mhn news & blog

January 12, 2012

Another reason to quit smoking...

Among other poisons, cigarettes contain DDT which is a banned insecticide, formaldehyde (embalming fluid), the rat poison called arsenic, a radioactive gas called radon, and toluene which is an industrial solvent. Just reading that is enough to make a person’s hair follicles quiver.

There are a few good ingredients in cigarettes such as carrot-oil, celery seed extract, ascorbic acid, cocoa, cinnamon leaf oil, and apple juice concentrate. Unfortunately, they do not offset the poisonous effects of other chemicals. The ammonia, cyanide, and benzenes win out.

How Smoking Affects Hair Health

4000 poisonous chemicals

When smokers take a puff, the body automatically attempts to clean the chemicals from its system. Cleaning takes energy away from other body functions such as hair growth.

Carbon monoxide

Our hair follicles are among the fastest growing cells in the body. That is why follicles need continuous access to nutrients and oxygen. Because carbon monoxide limits the oxygen and nutrients available in the blood stream, follicle cells suffer from malnutrition and inadequate oxygen when people inhale it.

Living in high gear

The human body is not designed to live in a constant state of excitement. Nicotine in cigarettes triggers the release of adrenaline, keeping the body revved up. Living in high gear, over time, wears out the entire system, causing people to age faster. Part of aging, for many, means hair loss and early graying.

Circulation

Nicotine in the system keeps blood vessels in a contracted state. This restricts blood flow to our fast growing follicle cells, and every other cell in the body.

Hormones

Smoking increases dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in hair follicles and, smokers generally have higher levels of testosterone in their system. When elevated amounts of testosterone and DHT come together, the chance of hair loss is increased.

Secondhand cigarette smoke contains a “mere” 250 toxins and 50 of them are carcinogens. If you are around secondhand smoke frequently it is a health hazard and may aggravate hair loss.

Restore Health to Your Hair

Hair loss and early graying are visible effects of smoking, making them good motivators for smoking cessation. If you want to quit, make sure you have support and talk to your doctor about the best way to approach it. Here are a few tips:

1.  You will need to learn other ways to relax. Many people smoke when stressed and need new tools to relieve stress. Music, meditation, breathing or stretching exercises, soaking in the tub, and baking, are options. You must find something that works for you.

2.  It is helpful to rid the house of anything related to cigarettes and smoking. That includes cleaning the carpet, drapes, and furniture to eliminate cigarette odor.

3.  Did you know that eating fruits, veggies, and dairy products affect the taste of cigarettes? Many smokers report smoking tastes terrible after eating those good-for-you foods.

3.  Getting exercise helps relieve nervous energy and makes it easier for the body to clean out toxins. The exercise does not have to be strenuous or boring. Walking, yoga, throwing the football with friends, bike riding, playing tennis, and dancing are suggestions, but choose something you enjoy.

4.  If you are experiencing noticeable hair loss or thinning hair, see a hair loss professional.  Treatment such as Low Level Laser Therapy combined with FDA approved solutions can effectively treat thinning hair and may help achieve fuller, thicker, healthier looking hair.  When treatment is started at the first sign of thinning hair you may be able to stop any further hair loss.

For more information call 1(800) HAIR-202.