Should you have a low-carb diet after having a hair transplant? There is no evidence to suggest that eating a low-carb diet after your transplant is beneficial to you. However, for patients choosing to have a low-carb or keto diet after their transplant it is important that they ensure a balanced and supplemented intake of:
- Vitamin C, D, A, E
- Biotin or Vitamin B7
After any kind of surgery, it is only logical to think of eating foods that are rich in nutrients and vitamins; that can help replenish the body and improves its ability to heal. Despite the lack of strong evidence suggesting a low-carb diet is beneficial after a hair transplant, a lot of people are still not sure whether it is the right kind of diet for them just after having their surgery. This article will explain what a low-carb diet is, how it can affect your hair, and its growth in the case of a hair transplant.
What is a low-carb or ketogenic diet?
A low carb diet and a ketogenic diet are mostly the same. The main difference between the two is the amount of carbohydrate intake. While a low-carb diet allows intake in amounts between 50-150 grams daily, the ketogenic diet restricts it to less than 50 grams per day.
In a low-carb diet, there is a limit on the intake of carbohydrate-based foods, with other foods like proteins, fats, and vegetables forming most of the daily intake. Similarly, in ketogenic diets, the carbohydrate intake is even more limited, with a focus on consuming mostly fat-based foods and some proteins.
Generally, the principle behind low-carb and ketogenic diets is to starve the body of excess amounts of sugar from carbohydrate foods, which is usually stored in the body as fats. When the body gets starved of carbs, and draws its fuel from fats, it enters a state of ketosis; which occurs when the ketones from the breakdown of the fatty foods we eat become the body’s preferred fuel source, instead of the regular glucose from carbohydrates.1 As a result stored fat reserves start to get used up for fuel causing the weight loss effect that’s attributed to these kind of diets.
What to eat after a hair transplant
The health of our hair is highly dependent on our nutritional profile. In fact, hair loss can be the body’s first reaction to a nutritional deficiency. Usually, a deficiency in one or more nutrients and vitamins such as zinc, iron, and Vitamin D can cause hair loss. Besides, research-based findings have already established solid links between nutritional deficiency and the structure and growth of the hair.3
In addition, protein intake can also be important in aiding hair growth. A diet that’s deficient in protein has been found to promote hair loss4.
After a hair transplant, it usually takes a few months for the hair roots to grow and develop completely. And during this process, patients ought to have a balanced healthy diet to aid hair growth and wound healing.
We have highlighted important nutrients and vitamins below to aid your recovery after a hair transplant.
The human hair follicle is made up of a number of proteins. Thus, in order for your newly transplanted hair to grow, it will need a constant supply of protein which a low carb or ketogenic diet will need to take account of. Some of the best foods to supply you with quality proteins include fish, chicken, eggs, milk, and cheese. Vegans or vegetarians can go for healthy plant sources like the soy products (tofu, tempeh, and edamame), nuts like the chickpeas, almonds, and peanuts, and pseudo-grains like quinoa and amaranth.
Vitamins are well-known to support the growth of healthy hairs. Vitamin C plays a part in the synthesis of collagen, which contains some important amino acids that are used in the production of keratin — a protein that forms the tissue of our hair. Vitamin C also helps in the absorption of iron, whose deficiency has been shown to be a common cause of hair loss5. In addition to all these important roles, vitamin C can help speed up the healing of your hair transplant surgery. Research-based findings have shown that vitamin C is involved in all phases of wound healing, which will be important for the healing and recovery phase following a hair transplant 6. Apart from vitamin C, the B-group vitamins are also well-known to support the overall wellbeing of the hair. In fact, the deficiency of some B-group vitamins like biotin, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and folate, have been associated with hair loss 7. Ensuring you have an adequate intake of these vitamins after your hair transplant can therefore aid your subsequent regrowth.
In terms of minerals, iron, magnesium, and zinc are among the most important minerals that can support the growth of your hair, especially after a hair transplant.
That being said, there are also certain foods that should be avoided after your hair transplant. Fast and processed foods that are usually high in sugar, and devoid of quality nutrients like vitamins and minerals are unlikely to provide you a balanced intake of minerals, vitamins and protein for your recovery.
Can you have a low-carb or keto diet after a hair transplant?
You can have a low-carb or keto diet after your hair transplant but you will need to ensure the diet provides a balanced intake of the vitamins, minerals and protein needed to support your healing and subsequent hair growth.
Generally, a low-carb, high fat diet has been linked to temporary hair loss. But this hair loss has been found to be as a result of insufficient intake of certain nutrients. As a result of carbohydrate restriction, the body only gets fewer amounts of certain nutrients, especially the ones that come from high-carb fruits and vegetables. This lack of adequate nutrients can lead to more hair loss, and even slow hair growth.
Also, when the body gets fewer calories as a result of cutting down carbohydrate intake, it reacts by making sure the energy it gets is diverted from hair to other important cellular functions first. This alone, may be able to reduce hair growth.
That being said, it is possible to alter a low-carb or keto diet to compensate for the loss of important nutrients that can support the growth and health of your hair. You can also choose supplements to cover up any deficiencies. Important vitamins and minerals to consider taking as supplements include the B-group vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, and iron.
You can have a low-carb or ketogenic diet after having a hair transplant but you will need to ensure sufficient intake of Vitamins and Minerals to prevent impaired wound healing. While these kind of diets contain high amounts of protein, which can be good for the healing and growth of your newly transplanted hair, they are devoid of nutrient-rich, high-carb carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables which contain rich amounts of vitamins and minerals — that are essential for the growth of the hair.
If you are exploring having a hair transplant, book your consultation today. Our lead surgeons will be more than happy to give you more information on the personalised hair transplant service we offer at The Treatment Rooms London.
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