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Alcohol and Hair Loss

For many people, drinking alcohol is simply part of socializing or possibly even just “part of relaxing at the end of a long day. But what if alcohol is causing one of the things you are stressing about?

Most people don’t think about how their drinking habits might be contributing to their hair loss. So first, let’s talk about what alcohol does to your body on the grand scale and then let’s look at how that might affect your hair loss.

Is there a connection between Alcohol and Hair Loss?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Excessive drinking is associated with significant risks to men’s health and safety, and the risks increase with the amount of alcohol consumed. Men are also more likely than women to take other risks (such as misusing other substances, having multiple sex partners, or not wearing a seat belt), that when combined with alcohol, further increase their risk of illness, injury, or death.”

Knowing that alcohol can affect many of your body’s systems and lead you to other risky behavior isn’t enough to explain how alcohol contributes to your hair loss. That comes from another thing alcohol does to the body: It dehydrates you.

Healthline points out that alcohol is a diuretic. Alcohol itself is slow to break down in your blood stream and while it is doing so, it tells your body to flush out all the water in your system. It’s not your imagination that you need to urinate more when having a few beers.

But that dehydration impacts your body systems including your kidneys, your muscles, and your skin. When it starts impacting your skin, it also impacts your hair. Chronic dehydration can lead directly to hair loss. So, the more often you drink, the more likely it is to cause hair loss.

Can Too Much Alcohol Make Your Hair Fall Out?

The Hope House, an alcohol and substance abuse center, points out that the alcohol itself is not the cause of your hair loss. Rather, the way the alcohol affects your body might be.

One of the impacts of long-term alcohol use can be nutrient deficiency. When your body does not have the proper nutrition, it cannot effectively grow hair. So, the natural hair growth cycle – where hair grows, then stagnates, and falls out only to be replaced by new hair – misses the vital step of new hair growth.

Can Alcohol Cause Alopecia Areata?

Alcohol consumption doesn’t cause alopecia areata. In fact, there is some good news though for the occasional drinker. A recent study published by the National Institutes of Health indicates that some alcohol consumption might actually help decrease the chances of developing alopecia areata – an autoimmune skin condition that leads to hair loss.

The key is drinking in moderation and not binge drinking. Binge drinking or other forms of alcohol abuse can be especially hard on the body and may exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions which contribute to hair loss.

Tired of Camouflaging Your Hair Loss? BayMed Can Help

At BayMed Hair, we want you to be able to live your life and enjoy it as much as possible. We don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing hair loss. We can help you honestly look at your lifestyle factors – including alcohol use – to determine how to best save your hair. Our consultations can help you find the best treatment for your hair. Call us today!

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