Hair Loss and Smoking
Posted by Fran Dubsky

A book just came out entitled, Aging Hair edited by Drs. Ralph Treub and Desmond Tobin and the book contains some very interesting information on hair aging. One particular discussion in the book centers around the effects of smoking on hair loss. The authors pose an interesting question as to whether hair loss is simply an aging event and they give a great answer as excerpted below.


“Hair loss in men and women during aging is clearly a common event. However, the specificity of the finding in association with aging has been questioned……………The scalp is subject to both intrinsic (internal factors) and extrinsic aging caused by external factors”

We all know that genetics is the key internal factor that determines whether you will experience hair loss, but the authors list not only the external causative factor of sun exposure, but they also implicate smoking as another key factor. The authors cite a number of studies that relate to smoking and hair loss.

“In 1996 it was reported that patients visiting a clinic demonstrated a significant relationship between smoking and premature gray hair in both men and women, and between smoking and baldness in men.”

Another study amongst male twins showed that the twin that smoked had balding while the other did not. (However, a subsequent study failed to corroborate this). The authors continue:

“Eventually, a recent population-based survey amongst Asian men over 40 years of age, showed statistically positive associations between moderate or severe androgenetic alopecia and smoking status, current cigarette smoking of 20 cigarettes or more per day, and smoking intensity. The odds ratio of early-onset history for androgenetic alopecia grades increased in a dose-response fashion.”

The authors go on to speculate why this phenomenon occurs.

“The mechanisms by which smoking accelerates hair loss have not been examined, but it is likely that they are similar to the effects on the skin. The cutaneous micro-vasculature (i.e. blood flow) is constricted by acute and long-term smoking.”

The authors also discuss the fact that cigarette smoke may perhaps also damage DNA and cause alteration of the hair follicles and impair normal hair growth.

The very interesting information certainly points to a clear association between smoking and hair loss. However, future research will have to take place to help further solidify the evidence of this association.
After reading this information, if you smoke and choose not to believe that hair loss is caused by smoking, the HairMax LaserComb can certainly help to regrow your hair and prevent further hair loss if you are also experiencing genetic hair loss.


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