Can Alcohol Cause Hair Loss?

Excessive alcohol use and alcoholism can wreak havoc on your life, your health, and even your appearance. One such side effect can be shown in the connection between alcohol and hair loss. Many people wonder, “can alcohol cause hair loss?”

Below, we discuss the potential links between alcohol and hair loss, and answer the question “can alcohol cause hair loss.”

Alcohol and Hair Loss | Can Alcohol Cause Hair Loss?
There’s really no part of a person’s body, health or life that goes untouched by the effects of excessive alcohol use, and it just so happens that even your hair can be impacted.

So, why can alcohol cause hair loss? The relationship between alcohol and hair loss is complex, but two of the biggest reasons alcoholics and heavy drinkers experience hair loss is because they don’t eat the right nutrients, or they can’t absorb them properly.

Basically, when you drink excessively, you consume empty calories with no nutritional benefits. This is particularly true if you primarily drink beer or liquor. As you consume so many of your calories in the form of alcohol, you’re probably not focusing on maintaining a nutritious, well-balanced diet in the process. You may even feel full most of the time, simply because you’re drinking so much alcohol. Many people dependent on alcohol struggle with malnutrition. That malnutrition can lead to scary side effects, including brain damage from a lack of Thiamine and hair loss. The right amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are essential to a healthy scalp and head of hair.

But it’s not just a lack of nutrients or a poor diet that connect alcohol and hair loss. Alcohol can also cause hair loss by interfering with the absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients. Drinking can destroy the lining of the stomach and increase acid production in the digestive system. This makes it difficult for your body to properly absorb nutrients.

Drinking excessively also has a diuretic effect that can lead to lower levels of potassium and magnesium in the body. This makes it more difficult for your body to sustain typical, healthy functions, including hair growth. When you drink too much, it causes liver damage, and liver damage can also cause problems with digestion.

We’ve already started to answer the question “can alcohol cause hair loss.” While nutrition plays a large role in alcohol-related hair loss, there are other ways alcohol and hair loss are linked to one another.

Some of the other ways alcohol and hair loss are related include:

  • Drinking dehydrates you, which can damage the health of your hair. When you’re dehydrated, it can make existing hair follicles very dry and brittle, which makes them more likely to fall out. This dehydration can also cause dandruff.
  • Alcohol causes blood sugar spikes, which have been linked to pattern baldness.
  • When you drink excessively you may sleep, but it’s not quality, healthy sleep. When you don’t sleep enough or sleep well it can increase stress, and stress is linked to hair loss. There is actually a condition called telogen effluvium or TE, that refers to stress-induced hair loss. When this happens, your hair follicles don’t replenish themselves as they should, but they still continue shedding.
  • Alcohol use is connected to increased levels of estrogen. Increased estrogen, particularly in men, can cause problems with hair growth and loss.

If you’re worried about alcohol and hair loss, the best thing you can do is start cutting down on your drinking or stop altogether. Hair loss from excessive alcohol consumption is just one of the more visible side effects of all the damage happening in your body.

To sum up, can alcohol cause hair loss? Yes. Alcohol and hair loss are related because of the poor diet that many heavy drinkers have, but there are other ways they are connected as well. For example, drinking too much can stress your nervous system and speed up hair loss. If you struggle to control your drinking, a treatment center like The Recovery Village can help you overcome your addiction and connect you to the care you need.

Can Alcohol Cause Hair Loss?
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