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Smoking and hair loss

Does smoking cause hair loss?

Smoking and hair loss problems

Have you ever thought about what effect smoking has on health? Is it only lung cancer, heart attack and other diseases that are caused by smoking?  

You are right, smoking affects not only our lungs but also our hair. Smoking is the most common reason for premature death across the world. It's a leading cause of various health problems including cancer, heart attack, and stroke.

The smoke passes through our lungs to the bloodstream and then to every organ of our body. If there is a significant amount of nicotine in the blood, it will have a negative impact on the blood vessels, including those in our hair. 

Smoking affects blood vessels and makes them more narrow, which leads to hair loss. So, it is not surprising that smokers have bad hair growth.

The nicotine slows down the production of certain substances responsible for hair growth. Moreover, it reduces the amount of calcium in the body and impairs its transfer to the skin follicles responsible for hair growth. 

Smoking also causes inflammation that turns the process of hair growth into a long-term process.

Therefore, you should take care of your health before taking care of your appearance.

There are many reasons why smoking is bad for health. Smokers are twice as likely to develop heart disease, cancer and emphysema. It also increases the risk of premature death. Smoking can also lead to oral diseases like cancer and gum disease.

Smoking is a dangerous addiction! It affects your health in many ways. According to some reports, smoking can make you look older than your actual age. It affects the way you look and thus it can also affect the way others see you. 

Smoking, a bad habit, is commonly accepted all over the world among both men and women. The number of cigarettes smoked each year has steadily been on the rise and it is estimated that more than one billion people smoke worldwide. This is a heart-breaking fact as smoking contributes to more than just cancer and it has a harmful impact not only on smokers but on their families as well. 

The toxic chemicals present in cigarettes are absorbed into the bloodstream and then spread throughout the body, ultimately harming the blood vessels of all organs, including the heart.

How does smoking cause hair loss?

According to scientific researches, there are many factors about smoking that causes hair loss, including:

Smoking Causes Poor Blood Circulation
Hair follicles require oxygen and essential nutrients to produce healthy hair. The toxins in cigarettes can disbalance blood circulation. This can shrink the blood vessels and the hair follicles will not receive sufficient blood for proper hair growth.

Smoking Affects The Immune System
Smoking can have adverse effects on your immune system and this will ultimately make you prone to other health ailments like developing a bacterial or fungal infection on your scalp. Infections on the scalp will prevent the hair follicles from producing healthy locks.

3 Most Effective Ways to Quit Smoking

There are many ways to get rid of the habit of smoking but the most effective ways to quit smoking:

1) Identify reasons for smoking
Understanding the reasons you smoke will help you to understand why you smoke. It's important to first understand why you smoke and then you'll be able to find out how to quit smoking. If you smoke because of peer pressure, if your father was a smoker or you want to impress your friends or colleagues, then these issues are the ones that you need to tackle first. Once you know the reasons for your smoking, then it will be easier for you to find an alternative to smoking. You may begin by trying out a healthy activity like running or cycling as an alternative.

2) Avoid stress
If there is stress in your life then you must avoid that stress and find ways to manage it. Stress is one of the primary causes of addiction and a few ways to manage stressful situations include meditation, yoga, aromatherapy and massage therapy.

Quitting smoking is easier said than done but given the fact that smoking is extremely injurious to health, you have no choice but to control your urge to smoke till the time you are no more triggered by any stimulation that leads to smoking.

3) One step at a time
Set a quit date that is not too far in the future but gives you sufficient time to prepare mentally. To accomplish this technique effectively, consider telling your colleagues and family about your quit date.
On your quit day:

  • Do not smoke at all.
  • Stay busy.
  • Attend a stop-smoking group or follow a self-help plan.
  • Drink more water and juice.
  • Drink less or no alcohol.
  • Avoid individuals who are smoking.
  • Avoid situations wherein you have a strong urge to smoke.
  • Delay until the craving passes. The urge to smoke often comes and goes within 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of three and exhale through your mouth for a count of three. Visualize your lungs filling with fresh air.
  • Do something else to distract yourself. Perhaps go for a walk.

Take Away 

Smoking alters the structure of the hair, causing hair to become inflexible and dry. The nicotine in tobacco acts like a diuretic, which increases the rate at which hair sheds from its follicle.

If the above-mentioned techniques are not working for you, consult a specialist and take up NRTs (Nicotine replacement therapy). Many OTC NRTs are available, they will help you in reducing the withdrawal blues by giving you a small controlled amount of nicotine but these do not have dangerous chemicals like the ones found in cigarettes.