The sober revolution is making it big this year, with support groups for those attempting ‘one year no beer’ popping up all over social media. So we all know the many detrimental effects alcohol can have on our health, but did you know it could cause hair loss?
Alcohol and hair loss – a gender imbalance
Whilst excessive alcohol consumption is bad for everyone, studies show it is worse for women than for men as the enzyme dehydrogenase – which is responsible for breaking down alcohol and eliminating it from the body – is less active in women than in men.
So how does drinking too much wine lead to hair loss in women? Well, while a direct causal link is unclear, there is one association between the two issues which is obvious to anyone with a knowledge of hair loss in women.
Hormone imbalance and hair loss
Drinking alcohol to excess can play havoc with a woman’s reproductive system, causing her menstrual cycle to become erratic or even stop altogether, and leading to huge hormonal imbalance.
Aside from genetics, hormone imbalance is one of the most common reasons for hair loss in women – we suffer from hair loss in pregnancy, post-childbirth and during the menopause, so it stands to reason that anything that messes with our hormones could also cause hair loss.
What to do if you think alcohol is causing your hair loss
Luckily, most hair loss caused by hormonal imbalance is reversible, so the answer to this is pretty simple – cut back on your drinking (or ideally stop altogether) and you should see your hair return to its former glory.
However, before making any major lifestyle changes, it is important to seek advice from your GP – although cutting out alcohol can never be a bad thing, if you are drinking enough to cause hair loss, chances are you may need to cut back gradually. It’s also important to rule out any other underlying medical conditions that could be a factor.