Well, drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you will turn bald tomorrow. Many alcoholics have a head full of hair. But if you are into excessive drinking and are also facing the problem of hair loss, then they both can be very well correlated. Alcohol damages not only your liver, kidney, and skin but also your hair. So too much of alcohol can create havoc on your health as well as your appearance! But how does this happen? What is the link?
From malnutrition to affecting your sleep, here are a few ways in which alcohol leads to hair loss:
1 Malnutrition: When we drink too much, we feel full. Also, with alcohol, we prefer to eat junk and deep-fried food, which doesn’t, in any way, add to our nutritional value. This eating of a diet low in nutrition can lead to an increase in hair fall because your hair needs plenty of essential nutrients to grow like protein, vitamins, iron, and so on.
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2 Sleep: Here, you might be thinking that alcohol helps us to sleep better, so how can it affect our sleep? Well, after drinking heavily, we do rest, but that sleep is not a high quality sleep due to the effect of alcohol. Recent studies have suggested that although alcohol does help us to fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply for a while, it reduces REM sleep. So this leads to stress, and stress is one of the major factors responsible for hair loss.
3 Increase in blood sugar levels: Alcohol many times leads to a spike in your sugar levels. This happens because many alcoholic drinks are high in sucrose and fructose. When your blood sugar level increases, it may cause damage to your blood vessels, which in turn restricts blood flow. This leads to a lesser supply of oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles, resulting in weak hair and subsequent hair fall.
4 Dehydration: Many a time when you wake up after a hangover, you might be feeling extremely thirsty. This is because alcohol is diuretic in nature, which means that it increases the production of urine. Excessive urination can lead to dehydration. Dehydration not only affects the functioning of the other organs in your body but also affects your hair follicles. This is because dehydration leads to dryness and lack of elasticity in your skin, which in turn can damage your hair follicles and hair shafts, making them dry and brittle. Also, this dryness of skin or scalp can lead to many scalp infections, which again plays a pivotal role in increasing your hair fall.
5 Affects your hormone levels: Estrogen is the female sex hormone equivalent to testosterone, as found in males. But even then, males do have some amount of estrogen hormone in them. Recent studies in China have shown alcohol to increase the level of estrogen, even in men. An increase in estrogen in men has been linked to pattern baldness and an increase in hair fall.
6 Acidic in Nature: Alcohol is explicitly acidic in nature. When we tend to overeat acidic food, then the body, in its own way, uses protein to neutralize the acids. Your hair follicles are built up of Keratin, which is a type of protein. So when you consume too much alcohol, your body might be using the protein keratin, which leads to the weakening of your hair shafts and subsequent falling out.