alcohol and hair lossI think we all know that too much alcohol is not good for us so here’s another reason to embark on a dry January. Ask anyone what harm it causes, and they will likely talk about liver, heart and skin damage, and name it as a culprit in weight gain and looking older than you are. The effect alcohol has on our hair is rarely mentioned – yet while there is no direct link between too much booze and hair loss, there are certainly related conditions. Here are just three ways in which exceeding your recommended weekly units can have an impact on your hair’s health and endurance.

  1. Dehydration: the dehydrating effects of alcohol are all too familiar, making us need to get up in the night to urinate and then to reach for water as soon as we wake the next morning. Alcohol is a diuretic, causing dehydration at an accelerated rate and the result is hair that is dry and brittle.
  2. Depletion of the good stuff: our hair and scalp need a healthy balance of minerals and vitamins to be strong and to regenerate. One key mineral is iron, the levels of which can be depleted by excessive booze; in turn, this can disrupt the supply of other important nutrients to the hair follicles, potentially causing hair loss. Zinc, too, is an essential component in facilitating nutrient absorption – and another casualty of over-indulgence.
  3. A challenge to general well being: a person’s health is often reflected in their hair. When glossy locks give way to dull, brittle strands, it may be a sign that there are imbalances in the body and that the immune system is struggling. By going easy on the wine – preferably having dry days – you give your body’s systems the best chance of functioning smoothly, and the benefits will be visible on your waistline, your skin, your nails – and your hair.

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By Ian Watson

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