Smoking and Hair Loss- Is There a Connection?

Smoking and Hair Loss- Is There a Connection?

Many people in Pune are smokers, and you may find something common in every one of them. Yes, they are either having fewer hairs or are completely bald. So, is there a link between smoking and hair loss?

Many people are aware that smoking causes skin ageing prematurely, vascular, lung cancer, and heart disease. Yet, most do not know that smoking causes hair loss as well.

In this article, we have discussed how smoking causes hair loss and premature greying.

How Does Smoking Cause Hair Loss?

If you have a lifestyle that involves nicotine consumption, you will severely damage your hair growth.

The nicotine in cigarettes can reduce blood flow all over your body while narrowing your blood vessels. Blood flow is critical to your hair follicle (tiny holes or pores on your skin that create hair) for healthy development.

Restricted blood flow throughout your scalp negatively affects hair growth as the follicles do not receive adequate nutrients and oxygen to follow a healthy growth cycle.

Now that you are aware of how smoking causes hair loss let us discuss how it affects your hair health.

Effects of Smoking on your Hair

The following are some methods of how smoking affects your hair:

  • Smoking decreases collagen, robbing your hair’s natural oils, making it dehydrated
  • It creates build-up on the scalp, that makes hair roots oily
  • Progresses to premature hair greying
  • Smoking can change your endocrine system. It hampers the gland’s capacity to create healthy hormones
  • It reduces vitamins A and C in your body that is essential for collagen production
  • Decreases your immunity, which makes you vulnerable to illnesses

How does Smoking Cause Hair Loss?

Poor blood circulation

Your follicles require an abundant mineral, nutrients, and oxygen supply to grow healthy hair. The toxins in a cigarette harm your blood circulation, impede blood flow and shrink blood vessels. Due to inadequate blood flow, your hair does not get these necessary nutrients.

Weakened immune system

Smoking decreases your body’s immune response; it makes you susceptible to infections. Hence, if your immune system is lacking, the chances of bacterial or fungal infections on your scalp rise. It restricts your follicles from creating new, healthy hair.


You may have heard that stress leads to hair loss, and it is true. Smoking raises stress levels and causes a rise in blood pressure, heart rate, and tensed muscles.

Nicotine cravings may cause stress when your body goes through withdrawal.

Disrupts the endocrine system

Smoking disturbs your body’s endocrine function, which increases the DHT levels, the hormone that progresses to male pattern baldness.

DHT causes your follicles to shrink until they stop creating hair. It causes follicles to create hair that is weak and brittle, making your hair look thin.

Will my hair grow back if I Quit Smoking?

When you leave smoking, your hair and overall health improve. If smoking was the leading cause of your hair loss, quitting can prevent the scalp’s drying and premature ageing. It lowers the probability of hair fallout.

Note that you cannot undo the damage that happened due to smoking. Quitting is a way that helps your body come back to a position where there is a chance to regrow healthy hair.

However, your hair will require some time to regrow and come back to its healthy state. So, be patient, particularly if you were smoking for a long time.

If you continue to have hair loss after you have stopped for long, you must check other possibilities and address them. A hair specialist can guide you in the appropriate direction.

Can I start Smoking after my Hair Transplant?

If you plan to get a hair transplant in Pune and want 100% success, do not smoke for a week before the procedure. Also, do not smoke two weeks after your hair transplant surgery.

If you continue to smoke after your hair transplant surgery, your wounds may take longer to heal, and chances of infections may increase. It also increases the possibility of scabs and crusts being left on your scalp longer than necessary, progressing to scar tissue formation.

If you have hair loss, hair thinning, or premature greying, you should add healthy habits to your routine. Try including regular exercise and a well-balanced diet, along with an effort to quit smoking. Do not harm your life by smoking.

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Dr. Gajanan Jadhao

I am a Hair Transplant Surgeon, Cosmetologist and Anesthesiologist in Pune. I have more than 16 years of experience in this field.

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