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How Your Lifestyle Affects Your Hair

How Your Lifestyle Affects Your HairYour genes might play a part in determining whether or not you’ll develop male or female pattern baldness. But hair loss isn’t only related to your genes. In some cases, your lifestyle and choices can play a part in determining how much hair you lose and whether that hair grows back or not. Whether you have a family history of hair loss or not, some habits are just bad news for your hair.


Smoking is generally considered bad news for your entire body. It’s terrible for your skin and makes you look wrinkled and older than you area. It’s also a leading cause of certain cancers, such as lung cancer, and is a leading cause of preventable death.

Here’s another nail in your smoking habit’s coffin: It can also increase your risk for hair loss. Smoking makes you more likely to lose your hair for a few reasons. First, it disrupts the flow of blood in your body. Hair follicles need nutrients from the blood. Without those nutrients, the follicles will shrink, so that hair becomes finer and finer and might eventually fall out or stop growing altogether. The toxins and chemicals found in tobacco and tobacco smoke can also damage the DNA of the follicle, making hair growth less and less likely.


The occasional glass of wine or beer won’t make you go bald. In fact, there might not be a direct connection between heavy drinking and hair loss. But, in many cases, people who do drink a lot tend to smoke or tend not to get enough of the nutrients they need through diet. If you regularly enjoy a cigarette and a beer, you might need to cut out the beer when you give up smoking, as the two might be so closely linked in your  mind that it will be difficult to have on without the other.

If drinking is an issue for you, and you are drinking so much, so often that you aren’t getting enough food in your diet, you might need to speak with a doctor about getting help quitting. Drinking a considerable amount of alcohol can not only disrupt your diet. It can also lead to the depletion of certain nutrients from your body, particularly nutrients you need for healthy hair growth, such as iron and zinc.


Admittedly, few people would consider getting divorced a lifestyle, but it can be looked at as a lifestyle choice. A study presented at the 2011 conference of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons looked at hair loss in 84 pairs of female identical twins. It found that one of the biggest predictors of hair loss in the twins was whether or not a woman was married, divorced or widowed. The women who were either widowed or divorced tended to have higher rates of hair loss, particularly along the hairline, than the married women. While the breakup of a marriage might play a part in hair loss in women, it was much less of a factor in men, according to a similar study that examined 66 identical twins who were male.


An unhealthy diet or a diet that doesn’t contain enough of the nutrients your body needs to produce healthy hair can lead to hair loss. For example, if you aren’t getting enough iron in your diet, you might experience telogen effluvium, a type of hair that occurs when a considerable number of hairs go into the resting phase at one time, then are shed at once a few months later.  A diet that doesn’t contain enough protein can also lead to telogen effluvium or to brittle and weak hair, as protein is the major component in hair.  If you think your diet is playing a part in your hair loss, try to focus on increasing the nutrients you eat, whether they are iron, zinc or protein. Keep in mind that too much of some vitamins, such as vitamin A, can lead to hair loss, too.


Exercise can help you get in shape or maintain your weight. It can also help you avoid some types of hair loss, according to the 2011 study, at least if you’re a man. In this case, it seems that too little exercise and too much exercise can be equally problematic. If you are worried that too little exercise is leading to hair loss or that you’re getting too much, speaking with a hair restoration specialist is a great idea. The specialist can examine your scalp and evaluate your exercise routine to help you get to the bottom of things.

How you deal with lifestyle related hair loss depends on several factors. It could be that a treatment such as PRP therapy, along with giving up the habit,  is all you need to regain your hair. You might also benefit from a hair transplant. In the Virginia Beach area, facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist Dr. Kyle Choe can help you determine which treatment option is right for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe, call (757) 389-5850 today.

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The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery offers state of the art cosmetic and reconstructive surgical care in a private, comfortable and safe setting. Our center is an AAAHC Accredited Office Base Surgery Center staffed by board certified anesthesiologists and experienced nurses. Quality and highest standards define medical staffs at the Choe Center.
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