You love your hair! It shines. It’s soft. It can be styled every way you want it to be. But did you know that some habits you may possess can damage your hair, make it stop growing, or even cause it to thin? There is a definitive, studied link between hair loss and nicotine, and avoiding smoking in general can protect your hair.

Here’s what we know:

Smoking Causes Hair to Stop Growing

There are two main ways in which nicotine affects your hair growth — Hint: they are both negative!

Nicotine leaves your scalp’s pH unbalanced, causing a ripple effect for other body chemicals. This specific disturbance is called “acidic scalp,” and is responsible for many hair loss and slow-growing hair cases in response to nicotine use. Your scalp is designed to function best in the absence of strange chemicals, and unlike chemicals found in shampoo, conditioner, and other hair care products, chemicals from nicotine only upset the balance of your scalp, which affects all of your hair.

Smoking also reduces blood flow and can cause clots. Your hair follicles depend on blood flow to grow, and when blood flow is decreased, your follicles cannot produce the same amount of hair that they normally do — causing hair loss!

Nicotine and Hair Loss

Studies show that exposure to nicotine doesn’t only stop hair from growing, but most nicotine-based products will actually damage your hair at a level that is very hard to correct, and will eventually cause hair loss.

Smoking damages hair follicles. Exposure to nicotine on even a surface level will not only stain hair, but can cause follicle damage — permanently ruining that strand of hair. Nicotine gum products reduce blood circulation, and while sometimes this just stops hair from growing, it can also permanently damage the follicle, and cause irreversible hair loss.

Chewing tobacco and nicotine gum also causes excessive oil secretion and DHT secretion. DHT is an androgen, and when it is secreted in excess, balding occurs.

The Bottom Line with Smoking and Hair Loss

Hair loss treatment and prevention. Some smoking products cause direct hair loss, while others cause a slowing down of growth that will lead to hair loss when not treated. Much of it has to do with foreign chemicals and slowed blood circulation.

In most studies of hair loss in relation to nicotine, participants who were long-time smokers and nicotine users reported conclusive findings that link the two. Often, this link results in the worst-case scenario of balding. If you’re dealing with hair loss, at Transitions Hair Loss centers and clinics, we offer all proven hair replacement and hair restoration solutions for men and women. To find a location near you click here.

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