The Impact of Smoking on Hair Loss

Posted on May 2, 2018

Dr. Steven Gabel offers his patients many treatment options for hair restoration and strives to stay on the cutting edge of modern medicine.

The most common cause of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness, however, there are factors beyond the genetic predisposition of certain individuals that can lead to hair thinning or balding.

The inhalation of cigarette smoke invites exposure to an estimated 4,000 chemicals, including 43 identified carcinogenic compounds. Nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, and even DDT are all known ingredients in some of the most prevalent tobacco brands presently consumed in the United States.

Each individual’s reaction to long-term exposure to toxic substances varies, but it is known that the health risks associated with the inhalation of cigarette smoke are substantial and can have consequences that lead to a negative impact on an individual’s quality of life and are in some instances life-threatening.

Smoking’s Detrimental Impact On Physiology

Smoking is known to have an adverse effect on circulation to the scalp, which can inhibit follicular revitalization and impact hair growth. Cigarettes are also known to pollute the blood with toxins, and according to the Department of Dermatology at the University Hospital of Zurich in Switzerland, cigarettes may disrupt the function of hair follicles as a whole.

The potential for oxidative stress induced by cigarette smoking is also tied to hair loss. Smoking can introduce free radicals into the body that cause damage at a cellular level, decrease cell motility, and increase cell senescence. The absence of optimal cellular health, restrictive blood circulation, and a subsequent lack of oxygen in the bloodstream can all lead to a negative impact on the body’s ability to regrow hair.

Prevention of Smoking Related Hair Loss

Quitting the use of cigarettes is the only long-term preventative method that a patient suffering from smoking-induced hair loss can proactively pursue outside of clinical guidance.

Abstaining from cigarette use allows the body to cleanse toxic agents from the bloodstream that were introduced by cigarette smoking. The exact timeline for restoring hair health after abstaining from cigarette use has not been clinically documented, but the overall health of an individual is observed to improve incrementally throughout the patient’s abstinence from cigarette smoking.

Studies have observed that within the first 20 minutes that a patient ceases to inhale cigarette smoke their blood pressure, pulse rate, and body temperature begin to return to normal levels. Within 48 hours of abstaining from cigarette use, damaged nerve endings caused by inhaling cigarette carcinogens begin to regenerate.

Treating Hair Loss Caused By Smoking

If you’re suffering from hair loss as a side effect of long-term tobacco use, consideration of hair restoration treatments may be a suitable recourse.

Research suggests that topical treatments, prescription medications, hair transplant surgery, and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) devices have all provided viable treatments for patients attempting to recover from smoking-induced hair loss.

All of these prospective treatments are offered by Dr. Gabel, who seeks a holistic approach to treating hair loss. By identifying whether a patient’s hair loss is the product of hereditary and environmental factors, Dr. Gabel is able to better diagnose an individual and customize a treatment plan.

Contact Gabel Hair Restoration

To learn more about hair loss, the latest medications, and techniques in hair restoration and hair transplant surgery, please contact our Hair Transplant Portland surgery center today. Our team at the Gabel Hair Restoration Center looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters with you in greater detail.

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