But chronic alcoholism does put you at a higher risk for hair loss than others. Primarily, this comes down to the tendency of alcoholics to suffer from physical or nutritional deficiencies. With these other reasons in mind, it comes as no surprise that many people do not realize that alcoholism and hair loss are also linked. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, can also increase an individual’s blood pressure and heart rate, as well as cause blood sugar spikes.
- In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we will explore the connection between alcohol and hair loss – as well as the impact alcohol use has on your hair.
- Sleep is still not fully understood, but scientists agree that it is one of the most important things for our health.
Hair shaft cortical differentiation is an essential process that the hair matrix epithelium undergoes. MHC class I and class II expression in the pre-cortical hair shaft is enhanced following immune cell reactions to hair follicles [19,20]. While hair loss can usually be attributed to one of the aforementioned causes, other factors can sometimes play a role in this condition. Along with various other negative health effects, malnutrition, increased stress levels, and unhealthy lifestyle patterns can all lead to hair loss as well. Alcohol – especially beer and liquor – contains mostly empty calories. Even though drinking can lead to a feeling of fullness, it provides little in the way of nutrition.
Reversal of Hair Loss Due to Alcohol Abuse is Possible
Additionally, a zinc deficiency can cause an increase in cellular oxidative stress, which increases inflammation throughout the body, reducing blood flow. And because healthy blood circulation is essential to scalp health, slower flow can damage new hair growth. Studies show that you can encourage blood flow with regular scalp massages — a handheld scalp massager is ideal for stimulating scalp health — as you work to rebalance your diet. You can use your scalp massager on its own or to work in your hair serums, foams or even shampoo in the shower.
A blood sugar spike occurs when too much glucose builds up in the bloodstream. 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. Certain types of alcohol in hair care products may either harm or help hair health.
Improve Blood Circulation to the Scalp
A simple blood panel can determine which nutrients may be particularly lacking. It may even unearth some deficiencies you would never even have thought to treat. Folic acid is a synthetic vitamin that is used by the body to treat folate deficiency. It is used by the body to aid in the production of red blood cells, and it also assists in the production of DNA and RNA (the body’s genetic materials) (24). On the flip side, some specific alcoholic beverages can help the healthy bacteria in your gut. For example, small amounts of wine (half a glass during a meal) can improve digestion and encourage the growth of healthy bacteria.
Your thyroid regulates hormones in your body, and when this process is interrupted by either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, hair loss can occur. Daily drinking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, both in the short- and long-term. Many of the effects of drinking every day can be reversed through early intervention. If you struggle to control your drinking, a treatment center like The Recovery Village can help you overcome your addiction and connect you to the care you need.
Worse Sleep And Increased Stress
Frequent stress can disrupt your hormones and cause hair loss due to telogen effluvium, which is when stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state of the hair growth cycle. Keep in mind that hair loss due to alcohol consumption is most common among people with alcoholism or people who can’t control their drinking. While one beer sober house or glass of wine every once in a while won’t threaten the health of your hair, binge or chronic drinking can. Instead, alcohol can cause or exacerbate other health issues that may result in hair loss. Alcohol can cause hair loss for several reasons, including malnutrition, changes in blood sugar, lack of sleep, and changes in hormones like estrogen.
- Alcohol impairs the way your body absorbs, stores, metabolizes and activates these vitamins.
- If you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole in Google trying to determine the most likely cause.
- Since heavy alcohol use typically coincides with a poor diet and lack of nutrition, those vitamins and minerals are not being actively replenished – a state that places extreme stress on the body.
- On your own, you can work to reduce stress, drink less and improve your diet.
- And do you have to forego the occasional glass of wine for a healthy head of hair?
Smoking cigarettes has been linked to various health issues, including visible signs of premature aging and deterioration in skin and hair health. Cutting alcohol consumption and adjusting your diet can improve your hair’s health. If you’re suffering from hair loss that doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes, the experts at RHRLI are here to help.
Stop Drinking Alcohol
This is a condition where the thyroid cannot produce enough hormones to regulate normal bodily functions. Furthermore, alcohol abuse can damage the lining of the stomach and intestines, which can further prevent key nutrients from being absorbed. Nicotine use has been linked to several health issues, including those that have to do with the skin and hair. Hence, by promoting dehydration, alcohol causes severe damage to bodily organs, including the skin and hair. When we drink socially, we often forget to drink enough water to avoid a hangover the next day. When someone is battling chronic alcoholism, it gets even harder to remember to drink the appropriate amount of water each day.
Can hair loss from alcoholism be reversed?
Hair loss that is influenced by alcohol-related nutrient deficiency can be upsetting, but the good news is that it is reversible. By quitting alcohol entirely and eating nutritiously, your body will get the nutrients that it needs for normal hair growth and be able to absorb these nutrients more efficiently.