If you are a smoker and have thin and weak hair, the correlation between these two factors is very likely. You may be aware of how harmful the chemicals in cigarette smoke are to the body, but did you know that they can also contribute to hair loss and premature aging?
Tobacco and hair loss
In addition to being the single most preventable cause of significant morbidity and a major cause of death in the general population, tobacco smoking has also been associated with adverse skin effects. Smoke-induced premature aging of the skin has attracted the attention of the medical community, while an observational study recently indicated a significant relationship between smoking and baldness.
The mechanisms by which smoking causes hair loss are multifactorial and related to:
- Effects of cigarette smoke on the microvasculature of the dermal papilla of the hair.
- Smoke genotoxicants that cause damage to the DNA of the hair follicle.
- Smoke-induced imbalance in follicular protease/antiproteasa systems controlling tissue remodeling during the hair growth cycle.
- The prooxidant effects of smoking that lead to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines resulting in microinflammation andfollicular fibrosis.
In view of the psychological impact of androgenetic alopecia on men and women, increased public awareness of the association between smoking and hair loss offers an opportunity for health education against smoking, in principle more effective than the link between smoking and facial wrinkles or grey hair, since the latter can be effectively counteracted by current aesthetic dermatological procedures, while treatment options for androgenetic alopecia are more limited.
According to several scientific studies, there are several surprising ways in which cigarette smoke can trigger hair loss.
How does smoke trigger hair loss?
Poor blood circulation
Hair follicles need oxygen, nutrients, and minerals to produce healthy hair. Toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can affect circulation, reduce blood vessels, and disrupt blood flow. When the follicles do not receive the blood they need to feed, the hair growth cycle is interrupted. The hair growth cycle consists of four phases: the growth phase (anagen), the transition phase (cathogen), the rest phase (telogen) and the detachment phase (exogenous). Any interruption to this cycle can lead to noticeable hair loss.
A weakened immune system
Smoking cigarettes can damage the immune system and, as a result, cause diseases or pathologies that cause hair loss. A poor immune system can also increase the chances of a bacterial or fungal infection on the scalp, which will prevent follicles from producing healthy hair.
It’s not just inhaling cigarette smoke that can damage the hair follicles. If you smoke regularly at home or in the car with the windows closed, you may be creating environmental pollution. While most hair loss is genetic, research links hair thinning to environmental factors. Contaminated air can exacerbate the genetic loss of hair and carcinogens, in smoke-filled air, get to obstruct the mechanisms that produce the protein from which the hair is made.
Increased secretion of fat on the scalp
Nicotine in tobacco can stimulate the body’s dopamine system to accelerate the secretion of this neurotransmitter that promotes the secretion of adrenaline in humans and cause arousal. When the secretion of adrenaline increases, it also increases the secretion of fat in the scalp, severely blocking the hair follicle and preventing its oxygenation. This affects your metabolism and disrupts the environment in which your hair grows, eventually causing hair loss.
The best way to reverse the hair loss caused by tobacco is to stop smoking. Once you stop exposing your hair and skin to toxins in cigarettes, your hair should start growing again. However, quitting smoking can be very difficult as it is highly addictive. Often, it can lead to several attempts to give up the habit forever.
The good news is that there are hair loss solutions that can help you right now. At Redenhair we have a range of products expressly formulated to combat hair loss in the most effective way but always with ingredients that are not aggressive to the scalp.
The products of the REGENERATIVE TREATMENT KIT are natural, formulated with more than 35 active and free of sulfates and parabens. They have been tested in various efficacy studies carried out by an external company, in which 100% of users have claimed to feel a beneficial action on the scalp and an increase in the strength, density and health of the hair.