Besides damaging your lung health, the harmful chemicals in cigarettes also cause severe damage to your hair, which may lead to hair loss eventually.
Smoking releases toxic chemicals that affect blood circulation, shrink blood vessels, and stop hair follicles from receiving the blood they need for growth.
Here’s how smoking contributes to your hair loss:
- Poor blood circulation
Your follicles need essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and oxygen to produce healthy hair. And these nutrients are supplied to your follicles through blood circulation.
Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals that cause shrinkage in your blood vessels and block the blood circulation to your hair follicles. As your hair follicles fail to receive the necessary nutrients from blood, your hair growth cycle is disturbed, in turn leading to noticeable hair loss.
- Weak immune system
The occlusion of blood supply to your follicles leads to an increase in Kapha dosha levels on your scalp, which results in excessive oil production. This, in turn, causes conditions like dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) or other scalp infections, which further aggravate your hair loss.
Also, smoking causes damage to your internal immunity to fight such pathogenic infections. This further aggravates your condition and results in severe hair fall.
The toxins present in cigarettes not only cause hair loss in people who smoke but also induce hair fall in people who undergo passive or second-hand smoking.
Harmful pollutants like nicotine and cotinine released into the air by cigarette smokers deposit in the hair shaft. This results in permanent damage to the hair structure of the people who are exposed to that polluted air. And, the alkaline nature of the toxins released from cigarette smoking can disturb your scalp pH, which affects your hair growth finally.
Also, pollution caused by smoking can intensify your genetic hair loss while the carcinogens present in the contaminated air block the mechanisms in your hair follicles that produce hair protein.