We all know that smoking is the singular lifestyle choice that has the most dramatic impact on our health, but exactly how does smoking impact on our hair and can it promote hair loss? We look closer.

 

Smoking Is Bad For You

Obvious isn’t it? Of course it is. But one glance at the advertising for cigarettes in the 1950’s would tell you that this was not always the accepted state of affairs. Smoking was cool, smoking got you the girl and everybody who was anybody did it. Hollywood stars who did not smoke in the private lives would light up for their scenes. Cigarettes were ubiquitous. There were dissenting voices even then, hospital doctors were under no illusion that smoking was responsible for the huge numbers of cancers that they were treating their patients for.

In fact, the truth was that by 1953 the tobacco industry had conducted it’s own research, who can forget the images of chain smoking beagles, which showed unequivocally that their products were highly carcinogenic. Unfortunately, they saw fit to keep their discovery a secret. As disgraceful chapters in corporate history go it is right up there and it would be another 12 years, in 1965 before the Surgeon General would enforce a health warning be added to the packaging. The road since then has been studded with ever more health enforcement, huge taxes imposed to reduce sales and increasing the size and impact of the warnings on packaging… so that today anyone buying any tobacco product will be confronted by pictures of the health outcomes suffered by other smokers. In the UK tobacco has to be sold in plain packaging and from behind screens in the store… so the product is not visible. Advertising tobacco is completely banned. In the face of this assault on their business tobacco companies have seen their sales in the Western world plummet, particularly in the face of competition from E Cigarettes which reduce the vast range of toxins present in tobacco to just the one that forces the habit, nicotine.

Hair Loss

Studies have now proven that the harmful chemicals in cigarettes can have drastic effects on your body. They are capable of altering your DNA and reducing the effectiveness of your immune system. They can also reduce your blood flow. For hair this is a particular problem, as some of the fastest growing cells in the human body they are negatively affected by any reduction in blood flow. Some studies have shown that smoking can also cause oxidative stress that damages the growth of the follicle stem cells. That combination is capable of inflicting, or accelerating, hair loss. Even the relatively harmless E Cigarettes are thought to  cause damage to epidermal cells.

HIS Hair Clinic

So there you have it, in case you needed one. An additional reason to quit, preferably completely but if E Cigarettes are a path to salvation then so be it… they are working for millions.

If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our team of friendly experts simply complete the contact form at the side of this page, or click here to find your nearest clinic.

 

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By Ian Watson

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