How Does Smoking Affect Your Hair?
Maintaining healthy-looking locks is no easy job. It requires your physical and mental efforts to avoid doing activities that can ruin your hair's health. If you want to keep tabs on your hair growth, you may need to cross out smoking in your to-do list.
Smoking is a habit practiced by people from all walks of life. It only takes a lighter and a cigarette stick to smoke anywhere. Smoking is also cheaper than using recreational drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and LSD. You can smoke using dried plant leaves, such as tobacco and marijuana.
However, smoking is considered a taboo in the medical field. Studies show how smoking can affect one's health. If you inhale cigarette smoke, its active substances can quickly enter your bloodstream and reach the different bodily organs. The inhaled particles can also deeply penetrate and damage your lungs.
Thus, smoking can trigger many diseases and even lead to one's death. It is also said to affect even the quality of your hair growth.
Get to know the dangerous chemicals present in cigarette and tobacco products and learn more about smoking's adverse effects on your locks.
The Hazardous Chemicals Every Smoker Inhales
If you can't get enough of smoking, then you must blame nicotine for your addiction. According to the NIH's National Institute for Drug Abuse in the USA, only 6% of smokers can quit successfully within a year. It takes numerous attempts before a smoker can ditch this addictive habit.
This carcinogenic substance is one of the most harmful substances your body can ever receive. Not only does it trigger addiction, but nicotine can also hamper your body's biological functions and even cause cancer.
Many people love smoking because of nicotine's ability to produce feelings of happiness. Nicotine can increase the levels of happy hormones or endorphins. Thus, many smokers find it tormenting to halt smoking. However, frequent smoking can increase the nicotine content in the body, which can activate ailments.
Many toxic chemicals are present in tobacco products, including heavy metals such as cadmium and lead. Absorption of lead is dangerous to the body, for it can weaken your kidneys and brain. High levels of lead can also cause anemia. Lead prevents calcium deposits in your red blood cells, leading to their death.
Exposure to lead is especially hazardous for pregnant women, which can harmfully affect the unborn child's nervous system and fetal development. Thus, women should never smoke or be exposed to second-hand smoke during pregnancy to avoid congenital disabilities.
Arsenic is another carcinogenic substance that your body can absorb from inhaling cigarette smoke. Prolonged exposure to arsenic can affect your skin's pigmentation, trigger gastrointestinal problems, and cause lung cancer. Arsenic is also said to cause chromosome mutations. Thus, it would be best for your body to avoid any contact with this lethal chemical.
Hair straightening products are not your only sources of formaldehyde. You can also receive your dose of this toxic gas by smoking. Aside from nicotine, formaldehyde is another chemical that fortifies your tobacco dependence. It can cause skin irritations and deteriorate your brain's neurotransmitters.
5. Carbon Monoxide
When you smoke or inhale second-hand smoke, a poisonous gas known as carbon monoxide passes through your lungs and attaches itself to red blood cells. Carbon monoxide infiltrates your cells to kick out oxygen. Once the takeover becomes successful, your cells get stressed and ultimately die, leading to poor circulation, cardiovascular diseases, and breathing problems.
How can these hazardous substances affect the quality and the quantity of hair growth? Discover the reasons why smoking is harmful to your mane.
The Adverse Effects of Smoking on Hair Growth
1. Smoking causes poor blood circulation.
Nicotine is a primary reason why most smokers find it hard to withdraw from their smoking habits. This stimulant found in cigarettes is highly addictive. Once your body becomes dependent on this substance, this addiction can lead to nicotine build-up, thereby constricting blood vessels, and arteries. The lead content present in cigarettes can also destroy the red blood cells, which are essential oxygen carriers. Without enough oxygen, your hair follicles will shrink and eventually die.
2. It also weakens your locks.
If your circulatory system fails to deliver sufficient oxygen supply for your follicles, your strands will weaken in no time. The harmful chemicals that enter your bloodstream can also endanger your hair cells, thereby impeding healthy follicle growth.
3. It makes your strands thin and brittle.
Having thick hair gives the impression of being healthy. However, malnourished follicles produce thin and brittle strands. Thus, your hair becomes prone to strand breakage due to its poor quality. Your mane also becomes dry and frizzy, making it more stressful to manage your hair.
4. Your hair also prematurely ages.
The greying of the hair is an obvious sign of aging. However, many young smokers have early onsets of hair aging. According to a published study by the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, there is a strong correlation between grey hair and smoking. The study showed that smokers of all sexes and ages had experienced premature hair greying. Research also shows that smoking can increase the free radicals in the body, stressing the hair cells and destroying their melanin content.
5. The skin on your scalp starts sagging.
Collagen is the protein responsible for skin and bone structures. However, thousands of chemicals present in your tobacco or cigarette smoke can impede your body's collagen production, thereby affecting your skin's elasticity.
6. It can make your hair smelly and sticky.
You can easily detect a smoker just by his or her smell. If you frequently smoke, the odor gets easily absorbed by your hair, skin, and clothes. When the tar from a cigarette also condensates, it creates a sticky substance that certainly gets stuck on your strands.
7. Smoking can lead to hair loss.
Baldness is hair growth's number one nemesis, and long-term exposure to smoking can eventually lead to the fall of your hair strands. A study that involved Taiwanese men found smoking as an evident factor of male-pattern baldness. Smoking can also inhibit iron uptake, negatively impacting your body's blood circulation towards your hair follicles. Thus, follicle malnourishment can prompt your strands to weaken and fall out eventually.
How to Avoid Losing your Hair Caused by Smoking
Smoking's harmful effects on hair growth can be quite scary. Don't worry, for you can still put up a fight against hair loss. Here are several ways to avoid losing your hair strands from smoking.
1. Halt the unhealthy smoking habit.
Withdrawal from smoking is never a piece of cake. It takes a strong will and your utmost effort to stop this life-threatening vice. However, one must quit smoking to save the locks from dying. The particles can easily be absorbed, which can strain your follicles, thereby triggering the most unwanted hair problem — permanent hair loss.
2. Avoid being exposed to second-hand smoke.
Non-smokers are also susceptible to smoking's adverse effects. Second-hand smoking escalates your chances of developing lung cancer by 20-30%. To avoid inhaling second-hand smoke, you must neither go near smokers nor stay in smoking areas. Always wear a filtered mask to inhibit the smoke particles from entering your system.
3. Enjoy an iron-enriched diet.
Iron is a vital mineral in blood production. Therefore, it is essential to pump your body with a hearty iron supply to avoid iron deficiency. A lack of iron can restrict blood circulation, thereby hampering internal processes such as hair growth.
You can get your fill of iron from plant-based sources such as baked potatoes, leafy veggies, cashew nuts, and whole-grain bread. Animal sources such as lean beef, chicken meat, and cooked oysters are also loaded with iron.
Stop Smoking from Damaging your Locks.
If something goes wrong with your body's biological activities, your outward appearance also gets affected. For instance, smoking can harm you internally and externally. The toxic chemicals present in cigarette and tobacco products gradually destroy your body cells and tissues, leading to organ failure and death.
Physical changes reflect these internal damages. For instance, premature aging becomes an apparent result of smoking. Early signs include constant fatigue and skin problems, such as the appearance of sunspots and wrinkles. Your skin also becomes dry and saggy because of dehydration and insufficient collagen supply. Hair starts greying and eventually loses its grip, leading to hair loss.
Do not let your harmful habits destroy the life of your mane. Thus, always strive to live a healthy lifestyle. Ditch your smoking habit to prevent damaging your locks.
Fight for What Is Right.
The search for the ultimate hair loss treatment is not yet over. Discover the best hair growth products to fight against female hair loss. Use a hair thickening shampoo to revert the thinning hair problems caused by smoking. Fight for your hair's right to thrive with the help of Thicktails hair growth products. These hair growth essentials are enriched with DHT blockers and hair vitamins, making your hair grow thicker and healthier.