Hair Loss

Does a High Protein Diet Cause Hair Loss?


May 22, 2018

High protein diets may be a great way to lose weight and burn fat. But they can take a toll on your body, and in some cases, even cause hair loss.

How Losing Hair Is Connected to High Protein Diets

If you’re eating a diet high in protein, you may have cut out or drastically limited your intake of foods like carbohydrates. When you deprive your body of certain foods, it can cause nutritional deficiencies that may lead to hair loss. If your body isn’t getting all the nutrients it needs to function properly, neither is your hair.

Low Carbohydrate Intake & Thinning Hair

Carbohydrates have a lot of calories, which your body, including your hair follicles, uses for fuel. When you cut your caloric intake to an extremely low level, your liver converts fatty acids and ketones into energy, creating a state of ketosis. With low carbohydrate diets, your body no longer has its preferred source of energy, and instead turns to fat for fuel. If your body doesn't have enough fuel, your hair follicles may be one of the first organs to shut down to conserve energy.

Restrictive Diets & Hair Loss

The stress of restrictive diets can prematurely push more of your hair follicles into the resting (telogen) phase of the hair growth cycle. This is because they may not have enough calories or nutrients to remain active in the growth phase. Changing your diet can be stressful on your body, causing your hair follicles to go into shock. Your follicles are very sensitive and they’re able to detect even a small change in their environment. They may shut down to try to protect themselves, and when follicles shut down, it triggers a loss of hair. But, once you resume a balanced diet, your hair follicles will generally return to normal and the extra shedding will stop.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you recently started a high protein diet and are experiencing hair loss, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. This type of diet may still be an option for you, but you should ask your medical provider about adding nutritional supplements. Your doctor may also order blood tests to rule out other medical issues that can lead to hair loss.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

While a change in diet can lead to hair loss, there are many possible reasons for thinning hair. Genetic hair loss is the most common reason, but losing hair can also be caused by autoimmune conditions, hormonal fluctuations, thyroid disease, anemia, chronic stress and harsh styling practices. Other triggers include prescriptions such as blood thinners, birth control, steroids, antidepressants and weight loss drugs.

What You Can Do About Hair Loss

At Hair Club, we understand the importance of hair and how losing it can affect your life. The good news is no matter how much hair you’ve lost, we have a solution that will work for you. For decades we’ve been helping men and women restore their hair and transform their lives. With a variety of customizable options, we can tailor one of our proven solutions just for you.

Schedule your free consultation with one of our hair loss experts and take the next step toward a full head of hair.