We all know how terrible smoking is for your health. It is a well established major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers. Many young people write these conditions off as diseases for the elderly and continue to smoke. But what if smoking was affecting you right now? What if smoking was contributing to you going bald or hair loss?
Chances are that it is. Extensive research has now shown that smoking is directly linked to poor hair health and baldness.
A study performed by Mosley and Gibbs in 1996 first revealed an association between smoking poor hair health. Of 268 men in the study, those who smoked were twice as likely to be bald and more than four times as likely to have grey hair! 
Further work by Su and Chen in 2007 showed that the severity of balding in men was directly related to the amount they smoked. They showed that in over 700 subjects smoking more than doubled your chance of going bald and that those who smoked more experienced a greater degree of hair loss. 
Smoking may cause balding and poor hair health by a number of different mechanisms. It’s well known that smoking affects our macro and microcirculation, not just in our hearts and lungs, but in our scalp as well! Smoking is also a significant cause of oxidative stress and free radical formation which affects hair follicle development in its earliest stages. Oxidative stress occurs when reactive oxygen species, produced in excess by pollutants or harmful drugs, cause cellular and DNA damage.
There is little doubt that smoking also accelerates the decline in hair health in women. This is not surprising given that smoking is a well recognised cause of premature aging in women and is known to cause elevated levels of circulating DHT, the hormone responsible for androgenic alopecia.
There are lots of services out there to help you quit smoking (and therefore help regrow your hair!) Your local GP and state based Quit programs are probably the best places to start, but we can help point you in the right direction.
If you needed anymore incentive to ditch the durries, let this be it. Take charge of your health and your hair. Click here to start an online medical consultation to learn more about our clinically proven treatment programs for hair loss.
- Mosley, J.G. and Gibbs, A.C. Premature grey hair and hair loss among smokers: a new opportunity for health education? BMJ 313, 1616 (1996).
- Su, L.H. and Chen, T.H. Association of androgenetic alopecia with smoking and its prevalence among Asian men: a community-based survey. Arch. Dermatol. 143, 1401–1406 (2007).
The Mosh Team