Nicotine- A common psychoactive drug, that stimulates brain activity, is found in tobacco and is used mainly in cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco etc. Nicotine is a drug and we know that there is no safe level to drug use, which is why smoking is considered an addiction as well and so, we offer Nicotine and Smoking cessation programs. Tobacco contains tar and nicotine, and when they are burnt together, toxic gas like carbon monoxide is released which not only causes lung damage but can be fatal if inhaled for long.
Nicotine triggers health risks in many ways. The cigarettes it is used in cause lung cancer and chronic abdominal pain. Some of the common diseases caused by nicotine are:
- Gum diseases
- Heart disease
- Disabilities in newborn children
- Decreased fertility
- Headaches and Migraines from vaping/nicotine
- Respiratory diseases
- Reduced immune system
These are some of the common side effects of nicotine but study has recently found another increasing side effect of nicotine consumption: Hair Loss!
Let’s do some fact check behind this study!
Does Nicotine Cause Hair Loss
You heard right! Nicotine causes hair loss. Here’s how:
- External Exposure: external exposure to nicotine can cause severe damage to hair follicle and make hair follicle fall out.
- Nicotine gum: Nicotine gum can block the blood circulation and cause hair damage in the form of premature balding, and we all know that balding is not reversible.
- Excessive Oil Secretion: nicotine also causes excessive oil secretion when consumed in the form of a chewing gum, chewing tobacco cigarettes, which leads to damaging of hair and the star to fall out.
- Disturb pH levels: Nicotine can disturb the pH balance of the hair and cause a thing called acidic scalp which is a huge cause of hair falling out.
- DHT secretion: androgen that is found in hair follicles can be excessively secreted due to nicotine consumption and that can lead to hair fall or even permanent balding.
- Harmful chemicals: nicotine also releases a lot of harmful combination of chemicals when combined with the material found in the packers and other kind of consumable cigarettes can cause reactions leading to hair loss.
These are some of the ways that nicotine can cause hair loss. It can actually cause hair loss in any way it is consumed in excessive amount, because as we all know, excess of anything is bad. But does Nicotine only increases hair fall or it also prevents new growth?
Does Nicotine Stop Hair Growth
Nicotine can result in hindered hair growth because it is responsible for permanent balding.
According to a study people who smoke more likely to go bald as compared to the people who don’t. The harmful chemicals that are released from nicotine can cause diseases of the hair which stops growth. Since we have already established that it can harm the pH levels of the scalp, it is also evident enough that it will stop the hair from growing.
Nicotine is also shown to reduce the blood pressure across the scalp and damage the blood vessels causing clots in hair which is one of the major reasons of nicotine hair loss and the discontinued hair growth.
We wonder what worse can nicotine do to your hair?
Nicotine Stains Your Hair?
Yellowing of eyes is a common side effect of smoking in both men and women. But according to recent studies another common effect of Nicotine is the yellowing of hair and nails, which is also known as staining. This does not only happen in the scalp hair but in men, it also stains that moustache hair since they are the closes to exhaled smoke.
A person does not specially have to be a smoker for this to happen. people who work in tobacco industries or are exposed to passive smoking are also highly likely to get nicotine staining.
Now you might wonder is this staining permanent?
Nicotine staining is not permanent. It is a surface based stain and can be removed by using color removing or vitamin c bath.
How to Remove Nicotine Hair Staining
First off, don’t use Nicotine. It won’t stain your hair and you won’t have the need to remove it. But under the best case scenario, let’s just say you sign up for Drug Recovery and while you’re making an effort of getting rid of this addiction, you’re worried about how to remove the hair staining from nicotine. Then here are a few tips to get rid of Nicotine staining:
Vitamin C bath: Vitamin C bath is a really common method of removing unwanted hair color from hair. Since staining is also like a color that has stuck to the hair surface, it can be removed by mixing vitamin C in your regular shampoo and leaving it on for 30-60 minutes. But since vitamin C is acidic in nature, it is not good for people who already have acidic scalp due to nicotine exposure. Therefore, make sure to check your pH levels before you use a Vitamin C remedy or any vitamin C based hair color removers.
Soda and Peroxide: Soda and Peroxide are basic ingredients of a hair color developer. Use a hair brush and dip it into peroxide, and sprinkle some soda over it. Rinse the stained hair with this mixture thoroughly and leave it on for a few minutes. If you repeat this procedure for a few times, you will see the staining washing off of your hair.
Smoker’s Toothpaste: This is the most common method of removing nicotine building from teeth. But it is also used for removing nicotine buildup in hair that happens from cigarette smoke or even e cigarettes. If you are okay with rubbing toothpaste in your hair, go ahead and try this method. It doesn’t cause extra damage to your hair follicles or skin.
Now that we have established that nicotine in fact, does cause hair loss, now its time to figure out what can you do about nicotine hair loss. Or you might be wondering is nicotine hair loss reversible? Fortunately, it is. It might not be really easy and take a long time, but you can definitely get back your hair with some effort.
How to Reverse Nicotine Hair Loss
Nicotine causes health risks and damages both hair and body. The hair loss at least can be reversed if nicotine is quit in time. Since nicotine is mostly used in the form of tobacco gum, cigarettes, e cigarettes, vapes, etc, it is advisable to get rid of your smoking habits as soon as possible. Here are a few methods you can use to reverse your hair loss due to smoking or exposure to the substance:
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a really common material found in hair care products. Vitamin E oil is an essential oil and promotes hair growth. Vitamin E based products can be used to apply on hair or Vitamin E supplements can be used to stimulate growth and get healthy hair
Essential Oils: Different essential oils are used to promote growth. They can be consumed or massaged on to hair. Massage is a really good option since it stimulates blood flow in blood vessels and improves hair health.
Iron is a really important dietary supplement. Smoking can cause iron deficiency and damage hair. Using iron supplements is also beneficial for hair. It is important to get a prescription since too much iron intake can be harmful and cause poisoning.
Proteins: Proteins are a really important component of hair. The hair damage from smoking can also be managed through more protein intake which strengthens hair follicles.
A lot of other nutrients that are found in vegetables and fruits are also really beneficial towards hair growth. But the first step is to quit nicotine consumption in all forms and try to stay away from its exposure, cut off “friends” that lead you to nicotine consumption, sign up for an outpatient treatment program and most importantly, find the will to leave this toxicity behind!
The damage is reversible to only an extent. So keep in mind these points in order to prevent any permanent damage to your hair or your body, and maintain and healthy and smoking free lifestyle . It’s never to late to start living healthy!