Is Smoking Bad for Your Hair?

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Cigarette smoke enters the bloodstream through the lungs and is carried by the circulatory system to every part of the body. The result is that the cells of the smoker’s body are bathed in the more than 4,000 chemicals and gasses found in cigarette smoke. No part of the body is truly exempt from the toxins in cigarettes, and even hair follicles suffer damage.

Bad Hair Every Day

Cigarette smoke damages the hair follicles, causing them to shrink and wither. Unhealthy follicles simply cannot produce healthy hair, making smokers much more likely to have damaged and thinning hair or go bald. Even if the follicles do continue to produce hair, it is brittle and extremely susceptible to breakage. Smoke also restricts the blood flow to the follicles, prematurely aging them and causing gray hairs to appear earlier in life than they otherwise would. Cigarettes also increase the amount of the hormone DHT in the body – a hormone known to contribute to hair loss. The odor of cigarette smoke is also easily held by the hair and skin, causing even clean hair to smell like stale smoke.