10 Reasons Why Alcohol Can Cause Hair Loss
Does drinking alcohol cause hair loss? It can, especially when a person’s immune system is weakened and they experience malnutrition.
Depending on genetics and environmental factors, some people who are heavy drinkers may see signs of hair loss due to their drinking habits.
There are a number of reasons why alcohol can cause hair loss. Here are ten.
1. Lack Of Nutrients
Because excessive alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system, your body may be unable to receive the nutrients it needs. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to numerous health issues, including hair loss.
Heavy drinking can lead to malnutrition and can cause drinkers to develop iron deficiency, zinc deficiency, or reduced folic acid. Heavy drinkers may also lack the vitamin c they need, potentially causing hair breakage.
In addition to the nutritional deficiencies mentioned above, those who have poor diets can develop other deficiencies. Those drinking alcohol in large quantities may allow it to take the place of other food and beverages. This is why it’s so important to maintain a balanced diet.
3. Binge Drinking
Those who binge drink or partake in excessive drinking within a short amount of time will likely experience extreme dehydration. When this occurs, it can dry out your hair follicles, cause brittle hair, and even lead to thinning hair.
In order to keep your hair healthy, you’ll want to drink plenty of water to use hydration as a way to maintain healthier hair.
4. Hair Phases
Your hair goes through phases during its lifespan. Known as the hair growth cycle, healthy hair completes the cycle with no problems.
However, when alcohol abuse takes place, the hair cycle can be stunted. When alcohol affects the hair in this way, it can stop growth.
High levels of stress and heavy alcohol use are linked to the health of your hair. Alcohol consumption adds to stress levels. Stress-induced hair loss is known as telogen effluvium.
Stress can be caused by alcohol in a number of ways. If a person drinks a large amount of alcohol, they can develop mood changes and mental health issues that can often lead to stress.
6. Blood Sugar
Drinking alcohol can cause spikes in blood sugar. This can lead to a condition known as pattern baldness.
Pattern baldness is a form of alopecia that can be caused by iron deficiencies. Alopecia is an autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss.
If you binge drink or engage in heavy alcohol consumption, it’s much easier for you to become dehydrated due to the fact that alcohol is a diuretic.
This means that alcohol causes an increase in urination. This, along with the loss of minerals in your body, can lead to alcohol poisoning or other health conditions related to hair loss.
8. Increased Levels Of Estrogen
Alcohol, when abused, increases the levels of estrogen. For men, this can cause issues with hair loss and disrupt hair growth.
Excessive alcohol abuse can lead to a number of health problems such as:
- heart disease
It’s also possible to develop a number of cancers that affect various parts of the body. When this occurs, it can weaken your immune system which may cause fewer nutrients to reach your hair and therefore stunt hair growth.
Those who undergo chemo as a form of cancer treatment may experience hair loss as well.
10. Liver Damage
As we come full circle with our list, we must mention the potential liver damage that may occur with alcohol abuse. The liver is responsible for removing toxins from your body.
When the liver is unable to perform its duties, it won’t be able to filter toxins properly. This can lead to poor digestion and the liver is unable to absorb certain nutrients. Lack of nutrients, as mentioned above, can lead to hair loss.
To learn about our treatment options for alcohol use disorder, please connect with us today.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Excessive Alcohol Use
Dermatology Practical and Conceptual - Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use
Dove Medical Press - Androgenetic Alopecia: Relationship to Anthropometric Indices, Blood Pressure and Life-Style Habits
International Journal of Medical Sciences - Effect of Behavioral Factors on Severity of Female Pattern Hair Loss: An Ordinal Logistic Regression Analysis
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