How to prevent hair loss when water fasting?

Understanding Hair Loss During Water Fasting

Water fasting has been gaining popularity as a way to improve physical and mental health. It involves abstaining from all solid foods and only drinking water for a specified period. While many people swear by the benefits of water fasting, one potential downside is losing hair. It can be a worrying side effect, but it’s not uncommon. Here’s what happens to your hair during water fasting.

During water fasting, your body enters a state of ketosis, where it uses stored fat as an energy source. This process releases ketones, which can put stress on your body. One of the first areas the body sacrifices for energy is the hair. Your hair follicles are highly sensitive to changes in metabolic activity, which can cause them to stop growing or shed prematurely.

Tips for Preventing Hair Loss During Water Fasting

1. Gradually ease into water fasting

If you’re new to water fasting, your body won’t be used to the sudden shift in energy source. Going cold turkey on solid foods can be a shock to your system, and your hair may suffer. Instead, gradually ease into water fasting by first eliminating heavy foods and reducing your meal frequency. This approach can help your body adjust to the calorie deficit and reduce the chances of hair loss.

2. Take supplements

During water fasting, your body isn’t getting essential nutrients from food sources. Taking supplements, like Biotin, can keep your hair healthy, strengthen hair strands, and promote growth. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine which supplements are safe to use during a water fast.

3. Get enough sleep

Your body does most of its hair growth and repair work while you sleep. Getting enough sleep, at least six to eight hours per night, can contribute to healthier hair during water fasting. Lack of sleep can increase cortisol levels, a stress hormone that can lead to hair loss.

4. Stay hydrated

Dry hair is more brittle and prone to breakage. Drinking enough water during water fasting can help keep your hair conditioned and reduce the chances of hair loss. Aim to drink at least ten cups of water each day.

5. Don’t stress out

Stress is one of the primary culprits of hair loss. During water fasting, your body experiences stress due to the metabolic changes it’s undergoing. Adding further stress from external sources will only compound the problem. Try to stay relaxed and avoid stressors where possible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions people have about hair loss during water fasting:

  • Q: Is hair loss during water fasting permanent?
  • A: No, hair loss during water fasting is usually temporary. Once you start eating again, your hair will likely return to its normal growth cycle.

  • Q: How long does hair loss last while water fasting?
  • A: Hair loss can occur as early as 48 hours into water fasting and can last for several weeks after the fast. However, the severity and duration can vary from person to person.

  • Q: Can hair loss during water fasting be prevented?
  • A: While hair loss during water fasting can’t be entirely prevented, taking good care of your hair and body can reduce the severity and duration of hair loss.

  • Q: Can hair loss be a sign of a more serious health issue?
  • A: Yes, hair loss can be a symptom of an underlying health issue. If you’re experiencing other symptoms besides hair loss, consult with a healthcare professional.


  1. Mohammed, A. E., Elsayed, A. H., Yassen, N. N., & Ahmed, E. A. (2019). Effect of Intermittent Fasting on Liver Function in Type-2 Diabetic Patients. Medical Journal of Cairo University, 87(4), 1361-1367.
  2. Mercola, J., & Olson, B. M. (2018). Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy. Hay House, Inc.