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MHR Clinic Manchester’s consultant Ethan Denton answers the often asked question, ‘Does smoking cause hair loss?’ With an analysis as to why smoking can cause hair loss issues.

It is a well known and scientific fact that smoking leads to the early appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin in men and women of all ages.

However, our consultants at MHR Clinic see many clients who smoke tobacco and often ask the question, ‘Does smoking cause hair loss?’

The simple answer is, ‘Yes, it does’. The link between smoking and hair loss is irrefutable and proven. Ethan provides an insight into how can smoking cause hair loss.

Smoking does a lot of damage to health and that damage does extend to hair density on the scalp. Smoking causes hair loss.

To appreciate fully why when smoking hair loss is exacerbated, it is necessary to examine four key individual effects smoking has on the body and hair growth.

Nutrient Deficiency causes hair loss
Protein displacement
Sleep and hairloss

Poor Blood Circulation

Hair follicles require a constant supply of oxygen, nutrients and minerals to produce healthy hair. Smokers inhale small quantities of formaldehyde, arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, lead and ammonia when they inhale cigarette smoke. These poisonous chemicals cause a build-up of plaque on the inner walls of arteries, blood vessels and microcapillaries. In turn, this takes its toll on circulation, shrinking blood vessels and restricting blood flow to hair follicles. A reduction in blood and nutrients, needed to nourish hair follicles, leads to disruption in the hair growth cycle and hair loss.

Weakened Immune System

Cigarette smoking has an immunosuppressive effect on the body. The harmful toxins in cigarette smoke damage the immune system’s T-cells, T-helper cells and B-cells. This damage reduces the body’s capacity to fight harmful pathogens when they infiltrate the body, and makes smokers more susceptible to illness and disease. Persistent bouts of poor health from habitual smoking gradually debilitate hair follicles and their capacity to produce hair. It also leaves the scalp more vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections, both of which can cause hair loss. 

Environmental Pollution

Cigarette smoke in an enclosed space, such as a home or vehicle, creates environmental pollution. Nicotine and cotinine released into the air by smokers deposit in the hair shaft and follicles of those present. From there, it impedes biological functions which create the proteins that make up hair. This results in permanent damage to the hair structure in those frequently exposed to cigarette smoke. Alkaline toxins released from cigarette smoking also disturb the scalp’s pH balance, further exacerbating hair loss. 

Endocrine Diseases

The optimum function of the body relies on a network of glands called the endocrine system. Cigarette smoking disrupts the activity of the endocrine system, often stimulating glands into hyperactivity. The thyroid gland in the endocrine network is susceptible to toxins in cigarette smoke. It is triggered to produce excess amounts of thyroid hormone – a condition is called Grave’s hyperthyroidism. Grave’s hyperthyroidism causes hair loss. Smoking is also linked to other endocrine diseases like diabetes, also a known cause of hair loss.

Are you finding yourself looking for further answers on whether smoking can cause hair loss? Feel free to speak to one of our expert team and we are happy to address any enquiries and offer advice to help you along your hair restoration journey. From alcohol causing hair loss to laser therapy, our team have articles catering to all your questions and queries.

If you want to understand more about the causes of hair loss and how it can be reversed, please talk to MHR Clinic about the options available to you. Telephone 01565 745 344 or through this contact page.