Does Tobacco Cause Hair Loss?

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We all lose hair. It’s normal while brushing or bathing. However, for some people hair loss is scary. They lose excessive hair which is alarming that something needs to be rectified. It can be your diet, lifestyle or hair care. Many individuals wonder does tobacco cause hair loss? Well, the answer to one of the most common questions is YES, chewing tobacco or smoking can lead to hair loss and balding.

Many researches and studies have proven that nicotine (a chemical product present in tobacco) not only leads to different types of cancer; such as a lung or mouth cancer, but it can also lead to balding and premature graying. It is needless to mention that the strong odors that settle on the hair; and the long-lasting presence of nicotine in the hair follicles are the culprits.

No matter whether you chew or smoke, the intake of tobacco causes hair loss.

The cigarette smoke enters the bloodstream through the lungs and is carried by the circulatory system to every part of the body. The result is that the cells of the smoker’s body are bathed in the more than 4,000 chemicals and gases found in cigarette smoke. No part of the body is truly exempt from the toxins in cigarettes, and even hair follicles suffer damage.

Bad Hair Every Day

The smoke from cigarettes damage the hair follicles, causing them to shrink and wither. It is then obvious that the unhealthy follicles cannot produce healthy hair, making smokers much more likely to have thinning and damaged hair. Even if the follicles continue to produce hair, they will be fragile and extremely susceptible to breakage.

On the other end, smoke also restricts the blood flow to the follicles, prematurely aging them and causing gray hairs to appear earlier than they otherwise would. Cigarettes also increase the amount of the hormone DHT in the body – a hormone known to contribute to hair loss.

Hair Loss

A study showed that as smoking tobacco may destroy hair follicles extensively, and it may increase the risk of hair loss. Tobacco products can also cause poor blood circulation, which leads to hair loss. It is also associated with premature biological aging, which triggers balding in individuals genetically predisposed to hair loss.

Premature Graying

Many studies showed that using tobacco causes premature graying. Gray hair occurs when hair follicles stop producing melanin, which is a pigment that stops being produced due to aging. As using tobacco may lead to premature aging, then it indirectly triggers graying.

Smoke Odor

According to the American Cancer Society, smoke odor can stay on hair even long after stopped smoking. Though there are no evidence to show that smoke odor may cause cancer or other diseases, but as such odor tends to be very strong, particularly noticeable to others nearby, it becomes a nuisance. Smoke also settles on clothes, on house dust and can be inhaled and absorbed through skin, though the level of how this exposure to smoke affects the body is still under study.

Nicotine in Hair

According to a leading health channel, more nicotine is absorbed through chewing tobacco, than through smoking it. It usually remains in the body for 2 to 4 days, but can last for months. Different institutions have different ways to test the presence of nicotine in their employees’ body, such as blood and urine tests. The hair follicle test is one of the most accurate tests used to detect the presence of nicotine in the body, as it can be conducted; even after 30 to 90 days of smoking.

It is a well known fact that there are many men’s hair loss treatments available, but smoking invites a list of health issues including hair loss and infertility. In order to lead a healthy, happy and contented life, one should quit smoking as soon as possible.