Excessive alcohol consumption is usually associated with a dull complexion and skin rashes such as pimples and/or redness. But what about the effects of drinking on hair? Typology answers.
What Is the Impact of Alcohol on Hair Health?
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption Causes Hair to Become Dull and Brittle
- Is Alcohol Consumption and Hair Loss Linked?
Excessive Alcohol Consumption Causes Hair to Become Dull and Brittle.
Excessive alcohol dehydrates the body because it stimulates exudation. This can cause hair fibers to dry out and become dull and brittle. However, it should be noted that the deterioration of hair quality does not occur directly after a glass of alcohol. Indeed, the impact results from the excessive, abusive and regular consumption of alcohol. It can also be caused by the accumulation of other aggravating factors with alcohol. These may include an unbalanced diet or an increased sedentary lifestyle.
Is Alcohol Consumption and Hair Loss Linked?
Alopecia is the scientific term for abnormal hair loss. As a reminder, hair loss is natural: on average, we lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day. Nevertheless, when this loss is important (more than 100 hairs per day) and over a long period of time (several months), it is abnormal and can be considered as alopecia.
Alcohol and alopecia are not directly linked, but alcohol consumption causes other disturbances in the body that can lead to thinning or hair loss.
Excessive alcohol consumption puts extra workload on the liver, which can lead to liver dysfunction. This organ can no longer assimilate other nutrients, especially those essential to hair health. These include iron, zinc, folic acid and vitamin B12. This type of vitamin is essential for the formation and regrowth of hair strands.
Alcohol can also be responsible for the delay in protein synthesis. This process involves the transformation of nitrogen contained in amino acids into useful proteins. If alcohol consumption is excessive, these proteins cannot reach the hair root.
Finally, excessive alcohol consumption is linked to hormonal disturbances, particularly of the thyroid. They can lead to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, both of which can cause hair loss.
James Gatherwright & al., The contribution of endogenous and exogenous factors to male alopecia: a study of identical twins, Plast Reconstr Surg, (2013).
Balhara YPS, & al. Impact of alcohol use on thyroid function. Plast Reconstr Surg, (2013).
Kil MS, et al. Analysis of serum zinc and copper concentrations in hair loss. Ann Dermatol. (2013).