Is there a relation between drinking alcohol and hair loss?
By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2020-08-18
The relationship between alcohol and hair loss is one of the most common questions raised by people who are interested about hair transplant cost in Turkey; not surprisingly, alcohol consumption is something very common in our society for fun or socialization, either with friends or family, sometimes becoming a problem when drinking is excessive.
Since - as several studies have shown - alcohol consumption and dependence is much more higher in men than in women, and men also suffer the most from alopecia, it is logical to think about a possible relation between drinking alcohol and hair loss. But, can alcohol really cause hair loss? Let´s talk about it.
Can alcoholism cause hair loss?
When we wonder about if alcohol can cause hair loss, it is important to emphasize that many doctors agree that alcohol brings some benefits to the body ... consumed in a moderate way. If alcohol abuse generates important health problems in the body, hair is not an exception; but we can affirm that alcohol drinking can damage hair only when there is an excessive intake.
The question is: when does alcohol intake become excessive? It will depend on our physical constitution, but also on our gender; in men, the recommended maximum daily intake is 30 grams of pure alcohol, while in women the maximum should be 20 grams. We can think that a beer is around 9 grams, a glass of 12º wine has 11 grams, and a glass of a 40º spirit drink has 15 grams of alcohol ... and then do the math.
Consuming alcohol in excess will affect our hair in various ways, but mainly it will cause dry and dull hair. In other words, alcohol can damage hair and can accelerate hair loss; but answering the question "Does alcohol cause hair loss?", the answer is no: there is no scientific data available linking alcohol and baldness.
The main problem is that alcoholic beverages have diuretic properties, so our body will tend to dehydrate; as this makes us feel thirsty, this feeling becomes easily feeded back as it can lead us to drink more alcohol to calm thirst, which will actually only increase dehydration: this is what ends up causing our hair to lose properties and look drier and duller.
How does alcohol affect hair?
On the other hand, our liver acts as a barrier against toxic substances such as alcohol, but only if the amount we drink is reduced; if we drink excessively, the liver will be unable to filter all the alcohol, and it will end up entering our body causing damages. That is: despite the answer to "Can alcohol abuse cause hair loss?" being "No", it doesn´t mean than it has no consequences.
First of all, when alcohol enters bloodstream, it absorbs vitamins and minerals that are essential for our body, but also for our hair, such as B vitamins, reducing the amount of red blood cells and therefore causing the blood that reaches hair to transport less oxygen. It also reduces C vitamin, so important to form collagen; and our levels of zinc, a fundamental trace element to create keratin.
In addition, although there is no direct relationship between alcohol consumption and hair loss, alcohol causes our body to transform glycogen into glucose, which has a large caloric power but is consumed faster; this is what makes drinking alcohol increase our body temperature; but, at the same time, we soon shall feel tired and wishing to eat - and drink - anything, since our body will demand more energy... And an unhealthy diet also affects your hair.
It is important to bear in mind that although alcohol and hair loss are not related each other, its consumption is unhealthy and ends up causing problems for our hair; in that case, we should ask for help to specialists like Clinicana. We have the best medical team, offering all kinds of hair treatments: check out the reviews on hair transplant in Turkey, and see why we are the best rated clinic. Ask for your free consultation now!