Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow? Hair Loss on the Carnivore Diet

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow? Hair Loss on the Carnivore Diet

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow? Hair Loss on the Carnivore Diet

Hair loss can be a distressing issue for many people, but perhaps especially so for women. Recently on Reddit, a woman posted about her experience with extreme hair loss since starting a strict carnivore diet. She attributed it to some common mistakes like prolonged fasting and under-eating.

In this post, we’ll look at her story, consider what might be causing her hair loss on carnivore, and explore some potential solutions.

TLDR: Extreme Hair Loss on Carnivore Diet

The Reddit user explained that after being on a ketogenic diet for 5 years and losing 80-90 lbs, she committed to carnivore 6 months ago to lose stubborn residual weight. She initially felt great, but then experienced devastating hair loss in the past 3 weeks, with less than 50% of hair remaining.

Understandably, she was very concerned about permanent balding and desperate to get her hair back. She identified two key mistakes:

  • OMAD or one meal a day - Her meals got smaller over time, leading to undernourishment over months.

  • PSMF or protein sparing modified fast 2-3 days per week - She would eat just one lean chicken breast on those days.

She realised these were probably the cause of her hair loss, and has stopped them, though she continues carnivore. Her priority now is hair regrowth over further weight loss.

Considering the Potential Causes

Based on the information provided, it seems very likely that the Reddit user is experiencing telogen effluvium (TE). This is a common but temporary type of hair loss caused by nutritional deficiencies, extreme stress, shock to the system, or sudden weight loss.

With TE, there is diffuse shedding of the growing “anagen” hairs, while the wispy non-pigmented “vellus” hairs remain. It generally resolves within 6-9 months as the growth cycle normalises.

Her prolonged under-eating via OMAD and fasting probably led to vitamin and mineral deficiencies over time, shocking her system. Extreme or rapid weight loss can also precipitate TE.

While crash dieting often backfires, moderate carb restriction is beneficial for metabolic health and weight management for most people. There are healthy ways to implement fasting as well.

Dietary Tips to Support Hair Health

To support hair regrowth, the Reddit user has wisely stopped OMAD and fasting. Here are some other diet tips for healthy hair growth:

  • Eat enough calories and protein - Meet at least the baseline nutritional needs for your stats. Get sufficient high quality protein from meat, eggs, dairy etc.

  • Include organ meats like liver - Liver is nature’s multivitamin with iron, vitamin A, B vitamins, etc. I recently shared my experience regrowing some hair after adding liver!

  • Consume plenty of natural fats - Fatty meat, eggs, oily fish, dairy etc provide vitamins A, D, E and more.

  • Eat lots of colourful veggies - Veggies like red peppers, sweet potato, spinach, kale, carrots etc boost antioxidant status.

  • Consider targeted supplementation - A basic multivitamin plus specific vitamins/minerals like iron, zinc, biotin, vitamin D based on lab testing can help fill any gaps.

Have Patience for the Regrowth Process

While waiting patiently for the hair to regrow, take comfort in knowing that telogen effluvium is generally self-limiting. With Dietary modification and stress reduction, most see improvement within 6 to 9 months. Try to reduce anxiety about hair loss as stress itself prolongs TE.


In summary, this woman’s situation highlights how prolonged under-eating via OMAD and fasting likely caused telogen effluvium hair loss. With Dietary changes to ensure adequate nutrition, and avoiding extremes, most people see their hair recover and regrow over several months. Patience and reducing stress are key during the process.

What has your experience with hair loss on lower carb or carnivore diets been? Let me know in the comments below!

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