Can nicotine affect hair health?
Cigarette smoking has a negative impact on our health – this has been known for a long time. But what effect does nicotine have on our appearance, and more specifically on our hair?
People who smoke cigarettes are definitely more exposed to many dangerous diseases than non-smokers. However, nicotine does not only affect their health, but also their appearance. And significantly! The skin of smokers ages faster and plaque builds up on their teeth, which leads to the development of caries. The condition of hair is also affected. Smokers often complain about brittle, fragile and weak hair.
Nicotine Speeds Up Hair Aging
Smoking not only has a negative effect on the current condition of your hair but also on its aging process. Nicotine causes the contraction of blood vessels, which leads to an effect in which the release of oxygen in the tissues is reduced. This results in insufficient nourishment of the hair follicles. Substances in tobacco smoke damage human DNA and disrupt the control system for tissue remodeling, resulting in a shortened hair life cycle.
Irreversible hair thinning
Nicotine can also lead to a process in which the hair on the entire head thins irreversibly. This is caused by the process of peri-follicular tissue fibrosis, which is triggered by micro-inflammation in the hair follicle due to the appearance of pro-inflammatory cytokines resulting from oxidative stress. Nicotine can cause androgen-type alopecia, which is associated with a genetic predisposition. This occurs due to the hydroxylation of estradiol, which results in a hypoestrogenic state that is created in the hair follicle. In some cases, when the process of intense balding has already begun, it may unfortunately already be too late for effective help.
Nicotine and dry and weak hair
The tarry substances in tobacco smoke significantly dry out the hair. Smokers’ hair follicles receive far fewer nutrients because smoking also affects the blood vessels, constricting them. What can be the result? Weakening of the hair and the possibility of an intensified hair loss process. In addition, smokers’ hair is brittle and dull, and it does not smell the best. It is important to know that weakened, dry hair grows slower. Unfortunately, using even the most expensive and the best preparations for damaged hair will not bring any improvement, which may occur only after quitting the harmful habit.
Secondhand Smoking and the Effects of Nicotine on Hair
Not only active smokers feel the negative effects of nicotine on their hair. The people around them, the so-called passive smokers, are also exposed to the damaging effects of cigarette smoke. Studies have shown that tobacco smoke penetrates the hair and damages the DNA in the hair follicles.
Hair condition after stopping smoking
If the hair has not yet been ruined by the effects of nicotine, quitting the harmful habit will give a good chance for the hair to return to its former condition. After quitting smoking, many people report shiny, well-nourished, more manageable and less oily hair. In addition, hair smells better because it is not exposed to nicotine smoke, which penetrates deep into the hair structure and destroys it. The list of arguments for quitting smoking is really long. Starting with the most important one, which is the state of our health, and ending with the condition of our skin, the condition and appearance of our hair should also be added to this list.