You may have heard that there’s a link between smoking and hair loss. But does smoking cause hair loss and will smoking make your hair loss worse if you already experience it?
Smoking can contribute to hair loss, as it causes the blood vessels to constrict. This can reduce blood flow to the hair follicles, so they receive less oxygen and nutrients that they need to maintain hair growth. As the chemicals from the smoke enter the bloodstream, the hair follicles will also receive toxins such as nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, which can directly damage the follicles. Damage to the follicles can cause reduced hair growth and hair loss.
If you suffer from an existing hair loss condition, smoking will likely make it worse, causing further damage. The additional damage caused by smoking may also reduce hair regrowth. Stopping smoking (perhaps with help from smoking cessation medication) and maintaining a balanced protein-rich diet can help encourage growth and repair of your hair.