Three Surprising Ways Cigarette Smoke Can Cause Hair Loss?

cigarette smoke

If you’re a smoker, it could be high time to say No to this injurious habit because it will gradually weaken your whole immune system. First-grade symptoms will be superficial, like hair loss, baldness, and thinning of hair. Second-grade symptoms might impact your vital organs, including the heart, kidneys, and lungs. 

Smoking causes hair loss and premature greying. According to research, there are several ways cigarette smoking triggers hair loss. In this piece, we will discuss three ways cigarette smoking generally causes hair loss and thinning of hair.

Three ways cigarette smoking can cause hair loss

Oxidative stress: 

Smoking drastically increases the production of free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules, Which means they easily react with other molecules in our body, especially in tissue and cause potential damage to cellular DNA. The entire process is known as oxidative stress. It generally happens when an excessive amount of free radicals reacts with the body cell. Tobacco smoking triggers oxidative stress, and apart from that pollution, UV radiation can potentially trigger body oxidative stress.

Research in 2003 proposed that toxic chemicals in tobacco lead to damage DNA of the hair follicles. Damage to DNA causes impaired hair growth.

Poor immune system

Harmful chemicals present in tobacco badly impact blood circulation and cardiovascular health. Some researchers also say that smoking triggers the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessel, which increase the chance of developing dangerous conditions like blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

Blood vessels deliver necessary nutrients to hair follicles and promote hair growth. But toxic chemical in tobacco interrupts the blood flow to the scalp, leading to hair loss and hair damage. The poisonous chemical of cigarettes can take a toll on scalp-blood circulation. They literally shrink the blood vessels and impede basic blood circulation. When hair follicles do not receive adequate nutrients through blood, they get malnourished, and the complete hair growth cycle gets interrupted.

Our hair growth cycle has four phases: Anagen ( the growth phase), Catagen the transitional phase, telogen or resting phase, and exogen or shedding hair. Interruption in the cycle causes extensive hair loss. 

Environmental pollution

Most people think that inhaling cigarette smoke can harm your follicles, but it is also true that if someone smokes at home or in a car with windows rolled up, that will create environmental pollution. Smoking also causes hormonal imbalances in females and negatively impacts the menstrual cycle, which in turn causes hair thinning. Additionally, air pollution exacerbates genetic and hormonal hair loss.

If you want to minimize or reverse hair loss due to smoking, then please quit smoking. When you stop exposing your hair to the toxins in cigarettes, your scalp blood circulation will start improving, and thinning of hair will get reversed. We understand that quitting this bad habit is difficult, but many medical ways would help you to quit.

Is smoking caused alopecia reversible? A frequently asked question coming from chain smokers

When a person stops smoking, he may not immediately see the result, but after 3 to 4 months, he will notice some of the damages due to smoking get reversed. Some researchers say that if you leave smoking for 15 years, your chance of getting a heart attack or stroke is almost equal to somebody who has never smoked. Some ex-smokers have reported that they start achieving noticeable hair growth after saying no to cigarettes.

Please note that male-pattern and female-pattern baldness can not be reversible if you quit smoking. Minoxidil helps you to achieve a minimum amount of hair re-growth.

Quiet this habit by the following approach

Quitting smoking may be difficult for you, but have several positive effects on your health. Let’s check the easiest procedure to quit smoking:

Nicotine replacement therapy:  Nicotine patches are excellent options for quitting smoking. Nicotine patches generally come in gummy form so that smokers can chew instead of smoking or in inhaler form to slowly wean down the nicotine they consume. Nicotine replacement therapy is implemented to reduce tobacco dependency gradually. 

Anti-smoking prescription drugs:  Chantix, Zyban, and other prescription drugs are made to ease the craving for cigarette smoking and withdrawal symptoms. Doctors sometimes prescribe these anti-smoking drugs with nicotine replacement therapy.

Cigarette leaving habit formations: Doctors always ask patients to remain busy always. They ask to form good habits like exercise, acupuncture, medications, and hypnosis.

Supportive therapy: Peer-to-peer counselling and support from a phycologist also seem a great option and help the patient quit smoking quickly.

Avoid smoking environment: Please avoid the smoking zone where people are smoking because it may increase your smoking. When people see someone smoking, basic human psychology increases their craving.

Final thoughts: 

Stopping or limiting the habit of smoking may reduce or reverse your hair fall problem, but If you are already going through extensive hair loss and baldness, you may need a good hair transplant and restoration. For that, consult the best hair transplant surgeon, who will guide you through the process.