Cigarettes And Alcohol Causes Hair Loss

It has been determined that smoke chemicals from cigarettes and fires can damage hair follicles and existing hair that lead to hair loss. A study was recently conducted using mice that were exposed to cigarette smoke over an extended period of time. All of the test subjects showed signs of rapid aging and began to lose their hairs.

How this occurs is not entirely understood. One theory is that carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen in the blood and prevents the proper oxygenation of the cells making up the follicles. Other chemicals present interfere with the proper exchange of nutrients and waste products at the cellular level, damaging the follicles and preventing proper growth. The mites from dust also can cause scalp problems.

Alcohol Can Also Trigger Hair Loss Directly

Cigarettes And Alcohol Causes Alopecia

It is not common for someone who drinks moderately to suffer from hair loss. The guidelines for safe levels of drinking provided by the Department of Health state that men should not exceed a maximum of four units of alcohol per day and 21 units a week, while women should limit themselves to 2-3 units per day / 14 units a week. Most of these problems can be resolved by cutting back on your drinking, after which your hair should recover. The longer you have been drinking for, and the more heavily you drink, the more likely you are to suffer permanent damage to your hair. There are 3 reasons as to why alcohol causes alopecia :

1. Excessive Drinking Raises The Level Of Estrogen

The hormone levels can have an effect on your hair. If you regularly exceed the recommended daily alcohol limit of two to three units for women or three to four units for men, your oestrogen levels can rise as a result. DHT tends to get most of the blame for hair shedding, but high oestrogen levels can be just as damaging and trigger Telogen Effluvium.

2. Excessive Drinking Reduces Zinc, Iron Levels

Zinc is known to play a major role in hair health, and is also used by the body in the absorption of a host of other nutrients needed for normal hair production. Zinc isn't stored within the body and needs to be consumed on a daily basis. Alcohol can prevent zinc from being absorbed properly, so leading to a deficiency and potential alopecia. Iron deficiency meanwhile, in women particularly, has been shown in numerous studies to be a contributing factor in hair loss conditions such as Telogen Effluvium.

As well as these two key minerals, alcohol abuse depletes many other nutrients associated with cell production, growth and hormone regulation, including Folic Acid, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and Calcium.

Excessive alcohol consumption also puts stress on the internal organs. As they are so busy processing the alcohol and struggling to counteract its effects they become overworked, and lack the resources to properly handle everyday tasks such as hair production. They also become unable to process the nutrients from food properly. These nutrients are vital for hair health and every other major process in the body. The net effect is that overall health of hair will suffer, and new hair production may slow down and even cease, as with Telogen Effluvium.

3. Dehydration

Another major effect of heavy drinking is chronic dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes the individual to urinate more frequently, as the body tries to rid itself of what is essentially a poison. This leads to dehydration, which also affects the body's ability to absorb and process essential nutrients needed for growing hair. Dehydration causes the hair to become dry and brittle, leading to breakage of the hair shaft and hair loss through shedding. Hair is roughly one quarter water, so an adequate supply of it is vital for hair health.

Prevent Hair Fall After Alcohol

  • Drinking two pints of water will not only make your hangover less severe, it will reduce the damage to your hair.
  • Don't comb your hair the morning after, wait until you feel better, as this will mean your follicles are less stressed and you're less likely to pull out excess hair.
  • Try to take zinc/folic acid supplements and improve your diet.