Does Smoking Cause Hair Loss? How to prevent it (Advice by Dermatologist)
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Tobacco has been around for centuries, but what we know about the health damage from smoking is much newer.
Many people know that smoking tobacco increases your chances of developing lung cancer and respiratory illness. But the negative health effects of smoking aren’t restricted to your lungs.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and at least 69 are known to cause cancer.
When you breathe in these chemicals, they can travel from your lungs to your bloodstream. From your blood, they can spread to other parts of your body and negatively impact many aspects of your health.
Smoking contributes to vascular disease, lung cancer, premature aging of the skin, and heart disease. Did you know that smoking can also cause hair loss? Going, going, gone – that’s the sad truth about hair loss.
Your once lush hair may begin to thin progressively, until one day you finally notice bald spots. If you’re a smoker and your hair is thinning, these two could be connected.
There are several factors that are responsible for hair loss, including stress, genetics, and hormones such as DHT, lifestyle habits like nicotine consumption can be just as damaging to your hair’s health. That is enough reason to kick the habit.
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Smoking and Hair loss how they are connected?
The connection between hair loss and smoking, we will be breaking down the many ways smoking tobacco can cause the loss of hair. We’ll also be sorting through possible treatment options to manage hair loss caused by smoking.
1. Oxidative Stress
Smoking increases stress in your body. It also causes a rise in blood pressure, heart rate, and tensed muscles. Cravings for nicotine feel stressful because your body begins to go through withdrawal. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals (unstable atoms that can damage cells) and your body’s antioxidant defense mechanism which can lead to the death of hair cells.
2. Impact blood flow on hair follicle
Hair follicles need essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and oxygen to produce healthy hair. And these nutrients are supplied to your follicles through blood circulation. Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals that cause shrinkage in your blood vessels and block the blood circulation to your hair follicles. As your hair follicles fail to receive the necessary nutrients from blood, your hair growth cycle is disturbed, in turn leading to noticeable hair loss.
3. A Weakened Immune System
Immune system is what protects you from infections and diseases like the common flu or cancer. When you smoke, your white blood cells are always active to fight the damage that tobacco causes. When your immune system is weak, the chances of bacterial or fungal infections on the scalp become higher which prevents your follicles from producing new healthy hair. This further aggravates your condition and results in severe hair fall.
4. Other reasons for causing hair loss
- Hard water or Bore-well water
- Graying of hair
- Complexion in hair transplant
- Hair dryer may make hair brittle
Prevention for smoking cause hair loss
1. Quit Smoking
Quitting the habit of smoking is the best way to reverse your hair loss caused by it. Your body promotes hair regrowth by its natural rejuvenation mechanism once you stop the contamination of your hair and scalp tissues from the toxins in cigarettes.
Healthcare providers such as doctors, nurse, therapist etc. can help with information and support you need to live smoke free. They may help you craft your own quit plan, offer methods to prevent slip-ups, or walk through the pros and cons of nixing nicotine. They often stick with you throughout your quit journey by scheduling follow up visits or phone calls.
2. Seek for professional hair loss treatment
Talk with professional hair loss treatment expert to figure out which hair loss treatment may be best for you. While home remedies and quitting smoking may work for some, but they aren’t for everyone. There are several treatments you may want to try for hair loss. An expert can help you figure out the cause of your hair loss and what the best treatment option would be. Some of the treatment options are mentioned below:
- PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy.
- Growth factor concentrate (GFC) therapy
- Laser therapy
3. Take care of your hair
Hair care is important for not only our appearance, but also for our overall hygiene. Having healthy hair allows us to look our best and ensure our hair and scalp is healthy. Your hair is important to your overall health and well-being because it is one of the first aspects that others may notice about you. How healthy and vibrant your hair is can tell someone what type of person you are, and how you feel about yourself. Healthy hair is a sign of confidence and allows others to view you in a positive light. There are some pro tips and tricks from experts which can help you for hair care practices.
- Wash your hair regularly/weekly
- Say no to chemical shampoos
- Put hair oil in you scalp
- Use a wide toothed comb
- Hydrate yourself
- Eat balanced diet
- Say no to junk foods
- Avoid using hair styling products
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Conclusion : Does Smoking Cause Hair Loss? How to prevent it
A study claims 9/10 Indians face genetic hair fall at least once in their lifetime due to underlying health conditions. Identifying the root causes and addressing hair fall as early as possible is most important.
Effective treatment for hair loss begins with finding the cause. To get an accurate diagnosis, it helps to see a hair treatment professional. These professionals have in-depth knowledge about the many causes of hair loss and experience treating the diverse causes. They may recommend treatment to help it grow more quickly. Sometimes, treatment is essential to prevent further hair loss. While at-home treatments offer convenience, a procedure performed by an expert – certified professional tends to be more effective.
There are several reasons for hair loss, and they can often be interrelated. If you are experiencing hair loss, thinning, or premature greying, you should include healthy habits in your daily routines such as regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. Do not punctuate your life with a cigarette.