How Diet Affects Hair Loss?

It’s almost everyday that a new diet takes the internet by a storm, promising people the figure of their dreams. While some diets can have health benefits and may even be recommended for certain illnesses, not all are considered safe. 

And if you’re not careful about planning your meals in a way that meets all your nutritional requirements, you can even have nutrient deficiencies. That’s one way you may experience hair loss in a diet

Other than that, diets can also shock your body in different ways, which make you lose your locks even more. Therefore, it’s important that before you jump on a diet bandwagon, you make sure that it will actually work for you in a safe and healthy way. 

In this guide, you’ll learn more about how different diets can affect your hair health and if there’s anything you can do to make sure that you don’t lose hair

Which Diet Causes Hair Loss? 

It is possible to lose hair due to different types of diets, such as:

Low-Protein Diet 

A low-protein diet, as the name suggests, is the type of diet that’s focused on reducing protein intake. 

In general, it leans more towards eating fruits and vegetables. Some people may want to start this diet in order to improve the health of their kidney.


According to the National Kidney Foundation, too much animal protein can lead to the buildup of acid in the blood if you have kidney problems. 

But while this diet may help with that, it may cause hair loss problems if your daily protein needs are not being met. 

That’s because a protein called keratin is mainly found in your hair. And without enough protein, the normal growth of your hair will suffer. 

Additionally, just by switching to a low protein diet, you may shock your system and trigger a type of temporary and diffuse hair loss known as telogen effluvium

Ketogenic Diet

Keto diet refers to a low-carb and high fat diet. It also includes proteins, however, they’re supposed to be consumed only moderately. 

The idea of keto diet is that instead of carbohydrates, your body will learn to burn fat for energy. The end goal here is to lose weight. 

While this diet can cause serious health problems, it can also cause hair loss. This can happen if you’re not taking enough calories or proteins. 

According to StatPearls, keto diet can cause deficiencies of “vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.” 

Aside from nutritional issues, even the shock of weight loss from this diet may cause telogen effluvium hair loss

Paleo Diet

Another very popular type of diet is the paleo diet. It includes fruits, vegetables and lean meats, the idea behind it being we should eat like our hunting and gathering ancestors. 

While some believe this diet to have different health benefits, according to a study published in Postepy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, this type of diet can cause vitamin B,D and calcium deficiency.

Keep in mind that vitamin D helps make the keratin in your hair. It also helps in the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Therefore, if you don’t have enough of it, you’re going to see its effects on your hair. 

Gluten-Free Diet 

Gluten-free diet is recommended as a treatment for celiac disease and it may even help with the hair loss caused by the disease. 

However, according to a review published in Clinical Nutrition those following this diet should pay attention to its “nutritional quality.” 

That’s because a gluten-free diet may not have sufficient vitamin D, B12, folate, iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium. 

Mediterranean Diet 

In a Mediterranean diet, the meals are usually rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes – plants and healthy fats. 

greek salad

While this kind of diet is considered quite less restrictive, according to Penn Medicine, it may still cause issues due to low iron and calcium. 

Keep in mind that without enough iron, there might not be enough oxygen for your hair to grow. So, again, be careful about what you’re eating. 

Vegan Diet 

Several research studies show that vegan diets can cause different nutritional deficiencies, such as that of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and calcium. 

And so, if you’re on this diet, you need to make sure that you’re planning your meals properly to get all the necessary nutrients. Otherwise, you may experience vegan diet hair loss. 

How Can I Prevent Hair Loss While Dieting? 

Before you start any diet, it’s important to talk to your doctor about it to make sure that it’s going to be safe for you. 

You should have a well-planned diet as your nutritional needs are adequately met. Your doctor may also recommend taking supplements. 

Saw palmetto supplements

And even so, you might experience temporary hair loss because of switching to a new diet or weight loss. So, it’s not always avoidable. 

Will Hair Loss Due To Diet Grow Back? 

Your hair loss may stop, and you start to grow your hair back once the underlying nutritional deficiency has been taken care of. 

And as far as telogen effluvium is concerned, it’s also temporary and your hair should start to grow back in 3-6 months. You probably won’t even need treatment for the latter. 

Can A 1,200 Calorie Diet Cause Hair Loss? 

According to th WebMD, a low calorie diet is the one in which you’re consuming between 800-1,500 calories/day (calorie being a unit of energy). 

Research published in Nutrition Journal found that obese patients on a low calorie diet experienced deficiencies in some vitamins, iron, and zinc, among other nutrients. This type of diet can be restrictive and may even cause hair loss. 

It might also trigger hair loss due to telogen effluvium. You might not lose your hair immediately since it starts 2-3 months after the shocking event.  

Can Eating Too Much Protein Cause Hair Loss? 

It may be possible for you to lose hair due to excessive protein intake. Consuming too much protein has been linked to several health problems and can also cause digestive issues.

digestive issues

When you’re not taking other nutrients, you can also have protein poisoning, which may cause: 

  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Low blood pressure  
  • Slower heart rate 

This list is not exhaustive. The point is you must be careful and not just about the relation between a bad diet and hair loss. Illness can also cause hair shedding due to telogen effluvium. 

Can Lack Of Carbs Cause Hair Loss? 

A low carb diet like the keto or Atkins diet can also cause hair loss due to nutritional deficiencies and shock to your system. 

For instance, Atkins is a rather popular diet that emphasises eating proteins and fats. But research published in Nutrients found that Atkins doesn’t offer enough “vitamin A, E, B6, thiamin, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and dietary fiber.” 

Without proper nutrition, your hair is going to be affected. 


Diet hair loss is something that you can experience especially if all your nutritional requirements are not being fulfilled. This can include anything from proteins to iron and vitamins. 

Also, simply starting a new diet and/or losing weight because of it can trigger temporary hair loss as well. Keep in mind that hair loss may just be one consequence of dieting, you can experience other health problems as well. 

Fortunately, you might be able to grow back your diet hair loss, but you must address the underlying cause of the problem through proper consultation with your doctor. 

Keep in mind that you can experience hair loss due to different reasons. It may not always be permanent, but if it is, you can consider getting an affordable hair transplant in Istanbul.

Reviewed and Approved by Trichologist Yaprak Yazan

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