Does Alcohol Cause Hair Loss?
June 10, 2019
Alcohol addiction is the fourth cause of preventable death worldwide. Alcohol abuse brings forth a variety of social, psychological and physical ill consequences. The most common physical consequences we know are weight gain and liver damage, but people wonder whether alcohol abuse also causes hair loss. If you are curious to know how this can come about and which are the hair loss solutions we recommend, we'll break it down for you.
Alcohol Wreaks Havoc in Your Body, Including Your HairWe know that alcohol triggers imbalances in several systems in the body, the most affected being the liver and stomach, and the endocrine system, which can cause disorders such as diabetes and thyroid issues. But all these alterations create a ripple effect of deficiencies that ultimately affect hair health.
Loss of nutrients: heavy drinking causes the body to make a poor job absorbing important nutrients that contribute to healthy hair such as copper, zinc, and protein. Likewise, alcohol-dependent people tend to have poor diets lacking essential nutrients for tissue formation and hair health, which includes iron, another important nutrient for your hair. Hair that has been affected by the loss of nutrients looks brittle and may start shedding more than usual.
Thyroid issues: alcohol withdrawal may be at the root of thyroid issues, which cause hair shedding. The thyroid gland regulates processes related to hair growth and shedding. Likewise, alcohol addiction throws other hormonal processes out of balance.
Acid/Alkaline balance: the body needs a mean pH of 7.4, which is slightly alkaline. But processed foods, meat, cheese and, of course, alcohol, are highly acidic. When the body is acidified it tries to restore balance by using stored protein, and this causes a loss of protein that can worsen hair health since it is made of keratin, a protein. Hair might look brittle and weak.
Blood sugar spikes: alcohol contains sugar or transforms into sugar, so its abuse generates constant glucose spikes that force the body to produce insulin until the person becomes insulin-resistant, and this disorder has been linked to pattern baldness. Insulin is related to follicle miniaturization because it triggers androgen production, which can be detrimental to people who are genetically predisposed to baldness. A hypersensitivity to androgens is at the root of baldness, so alcohol-related insulin resistance does no good to hair health.
Estrogen increase: alcohol consumption increases the levels of estrogen (a female hormone) in the blood, and too much estrogen has been found to throw hair into the shedding phase, possibly causing telogen effluvium.
Low-quality nutrition: Alcohol abuse usually leads to unhealthy eating habits: low-quality and low-nutrient foods, empty calories, monosaturated fats, and total fats. Where diet fails to give your body the nutrients it needs, all your systems deteriorate at a faster rate and the risk for chronic conditions increases. Your hair does not get the supporting nutrients necessary to be strong and healthy.
Dehydration: A dehydrated body does not do its functions properly, and this includes the skin and hair. Dry skin means a dry scalp, and this, in turn, increases the chances for follicle damage, strength, and elasticity.
Inadequate sleep habits and stress: Alcohol abuse can lead to sleep disorders, depression, and irritability. Additionally, alcoholics are more prone to stress and anxiety, which can, if left unchecked, strain the body into a downward spiral of mental and physical deterioration. As it is known, stress causes the malfunction of hormones that regulate hair growth and fall patterns.
How Can Alcohol-related Hair Loss Be Stopped?Even though alcohol abuse does not directly cause hair loss in all accounts (this has to do with individual characteristics and propensities), it is true that it deteriorates all the systems in the body, and hair does not escape the damage.
The first step to health in case of alcohol abuse is acknowledging the problem and asking for help. As with any other addiction, external help is necessary for successful recovery; once addiction sets in, the individual can no longer rely on his own devices to bring himself back to balance.
Once medical and psychological help is in, it is expected that the addict will recover health little by little. Once the body finds balance, hair health will also notably improve. Persevering in new habits is also important. Among the best habits to regain healthy hair we can note:
- Drinking lots of water to replenish all tissues. There will be a great improvement in the appearance and elasticity of the skin and the shine and strength of hair.
- Eating a balanced diet gives the body all the nutrients it needs to form tissue and protein, which will strengthen the hair shaft. If necessary, supplementation can help greatly.
- Eliminating alcohol consumption can bring the endocrine system back to balance and lower the levels of harmful hormones that play a role in hair shedding.
- A more positive outlook on life will lower stress levels and diminish stress and the risk for hair loss that it brings.
- Improved self-concept will bring the desire to have a better appearance. This is where a hair care routine comes in: it should include sulfate and paraben-free products and even hair loss products to restructure and revitalize brittle and unhealthy hair.
Alcohol abuse is a difficult experience to deal with, and hair loss might seem the least of damages it can cause. Nonetheless, it is important for overall physical and mental health to eradicate the drinking habit and look to improve the health of your hair before it is late and alopecia sets in.
For help with your hair health, rely on The Cosmetic Republic USA. We have professional hair loss solutions to bring damaged hair to its former state of vitality and fullness. Call TOLL FREE 1-888-513-8815 or fill out the contact form below to reach us; we will be happy to help you. Do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news about us.
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