Suppose you’ve decided to stop smoking or recently quit smoking altogether, congratulations! You’ve just made one of the best decisions of your life! We all know that smoking wreaks havoc on the body. Studies from the American Heart Association prove that smoking directly links to heart disease, including heart attacks and cardiovascular deterioration. What’s more, smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer, with a whopping 80-90% of all disease cases attributed to smoking, according to the Center for Disease Control.
With all this overwhelming evidence about the devastating effects of smoking, it’s easy to see how quitting this destructive habit can save your life. However, did you know crushing the cigarette smoking cycle can help your hair? Yes! Studies show that the act of smoking, especially over a long period, can cause thinning, hair loss, or even balding. The good news is, your hair can come back to its natural luster despite the damaging effects of smoking.
Why Hair Loss is Linked to Smoking
There is overwhelming proof that smoking has catastrophic effects on overall health. But many overlook the damage smoking can cause to hair. If you smoke and notice thinning, premature graying, or hair loss, there are mounting studies that show smoking might be to blame for less-than-stellar hair conditions. Here are a few explanations as to why hair loss is linked to smoking.
Damaging Chemicals Stunt Healthy Hair Growth:
There are over 700 chemicals and additives in the average cigarette. The worst chemical offenders for hair regrowth are nicotine, arsenic, cyanide (yes, those are poisons!), and ammonia. According to New York surgeon Benjamin Paul MD, chemicals such as nicotine in cigarettes constrict the scalp’s proper blood flow. Blood flow to the scalp is crucial for hair growth. Chemicals in cigarettes and the actual smoke emitted when a cigarette is lit restrict blood circulation to the scalp and clog hair follicles. This is a proven medical link that shows smoking harms hair growth.
Hair follicles require nutrients and oxygen to grow healthy hair. Cigarette smoke produces toxins that cause a shrinking in blood vesicles and reduces healthy circulation. When hair follicles are restricted from blood flow, they are essentially cut off from receiving the oxygen and nutrients they need, which stunts the hair growth cycle.
Head Oil Buildup from Smoking Disrupts Hair Regrowth:
The nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes can also cause increased adrenaline, leading to head oil secretions and buildup. One of the reasons cigarettes are so addictive is because of the sensation of increased focus or energy. This is because nicotine stimulates the body’s dopamine system, a neurotransmitter that influences adrenaline’s secretion. An excess of adrenaline production causes oil secretions in the scalp, which can clog hair follicles. This, in turn, makes your hair follicles incapable of receiving proper oxygen, nearly suffocating the hair. This can drastically affect your hair’s health and metabolism, leading to hair loss and other damages.
Smoke Pollution and Hair Loss:
Although hair loss is primarily considered a genetic condition, medical studies show that air pollution from cigarette smoke is also linked to hair growth. Smoking cigarettes creates environmental pollution filled with toxic carcinogens, which creates a damaging environment for proper hair development. This is an especially dangerous environment if you smoke in closed areas such as your car or indoors without proper ventilation. Exposing your hair to this kind of pollution can prohibit the proper production of vital proteins that promote hair regrowth. Basically, that toxic cloud of smoke is poisoning and choking hair follicles, which results in hair loss.
Types of Damage Smoking Causes to Hair and Why
Now that we’ve established why smoking is a detriment to your hair’s health, let’s look at the different ways smoking can cause adverse effects on your luscious locks. Hair loss is only one side effect of smoking. The chemicals found in cigarettes can also cause thinning, weak hair, and even early gray hair onset.
Research About Smoking and Hair Loss:
According to a New York Times report, an epidemiological medical study showed that hair loss chances were increased by 30% in smokers versus non-smokers. The study was conducted on a group of 600 men and women. After taking into account genetics and family histories, it was revealed that the risk of hair loss increased dramatically among test subjects who smoked cigarettes. This is mainly due to the toxins in cigarette smoke that cause harmful effects on hair follicles and damage hormones necessary for healthy hair regrowth.
Smoking and Brittle Hair:
As mentioned, smoking can inhibit healthy blood circulation, and when that happens, the hair follicles are denied adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients. This lack of nutrients to the hair causes deficiencies, which makes hair dry or brittle. The body produces natural emollients that keep hair soft and nourished. These emollients decrease while smoking, resulting in fragile, brittle hair. This soft hair is easily damaged and may even break off.
Smoking and Premature Graying:
Smoking cigarettes has a negative impact on hormones and can even threaten the structure of your DNA. Hormone imbalances are shown to cause lightening of hair and even premature graying. Distortions in DNA prompted by smoking influence pigmentation of hair as well as hair development. The bottom line here is that toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke have been linked to the early onset of gray hair.
Is it Possible to Achieve Hair Regrowth After Quitting Smoking?
As we’ve discussed, smoking is strongly linked to hair loss because of the toxins in cigarette smoke and its negative influence on the scalp, hair follicles, hormones, and DNA. Additionally, smoking packs a crushing blow on the body’s circulatory system, which prohibits oxygenation to hair at the source (the scalp and hair follicles) and prevents proper hair growth. Knowing all this, is it possible to regrow your hair after quitting smoking? Thankfully, some types of hair loss from smoking can be reversed.
Smoking can cause a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. This is normally a temporary condition, and typically hair regrowth is possible after 6-12 months of quitting smoking. Telogen effluvium is mostly caused by extreme stress where the body is traumatized to such an extent that hair begins to fall out. However, prolonged exposure to cigarette smoking can also cause this type of temporary hair loss too.
You can increase your hair regrowth chances after quitting smoking by employing specialized hair treatments that focus on reestablishing healthy hair growth. For example, Keranique’s Hair Regrowth System comprises proven and highly effective formulas that stimulate hair growth after quitting smoking. This system is FDA approved and clinically proven to achieve hair regrowth and provide thicker, healthier hair.
Tips to Stimulate Hair Regrowth After Quitting Smoking
Your first, best step to kick-start hair regrowth is to quit smoking altogether. Of course, this seems obvious, but it’s essential to know the moment you stop subjecting your hair to the toxic conditions of cigarette smoke, you can begin to enjoy a renewed, healthy head of hair.
We know that quitting smoking isn’t easy. That’s why you should take care of yourself while you are going through a smoke cessation regimen. Luckily, giving yourself good care goes hand-in-hand with regaining the quality of health and beautiful hair. Here are a few tips for stimulating hair regrowth and taking care of your overall well-being after quitting smoking.
Diet for Hair Regrowth After Quitting Smoking
Genetics and age notwithstanding, diet is perhaps one of the best ways to promote hair growth you may have lost while smoking. There are specific foods packed with powerful nutrients that enhance and stimulate hair growth. Interestingly, these foods are also beneficial in regaining your overall health as you recover from the damaging effects of smoking. Here are a few foods you can add to your diet for the goal of renewing your hair and getting the thick vibrancy you can expect from living a healthy lifestyle.
Dark, Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like kale and especially spinach are enriched with A and C vitamins. They also contain essential nutrients like iron and folate. All of these elements are crucial for hair regrowth after quitting smoking. Vitamin A is proven to stimulate the growth of healthy oils in the scalp like sebum. This improves circulation and provides hair follicles emollients that lead to thicker, more luxurious hair. Iron found in dark leafy greens is essential for hair growth too. Iron promotes blood flow and helps red blood cells move oxygen throughout the body. This assists in stabilizing metabolism and directly benefits the growth and repair of hair damage.
Fish High in Omega’s: Fish rich in omega-three fatty acids include mackerel, salmon, and herring. The healthy fats found in these fish are believed to increase hair density and stave off hair loss. These fish are also a premium source of selenium, vitamins B and D3, and protein, all of which boost healthy new hair growth.
If fish isn’t your thing, you might consider taking an omega-three supplement. According to PubMD.gov, a study conducted with over 100 women taking omega 3 and 6 supplements experienced a noticeable increase in hair growth over six months. This same study revealed taking a fish oil supplement slowed hair loss and enhanced thickness in women with thinning hair.
Eggs for Hair Regrowth: It might be surprising, but the humble egg can do wonders for restoring your hair as you stick to your commitment to quitting smoking. This is because they are dense with vital nutrients such as biotin and protein, which are essential to facilitating hair growth. Eggs are also high in selenium and zinc, which are shown to optimize natural hair restoration.
Soybeans and Hair Restoration: Soybeans are rich in a compound called spermidine, which augments new hair growth. A dermatological blind-study conducted by research scientist Fabio Renaldi provided 100 healthy humans with a spermidine-based diet found in soybeans. Results showed prolonged and increased hair growth in the people who took the spermidine compound versus those who did not. Research scientists concluded that essential nutrients in soybeans influenced hair behavior in the anagen phase of growth. The anagen phase is when hair is actively growing within the follicle. The longer hair stays attached and incubating in follicles during this phase, the longer it will grow. Furthermore, additional research showed that spermidine found in soybeans promotes hair growth in test tube studies.
Alternative Solutions for Hair Regrowth After Quitting Smoking
If you’re trying to regrow hair after quitting smoking, there are alternative remedies that have proven benefits to enhancing your hair’s quality and stimulating growth. Aside from sticking to your commitment to stop smoking altogether, employing a regime of various therapies in addition to maintaining a healthy diet can make a huge impact in regaining beautifully healthy hair. Here are a few suggestions about remedies that will give you significant advantages in your hair restoration goals.
Massage Therapy for Hair Regrowth:
We talked a lot about how the scalp is the source of hair regeneration and how smoking can damage the scalp’s ability to bring forth healthy hair. Scalp massages can be an effective way to re-stimulate hair follicles and promote growth. It is believed that scalp massages encourage the thickening of hair at the dermal level and encourages hair follicles to recharge, renew, and produce new hair. You don’t necessarily have to book an appointment with a massage therapist to invigorate your scalp. You can conduct your scalp massage. Simply take the time each day to gently massage your scalp. This has added benefits of reducing tension and stress too!
Essential Oils for That Help Effects of Hair Loss from Smoking:
Natural remedies can make a big difference when you are trying to regrow hair after you stop smoking. Many of these remedies include vital oils targeted to supercharging your hair follicles, which produce new growth. Here are a few oils to consider adding to your hair routine that may yield incredible results.
- Rosemary Oil: Dating back to ancient Greeks and Egyptians, rosemary oil has been heralded for its medicinal qualities. In fact, rosemary was one of the fundamental essential oils discovered to reduce hair loss. It has been shown to stimulate the scalp, which promotes hair growth. To use rosemary oil for your hair restoration routine, simply mix a few drops into your shampoo or conditioner and massage into your hair as you wash it.
- Coconut Oil: This particular oil has gained a lot of attention over the past few years for its revolutionary restorative and healing properties. In truth, this rich, creamy oil has been used for centuries for its super-hydrating and nutritional qualities. Coconut oil is dense in fatty acids that coat the inside of the hair shaft, protecting it from losing crucial proteins found in hair. Massage coconut oil in your scalp and throughout your hair. Leave it in your hair for a few hours or overnight, and then thoroughly wash out the oil. Alter leave-in times of the oil according to your hair quality. For example, if your hair tends to be on the oily side, avoid overnight leave-in treatments, and wash out after an hour or so.
- Tea Tree Oil: This essential oil has been held in high esteem dating back to aboriginal remedies in early Australia. Using tea tree oil can be a very effective therapy for your hair restoration routine. It possesses properties that are anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. When used for hair treatment, tea tree oil stimulates hair follicles, making hair more receptive to renewal and regrowth. It can be relatively strong, with an intense aroma. However, it has been long hailed to cleanse and energize the scalp for healing damaged hair. Because it can be very powerful, consult the manufacturer’s instructions when using tea tree oil for your scalp and hair.
Closing Thoughts About Restoring Hair After Quitting Smoking
Aside from causing cancer and doing extreme harm to your well being, smoking can also have a long-term and devastating impact on your hair. However, hair damage from smoking doesn’t have to be permanent. The strategies and suggestions provided in this article can be employed in your daily routine.
These self-care tips can both benefit your health and yield impressive results in your hair care efforts. Additionally, implementing treatments such as the Keranique Regrowth System can give you the advantage you need to revive your hair and bring it back to its lustrous thickness and beauty.
Introducing targeted dietary needs and integrating remedies and treatments can go a long way towards re-establishing hormonal balances in your body. Additionally, taking these suggestions to heart will help you regain the beautiful hair you expect from your efforts to better your life through smoking cessation.
We know it takes fierce determination to quit smoking, and we applaud your commitment to crushing the cigarette habit completely. By doing so, you will reap extraordinary rewards both in your overall health and the restoration of your hair.