Can Alcohol cause hair loss? 7 ways Alcohol is ruining your hair

Can Alcohol cause hair loss? 7 ways Alcohol is ruining your hair

 So let’s look at how Alcohol can ruin our hair!

Alcohol is full of  toxins which can affect your liver, your heart, your skin and even your hair.

It's important to remember to stick within the recommended 14 units of alcohol per week, so about  six pints of beer or six medium glasses of wine. 

Anything more than that is considered drinking in excess and increases your risk of:

  • heart disease 
  • stroke
  • liver disease 
  • certain types of cancer.

Let’s look at the 7 ways alcohol is ruining your hair

Alcohol use changes estrogen levels:

Alcohol use has been shown in research to be connected to increased levels of estrogen. Increased estrogen, particularly in men, can cause problems with hair growth and loss.

It has been found that higher levels of oestrogen in the male body can cause follicles to become weak promoting hair loss, women tend to experience hair loss when their hormone level is higher than usual, this normally takes place throughout pregnancy."

Drinking alcohol dehydrates you: 

Heavy alcohol use can lead to damage to the health of your hair. When you’re dehydrated, it can make existing hair follicles very dry and brittle, which makes them more likely to fall out. 

Dehydration can also cause dandruff.

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases our need to urinate which dehydrates the body very quickly.

This is the reason why your hangovers can be particularly painful in the morning after a night of drinking, your body has a lack of nutrients and in need of proper hydration.

Water makes up 55-75 per cent of human weight and its used to keep various bodily systems healthy.

Water also plays a key role in the health of your hair follicles.

A lack of hydration of the skin can cause a loss in the strength and elasticity which can lead to damage in the follicles swell as the hair shaft.

It may also promote dry skin which then leads to itching and therefore an even more damaged scalp."

 Alcohol is too acidic

When you drink alcohol, this can shift the balance over to the acidic side," 

And whilst a lot of the foods in our daily diets are weighted on the acidic side such as cheese and meats, we also need our vegetables which are alkaline based.

When our body becomes too acidic it usually does all it can to reduce the acidity levels, and one of the ways it does this is by using protein stored in the body.

The body can use a protein called keratin to reduce acidity, which is the key protein used to build hair follicles and make it stronger, thus more alcohol consumption means the body is using up the keratin, meaning it could cause your hair to feel damaged, brittle and to break, and even cause hair-loss."

Using alcohol causes blood sugar spikes:

These spikes in blood sugar have been linked to pattern baldness.

Alcohol disrupts your sleep: 

When you drink excessively you may sleep, but it’s usually not high-quality sleep. When you don’t sleep enough (or sleep well), it can increase stress, and stress is linked to hair loss. The condition called telogen effluvium, or TE, refers to stress-induced hair loss. When this happens, your hair follicles don’t replenish themselves as they should, but they continue shedding.

Sleep is important as it gives our body time to heal and repair any damage from the day.

If you're not getting enough sleep it can leave you with all kinds of problems.

Stress has long been a reason many people suffering with hair loss or trichotillomania ( the hair pulling condition) and there are a number of reasons for this," Clare said.

Stress can enhance neurogenic inflammation, as well as cytokine imbalance which can lead to further inflammation if it’s not treated.

High levels of stress may also be linked to poor intake of oxygen, and this can reduce the oxygen available for your follicles, reducing the health of your hair.

Studies have shown that alcohol consumption leads to poor quality of sleep, causing you to be overtired and irritable leaving you stressed, and wanting to itch, scratch or pull your hair again promoting hair loss."

Preservatives are bad for your hair!

Digesting foods and liquids with preservatives in can lead to killing off the good bacteria and not having the right bacteria in your gut can cause a handful of health issues which can eventually lead to hair loss."

Nutrient deficiencies

You drink too much you can cause a nutrient imbalance.

Having a balanced diet and proper nutritional intake is important or your overall health and can reduce the risk of many health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease as well as providing you with the energy you need to perform in daily life," Clare said.

Those who drink are at a higher risk of having mineral and vitamin deficiencies, this is usually due to a lack of nutritional intake which is most common in regular alcoholic drinkers, low nutritional levels can in fact lead to hair-loss, this is because zinc plays a key role in the process of keratinisation, the formation of the protein keratin which creates the hair follicle.

Low levels of zinc can contribute to poor keratinisation levels, and the long-term cases of zinc deficiency can cause follicle hypoplasia, which is the underdevelopment of the follicle.

If you find yourself with an inadequate nutritional diet you can take hair loss supplements however it’s better to get the nutrients from the foods."

Alcohol boosts toxins

As the name suggests, toxins are bad for our health - including your scalp.

Liver damage is one of the main health hazards of regular drinking, as the liver is responsible for removing toxins and purifying the blood," Clare said.

But even short-term drinking can put a strain on the liver.

Dehydration from drinking can make your liver work even harder, this is because with less water present, more toxins will be plaguing your body.

For hair loss sufferers, alcohol can promote inflammation in the body, and inflammation of the hair follicle can lead to something called minaturizion which promotes hair thinning leading to loss of hair."

To reduce hair loss due to Alcohol:

  • Reduce your alcohol intake.

  • Have a healthy balanced diet

  • Boost your nutrient intake with supplements - It Really Works Vitamins have 22 essential nutrients for healthy hair growth!

  • Get plenty more sleep - 7-9 HOURS per night



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