Alcohol and Hair Loss: Causes, Reversibility and More


Hair loss is a worldwide concern for everybody, women, men, and children. It mainly affects people’s self-confidence negatively. Hair loss can be resulted by several conditions such as, heredity, which is the most common cause, hormonal changes, stress, medications, excessive alcohol use, and alcoholism. In this post, I will examine hair loss caused by alcoholism and I will answer whether it is reversible or not.



So, can hair loss from alcoholism be reversed? To answer directly, yes, it can be reversed. However, there is no direct link between hair loss and excessive alcohol use, but its side effects are the reason for hair loss.

Alcoholism or heavy drinking may lead to situations of hormonal issues, nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, improper alkaline/acid balance and even liver damage and these conditions affect your hair health directly.  On the other hand, you can do things to prevent any further hair loss and regrow lost hair. So here are the causes of alcoholism which leads to hair loss and treatment advice.



FIRST STEP

In order to make some changes, first, you need to quit heavy drinking and change your habits.

However, you need to keep in mind that there are multiple types of hair loss and before getting any cautions, you need to consult your doctor about your type of hair condition, your body values such as blood values and the treatments. However, if your hair loss is only caused by excessive drinking then the first thing your doctor will say is that you need to quit drinking, as I stated. Thus, seeking help in drinking problems is the first and the most essential step you need to take.



THE DIET

The things we eat and drink affect our body directly. Changing your low nutritional level diet with healthier one which is full of zinc, folic acid, calcium, B12, and minerals will help you to regain your healthy body and scalp.  Men and women who have alcohol problems mainly have the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies thus it is important to change your diet with the one full of minerals and vitamins.

On the other hand, folic acid is also essential for the production of healthy hair and alcohol can intervene with folic acid absorption. So, folic acid supplement and of course a healthy diet can help to gain strength of hair. Besides, getting vitamin supplements is another thing that you can do additionally, of course, under your doctor’s observation. 



POOR QUALITY OF SLEEP AND THE STRESS

Another thing alcoholism leads to is the poor quality of sleep and mediately it affects your stress level. Being stressed is the second most known reasons for hair loss after heredity. After you quit your addiction, sleeping properly will slow down your hair fall and with the right treatment, it will also help you to regain your hair. 



DEHYDRATION

Alcohol causes dehydration which leads to dry, brittle hair. dry and brittle hair type tends to fall easily. Water is essential for our bodies. Proper hydration protects the strength and elasticity of the skin. Thus hydration prevents damage on the hair shaft’s strength and strength and besides, water helps a lot in nourishment.  Water is crucial for your body, it plays a crucial role in the health of your follicles which lead to hair strength, growth, and development.  That is why it is important to hydrate yourself.



INCREASED ESTROGEN LEVELS

Heavy drinking raises the levels of estrogen which is the female hormone within your body and increased estrogen levels may result and at least contribute to hair loss, particularly for men.



What Causes Hair Loss?

Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a disease that concerns many people around the world. Hair loss doesn’t show itself only on the scalp, also hair loss on the body may concern you. It may be sudden or can be apparent slowly over time. However, losing 50 to 100 hairs per day should not concern you. It is a natural cycle but receding hairline, overall thinning or abrupt increase in your hair loss like falling out in patches should lead you to consult your doctor. It may mean hair follicles are damaged. There are several things to effect and cause hair loss. Here are some of them;



HAIR DISORDERS

Losing your hair may be caused by a hair disorder. There are several types of hair disorders and I will state some of them.

Hereditary Hair Loss

It is also called androgenetic alopecia. Hereditary hair loss is the most common type of the disease. However, with medication or surgery, it can be cured.

Telogen Effluvium

This type of hair loss occurs when most of the follicles on the scalp enter the telogen phase, which is the resting phase of the hair growth cycle, but passing to the next growth phase doesn’t start. Thus, new hair growth doesn’t happen and hair on the scalp fall out. Thyroid imbalance, childbirth or surgery may trigger telogen effluvium.

Alopecia Areata

This type of hair loss occurs when the immune system of the body attacks healthy tissues which also includes the hair follicles. This autoimmune condition causes fall out of the hair and blocks new hair growth. Also, hair loss on eyebrows and eyelashes can be seen. This disease may lead to complete hair loss.

Cicatricial Alopecia

This type of hair loss destroys hair follicles and scar tissue occurs in their places. That is why the hair cannot re-grow. The symptoms include red or white lesions on the scalp and severe itching.



HORMONES AND STRESS

The situations that affect hormones and stress, may be the reason for your hair loss. the situations include giving birth, menopause and traumatic events that trigger stress. 

After giving birth, some women may face noticeable hair loss because of falling estrogen levels. However, this hair loss is temporary and hair re-grow can be seen in a few months. On the other hand, hair loss is common during menopause and it is often temporary, as well. Another reason is stress. Stress is the most common one for hair loss. anything that triggers the stress level of a person can cause hair loss such as traumatic experiences and depression.



MEDICATION

Some medicines you use can cause hair loss. The most common medicines that cause hair loss is birth control pills, depression, heart, and high blood pressure meds and steroids.



HAIR CARE

The products you use, or you don’t can cause hair loss. Hair care is always important for a healthy hair. The things that damaging your hair are bleaching or dying hair, blow dryers, hair straightener and hairpins can damage the hair shaft. Limiting the use of products such as gels, dyes, and dryers, is important to prevent hair loss and grow healthy hair.



How to Prevent Hair Loss & What to Do and What Not to Do

Hair loss is a problem that affects one-third of the population. There are many causes of hair loss as I stated above this paragraph. However, there are also many solutions to help reduce or deal with hair loss. I listed some basic and essential things that you should do and should not to do;

WHAT TO DO



Healthy and Enrich Diet with Protein, Vitamins, and Minerals

The right and healthy diet promote hair health and curbs hair loss. When you nourish your body with vitamins, protein, and minerals, you also nourish your hair. Keeping the body healthy also keeps the skin, scalp, and hair healthy. For instance, vitamin A helps to produce sebum in the scalp, vitamin B provides healthy color and vitamin E affects blood circulation which keeps follicle productive.



Scalp Massage with Essential Oils

Scalp massage helps your hair follicles keep active. Essential oils such as almond, coconut, and argan help your hair nourishment, conditioning and preventing dry and brittle hair which are more tended to fall. Massaging the scalp with these essential oils for a couple of minutes relax your scalp, improve the hair structure and help you to have healthy hair.



Physical Activity

Keeping body activated affects your hair growth. It helps to balance your hormonal levels and reduce stress which affects hair health directly.



Reviewing the Medications That You Take

Some certain medications have side-effects of hair loss. you should consult your doctor to review side-effects and ask help to change the medication.


Lady using shampoo wash / clean her hair in a bathroom with splash shower spray water

Regularly Wash Your Hair

To avoid hair loss, you should keep your hair and scalp clean. Also try to choose paraben-free, non-chemical and conditioning hair products.



Keep Yourself Hydrated

Water is essential for every part of the human body. The hair shaft contains one-quarter water so keeping yourself hydrated helps the growth of healthy hair.


WHAT NOT TO DO



Smoking

Smoking cigarettes reduce the blood amount which flows to the scalp. Reduced blood amount causes a reduction in hair growth.



Stress

Stress is one of the common problems in hair loss. to de-stress yourself, practicing yoga or meditation help a lot. If you have a stress problem, consulting a psychologist is important. However, to reduce stress level during daily life, physical activities or taking time for yourself help.



Constant Heating& Drying

Using heating and drying products constantly weakens hair proteins and lead to fragile, dry brittle hair which causes hair loss. Avoid using these products constantly and do not forget to condition your hair. Try to let your hair dry naturally as far as possible.



Harsh Chemicals

To grow healthy hair, you should keep away from chemicals such as hair color products. If you are experiencing hair loss, it is advised not to dye your hair.



Alcoholic Beverages

Excessive drinking is linked with hair loss. try to lessen or eliminate alcohol to see an increase in hair growth.



Hair Loss Treatment

While there are many causes, also there are many treatments for hair loss. However, treating hair loss early is important. Before losing a big amount of hair, you should arrange a treatment plan with your doctor. This treatment plan is always easier for the early stage of hair loss and the patient can get positive results in a shorter time.

There are some treatments available without a prescription such as minoxidil. Minoxidil can stop hair falling, getting thinner and helps to hair growth. The medicine is applied to the scalp. Also, it is an approved medicine to treat hair loss. Approved by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On the other hand, you may prefer laser devices that help to stimulate hair growth.


Physician noting down symptoms of a patient

Hair Loss Diagnosis

For hair loss diagnosis, your dermatologist asks a variety of questions about medical history such as when your hair loss experience began, whether hair loss runs in your family, the medications you take, the allergies you have and other details that linked with your symptoms. For women, generally, the doctor asks whether you recently gave birth which affect hair loss substantially.

On the other hand, your dermatologist examines your scalp if there is any inflammation, sores, scarring or redness. The doctor may make some basic tests such as pull and tug test which measures the severity of hair loss.


RELATED QUESTIONS

How to Determine Hair Type?

To determine your hair type, there are some features that you need to consider.



First: Density. The density of your hair means how much hair you have on your scalp. There are three levels which are thin, medium and thick. You can examine your hair density according to seeing your scalp. For instance, if you see your scalp easily, then you have the thin density or if you see your scalp partially then you have medium density hair. as you can understand, if you see your scalp hardly, then you have thick density hair type.



Second: Hair Greasiness. To determine the level of your hair greasiness, you need to consider how often you need to wash your hair. There are 3 levels which are oily, dry and combination hair. If your hair is oily, it means that you wash your hair 4 to 5 times a week. For combination hair types, there are some spots through hair such as behind of ears and these spots contain a high amount of oil. Dry hair types are the ones that need more conditioning and moisturizer products.



Third: Shape. There are mainly 4 types; straight, wavy, curly and kinky.



Fourth: Elasticity. Elasticity is a strong indicator of the health of your hair. To determine the elasticity of your hair, you need to pull a wet hair strand and stretch it to find out if it stretches a long way without breaking immediately or not. There are three types; high, medium and low.


You should buy and use a hair product by considering your hair type according to these terms. Then, you can get the ultimate gain from this product.

Savaş Ateş

I'm a hair loss expert. The picture was taken 10 years ago :) I have been losing my hair. So I started to learn everything about hair loss and hair transplants. I contacted a lot of hair transplant doctors. We shared our experiences. I'm writing blog posts for people who have the potential of losing their hair. I give some tips about hair transplants and medical issues too.

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