Does Alcohol Cause Hair Loss?
Let’s dive right in and talk about hair loss. Millions of people experience hair loss at some point throughout their lives. The most significant cause of hair loss is often genetics, but hair loss can happen for many other reasons.
Unexpected hair loss can put a strain on your self-esteem and put you into a panic. It can be traumatizing to find yourself experiencing hair loss without any warning. But try and breathe through it — it doesn’t have to be a guessing game to get to the root cause (pun intended).
Drinking alcohol on occasion is not a bad thing or frowned upon. Most of us enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a long day or a cold one at the family barbecue. There is, however, a difference between enjoying a drink every once in a while and drinking in excess.
How Does Alcohol Consumption Impact Hair Loss?
Excessive drinking can lead to a few complications. We have all heard of the damage it can have on our bodies, but drinking too much can also affect our hair health.
While drinking a lot doesn’t directly cause us to lose hair, it does have an indirect relationship with our hair growth (or lack thereof). Let’s dig into how excessive drinking affects the body and how it relates to our hair health.
Sometimes, you can make poor decisions when you have one too many glasses of wine — we’ve all been there. You may send a text you really shouldn’t have. Worse, you can lose family, friends, or even in some cases, your job. You may overspend when you drink or say things you wouldn’t normally say.
After doing some of these things, you may find yourself feeling not-so-great about yourself. Feelings of sadness and overwhelm can affect more than just your mood. These feelings can affect your sleep, your physical health, and even your hair health.
Often, when you drink, you crave unhealthy food choices — think greasy, delicious comfort food. When you eat unhealthy food too regularly, it affects not only your body but your hair growth. It’s totally okay to indulge now and then, but if you find that your whole diet is late-night crunchy tacos from the drive-through down the road, it might be time to reevaluate.
Getting the right amount of vitamins to keep a healthy hair growth cycle is important, and it can be easier to lose nutrients night after night of heavy drinking.
Alcohol consumption can also lead to dehydration. Alcohol makes you dehydrated by increasing the production of urine. Since our bodies are over 50 percent water, we need to stay hydrated to stay healthy and have healthy hair follicles.
When you are dehydrated, it can lead to brittle, dry hair. When your hair is brittle, it can cause breakage and hair loss. Dehydration can also lead to a dry scalp which can cause flakiness and itchiness. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Alcohol can increase inflammation in your body. You may notice when you drink more than usual that some parts of your body start to swell, or you wake up feeling sore all over. When your scalp becomes inflamed, so do your hair follicles.
This inflammation can cause miniaturization when your hair follicles decrease in size and become incapable of creating new hairs. If miniaturization continues for a long time, it can cause severe hair loss.
Alcohol can also cause a change in your hormones — specifically estrogen. Excessive alcohol consumption significantly raises the amount of estrogen in your body. High estrogen levels in your body can lead to hair loss over time.
How To Tell if You Are Experiencing Hair Loss?
It is normal to lose up to 100 strands of hair a day. Shedding happens to everyone that has hair! You may be experiencing hair loss if you lose a significantly higher amount. We don’t expect you to count your lost strands, though, don’t worry.
Hair loss can be tricky to notice right away. It often doesn’t fall out in big chunks but more gradually. Hair loss sometimes starts with thinning hair and increases with hair falling out prematurely.
You may notice that your hairbrush is becoming full of hair faster or that you have recently removed more hair from your clothes.
With hair loss, you could also notice that the hairline is gradually moving back.
What Do I Do if I Am Losing Hair Due to Alcohol Consumption?
If you have ruled out other reasons that your hair could be thinning or falling out and you have concluded that excessive alcohol consumption is to blame, then there are steps you can take to reduce hair loss.
Hair loss due to alcohol consumption doesn’t need to be permanent. When you get your body back to its optimum health, you will notice that your hair loss often subsides. Thank goodness!
First, start by slowing down your intake. If you are drinking too much or too often, try to take a step back and decrease your drinking. Maybe only have a drink on special occasions or once a week — figure out a schedule that works for you.
To decrease alcohol-related hair loss, focus on your health and body. The healthier your body is, the healthier your hair will be and the less hair loss you will experience.
Here are some steps to take to ensure that you give your body everything you can so it can be its healthiest.
- Decrease stress! As discussed, stress can be linked to hair loss. Stress can also be damaging to your body. If you feel overwhelmed and overstressed, identify the key stressors in your life and figure out ways to alleviate them. It’s important to take time for yourself no matter how busy you are.
- Get up and exercise. Exercise is crucial to keeping your body healthy. This does not mean you have to hit the gym daily and lift some weights, but just get active. You can do some yoga, take walks, or even do small exercises around the house. Exercise increases dopamine and decreases stress.
- Increase your vitamin intake. To ensure you are getting the right amount for your body, increase your vitamin consumption. Certain vitamins are essential for hair growth. Iron is an example of a vitamin needed for healthy hair and hair growth. Iron is crucial in helping transport oxygen to your hair follicles.
If you feel you have a vitamin deficiency or want to know which vitamin your body could use more of, you can go to your doctor, and they can run a test to see what your body needs.
- Keep a healthy diet. Keeping a healthy diet should be a routine part of your life. Having a balanced and diverse diet not only makes you feel better but makes your hair healthier. Lean proteins and leafy greens are a great addition to your diet to assist in keeping healthy hair.
- Drink plenty of water! You should always drink sufficient water for your body, but it is especially important to consume water when drinking alcohol. When you drink alcohol, you can become dehydrated.
- Try collagen or biotin. You can even find these in a gummy form to add to your everyday diet to assist with hair growth. Both biotin and collagen can support healthy hair growth. Collagen also increases the appearance of thickness.
- Keep up with trims. Hair trims are important to keep the hair healthy. Trims cut away the dead ends and prevent additional breakage. Depending on your hair type and length, a hair trim is a good idea every four to 12 weeks.
- Choose healthy hair products. Good products can add strength to your hair and not damage it. Stay away from products that have harsh chemicals. Many hair care products contain toxic chemicals that can cause damage to your hair.
Some hair products also dry out your hair rather than moisturize it. Having moisture in your hair is important to prevent dryness and breakage. Add a hair mask to your care routine to give it extra moisture and toughness.
Better Not Younger masks nourish hair back to health — no matter how hard we’ve been partying — with a blend of five deep-conditioning butters. Our conditioners can help you maintain healthy-looking aging hair with nourishing ingredients that strengthen and add shine.
Buy shampoos and conditioners that are for your hair type. Different hair types have different needs. If you have curly hair opt for a shampoo and conditioner formulated for curly hair. If you have hair that is dyed, buy shampoos and conditioners that help keep the color rather than strip it and cause it to fade.
Once you are on the right track to getting your body healthy, be patient! Although hair is the fastest growing tissue on your body, it takes time to notice your hair has grown and hair loss has subsided.
If you don’t notice any changes in hair loss after taking all the steps needed to get your body healthy, you can reach out to a doctor. There may be an underlying reason for the hair loss that could require more in-depth intervention.
Support Healthy Hair With Better Not Younger
There is nothing wrong with indulging in an alcoholic beverage every once in a while. Enjoying life and having a drink can be a beautiful thing. Like all good things, moderation is key.
If you consume too much alcohol, it can have negative effects on your body and, ultimately, your hair. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to hair thinning and hair loss.
Although this can be a scary time, you have to take it easy on yourself. Panic will only cause more stress which can lead to additional hair loss.
Better Not Younger strives to offer tools and resources to people of all ages to support healthy, lush, vibrant hair. Check our collection to add more moisture and bounce to hair that has lost its shine due to a little overindulgence.
And you never have to worry about harsh chemicals, parabens, and sulfates when you choose Better Not Younger; we’ve got you. If you’re not sure where to begin with revamping your hair care routine or need some guidance to support your healthy hair, take our hair quiz to get off to a strong start.