Is it true that poor blood circulation causes hair loss?
By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2021-04-22
Is it true that poor blood circulation causes hair loss? This is one of the most frequently asked questions among people who contact our clinic asking about the hair restoration cost of a hair transplant. As a matter of fact, poor circulation can affect our hair health by depriving it of the necessary nutrients and oxygen, but: can poor blood circulation cause hair loss? To what extent is it behind alopecia cases? What can we do to avoid our hair from falling out?
Does blood circulation affect hair growth?
So, does blood circulation affect hair loss? The circulatory system constitutes a transport system that living beings have to transport nutrients, oxygen, hormones, and other substances vital for their proper functioning within their body. In humans, it’s blood circulation what makes this transport possible. If this system does not work properly, the body's cells will not receive the necessary blood for their normal development: that is, without enough blood, cells may die. Hair follicles also become affected, and thus hair does not grow properly.
Within a circulatory system, we distinguish between the blood that is distributed through veins, arteries and main vessels after being pumped by heart, and that which circulates through secondary vessels: this last one is known as microcirculation, and it is the one that finally transports nutrients to all tissues and cells, including scalp follicles.
The blood supply provided by microcirculation is essential for follicles in order to be nourished and oxygenated and to function normally, thus producing healthy, vigorous hair with a normal growth rate. The question is: can poor circulation cause hair loss?
Yes, of course: if follicles do not receive adequate nutrients or oxygen, hair can end up becoming brittle, developing abnormal growth, or even falling out abundantly since the telogen phase accelerates. However, poor circulation does not cause a sudden hair loss, but is gradual: that is, it can be anticipated, and prevented.
Poor circulation in your scalp can cause hair loss
If scalp has a poor circulation, follicles will undergo a miniaturisation process: that is, hair size becomes reduced and it hardly develops itself from birth, and falls out more easily; this causes many areas of hair to appear lacking in volume or density. The question is, how do we prevent poor blood circulation before it produces hair loss?
There are several factors that can impair a proper scalp irrigation, such as diet: if we are overweight or eat a lot of fat-rich foods, this may cause an obstruction of blood vessels and capillaries responsible for carrying blood to follicles. A diet with salt excess also hinders blood circulation by contracting blood vessels.
Stress is known to be another key factor that can cause hair loss, but how does it occur? In stressful situations, blood vessels contract themselves: it is a natural reaction of the body that causes the reduction in the arrival of nutrients and oxygen to hair, since the body reacts to stress by redistributing its resources and energy, and thus reducing them where they are less necessary (that is, in hair).
As a consequence, follicles become malnourished and hair loses vigour and falls out, sometimes abundantly: this is what is called telogen effluvium, although this hair loss is temporary. But it is clear that stress has a great influence on hair loss; so, it is important to avoid it whenever possible: for the sake of our health… and of our hair health.
What are the solutions to avoid hair fall out?
In addition to following the aforementioned recommendations, there are effective ways or solutions to improve blood circulation and prevent hair loss. Products such as Finasteride or minoxidil have proven their effectiveness; the first one by inhibiting the hormone DHT, which causes hair shedding in pattern hair loss; and the second one by increasing blood flow to scalp, and the absorption of nutrients by follicles. However, both products can cause side effects.
There are also some home remedies such as washing your hair with cold water to stimulate capillaries and irrigation in the scalp; it is also not advisable to use very hot water to wash your hair, since it causes skin inflammation thus affecting follicles, because it makes them to generate thinner and weaker hair.
A very controversial technique is scalp massage; according to its advocates, this technique not only stimulates blood circulation and prevents hair loss: they also claim that hair grows back. The truth is that there are no scientific studies supporting these claims, so our advice is to be wary of these methods.
It is clear that poor blood circulation causes hair loss, but hair usually grows again. If, on the other hand, we suffer from pattern hair loss - the most common cause of alopecia - the only solution to recover your hair is a hair transplant. Clinicana is the best hair transplant clinic in Turkey, as our patients’s reviews show: request now your free consultation, and ask us for a free, no obligation estimate. Time to save your hair!!