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Cigarette Smoking as a Potential Cause of Baldness

Cause of BaldnessCigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of numerous health problems, including cancer, blood clots and heart disease. Recently, medical experts have discovered a link between smoking and increased instances of hair thinning and loss.


Seeing a healthy scalp and follicles are so dependent on a rich supply of oxygenated-blood which carry all the proteins and nutrients needed for the optimal growth of the hair strands. That being said, it is only reasonable to conclude that smoking and hair loss can be connected.

Although an exact relationship between cigarette smoking and hair loss is yet to be uncovered, evidence points to a disruption in circulation as a potential cause of baldness. For the follicles to function at optimal speed and produce healthier hair at a normal rate, the cells must receive sufficient supply of oxygenated-blood and nutrients delivered through the roots. Cigarette smoking has been shown to cause poor circulation, which can affect the amount of nourishment available to the hair follicles.

Nicotine, an alkaloid found in tobacco, causes an increase in adrenaline which in turn amplifies blood pressure that makes the heart beat faster. Aside from that, it constricts the blood vessels which make it harder for the heart to pump blood through the circulatory system. It also produces carbon monoxide which inhibits the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen that is essential for the growth of healthier hair strands. With improper blood flow in all parts of the body, especially in the scalp, the hair follicles become weaker, thereby producing finer, thinner and shorter hair strands.

When nicotine continues to disrupt the circulation, it may hinder the production of new cells since the dermal papilla is dependent on the healthy blood supply in the scalp. The hair follicles are fed by a network of tiny blood vessels which provide the needed oxygen and nutrients necessary for hair growth. However, when no nutrients and oxygen are transported into the roots, it may cause follicle dormancy or, worse, death.

Scientists believed that smoking as a potential cause of baldness may actually disrupt the circulation system which is responsible for delivering blood to the actual cells of the hair follicles.

Cigarette smoking has also been discovered to hasten the aging process. That being the case, smokers need to be well aware that they facing an increased risk of developing wrinkles, facial discolorations, and grey hair by engaging in this bad habit. Recent research also suggests that premature hair thinning and loss could also be added to the list of accelerated aging symptoms.

In view of the impact cigarette has on the body’s circulatory system, smoking is discouraged. It is, in fact, recommended to quit smoking since it can make a huge difference, not only to an individual’s general sense of well-being, but especially to the health of the scalp and the hair follicles.

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