Smoking And Drinking Together
Sometimes, social drinking and smoking go hand in hand.
Smoking is associated with skin issues like wrinkles. The nicotine in cigarettes, along with other chemicals, affect the skin and hair. It can narrow blood vessels and impact blood flow so the skin isnt able to get necessary oxygen and nutrients.
- promotes cancer
- increases the risk of certain ongoing skin conditions, such as psoriasis
There are also some 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke that can damage collagen and elastin, leading to sagging skin and premature aging.
One study specifically explored the relationship between smoking and baldness. It found a significant link between the two. This is likely from the effects of smoke on the hair itself. It can damage the hair follicles and impair other factors of the hair growth cycle.
Time To Stop Drinking
There is scientific evidence that drinking alcohol can cause hair loss, and we can all agree that it is generally an unhealthy habit. But, do you need to stop boozing altogether to maintain healthy, thick hair?
On the whole, limited alcohol consumption has little effect on the health of your hair. So, an occasional glass of wine or a pint of beer will not do much damage.
But to achieve the healthy, shiny hair results you are after, you need to go beyond limiting your alcohol intake. Besides eating well and drinking adequate water, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce the damage that booze does to your hair.
Pay some more attention to your hair care routine and find healthier ways to cope with stress. Implementing these vital lifestyle changes can keep your hair at its healthiest.
Thyroid Levels And Hair Loss
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to the development of hypo- and hyperthyroidism, which can cause hair loss and hair thinning. This loss can happen suddenly, or it can happen over a series of several months.
For individuals with this condition, their previously healthy scalp may appear patchy, with diffused areas of baldness across their head.
Alcohol Withdrawal and Thyroid Disorders
Some studies have shown that alcohol withdrawal can lead to the development of thyroid disorders. This is likely due to extensive damage caused by chronic drinking to the thyroid gland, which is then aggravated by the discontinuance of this alcohol consumption.
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Can I Do Anything To Stop Hair Loss If I Drink
If you are going to keep drinking but are still worried about hair loss, then you are limited in what you can do. However, there are things you can do to counteract the effects of alcohol on hair loss to some degree:
Hair Loss Due To Excessive Alcohol
While the UK is known for its drinking culture, most Brits are unaware that alcohol can have a massive effect on the bodys ecosystem over a prolonged period.
Hair loss due to excessive alcohol consumption is often a result of the body being prevented from gaining the necessary nutrients for normal bodily functions. However, excessive alcohol can also affect hair growth by dehydrating the body, causing sugar spikes and altering hormone levels.
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Alcoholism And Hair Losshow Hair Loss Can Impact Your Mental Health
Hair loss can have a significant impact on some individuals mental health. For others, it may not have much of an impact. Everyone is different and will have different response to it.
For some, hair loss can impact their confidence and how they feel about themselves. Our appearance can have a positive or negative impact on our confidence, and for some, a sudden or significant change in your hair line can be impactful. Some worry that having hair loss will make them less attractive, or less likely to find a partner.
For others, they may experience some depressive and/or anxiety symptoms related to their hair loss. It is important to note that hair loss can affect both men and women. We tend to associate hair loss with hair on our head, however other possible areas that can be impacted would be our eyebrows, arms and legs.
Can Binge Drinking Cause Hair Loss
As mentioned above, alcohol does not directly cause hair loss, but it does cause other issues that lead to hair loss. In the case of binge drinking, you can experience extreme dehydration, which will dry out your hair follicles and, over time, cause hair thinning. This can also cause high levels of acid in your body that deplete protein stores, further causing hair loss and other health issues.
Drinking a significant amount in a short period can also lead to alcohol poisoning which will dramatically alter the vitamins in your system, can lead to seizures or permanent brain damage and more. This intense stress on your system can at a minimum prevent healthy hair growth if not actual hair loss.
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Alcohol Can Cause Thyroid Problems
Drinking too heavily on a regular basis can affect the functioning of our thyroid glands . Thyroid glands are responsible for regulating a variety of bodily functions including hair growth and hair shedding.
In some cases of hypo- and hyperthyroidism, people may see hair loss and thinning across the whole scalp, although this is normally only observed in very severe cases.
What Happens To Neglected Hair
Like I alluded to before, one of the main ways damages is done to the hair is by way of the alcohol-filled lifestyle. Many times, people either do not have the resources, or are homeless and do not have access to clean water, or just simply cannot properly care for their hair due to drinking. What happens to neglected hair is that it may get very unhealthy because it is not being washed.
According to another study on the National Institutes of Health website says, shampoo is used to rid the hair of sebum, sweat components, desquamated stratum corneum, styling products, and environmental dirt. What happens to the neglected hair is that it can be damaged by these things that shampoo is supposed to rid the scalp of. The other problems alcohol causes to your hair, such as dehydration, can again compound with all these other lifestyle problems and leave you with damaged, thinning, and even balding hair.
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Alcohol Hair & Hydration
In addition to proper nutrition, healthy hair requires proper hydration. Alcohol is very dehydrating which causes hair to become brittle, dry, and more likely to shed. Dehydration can also lead to dandruff and other scalp issues.
Excessive drinkers may additionally experience disrupted sleep, increased hormone levels, and blood sugar spikes all of which have been linked to hair loss.
Tips For Preventing Alcohol
There is no way to prevent alcohol-related hair loss besides not drinking altogether. However, you can treat hair loss caused by excessive drinking. Its important to talk to your doctor if you struggle with hair loss there are several medications can help restore your hairline. Eating balanced meals and drinking plenty of water can also help keep your hair healthy.
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Other Ways Alcohol And Hair Loss Are Linked
While nutrition plays a significant role in alcohol-related hair loss, there are also other ways alcohol and hair loss are linked to one another.
Some of the other ways alcohol and hair loss are related include:
- Drinking alcohol dehydrates you: Heavy alcohol use can lead to damage to the health of your hair. When youre dehydrated, it can make existing hair follicles very dry and brittle, which makes them more likely to fall out. Dehydration can also cause dandruff.
- Using alcohol causes blood sugar spikes: These spikes in blood sugar have been linked to pattern baldness.
- Alcohol use disrupts your sleep: When you drink excessively you may sleep, but its usually not high-quality sleep. When you dont sleep enough , it can increase stress, and stress is linked to hair loss. The condition called telogen effluvium, or TE, refers to stress-induced hair loss. When this happens, your hair follicles dont replenish themselves as they should, but they continue shedding.
- Alcohol use changes estrogen levels: Alcohol use has been shown in research to be connected to increased levels of estrogen. Increased estrogen, particularly in men, can cause problems with hair growth and loss.
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Alcohol & Hair Loss: Are They Connected
While moderate drinking is not linked to baldness, the effects of heavy drinking or alcohol abuse may eventually lead to hair thinning or loss. Heavy drinking is proven to have an impact on appearance, including in the skin and hair. So even though there is no medically-proven connection between alcohol and hair loss, the health consequences and side effects of drinking too much may contribute to premature balding.
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Scientifically Proven Hair Loss Causes
Unsure whether alcohol is causing your hair loss, or whether it’s something else? These are the scientifically proven hair loss causes, according to Harvard Medical School:
The many causes of hair loss mean that treating it can’t be approached in the same way for every person. At Pilot, we take a personalised approach and formulate your hair loss treatment plan based on your own set of circumstances. Start your online consult with a Pilot doctor today to find the right treatment for you.
Try Hair Loss Medications
Minoxidil and finasteride are two medications FDA-approved to treat certain types of hair loss.
Minoxidil is a topical medication that you apply directly to your scalp. It is approved for men and women with androgenic alopecia. Finasteride is an oral pill, only approved for use in men, that you take daily to slow hair loss and encourage regrowth.
Your healthcare provider may recommend other medications, depending on your type of hair loss.
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Alcoholic Beverages Contain Preservatives And Other Unnatural Additives
Preservatives are found everywhere in the foods we eat, in the body products we use, and in the medications we take. It makes sense, then, that alcohol would also contain preservatives.
Preservatives kill bacteria and make foods and beverages last longer on the shelf. This is great for the manufacturers and business owners, but not so much for the body. Essentially, preservatives are there for the good of the food. They in no way offer you any benefit, and they can even cause harm.
For example, consider the fact that preservatives kill off bacteria.
On the shelves, this is good. But in the bodies, this can lead to the killing of good bacteria . Not having the right bacteria in your gut can go on to cause a host of other health issues that eventually may lead to hair loss .
On the flip side, some specific alcoholic beverages can help the healthy bacteria in your gut. For example, small amounts of wine can improve digestion and encourage the growth of healthy bacteria. This has to do with the probiotics found in most wines as a direct result of the fermentation process .
Wine also contains resveratrol which is good for your health .
A bit of good news? This means cutting out all alcohol is not necessary. However, balance is key.
Use A Hair Loss Shampoo
Hair loss shampoos such as Hims Hair Thickening Shampoo are formulated to target DHT at the scalp and promote the growth of thick, healthy hair.
When used alongside medications like minoxidil and finasteride, a hair loss shampoo can help cut down on shedding to maintain your hairline.
Look for active ingredients such as ketoconazole and saw palmetto, which may help disrupt the activity of DHT at the scalp.
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How To Revive The Roots Of Your Hair
Keratin is a protein found in your hair, skin, and nails. Heavy alcohol use is said to affect the production of keratin and, in turn, damage hair follicles and hair roots. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove the same.
Usually, if the hair roots are dead, it is difficult to regrow hair, and you may need to get a hair transplant. However, before taking any drastic measures, try to heal the affected hair roots at home.
Hair massage is one of the best ways to help your scalp regrow hair . You can use various ingredients available at home to serve as DIY supplements for massaging the scalp. Here are a few ingredients to help stimulate follicles:
Alcohol And Hair Loss: Reversible Or Not
Is alcohol hair loss reversible? In many cases, hair loss due to alcoholism is reversible if alcohol consumption is greatly reduced or stopped entirely and if certain healthy habits are set in place. For instance, some simple ways to reduce hair loss caused by alcohol include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Drinking plenty of water
- Seeing your doctor for any other solutions they may have
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Driet To Get Hair Back On Track
To get people on the right track for Christmas, therefore, an alcoholic drink-reduced diet or whats being called the driet might be a sensible solution.
The idea was proposed by Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, whose infographic at driet.co.uk highlights the multitude of problems that can arise from too much drinking.
It illustrates how alcohol can lead to weight gain by reducing fat burn and stimulating appetite it can weaken your immune system it can lead to anxiety and depression and it can also dehydrate the skin, make nails fragile and leave hair dry and lifeless, not to mention brittle through malnourishment.
The website points out that if you are drinking more than one 175ml glass of wine per day it could be having an impact on your health. It is not just binge drinking that is behind alcohol-related problems, they say, but sustained light drinking, too. And thats before even considering associated behaviours such as smoking.
Other Effects Of Heavy Drinking
Heavy alcohol use can have other effects on your overall appearance. Again, this is usually because alcohol interacts with normal body functions and may lead to deficiencies in key vitamins and nutrients.
Along with weight gain, you may experience early signs of aging and even a larger change in appearance.
Other effects can include:
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Sporadic Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Data released by the Office for National Statistics regarding the 2017 drinking habits of adults in Great Britain shows that 29.2 million people drink alcohol in the UK. It states that men are more likely to drink than women , with the 45 to 64 years age group having the highest alcohol consumption levels. When it comes to the 16 to 24 year old age group, although this has the lowest levels of alcohol consumption, it is also the category most likely to binge drink, with their heaviest drinking days being higher than those seen among other age brackets.
Binge drinking among those aged 65 years and older was the least prevalent, though men in this demographic were almost twice as likely as women to participate when they did indulge.
The report states: The generally higher levels of binge drinking among those aged 16 to 24 years could be due to the data capturing those who tend to drink excessively on Friday or Saturday nights and then not much else during the rest of the week.
In the USA, it is estimated that one in every six adults binge drinks at least four times per month, according to its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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How Alcohol Can Lead To Nutrient Deficiencies
If youre drinking too much alcohol on a daily basis, it can mean that your diet is less diverse than it should be, and you could be missing out on key nutrients your hair needs.
This section will look at possible nutrient deficiencies that could be caused by drinking alcohol, and how they can affect hair loss.
Vitamin D and Hair Loss
One of the nutrients you can lack when drinking too much alcohol is Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to be important to hair growth because of its role in the immune system . It also has anti-inflammatory properties .
The importance of Vitamin D for hair growth becomes clear when we look at the disorder Vitamin D-dependent rickets type 2. People with this disorder have a mutation in their vitamin D receptor genes, and so cant process Vitamin D the way others can . This often leads to alopecia totalis, which is a total absence of body hair.
Although this is a rare disorder that doesnt have to do with alcohol consumption, it shows us the relationship between Vitamin D and hair growth.
It makes sense that if you are lacking in Vitamin D because of your alcohol consumption, you could be suffering from hair loss.
Biotin and Hair Loss
You may have heard of biotin. Its sold often as a hair and nail strengthening supplement, but how important is it for our hair, really? In this section, well discuss what biotin is and how alcohol can cause biotin deficiency.
So how do you become biotin deficient?
How can alcohol cause biotin deficiency?
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