Most people have suffered the effects of drinking too much – the headaches, the nausea, the dizziness, not to mention the memory of dodgy dancing and talking nonsense. And many drinkers are aware of the harmful mental and physical effects that long-term alcohol abuse can cause such as depression, liver and stomach damage but what about hair loss?
This week is Alcohol Awareness Week in the UK and part of the NHS ‘Know Your Limits’ campaign is to educate people about the complete range of short and long-term effects of over-drinking. For example, regular drinking over a number of years leads directly to 6,000 male deaths from coronary heart disease each year; 400 of the 1,700 deaths from mouth cancer per year are linked to heavy drinking and in England and Wales, alcohol misuse leads to 33,000 hospital admissions each year for alcohol-related liver disease.
But when you’re young and focusing on your career, your social life and family celebrations, it can be easy to put these serious health implications at the back of your mind as there seems to be no visible evidence of their existence. But care should still be taken as long-term health problems can develop slowly over a number of years.
One effect of over-drinking that might become noticeable before a serious health condition is dry and brittle hair. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it causes dehydration in the body. This leads to dry hair with a coarse texture that easily breaks. Repeated drinking also causes thinning as it makes hair weaker by stopping the body absorbing vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy hair growth. Iron is particularly important to hair growth and an iron deficiency can lead to condition called Diffuse Hair Loss.
So, reducing alcohol intake to a moderate level will help the body in a number of ways. However, for some people hair loss is a genetic trait that can only be managed using hair loss treatments. If you are concerned about hair loss, it is advisable to see a specialist who will diagnose the condition and discuss how to improve your diet and various treatment options. The signs to be looking out include thinning hair, excessive shedding and a receding hairline.
The Belgravia Centre offers a free consultation with a hair loss specialist. To book an appointment, just call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. If it is difficult to visit the London-based clinic, simply fill out the online diagnostic form and a Treatment Advisor will be in touch shortly.