The Effects of Smoking and Hair Loss

You don’t need to be an MD to understand the negative effects smoking has on one’s health and appearance. It causes lung, throat, and mouth cancer, prematurely ages your skin, stains your teeth, and has an odor that lingers long after the cigarette is done.

And now, studies show a link between smoking and premature graying and accelerated hair loss. A 2007 study conducted in Taiwan and published in the journal Archives of Dermatology found that men between the ages of 41 and 90 who smoked 20 or more cigarettes a day experienced increased hair thinning, even if there was no family history of male pattern baldness. In fact, the risk increased as the number of cigarettes smoked – along with the time spent smoking – increased. The study theorized that smoke damages the vessels at the bottom of hair follicles or damages the DNA of the follicles themselves.

Hair follicles, like any other organ, are affected by a variety of factors such as disease, medications, hormonal changes, diet, environmental toxins, and more. So, the health of your hair is largely dependent on how well you care for and nourish your body.

  • Smoking weakens the immunity system, which leads to premature signs of aging and increases the risk of disease and illness. Accelerated aging has a damaging effect on hair follicles which can result in hair loss.
  • Carbon monoxide and nicotine restrict blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout the body. As a result of this decreased circulation, hair follicles don’t receive the necessary supply of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed for healthy hair.
  • Smoking also depletes one’s body of vitamins A and C, and collagen, which play a major role in hair strength and growth.
  • Toxins found in cigarettes also affect the endocrine system, which is responsible for healthy hormonal secretion. Hormonal imbalances and fluctuations have been linked to increased and premature hair thinning and loss.

So, if you’ve been scratching your head while trying to figure out why you’re losing hair – while smoking a Marlboro or two – perhaps you’ve just discovered the reason why. Our advice? Put the pack down and pick up the phone today to schedule a free consultation with DiStefano Hair Restoration Center – we’ve been known to work wonders. Perhaps we can do the same for you.