Is Smoking Can Cause Hair Loss? New Research Sheds Light

a man is smoking

Smoking And Hair Loss

Smoking and hair loss are significantly linked to each other and are important causes of death in the general population.

It plays an important role in Androgenetic Alopecia (a common hair loss in both women and men known as male-pattern baldness)

Smoking not only causes hair loss, but it increases the risk of developing lung disease, and respiratory illnesses including lung cancer.

According to the WHO, there are about 120 million smokers in India, and each year about 1 million smokers die due to tobacco.

Do you know? – smoke generated over 4 to 5 thousand chemicals, when it burned, the best known of which is nicotine.

Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that contains nitrogen, which is why is hard to quit smoking, and any tobacco products.

Check Out – Nicotine: What Exactly Is It?, Effect On Body, Risk, And More

Is Smoking Can Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, smoking can cause hair loss, but remember smoking is not the main reason for hair loss but may become a trigger factor.

There are several ways by which smoking can accelerate hair loss including:

Effect on DNA – Cigarette smoke can damage DNA, which also induces an imbalance of anti-protease systems, that play a vital hair follicle (2)

This affects the hair follicle growth cycle (3)

Effect of free radicals and antioxidants – Several studies found that smoking affects free radicals and the redox system, which is vital for the hair cycle.

Smoke metabolites can induce oxidative stress, and can cause premature cell death, thus affecting hair growth and hair follicle balance (4)

Reduced blood flow to the hair – Research has shown that smoke affects negatively blood circulation.

Studies have shown that smoking can cause a buildup of plaque in your blood vessels that increase the risk of:

Effect hormones – Smoking may lead to an increase in androgen-dependent hair thinning (5)

An animal study on mice showed that smoking developed hair loss, which reduced the thickness of the subcutaneous tissue.

In multiple observational studies, men who smoke cigarettes start balding earlier in life and lose their hair faster than those who don’t.

Smoking and Premature Graying Hair

A study reported a higher chance of hair graying in smokers who at 30-year old, than in nonsmokers of the same age or gender.

Smoking, chewing tobacco, or a combination of the 2, had a higher incidence of premature graying in control groups (6) (7).

A cross-sectional study showed that premature graying hair was also observed in patients with a history of smoking.

However, there are other causes of premature graying hair including:

  • Stress
  • an age which is common
  • thyroid
  • lack of vitamins b-12
  • genetics
  • smoking
  • autoimmune disorder

Check Out – Common Hair Care Mistakes And Ways To Avoid Them

Vaping and Hair Loss Connection

Several studies believe that vaping is not directly linked to hair loss but linked to oxidative stress, which potentially causes hair loss.

However, other studies have shown still vaping health effects are unknown.

A 2018 report found that vaping may become the reason for oxidative stress and damage to DNA.

Studies or research have shown that DNA damage and oxidative stress could contribute to hair loss, but more research is still needed.

Can Smoking Affect Hair Health In Other Ways?

Premature hair gray – A Korean study found that smokers ages 12-91 reported a 1.99 times higher risk of gray premature hair than non-smokers.

Thin hair – A study performed on 92 male twins, resulting found that increased smoking duration was allied with vertex hair thinning.

Alopecia – Heavy smoke (more than 10 cigarettes per day) had almost 3 times increased risk of having severe bald (8)

Another effect on hair health

  • Poor hair transplant
  • makes hair more brittle
  • potentially make hair dry

Other Reasons For Hair Loss

100 hair fall per day is normal, hardly you can hear much, but there are some hairs that are not visible. so this figure fits around 100.

There are several reasons for hair loss in both men and women which include:

  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • stress
  • deficiency of many major nutrients like Iron, vitamin D, C, and Zinc
  • During pregnancy
  • use excessive hair products, like spray, cream, gel, etc
  • excessive alcohol and smoke
  • certain medicines
  • DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) (main hormone for Hair loss)
  • disease or illness
  • hard water can weaken your hair roots, which triggers hair loss problems
  • menopause

When the menstrual cycle is stopped in women permanently, after 45 age, this situation is known as menopause.

Check Out – Hair Loss In Females: Reason, Tips to Control, And Precautions

Can Quitting Smoking Make Hair Grow Back?

Yes, stopping smoking will help restore the natural healthy growth cycle.

After stopping smoking our normal body function again work properly without any interference from external factors.

If you are dealing with a male pattern or female pattern hair loss, at a young age, then should be other reasons.

Several-oil and prescribed medicine in limited amounts can help in the regrowth of hair.

In addition, Consuming nicotine in form of smoking is also allied with raised alertness and a sensation of being relaxed.

Check Out – Hair Loss in Men: Affect, Reason, Aging

Why Smoking Is So Hard To Quit?

There are millions of people who quit smoking, which is not easy. but why smoking hard to quit?

When you smoke it triggered dopamine by stimulating the brain (dopamine makes you feel rewarded).

Also, triggers endorphins and other neurotransmitters, and over time nicotine makes smokers happy, or pleasurable sensations, that make smoking highly addictive.

That is why when you try to stop smoking, you experience unpleasant mental and physical changes when you are going to quit smoke.

How to Quit Smoking?

There are medicines available that help you to boycott nicotine products in your life.

Nicotine replacement therapy

It is used by smokers to reduce the severity of urges and cravings. It is available in the form of:

Patches – This long-lasting transdermal patch, apply to certain body parts, like the arm.

However, which patch you apply, depends on how much smoke.

  • Gum
  • Throat lozenges
  • Inhalers
  • Nasal spray
  • Solution

Making sure, gum, and lozenges are chosen is also important, their effectiveness also depends on, how much you smoke in one day.

If someone smokes 1 pack per day or less, use the 2mg pieces. And if more than 1 pack per/day, then 4mg pieces are recommended.

2008 study review advises that NRH can boost the chances of quitting smoking in long term.

Avoid smoking environments

The best way to prevent smoking is to avoid places, situations, and conditions that trigger urges.

Prescribed medicine

Your healthcare can also gives you some medicine that helps you to quit smoking by triggering your brain hormones.

Varenicline medicine – It is primarily used for adults to stop smoking.

It mimics the presence of nicotine, and blocks the receptor, preventing nicotine from doing the same.

Wellbutrin medicines – It is an antidepressant medicine that triggers brain hormones like norepinephrine and dopamine.

It drives the dopamine levels in the brain up, and also reduces and prevents withdrawal symptoms.

Support therapy

In this, your loved ones may be included and support you to quit smoking in emotional ways.

Down Line

Smokers are at increased risk of having moderate or severe AGA (Androgenetic Alopecia) known as male-pattern baldness.

Yes, smoking can cause hair loss, but remember smoking is not the main reason for it but may become a trigger factor.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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