleo-type diet that focuses on whole foods, but that also involves…
- Reducing your carbohydrate intake. If ketosis is what provides the biggest health benefits, especially in regards to arterial calcification, you’ll want to limit your carbs as well. On the Keto Zone diet, this means keeping your carbs at 20 grams or less per day.
- Focusing more on low-carb and high-quality than calories. In some people, severely limiting calories may shock the body too much in the beginning. In very rare cases, this may trigger temporary hair loss. So be sure to replace those carbs you’re restricting with plenty of healthy fats and a moderate amount of proteins.
Overall, focus on these foods:
- Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and avocado oil, grass-fed butter, lard, and ghee
- Low-carb vegetables like kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, brussels sprouts, swiss chard, zucchini, olives, asparagus, cauliflower, and more
- Healthy meats like fatty fish (including salmon and sardines), grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken and eggs
- Healthy, hydrating liquids like water, tea, bone broth, coconut water, and kombucha
The connection between keto and hair growth needs additional research, but what we know so far is promising. And anecdotal evidence has shown a ketogenic diet ultimately leads to healthy, thicker, shinier hair in the long-term!
So, if you’re looking to prevent hair loss, you’ll want to also prevent calcification of the arteries. And a low-carb keto diet, especially ketosis in the Keto Zone, may help you do this.