How Low Protein Diets Can Affect Your Hair?

Updated: May 18



How Low Protein Diets Can Affect Your Hair?


A low protein diet is a useful diet therapy for people suffering from different disorders as:


• Metabolic disorders

• Homocystinuria

• Phenylketonuria

• Kidney or liver disorders

• Calories restriction and diet


Lack of protein in the body can lead to several problems and deficiencies. Proteins are the body’s building blocks. Our muscles, brain, liver, tissues, arteries, kidneys, heart, skin, hair, and nails contain protein as the main block or unit.


Our hair contains a special protein as “keratin,” which acts as a base element for hair strands. If a person is suffering from protein deficiency, he/she is more likely to suffer from hair problems.


The body's daily requirements for proteins are about 8-grams of protein for 20 pounds’ body weight. You can consume the protein through eating a plant-based diet, nuts, legumes, quinoa, chia seeds, and tempeh. In case of protein deficiency, the body sends the proteins to the parts which need them the most. But this is not the same case with hair. Hair can suffer the most from protein deficiency because they are the aesthetic part of your body. The body does not prioritize protein supply to hair during protein deficiency.

How are low protein and hair loss related?


When the body suffers from protein deficiency, it tends to send the hair to the resting phase. On normal days, hair tends to shed and regrow within a few days. But in the case of protein malnutrition, a lot of hair goes into the resting phase simultaneously. If, with time, your body does not get enough protein, hair tends to shed off and stop its regrowth. Once the regrowth of the hair stops, hair loss becomes evident and visible.


When does hair loss become a problem?


We tend to lose hair every day when we comb. There is no need to panic if you see a few hair strands on your brush or comb.

Our hair goes through a hair cycle that consists of three phases:

• Growth phase

• Resting phase

• Shedding phase


If you are experiencing more than 100 hair strands on your brush, it can hint towards any nutrient deficiency in your body. During the nutrients deficiency, hair tends to increase its resting phase and shedding phase. While the growth phase of the hair cycle remains inefficient.


How to know your protein deficiency?


There are a few specific symptoms that can hint you towards protein deficiency as:


• Unusual tiredness, which can be more than usual in frequency

• Experiencing trouble while performing any strenuous activity like weight lifting and running

• Any of your body cut or injury taking a longer time to heal than usual

• A decrease in your body muscles’ tone

• A flabby body tone

• Hair loss with a visible decrease in the volume of hair


Takeaway:


Hair is the most attractive part of our bodies. While focusing on body weight, people tend to adopt different diets as low-protein or high-fat diet. A side-effect of a low protein diet is malnutrition in the body. Malnutrition can lead to hair loss, body fatigue, and other complexities. You can maintain your hair health while focusing on your protein intake. Proteins are the building blocks of the body that are significant for body health.











References:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6434747/

3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02023703


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