Hair loss has been one of the most prominent issues both men and women face. While it is acceptable to shed approximately 100 strands a day, anything beyond that is a major concern. Hair experts across the globe are engaged in researching the root causes of baldness.Alcohol and hair loss is one of the latest research subjects.
Is it true that consuming alcohol causes hair loss? Potentially.
Our bodies are built differently and react differently to our environment and the food we consume. This is why even siblings who live in the same house, eat the same food and drink from the same tap have different hair textures and thickness.
The same goes for Alcohol and hair loss. Excessive drinking is never beneficial. It can trigger excessive hair loss as it causes hormonal imbalance. Hair loss in men can be often traced to heavy drinking. However, there are other contributing factors to hair loss that we must consider.
What is the Relation between Alcohol and Hair Loss?
Alcohol and hair loss correlate, but it is not as binding as you might think. If you are witnessing hair fall or hair thinning and blaming it all on those two shots of vodka that you had last night, you should hold your horses for now.
Drinking a glass of wine with your dinner and even that one crazy night that leads to a blackout or unbearable hangover will not trigger hair loss. Studies conducted by hair experts show that toxins present in alcohol can damage your liver, heart, skin and hair after a certain level. According to them, anything under four alcoholic beverages per week should not cause hair fall, but anything beyond that can cause temporary or permanent hair loss.
So, let’s look at why and how alcohol intake can lead to hair loss.
1. Consumption of alcohol can lead to blood sugar spikes
Glucose is essential to the human body. It is the principal energy source for the execution of essential brain operations. On the other hand, chronically high amounts of glucose in the bloodstream can be detrimental to one's health and well-being.
Blood sugar can increase when the body's glucose levels are high. Those who suffer from insulin resistance, hypo/hyperglycemia or those who do not produce enough hormones are prone to suffer from this condition.
Sugar may be present in several alcoholic drinks, including beer, wine and liquor with high alcohol content. Sucrose and fructose are plentiful in alcoholic beverages, such as soda pop, cocktails and mixers. In rare circumstances, this may not be a significant issue. On the other hand, insulin resistance has been linked to hair loss in men.
2. Does consumption of alcohol lead to dry, brittle hair?
Yes, but not always. It does seem that insulin resistance and AGA are more closely associated than previously thought, based on the findings of a study.
Follicle shrinking, a key cause of hair thinning and loss, may be increased by insulin resistance, which is one probable reason for hair thinning and loss. In addition to promoting testosterone synthesis, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) has also been much more abundant in those with insulin resistance. An increase in DHT production has led to a higher chance of developing alopecia areata.
Regardless of the cause, it is clear that alcohol and high blood sugar levels are things to be cautious about. Dehydration caused by excessive alcohol use might result in dry, brittle hair. Alcohol, which acts as a diuretic, causes the body to produce more urine, leading to dehydration.
A shortage of water may have negative implications on the body's functioning. You may see why water is vital when you realise that the typical person's body comprises 55% of water and that infants' bodies are composed of 75% of water. As a result, dehydration may result in a decrease in physical and mental performance, as well as the malfunctioning of many systems (such as the digestive and urinary tracts) in the body.
3. Inflammation of the hair follicle
Insufficient moisture in the epidermis may cause damage to the follicles and hair shafts, which can result in long-term consequences. The development of dry skin, which may cause irritation and an increased risk of injury to the hair follicles themselves, may be encouraged due to this practice.
Alcohol is considered a dehydration promoter because it causes dehydration and consequent organ damage (including the skin). Hence, it results in inflammation of the hair follicle, leading to the need for hair fall treatment.
4. It leads to an increase in estrogen levels and pattern baldness.
Testosterone is the male analogue of the female hormone oestrogen. When it comes to developing and regulating female secondary sex characteristics, this steroid hormone plays a critical role.
Did you know that excessive alcohol intake is associated with increased oestrogen levels? Increasing the quantity of oestrogen in your body due to drinking might result in hair loss and other health problems.
Oestrogen levels in the body may cause male follicles to enter the catagen phase early or develop telogen effluvium.
Given that women might experience hair loss when their oestrogen levels are up, this makes perfect sense (such as during pregnancy).
5. Folic acid, which leads to hair growth, is reduced.
When the body does not have enough folate, it turns to folic acid, a synthetic vitamin. DNA and RNA (the genetic components of the body) are both created by the body, which uses them as a tool to produce red blood cells, among other things.
People with AGA or telogen effluvium are more prone than non-adolescent males to suffer from a folic acid deficiency for several reasons. While alcohol has been proven to impair folic acid absorption, it has also been demonstrated to increase folic acid excretion via the urine in other studies. However, what exactly is folic acid's role in the growth of hair follicles is not well understood.
Adequate blood flow is necessary for the health of the hair follicle and, as a result, for the creation of healthy hair. A deficit of folic acid, on the other hand, may result in an inadequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the hair, ultimately leading to irreversible hair damage.
In the long run, excessive alcohol intake may lead to a deficiency or poor absorption of key nutrients, affecting hair health.
What Nutrients Can You Lose from Heavy Drinking?
Excessive drinking can never bring any kind of benefits to your body. A higher percentage of alcohol in the body is also associated with the depletion of iron, an important mineral for hair growth. Many women worldwide are already prone to anaemia, a disease caused due to lack of iron in the body. If you have it, the chances are that alcohol consumption will expedite the process of hair loss.
Drinking excess alcohol might impact your body’s capacity to absorb protein as well. Protein deficiency can harm various parts of your body, including nails and hair, as these are primarily made of protein.
Another mineral that your body might lose due to excessive drinking is zinc. Zinc, just like iron, is important for our body’s capability to support and protect hair. If your zinc levels are declining, you are prone to shed more than the usual amount of hair.
Is it Possible for Hair to Regrow After Quitting Alcohol?
The good news is that everything is not lost, and you may begin working to regenerate your hair naturally. We propose that you address your alcohol addiction before moving on to the best holistic hair loss treatments available today.
If you want assistance in quitting drinking, several options and hair loss clinics are available to assist you. It’s important to address your drinking problem first and then take vitamins for hair loss. Your body can begin to absorb nutrients properly, regulate your hormones and improve your overall health once you start taking good care of it.
Alcohol, just like any other food or beverage, has certain benefits and disadvantages for our bodies. It can be good for your body when consumed in the right amount, but its excess can only cause harm. Heavy drinking can damage your liver and heart. It can also impact your body’s ability to absorb important vitamins, minerals and protein that can worsen hair loss.
The positive is that hair loss due to alcohol can be reversed in most cases. There are certain vitamins for hair loss that you can take. However, vitamins and countertop treatments cannot reverse the situation in some situations. If such is the case, it is advisable to consult hair experts at Advanced Hair Studio for a wholesome hair loss treatment approach.