Smoking and Your Hair - A Guide to Stop Smoking

You are aware of the risks of smoking such as cancer, heart disease, chest complaints and strokes but it has now been shown to have an adverse affect on your hair.

This may sound rather strange but smoking can affect the condition of your hair which may lead to hair loss.

Research has found a link between cigarette smoking and hair loss which is worrying, especially if you are a man with a family history of baldness.

One trigger for hair loss in men is that of hereditary: if the male members of your family went bald in their youth then there is a good chance that you will do the same. There are other causes of hair loss but male pattern baldness is especially common.

If you are male and smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day then you are at greater risk of going bald. You may not be unduly bothered by this but many men are.

So how does smoking cause hair loss?

Your hair grows from follicles – sac like structures underneath your scalp which require oxygen, vitamins/minerals and essential nutrients to function properly and trigger hair growth.

Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, many of them toxic, which affect all areas of the body including the hair. This smoke negatively affects your circulation in general which means impaired blood flow to your hair follicles.

This disrupts the normal hair growth/loss cycle which occurs on a daily basis and results in hair thinning and eventual loss.

This evidence suggests that smoking directly impacts upon this blood supply.

Other suggestions include the fact that smoking affects the immune system which opens the body up to all sorts of diseases and illnesses. And certain diseases damage the hair or cause hair loss.

Another factor is ageing: hair loss is a sign of the ageing process and this can be accelerated by smoking. Smoking causes other signs of premature ageing such as increased lines and wrinkles and a pale, drawn appearance so why not add baldness to this list.

Male pattern baldness is usually permanent but other types of hair loss are not and can be reversed. If the cause of the hair loss is treated then new hair will grow.

But the best way of preventing hair loss is to stop smoking. If you are trying to give up or are looking to take that first step then visit our Stopping Smoking section. This is full of useful information to help you do so.

Problems with smoking - Guide to Stop Smoking Index:

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