Intermittent fasting has gained much popularity in recent years as a way to lose weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and boost overall health. It involves alternating periods of fasting and eating, with various schedules and methods to choose from. While intermittent fasting has several health benefits, some people have reported experiencing hair loss as a side effect. This has raised concerns about whether intermittent fasting is safe and sustainable in the long run. Let's explore the link between intermittent fasting and hair loss, and go over some practical prevention tips.
Is there a connection between intermittent fasting and hair loss?
Intermittent fasting affects the body in several ways. It is believed to reduce insulin levels, increase growth hormone production, and improve cellular repair processes. However, it also puts stress on the body, particularly during the fasting period. This stress response can lead to hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and nutrient deficiencies, possibly contributing to hair loss.
One of the main reasons why intermittent fasting may cause hair loss is the restriction of essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients are vital for healthy hair growth, and their deficiency can lead to brittle, thinning, or falling hair. Moreover, some people may not consume enough calories during eating, worsening nutrient deficiency and hair loss.
Another factor that can contribute to hair loss during intermittent fasting is the hormonal changes in the body. Fasting can increase cortisol levels, a stress hormone that can cause hair loss and thinning. Additionally, fasting can lower levels of thyroid hormones, which play a crucial role in hair growth and maintenance. Low thyroid hormone levels can lead to hair loss, dryness, and brittleness.
How to prevent hair loss during intermittent fasting
While intermittent fasting may increase the risk of hair loss, several methods exist to prevent or minimize it. Here are some practical tips to consider:
- Consume sufficient nutrients: It's essential to consume adequate amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals during the eating period to support healthy hair growth. Some nutrient-dense foods include eggs, nuts, leafy greens, berries, and fatty fish.
- Consider taking supplements: Take a specially formulated supplement to ensure your hair follicles get all the vitamins and trace elements needed to build new hair.
- Consider taking collagen: Collagen peptide powder can replenish the peptides and amino acids needed to build new hair.
- Avoid calorie restriction: Consuming enough calories during the eating period is crucial to prevent nutrient deficiencies and support optimal body function. Aim to eat a balanced diet with a moderate calorie intake, depending on your energy needs and goals.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is crucial for maintaining healthy hair and preventing dehydration, which can contribute to hair loss. Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily, and limit or avoid sugary and caffeinated beverages.
- Manage stress: Stress can cause hormonal imbalances and inflammation, contributing to hair loss. Practice stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to manage stress levels and promote relaxation.
Best supplements to prevent intermittent fasting-related hair loss
MDhair's Restore Supplements can help prevent hair loss related to intermittent fasting by providing the necessary nutrients for healthy hair growth. Intermittent fasting can stress the body, contributing to hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and nutrient deficiencies, leading to hair loss. These supplements are Dermatologist-formulated with a blend of essential vitamins and minerals including Biotin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, chromium, and calcium.
The Restore Supplements are suitable for both men and women and are vegan, sugar-free, sulfate-free, and non-GMO.
- Iron boosts circulation and delivers oxygen to hair roots.
- Biotin strengthens hair follicles, improves scalp circulation, and increases hair density.
- Vitamins C, D, and E promote a healthy scalp and the regrowth of healthier, thicker hair.
- Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid help hair follicles regenerate and heal faster for new, healthier hair growth.
- Minerals such as iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, and chromium support a healthy scalp and the regrowth of healthier, thicker hair.
- Calcium reduces hair breakage, dry scalp, and brittle nails.
- Vitamin K2 enhances healthy hair regrowth by stimulating blood flow to the scalp.
Best collagen supplement to prevent intermittent fasting-related hair loss
Collagen powder can provide several benefits to people who are practicing intermittent fasting. During fasting, the body may not receive enough proteins, which can lead to a loss of muscle mass, decreased skin elasticity, and weakened hair. Collagen powder is a good source of protein, which can help maintain muscle mass and skin elasticity during intermittent fasting.
As for preventing hair loss, collagen is a key component of hair and can help to strengthen hair follicles. Collagen supplements can provide the body with the necessary amino acids to build hair proteins, which can lead to healthier hair growth.
MDhair Marine Collagen is a pescatarian-friendly supplement that can benefit people practicing intermittent fasting. It contains hydrolyzed marine collagen, the best available building block for collagen production in hair, skin, and nails. Collagen can help strengthen hair follicles, leading to healthier hair growth while also improving skin elasticity and reducing wrinkles.
In addition, MDhair Marine Collagen contains hyaluronic acid, which keeps the hair, skin, nails, and joints well hydrated and strong. Hyaluronic acid is a key building block for the intercellular space and can improve the elasticity of hair, skin, and nails. The supplement also contains Vitamin C, essential for producing new collagen and ensuring proper joint, gum, skin, and teeth function. MDhair Marine Collagen is sugar-free, sulfate-free, and non-GMO, making it a healthy choice for those on an intermittent fasting diet. Dermatologist-formulated, tested, and approved, this supplement is easily dissolvable in cold and hot beverages, making it a convenient addition to any diet.
Q: Can intermittent fasting cause permanent hair loss?
A: Intermittent fasting is unlikely to cause permanent hair loss but can contribute to temporary hair loss. Temporary hair loss is usually reversible, and it can be resolved by addressing the underlying factors that contribute to it, such as nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, or stress.
Q: What is the best time for intermittent fasting to prevent hair loss?
A: There isn't a specific time that is best for everyone, as it depends on individual factors such as lifestyle, health status, and goals. However, avoiding extreme forms of intermittent fasting such as prolonged fasting or very low-calorie diets is recommended, as they may increase the risk of hair loss. Instead, consider following moderate intermittent fasting, such as the 16:8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window.
Q: Can supplements help prevent hair loss during intermittent fasting?
A: Supplements can help to support healthy hair growth and prevent nutrient deficiencies. Some supplements that may be beneficial for hair health include biotin, Vitamin D, iron, and zinc.
Intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool for weight loss and improved health, but it's essential to be aware of the potential side effects, including hair loss. By following our tips, such as consuming sufficient nutrients, avoiding calorie restriction, managing stress, and consulting with a professional if needed, you can prevent or minimize the risk of hair loss during intermittent fasting. Remember that hair loss during intermittent fasting is usually temporary and reversible, so don't let it deter you from reaping the benefits of this popular health practice.
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Kwon, O. S., & Kim, M. H. (2019). Intermittent fasting and its effects on skin and hair: What we know so far. Annals of Dermatology, 31(2), 126-129.
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