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To Hair With Love / HAIR CARE  / Healthy Hair  / 4 Most Harmful Smoking Effects On Hair! This Is What I Found Out!
9 Oct

4 Most Harmful Smoking Effects On Hair! This Is What I Found Out!

woman holding a cigarette and smoking effects on hair

You must have heard a million times that smoking is bad for your health, right? But does smoking affect hair growth? Can smoking cause hair loss? Have you ever thought of the smoking effects on hair? You might say “since I know it’s my bad for my health and I keep on smoking, why on earth should I bother about my hair?” That’s a good point! But why on earth would you want to inhale all these dangerous chemicals in the first place?

And let’s be honest, I’ve never heard anyone say “I don’t care! I don’t mind getting sick or losing my hair”. And even if you’ve heard it, do you really think they mean it?

Having beautiful and healthy hair is a sign of good looks and health overall.

I must admit I’m a committed non-smoker and I truly wish people could understand the devastating effects of smoking on their health. Please care for yourself; if you smoke, quit smoking now! It’s a bad habit which ruins your health!

I want to share with you some of the things I’ve learned about the link between smoking and hair health with the hope of motivating you to reconsider. If you don’t smoke that’s awesome (high five!), but you might have a friend or family member who could benefit from reading this.


Let’s check out together
4 damaging smoking effects on hair


1) Premature Shedding, Thinning, Hair loss & Balding

Does smoking cause hair loss?

I don’t want to scare you but smoking could speed up the rate you lose hair, while it slows down the rate at which hair regrows. Premature shedding, thinning and even balding in some cases are some of the effects that heavy smokers could experience.

Through blood the oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your body’s tissues, organs and all the way up to the scalp where the hair follicles are nourished. But smoking is destroying your blood circulation!

The carbon monoxide, among other chemicals, in cigarettes is damaging your cells while reducing the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream. Therefore, your hair follicles not only won’t receive the proper nutrients, but also will suffer damage from the chemicals and toxins that are carried by the circulatory system.girl smoking a cigarette

Unfortunately, when you smoke your body absorbs toxins and loses nutrients.

Smokers lose vitamins C and E which are essential antioxidants that protect your body cells. Smokers can also be deficient in A, B, D vitamins, calcium and iron among others. These vitamins and minerals are very important for your hair’s healthy growth.

Furthermore, according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, smoking can increase the androgenic hormones like the DHT, which is the hormone most closely linked to hair loss. Especially men with family history of baldness, should be extremely careful of smoking!


2) Premature graying

Losing your natural hair color must be one of the most ruthless smoking effects on hair, right?

A report in the British Medical Journal proved a link between premature graying and smoking. Do you know that there are 4.000 chemicals found in cigarettes, including 43 known cancer-causing compounds and 400 other toxins? Isn’t this enough reason to stop smoking?

The color of hair is the result of melanin pigment produced by the melanocytes. There are indications that smoking can damage these melanin-producing cells, the melanocytes.

Several factors could trigger melanin depletion which turns your hair grey. The most obvious and common one is ageing. Nevertheless, chemicals found in cigarettes are able to accelerate that graying process.

Having grey hair at younger age doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a health issue or you’re getting older faster! There are studies that have shown that people can go grey earlier in life, but the mechanisms aren’t fully discovered yet. What is certain though, is that smoking triggers the destruction of collagen and elastin proteins, which are the building blocks of healthy skin and hair. Lacking collagen and elastin is what makes our hair and skin age.

But, have in mind that premature hair graying has also been linked to certain autoimmune disorders, such as vitiligo, anemia, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Also, you might have seen people with an ugly yellow hue on their grey hair. Well, this is due to nicotine contained in cigarettes. This is disgusting, isn’t it?

4 Most Harmful Smoking Effects On Hair! This Is What I Found Out!I’m a pinnable image! Pin me!


3) Dull & brittle hair

How does smoking affect your hair?

You already know that smoking can deplete essential nutrients of your body, damage your liver and lungs, mess up with your hormones, affect your immune system, cause severe respiratory and heart diseases or even cancer. Therefore, it’s no wonder why hair follicles can also suffer damage from smoke toxins by withering, shrinking, and killing them.

Unhealthy follicles cannot produce healthy hair!

Chemicals and toxins found in cigarettes are “eating” your body’s vitamins;

Example 1: vitamin C deficiency is a common issue among smokers. Smoking not only decreases vitamin C absorption , but to make things worse it also increases the daily requirements for that vitamin! Don’t forget that vitamin C is essential in collagen production!

Example 2: smoking is depleting B vitamins of your body. Your liver needs B-complex vitamins to breakdown carbohydrates, fats and proteins, produce energy and support all of its functions, such as detoxifying your body from harmful toxins, like those found in cigarettes. If you make your liver overwork, your hair follicles will be left starved eventually!

A deficiency of vitamins C and Biotin is often the culprit for your dull, dry, scaly scalp and brittle hair.

Do you wanna know more about hair growth vitamins deficiency?


4) Smelly hair…eww!

Can you really ignore smoke’s nasty smell that sticks like a leech on your hair?woman's hair in smoking environment

Ok, this smoking effect isn’t as damaging for your hair as the previous ones, but I’m sure neither you nor people around you appreciate that awful smell. Who wants to smell like an ashtray? Sometimes I avoid going to indoor venues that I know people will smoke, because I truly can’t stand that smell. (hence why suffer?)

Do you know that passive smoking is health damaging as well?!!

And don’t overlook the fact that you could accidentally catch your hair on fire while lighting up a cigarette. I’ve seen it happening and it wasn’t a pretty sight or smell coming from these burned strands…

Smoking is surely bad for your hair’s health and beauty, but just to be honest if you smoke that’s the least of your worries!

The blunt truth is that I’m a non-smoker in a smokers’ society and unfortunately I’ve never been respected by people who smoke. Sadly, many times I’ve intentionally isolated myself from social events that smoking is allowed 🙁


Are you a non-smoker too? Do you smoke? Would you like to quit? Have you ever thought that smoking is damaging your hair? Do you know any other smoking effects on hair?

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I am deeply and profoundly passionate for learning, writing and sharing my knowledge. My other passion (…obsession!) is beautiful hair. I love seeing lovely women around me having divine and admirable hair. I take hair care seriously but not out of vanity. Hair is not only beauty, is health also. A positive mindset plus a healthy body can result in beautiful hair.

  • Tracy Vitale

    Wow I didn’t realise how smoking affected our hair (except when I used to go to nightclubs where smoking was allowed and I came home with bad smelling hair) very interesting.

    October 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm Reply
  • Noemi

    I used to smoke but I quit. But I’ve always had beautiful hair and luckily it didn’t absorb the smell of cigarettes too much. The problem is that even if you don’t smoke, if someone else around you does, your hair will smell, anyway.
    But it’s such a bad habit, I’m happy I quit.

    October 17, 2016 at 7:03 pm Reply
  • Jewel Eliese

    Shoot! Another reason not to smoke. Smoking affected my life when I was eight when one parent nearly died from lung cancer. So not worth it. Thanks!

    October 17, 2016 at 7:45 pm Reply

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