Does smoking causes chronic dandruff and hair loss?
Research studies have identified a strong link between cigarette smoking and hair loss which is alarming, especially if you are someone with a family history of baldness. The situation is more worrying for males. So in case of males who smoke up to 20 or more cigarettes every day then they are more likely at the risk of going bald.
How does smoking cause hair loss?
Smoking causes significant damage to the hair follicles and scalp in 2 major ways:
- Our hair grows from hair follicles which are sac like structures beneath your scalp that needs oxygen, essential nutrients and vitamins/minerals to function properly and stimulate hair growth.
Cigarette smoke consists of hundreds of chemicals, most of them poisonous, which adversely affect all parts of the body including the hair. Poisonous chemicals in cigarettes and the smoke emitted from cigarettes poison the blood and destroy hair follicle cells. This smoke also hazardously impacts the circulation of blood in general which indicates disruptive blood flow to your hair follicles. Smoking induces blood vessels to compress and the scalp is unable to receive the blood it requires to aid normal healthy hair growth. This further impairs the normal hair growth/loss cycle which takes place on a daily basis and leads to hair thinning and finally loss. Thus smoking directly affects blood supply as suggested by the study evidences.
- Daily Smoking weakens your immune system and exposes your hair follicles to all sorts of fungal, bacterial infections, diseases and illnesses. The fungal and bacteria causes in high amount of dandruff formation (sebborheic dermatitis, ringworm or eczema). Few of these diseases destroy the hair, kill follicles or cause hair loss. Smoking even accelerates signs of premature ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines, and pale drawn appearance thus adding baldness.
You can treat the chronic dandruff and other underlying bacterial and fungal infections of the scalp that may have been the outcome of smoking. Smokers with a vulnerable immune system may use anti-fungal medication such as Fluconazole or Lamatril to help heal and clear up infected hair follicles.
Signs of hair loss due to smoking
Here, we have arranged a list of symptoms that shows that your hair loss is due to smoking or if you may encounter smoke-linked loss in near future.
- Hair fuming of smoke, a clear sign that you are smoking too much.
- Hair turning Yellow due to nicotine present in cigarette.
- Yellowing scalp from too much smoking up.
- Thickening of the scalp skin because of chronic inflammation and toxins.
- Frequent fungal infections and burning sensation in areas of scalp where hair has removed
- Dry and itchy scalp.
- Excessive Dandruff with gray flakes all over in hair and scalp.
- Bald patches, generally variable.
- Brittle hair texture.
- Thinner and finer hair strands growing from hair follicles.
- Thinning hair over your entire scalp.
Also remember that sudden quitting of smoking can be very sickening and can engage serious nicotine withdrawal symptoms that also cause hair loss such as:
- Detoxification of the bloodstream and lungs resulting to blocked hair follicles.
- Intensified irritability.
- Pent-up frustration due to withdrawal of smoking
- Stress and anxiety development which can cause hair loss.
Hair loss caused by smoking is not permanent and can be cured or reversed by developing an accurate plan for quitting smoking, going “cold turkey” (only puffing up a cigarette and not smoking), load up with balanced diet and nourish your scalp so your hair will grow up.