Can Smoking or Telogen Effluvium Cause a Thinning Crown?'

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Question: How much of an impact can smoking have on hair? I smoke 30 a day. I’ve recently noticed my hair thinning around the crown area and I’m naturally worried.

I had an operation in July that required a General Anaesthetic (I was asleep for two hours) whilst the operation was carried out on my ear can Telogen Effluvium only affect the crown area?

Thank you in advance!

Smoking Can Cause Hair LossAnswer: Hi, Richard. Despite a number of studies which have shown negative links between smoking and hair loss the actual impact has not been quantified. Therefore, whilst we can tell you that smoking cigarettes is likely to contribute to hair thinning, we cannot tell you by how much.

In terms of Telogen Effluvium, as your operation was around three months ago the timing does fit well with this diagnosis. However, TE causes diffuse hair loss all over the scalp, not just in one area. It is far more likely that your thinning crown is being caused by Male Pattern Baldness as this hereditary condition only affects areas around the top of the head.

Often men can have signs of hair loss for a period of time before it becomes noticeable to them. This is particularly true of the crown area given it is so hard to see properly. Once factors that can exacerbate the thinning process are added in, this underlying thinning may become more obvious.

It is also possible to have Telogen Effluvium simultaneously alongside Male Pattern Hair Loss. This combination leads to general hair shedding from all over the scalp which can make the genetic thinning around the top of the scalp more obvious. The areas affected by male pattern baldness are the crown, along the top of the head or hair loss in the form of a receding hairline - or a combination of any of these, or even all three.

If you are concerned about your thinning we recommend you speak to a hair loss specialist to get a professional diagnosis of your condition. They will be able to not only identify what is causing the problem but can also tailor a bespoke hair loss treatment course to your specific needs. Cutting down on your smoking, ideally with a view to stopping, is also a good idea.

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