The reason alcohol can lead to inflammation is because the sugar in alcohol can cause insulin spikes, which are actually hormonal spikes—and shifts in our hormones can affect inflammation. Having a lot of alcohol in the body may contribute to low iron and protein levels. If people have low levels of these nutrients, they are more likely to lose their hair. One stress-related condition that commonly affects alcoholics is telogen effluvium (TE), also known as stress-induced hair loss. The damage excessive alcohol consumption does to the body can stress your hair follicles, which can lead to thinning hair and hair loss. Damage to your hair can also be a result of nutritional imbalances that are often linked to alcohol abuse.

  • Minoxidil is a topical medication that you apply directly to your scalp.
  • The condition called telogen effluvium, or TE, refers to stress-induced hair loss.
  • Smoking is also another factor that leads to dehydration along with alcohol consumption, so the two can compound the effects of the other making smoking and drinking and your hair all one big common problem.
  • These include improper hormone balance, poor nutritional intake, and even liver damage.

When you’re dehydrated, it can make existing hair follicles very dry and brittle, which makes them more likely to fall out. Shift work increases the risk of psoriasis [58], suggesting that sleep disturbance influences the development of the Th17-mediated skin immune response. Deficiency of clock genes causes biological clock dysfunction and enhances the imiquimod-induced cutaneous Th17 immune response due to impairment of IL-23 receptor expression [59]. Sleep disturbances influence various immunological reactions in the skin and may influence the development of Th17-mediated alopecia areata. Ethanol-exposed psoriatic skin taken from patients enhances the production of IFN-γ, TGF-α, and IL-6 secretion by the lymphocyte cell line [43].

Daily Lifestyle Factors Related to Alopecia Areata

Your risk for developing alcohol-induced liver disease increases with the frequency and amount of alcohol you drink. Nearly 20,000 people die from alcohol-induced liver disease every year in the United States. With a team of certified addiction therapists and expert doctors, we’ll help you with all of your alcohol and hair loss related needs.

When the liver is constantly working to process alcohol rather than food, you start to gain weight. In the case of heavy drinkers, alcohol can cause so much damage to the liver that it stops functioning properly, which can lead to deadly conditions such as fatty liver disease or cirrhosis. The 15-lipoxygenase (ALOX15) is responsible for the generation of specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators that play essential roles in anti-inflammatory actions. Alox15-deficient mice show hair loss and increased inflammatory cell infiltration around the hair follicles, which are impaired by resolvin D2 treatment [77]. On the contrary, one study showed that sleep quality seems to have no relationship with the risk of alopecia areata [53]. This study evaluated sleep quality using a self-administered questionnaire, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, to evaluate excessive daytime sleepiness.

Not So Ordinary Salads to Make 4th of July Healthy But Delicious

The alcohol will continue to dehydrate your hair as long as you keep drinking. While moderate drinking is not linked to baldness, the effects of heavy drinking or alcohol abuse may eventually lead to hair thinning or loss. Heavy drinking is proven to have an impact on appearance, including in the skin and hair.

  • On the flip side, some specific alcoholic beverages can help the healthy bacteria in your gut.
  • The reduction of MHC class I and β2 microglobulin expression in the hair bulb contributes to the suppression of immune cell activation in hair follicles [15].
  • According to a study on the National Institutes of Health, stress hormones can cause stem-cell’s not to be able to regrow hair.
  • In contrast, the importance of omega-6 fatty acids has also been reported.

If you’re drinking in excess and eating a bunch of junk food and not washing your hair, chances are you’ll see greasy strands. It is possible, however, that your scalp may secrete more oil to overcompensate for a dry scalp and hair, leading to oilier hair. In these cases, a scalp cleanser like our New Dawn Activated Charcoal Scalp Cleanser is a great option for absorbing excess oils while rebalancing a dry scalp. Neither of these factors, though, are a direct link to you ingesting alcohol. A 2021 research article links tobacco smoke to baldness, as it damages hair follicles and can interrupt the hair growth cycle.

Should You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Therefore, Th17-mediated inflammation in hair follicles might be involved in the pathogenesis of alopecia areata. This is typically due to damage caused to or interference with the natural hair growth cycle. There’s also a link between stress and alcohol abuse, which is another potential contributing factor to hair loss among alcoholics. Whether people abuse alcohol because of stress or experience stress as a result of their drinking patterns, the effect on hair loss is the same.

alcoholism and hair loss

When you drink excessively, there are negative effects such as dry skin, lack of nutrition in your diet, poor quality of sleep and increased estrogen levels that can heighten the chance of hair loss. When your hair or scalp is dry, the hair becomes brittle and breaks more easily. This is also true if your diet doesn’t contain the necessary nutrients to support healthy hair growth. When your scalp is dry and inflamed, the follicles become irritated and can’t support the root of the hair properly. While dehydration is the primary cause of hangovers the next morning, a lack of hydration also affects the strength and elasticity of the skin. Studies have found that heavy drinkers often suffer from poor nutrition (sometimes due to poor digestion, poor diet or both) that can lead to long-term nutritional deficiencies.

Let’s take a deeper look into how heavy alcohol use causes hair loss. Alcohol also inhibits nutrient absorption by harming the lining of your digestive system over time, damaging your intestines until they can’t transfer nutrients to the blood. Without proper protein, the production of keratin slows; this protective agent bonds hair cells together and your hair becomes prone to split ends and breakage. Similarly, zinc and folic acid, which are essential for hair growth, aren’t soaked up by your follicles. Gluten is a protein derived from cereal grains and seeds and is recognized as a trigger of celiac disease, which enhances allergic immune responses [96].

Why am I losing so much hair?

It is related to aging, heredity, and changes in the hormone testosterone. Inherited, or pattern baldness, affects many more men than women.

While you might know that stress can create an atmosphere that encourages drinking, a growing body of evidence suggests there’s a complex link between stress and alcohol consumption. Overdrinking can actually increase stress levels over time, creating a vicious cycle of stress that can be hard to break. Are you drinking because you’re stressed, or are you stressed because you’re drinking? And malabsorption can lead to malnutrition, which can spell trouble for your tresses. For example, biotin and zinc deficiencies can cause brittle hair, which can lead to hair loss. These treatments are relatively aggressive in their approach to hair regrowth, and are reserved for extreme cases of balding.

Drinking in moderation

It’s not common in the United States to experience copper deficiency due to diet. However, people who have had weight loss surgery or have celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease may be at risk for lower than normal levels. In some cases, people who drink heavily may not eat enough nutrients due to poor diet. In other cases, alcohol actually interferes with the way the body processes and uses food during digestion. Drinking too much alcohol can contribute to deficiencies or malabsorption of key nutrients. In particular, there’s evidence that not getting enough zinc, copper, or protein may lead to hair shedding.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This