We all know by now that smoking isn’t a great idea. It clogs up our arteries, causes lung cancer and emphysema, and leads to premature ageing, among many other negative effects.
But a new study has shown that smokers are more likely to develop androgenetic alopecia, or male/female pattern hair loss. And this isn’t linked to a family history of the problem.
The study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, was carried out by a team of researchers from Egypt. They recruited 1,000 men aged between 20 and 35, none of whom had any pre-existing scalp issues.
The participants were then split into two groups of 500, one group of smokers and one of non-smokers. Each man completed a specially designed questionnaire, to find out more about their smoking and other lifestyle habits. Trichoscopy was used to diagnose androgenetic alopecia.
A whopping 85% of the group of 500 smokers were diagnosed with male pattern hair loss. But in the non-smoking group, this dropped to 40%.
The researchers used the Hamilton baldness scale, which runs from grades one to seven with one being the least severe, to classify the degree of alopecia. 47% of the smokers were at grade three, with 24% at grade 4. For non-smokers the figures were 20% and 20% respectively.
The questionnaire responses showed a similar level of smokers and non-smokers who reported no recent family history of androgenetic alopecia.
Smoking and hair loss
So why would smoking make you more likely to lose your hair? The exact mechanism is not yet known. Experts have suggested that nicotine and its derivatives could contribute to accelerating the speed at which hair loss progresses.
So if you’re still smoking and are worried about losing your hair, this could be just the spur you need. And there’s plenty of support out there if you do want to go down that road.
But what about any hair loss that’s already occurred? Well, luckily there are plenty of treatments available to slow down the progression of your hair loss. Treatments like Scalp Migropigmentation or SMP, can even disguise the damage that’s already been done.
So if you are concerned about hair loss and would like to find out more about the options available, why not contact us today to book in a consultation. Our hair loss experts can talk you through all the treatment options that might work best for you.