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Does Smoking Cause Hair Loss?

The health risks of smoking are well documented, but experts now hope they can encourage more people to quit by highlighting the link between smoking and baldness.

A study into the impact of smoking upon male hair loss in a population survey of Taiwanese men was published in the Archives of Dermatology (Su, L.H. and Chen, T.H., 2007). It found that after controlling for age and family history, there was a statistically significant positive association between moderate or severe androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness) and smoking 20 cigarettes or more per day. This supports previous research published in the British Medical Journal and other peer-reviewed sources.

The mechanisms by which smoking causes hair loss are multi-factorial. Cigarette smoking appears to damage the DNA of the hair follicle, and also affect the micro-circulation supplying blood to follicles. Without an adequate blood supply, the follicles will gradually shrink and die.

Smoking is of course a risk factor for accelerated biological aging and many chronic diseases; the difficulty is in isolating smoking-related outcomes from other lifestyle factors, since smokers may generally tend to be less health-conscious. Certainly, your overall health and fitness may impact on your hair’s health; however it is important to recognise that for the majority of men, hair loss is due to genetic rather than external influences.

Male hair loss is caused by the effect of male hormones (androgens) on genetically predisposed hair follicles, so if there is baldness in your family, it is likely to be hereditary. Within these follicles, testosterone is converted into the androgen DHT (dihydrotestosterone) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.

DHT inhibits the growth of new hair cells and causes follicles to shrink with each growth cycle. The hair gradually gets thinner and the follicles become less functional, until hair no longer grows on the area at the top of the head that is affected by DHT.

If you are experiencing thinning hair or the early signs of male pattern balding, it is advisable to seek professional help. The good news is that with appropriate treatment, hair loss is not inevitable. The Belgravia Centre’s hair loss treatment programmes are designed to work both by blocking DHT from reaching and destroying vulnerable hair follicles, and by stimulating the blood circulation to nurture the existing follicles and maintain them in good health.

Belgravia’s comprehensive treatment courses are based around clinically proven primary medications to stabilise hair loss and promote regrowth, along with various hair growth boosters. You can see some of our ‘before and during treatment photos to see how rapid and impressive our results can be when using these medically proven products. Of course, giving up smoking and making other positive lifestyle changes can only help your progress!

If you are concerned about thinning hair, a receding hairline or any other hair loss condition, we recommend arranging a free consultation with one of our specialists who can advise on the best treatment for your individual needs. Call 020 7730 6666 to book a consultation, or send us a message with any enquiry you might have. Alternatively, if you can’t get to the centre you can complete the online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will be happy to tailor a home-use treatment course to your requirements.

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