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Link Between Smoking & Hair Loss

4 units of cigarettes

Smoking & Hair Loss

Smoking causes vascular disease, lung cancer, premature skin ageing, and heart disease and smoking is injurious to health, as you may already know. That is reason enough to quit smoking, but did you realise that it can also cause hair loss? And also it's important to know how to quit smoking by changing your lifestyle.

Does smoking cause hair loss?

While black hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors such as stress, heredity, and hormones like DHT, lifestyle activities such as smoking can be just as destructive to your hair's health. The hair follicle (small holes or pores on your skin that form hair) requires adequate blood flow for proper growth, and nicotine has been shown to lower blood flow throughout the body while restricting blood vessels.

Because the follicles do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients to maintain a healthy growth cycle, restricted blood flow over the scalp can have a detrimental impact on hair growth. A group of 740 Taiwanese men aged 40 to 91 were evaluated in a research published in the Archives of Dermatology. Those who smoked 20 or more cigarettes per day, regardless of family history, were twice as likely to experience hair loss due to smoking as those who never smoked. 

Smoking's Effects On Your Hair 

  • Smoking depletes collagen and dehydrates the hair by stripping it of its oils. 
  • It generates a buildup on the scalp, causing the roots to become oily. 
  • It has the potential to cause premature greying. 
  • Smoking alters the endocrine system, making it difficult for the gland to create healthy hormones. 
  • It depletes the body's supply of vitamins A and C, which are required for collagen formation. 
  • Smoking lowers your immunity, making you more vulnerable to infections. 

What Causes Hair Loss When You Smoke? 

  1. Inadequate Blood Circulation 

To generate healthy hair, your follicles require an abundance of minerals, nutrients, and oxygen. Toxins in cigarettes can impair circulation, shrink blood vessels, and obstruct blood flow. The growth phase, the transitional phase, the resting phase, and the shedding phase are the four phases in your hair's growth cycle. 

Your follicles become agitated and enter a lengthy or permanent resting period if you don't get adequate nutrients. As a result, the strands keep falling at the same rate, but the follicles are unable to replace them. Hair loss occurs when the hair development cycle is disrupted by a lack of blood for sustenance. 

  1. Immune System Dysfunction 

Smoking reduces the immune response of the body, making you more susceptible to infections. Because of your smoking habit, the cold you can't seem to shake may linger. Your immune system defends you against infections and diseases such as the common flu and cancer. When you smoke, your white blood cells are constantly working to protect you from the harmful effects of tobacco. 

When your immune system is compromised, you're more likely to get bacterial or fungal infections on your scalp, which hinder your follicles from creating new, healthy hair. 

  1. Environmental Aspects 

Environmental factors can also cause your hair to thin. Pollution depletes the protein in your hair that promotes follicular hair development. Pollutants and carcinogens in the air may worsen genetic hair loss. 

  1. Anxiety

You've probably heard that stress can cause hair loss, and this is accurate. Smoking causes your body to become more stressed. Blood pressure, pulse rate, and tight muscles all rise as a result.

  1. Smoking Causes Disruption The Endocrine System is a system that regulates hormones. 

Smoking can harm the endocrine system, resulting in greater DHT levels, the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness. DHT can cause follicles to shrink to the point where they stop generating hair. It can also make your thick hair appear thinner by causing follicles to generate brittle, fragile hair. 

Is Quitting Smoking Beneficial to Hair Growth? 

Quitting smoking is the most effective hair fall control technique to reverse the effects of smoking on hair. The good news is that hair loss caused by smoking is reversible and treated once all pollutants have been removed from your body. Hair grows back after you quit, as your body begins to repair and operate normally. Long-term smokers, on the other hand, may require extra therapy, such as a graft or a hair transplant, to help regenerate hair. 

Will I be able to regrow my hair if I quit smoking? 

Your general health, as well as the health of your thick hair, will improve if you stop smoking. If smoking was the primary cause of your hair loss, quitting will reduce the probability of fallout by preventing premature ageing and drying of your scalp. Moreover, one can also take hair growth serum to get quit smoking effects quickly on your hair regrowth.

While you can't undo the damage that smoking has done to your body, quitting is one approach to get your body back to a place where you can regenerate healthy hair. It takes time for hair to regenerate and return to its previous condition of health. So be patient, especially if you've been a smoker for a long time. 

If you continue to lose hair after quitting for a long time, you must investigate and address alternative factors. You can get help from a licensed specialist who can point you in the proper route. 

Can I Smoke After Getting A Hair Transplant? 

You want a 100 percent likelihood of success if you're having hair transplant surgery. Don't smoke for at least a week before the procedure and two weeks thereafter for the greatest outcomes. 

Infections are more likely in open wounds, and the longer it takes for them to heal, the greater the risk of infection. Infections may pose a risk to a successful hair transplant because scabs and crusts may persist on the skin for longer than necessary, leading in the creation of scar tissue. 

Take Away 

Hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors, many of which are interconnected. If you have hair loss, thinning, or premature greying, you should incorporate healthy habits like regular exercise and a well-balanced diet into your daily routine. Cigarettes should not be used to punctuate your life.