Excessive alcohol use affects every part of your body and all aspects of your health. Some of these effects are quite unexpected… even your hair can be negatively impacted by heavy drinking.
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we will explore the connection between alcohol and hair loss – as well as the impact alcohol use has on your hair.
Does Excessive Drinking Cause Hair Loss?
While there’s no such thing as “alcohol alopecia,” there are several reasons why heavy drinkers often have poor hair growth or thinning hair. Consuming alcohol doesn’t directly lead to hair loss, but its effects on one’s scalp and hair are very real.
Hair growth relies on proper nutrition. Those who drink heavily often do not consume adequate amounts of healthy foods and (even when they do) those nutrients are not well-absorbed due to alcohol’s effects on the digestive system.
Alcohol – especially beer and liquor – contains mostly empty calories. Even though drinking can lead to a feeling of fullness, it provides little in the way of nutrition. Furthermore, those who drink heavily often don’t focus on maintaining a well-balanced diet… something that a thriving scalp and healthy hair growth require. Studies indicate that alcohol may account for up to half the calories consumed by heavy drinkers.
Alcohol acts as a diuretic, which can lead to low levels of potassium and magnesium in your body. Over time, it also interferes with the absorption of crucial vitamins and nutrients by damaging the lining of the stomach and intestines, compromising the liver, and interfering with the secretion of digestive enzymes from the pancreas.
Alcohol, Hair & Hydration
In addition to proper nutrition, healthy hair requires proper hydration. Alcohol is very dehydrating – which causes hair to become brittle, dry, and more likely to shed. Dehydration can also lead to dandruff and other scalp issues.
Excessive drinkers may additionally experience disrupted sleep, increased hormone levels, and blood sugar spikes… all of which have been linked to hair loss.
Can Quitting Alcohol Help Hair Growth?
In many cases, alcohol-related hair loss is reversible. If you’re concerned that alcohol may be causing hair loss, cut down or eliminate your alcohol consumption and seek professional assistance if necessary.
Eat a balanced diet rich in hair-growth-friendly foods and take nutritional supplements as needed. This will provide your body the necessary nutrients and allow it to absorb them more efficiently. It may take several months to see results, but it’s well worth the wait.
Contact RHRLI To Explore Your Hair Restoration Options
Cutting alcohol consumption and adjusting your diet can improve your hair’s health. If you’re suffering from hair loss that doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes, the experts at RHRLI are here to help. When you contact us for a consultation, we will evaluate your situation and determine the right treatment option for you. To schedule a hair and scalp analysis, contact us today.