05 Dec Smoking and Hair Loss- Is there a Connection?
Most people in Mumbai are smokers, and you may notice something common in all of them. Yes, they are either bald or have fewer hairs. So, is there a connection?
You might be aware that smoking causes premature ageing of the skin, lung cancer, vascular, and heart disease. However, did you know that smoking can cause hair loss as well?
Continue reading to know how smoking is connected to hair loss and premature greying.
Does Smoking Cause Hair Loss?
Many factors contribute to hair loss, such as stress, genetics, and hormones like DHT, lifestyle habits like nicotine consumption. They all can be damaging to your hair growth.
Blood flow is crucial to the hair follicle (tiny holes or pores on your skin that create hair) for healthy growth. Also, the nicotine present in cigarettes has been shown to decrease blood flow all over the body while constricting your blood vessels.
Limited blood flow across your scalp can negatively affect hair growth as the follicles do not get enough oxygen and nutrients to follow a healthy growth cycle.
Effects of Smoking on your Hair
These are some ways of how smoking affects your hair:
- Smoking reduces collagen, robbing the hair’s natural oils, making it dehydrated
- It produces build-up on the scalp, which makes hair roots oily
- Leads to premature greying of hair
- Smoking changes the endocrine system. It hampers the gland’s capacity to produce healthy hormones
- It minimizes vitamins A and C in the body that is vital for collagen production
- Reduces your immunity, which makes you susceptible to illnesses
How does Smoking Cause Hair Loss?
Poor blood circulation
Your follicles need a rich supply of minerals, nutrients, and oxygen to grow healthy hair. The toxins present in a cigarette affect your blood circulation, shrink blood vessels, and impede blood flow. Due to poor blood flow, your hair doesn’t receive these necessary nutrients.
Weakened immune system
Smoking reduces the body’s immune response; it makes you vulnerable to infections. So, if your immune system is weak, the chances of fungal or bacterial infections on the scalp rises. It stops your follicles from producing new, healthy hair.
You might have heard that stress causes hair loss, and that is true. Smoking increases stress levels and causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and tensed muscles.
Cravings for nicotine may cause stress when your body starts to go through withdrawal.
Disrupts the endocrine system
Smoking disrupts your body’s endocrine system, which causes higher DHT levels, the hormone that leads to male pattern baldness.
DHT makes the follicles shrink until they stop producing hair. It causes follicles to produce hair that is brittle and weak, making your hair look thin.
Will my hair grow back if I Quit Smoking?
When you quit smoking, your overall health and hair will improve. If smoking was the leading cause of your hair loss, stopping could prevent premature ageing and the scalp’s drying. It will reduce the likelihood of hair fallout.
Remember, you cannot reverse the damage that occurred because of smoking. Quitting is a method that can help your body return to a state where there is a chance to regrow healthy hair.
However, it will take for your hair to restore itself and return to its healthy state. So, have patience, especially if you were a long-term smoker.
If you still have hair loss after you have quit for long, it is necessary to investigate other possibilities and address them. A hair doctor can guide you in the proper direction.
Can I start Smoking after my Hair Transplant?
If you plan to go for a hair transplant surgery and want a 100% chance of success, do not smoke for a week before the surgery. Also, do not smoke 2 weeks after transplanting your hair. There are many other precautions to take after a hair transplant surgery.
Open wounds are at risk for infections, and the longer it requires them to heal, the more infection chances you have.
Infections can be dangerous to the success of a hair transplant. There is a possibility of crusts and scabs left on the skin for longer than necessary, leading to scar tissue formation.
There are many other reasons for hair loss, and they may be interrelated. If you have hair thinning, hair loss, or premature greying, you must add healthy habits to your daily routine. Try to include regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. Do not punctuate your life with smoking.