Science, Cigarettes and Hair Loss

No butts about it - cigarettes cause hair loss!

Scientists are excellent sources of information on smoking and hair loss. Here’s a few of the best studies done about hair loss and smoking. Please follow the link (through the abstract) and purchase the article if you’re interested in reading more!

Association between Smoking and Hair Loss: Another Opportunity for Health Education against Smoking?
Ralph M. Trüeb

Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland
Dermatology 2003;206:189-191 (DOI: 10.1159/000068894)

Abstract: The effect of tobacco smoke on skin is something we’ve known for a while (it causes premature aging), but the effect of tobacco smoke on hair is something more recent.  Poor circulation, DNA damage to hair, imbalances in chemicals needed for hair growth cycle, pro-oxidant effects that cause inflammation and increased oestradiol levels.  People should be made aware that smoking can lead to hair loss in the same way it’s known to cause other problems.

Copyright © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

Induction of alopecia in mice exposed to cigarette smoke
Toxicology Letters
Volume 114, Issues 1-3, 3 April 2000, Pages 117-123

Abstract: Smoke genotoxicants cause DNA damage. In a study with mice, smoke-exposed mice had thinner skin, reduced thickness of the body tissue, and fewer hair follicles. The hair cycle is altered, but N-acetylcysteine appears to prevent genotoxicant damage.

Here’s a video that talks some more about smoking and hair loss:

Image: Bill Longshaw /

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