In this article you’ll find out the truth about if alcohol causes hair loss (in men and in women.)
I’m going to review all the current scientific studies,
Look at any personal evidence
And look at some of the reasons why it might be happening.
First off, alcohol does not cause hair loss in everyone. Seeing an alcoholic with a full head of hair only shows that everyone is different. Every body reacts differently to alcohol consumption.
As convincing as your friends may be in getting you to drink, (or do shots, see below) it turns out that regular/excessive alcohol consumption could very well be causing you hair loss.
IMPORTANT: Find out if quitting alcohol (and other natural health methods) will help to re-grow your hair by taking the 6 part quiz which is at the bottom of this page.
Here are some of the reasons that alcohol can lead to hair loss.
Drinking Alcohol Affects The Acid/Alkaline Balance Of The Body.
Alcohol has a net acidic affect on your body. This means that when your body digests and metabolises alcohol, the left over parts after metabolism leave an ‘acidic waste’ in your body.
The human body must maintain a balance between acid and alkaline states. In fact, the ideal pH (a measure of acid alkaline balance) is the exact same pH of sea water.
Drinking alcohol shifts the balance strongly over to the acidic side. Incidentally, most of our modern diets are also heavily weighted on the acidic side.
Things like grains, cheese and meat are all highly acidic. (Fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds are more alkaline after being metabolized)
When your body does become overly acidic it will do almost anything to try and get back to an alkaline state. One of the ways it can do this is by using protein stored in the body to reduce the acidicty.
Unfortunately, in people who suffer from hair loss, the body can use the protein called keratin to reduce the acidity, and this is the protein used to build hair follicles.
So instead of having strong, thick and healthy hair, your body is now taking the protein from your hair and using it to reduce it’s acidity.
Alcohol is acidic (when it is metabolized by the body) so drinking a lot of alcohol makes the problem much worse.
Alcohol With A High Sugar Content Causes Blood Sugar Level Spikes That Have Been Linked With Hair Loss.
Many types of alcohol have considerable amounts of sugar in them. Things like alco-pops, cocktails and mixers all have huge amounts of sucrose and fructose.
Drinking these sugary drinks causes blood sugar levels spikes in your body as the sugar is digested and goes into the blood.
There is now evidence that blood sugar spikes are linked to pattern baldness
Alcohol Consumption Often Means Eating Foods That Are Unhealthy.
After a boozy night most of us don’t want to eat a nice healthy salad, we’re looking for quick, easy and greasy food to absorb the alcohol.
High intake of alcohol is usually correlated with poor dietary habits that can make the problem of hair loss much worse.
Greasy foods, foods that have a acidic affect on our body like grains and white carbohydrates, meat and cheese can cause hair loss as discussed before.
These kinds of foods can also cause blood sugar spikes by digesting and releasing their sugars quickly, these all factor in to increased chances of losing your hair.
Alcohol Leads To Dehydration That Can Cause Dry, Brittle Hair And Dandruff.
Alcohol is a diuretic which means that increases the production of urine, thereby dehydrating the body. This why hangovers can be so bad, it’s because your body is so dehydrated in the morning.
Dehydration doesn’t help hair loss. In fact it can make the hair follicles more dry and brittle. The dry and brittle hairs are then much more susceptible to falling out.
Dehydration can also lead to dandruff, which in turn can make the hair loss problems worse.
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This leads on to the next point which is that drinking alcohol can damage your liver. Being very dehydrated can cause liver damage.
Alcohol Can Damage Your Liver Causing Toxins To Build Up In Your Blood.
During a binge drinking session the liver has to work overtime to remove toxins and purify the blood. Dehydration makes the problem worse because the toxins are present in much higher concentrations that normal because much of the water has already been urinated out.
A damaged liver (one that has been worked too hard) can have knock-on affects that can eventually lead to reduced hair growth and increased hair loss.
For example, toxins in your blood (that have been purified due to the damaged liver) can continue to circulate around the body , and these toxins can lead to hair damage and hair follicle miniaturization.
The liver also produces bile which helps with the process of digesting foods. So damaging your liver with excessive alcohol can cause poor digestion and reduced nutrient intake. With less nutrients in your body, your hair has a hard time growing.
Alcoholic Beverages Contain Preservatives And Other Unnatural Additives That Can Indirectly Harm Your Hair.
Most alcohols contain some form of preservatives or artificial additives. Preservatives are used to kill bacteria, thereby making the beverage store longer without going-off. However, these same preservatives also kill the bacteria in your gut when your drink it.
This can have a big affect on your gut bacteria balance, essentially killing the good bacteria. Not having the right, healthy bacteria in your gut can go on to cause a host of other health issues that eventually may lead to hair loss.
On the other side of the coin, some specific alcoholic beverages can help the healthy bacteria in your gut. For example, small amounts of wine (half a glass during a meal) can improve digestion and encourage the growth of healthy bacteria.
Wine also contains resveratrol which is good for your health.
Kombucha is also a fermented drink which contains alcohol (a very small amount of alcohol) which is very healthy for you and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria.
If you aren’t willing to completely cut alcohol out of your life then wine and kombucha in moderation will help protect your hair.
You May Have A Zinc And/Or Iron Deficiency That Could Result In Poor Hair Growth
Drinking lots of alcohol regularly can lead to an iron and zinc deficiency that can go on to damage your hair and cause hair loss. Low ferritin levels have been linked to hair loss.
Yes both zinc and iron are minerals used in the process of keratization (the formation of the protein keratin which forms the hair follicle.)
If your body is deficient in these minerals the process of hair growth is stunted, and hair follicle miniaturisation speeds up causing more hairs to fall out.
You can take hair loss supplements to reduce the problem, but it’s better to get these minerals from healthy, unprocessed foods rather than supplements. Drinking alcohol steals the minerals that your hair needs to grow from your body.
Folic Acid Used For Hair Growth Is Reduced
Alcohol has been shown to interfere with folic acid absorption and increased the excretion of folic acid through the urine.
Some of the symptoms of folic acid deficiency are thin, limp and brittle hair as well as hair with little shine or gloss
Worse Sleep And Increased Stress
Although sometimes it may seem like a ‘night cap’ helps your sleep, studies have shown that alcohol consumption leads to a poor quality of sleep which can leave your feeling tired, irritable and stressed.
The link between stress and hair loss has been well know for quite some time, so it seems clear that having a poor nights sleep and being stressed and tired because of it, could be indirectly causing your to lose your hair.
On the other hand, a small amount of alcohol can lead to stress reduction in which case it could help. It’s important to monitor for yourself whether you feel more or less stressed after a night binging, or if a little tipple (like a half glass of wine with dinner) helps you to relax and unwind.
Increases In Estrogen Levels Have Been Linked With Pattern Baldness
Therefore there may be evidence the suggest that (particularly for men with male pattern baldness) these increased levels of oestrogen from alcohol could be reducing hair growth.
What To Do If You’re Worried That Drinking Alcohol Could Be Causing Your Hair Loss?
There is a lot you can do to prevent any further hair loss, or even re-grow lost hair, but it will mean changing some of your habits.
The first place to start is reading the articles on this hair loss blog. I personally stopped my own hair loss using these principles, and have helped thousands of other men and women stop their hair loss with my course.
Hair loss is an unnatural process. Indigenous tribes rarely suffer from pattern baldness, it’s a modern problem that comes from an unnatural and unhealthy lifestyle.
This is good news for us because it means that there is a lot we can do to fix it without resorting to expensive drugs or surgical procedures.
Repairing Your Liver After Alcohol Damage
Excessive consumption of alcohol could damage your liver which are two of the most important organs that affect hair loss because they clean the blood of the toxins and hormones that can travel around the body triggering hair follicle miniaturization.
In this post I am going to recommend a homemade hair loss treatment that works by cleaning and revitalizing the liver so it can do what it is supposed to do, it’s called the Liver Flush
The Liver Flush is by far the easiest & most effective method I know (and I’ve tried a lot) to keep the liver in the best state possible in between detoxes. In a clean condition considerably more toxins and hair damaging hormones will be discarded from the body and blood as fast as possible, minimizing their damaging effect on your hair. When your liver is blocked and clogged by a poor diet then it works very inefficiently.
Many toxins that would otherwise have been removed from the blood are kept in circulation because the liver which could be damaged by alcohol consumption, isn’t working properly. It’s like trying to wash your clothes in a dirty broken washing machine!
Especially for men suffering from male pattern baldness this is important because it means hormones, acids and toxins continue to damage the hair follicles, leading to follicle miniaturization and thinning / receding of the hair line.
This is by no means a hair loss cure, but from my experience it does work well when done consistently and in combination with the other tips I recommend here.
In this post you can learn the proper way to do a detox, which involve refraining from eating any food for multiple days, up-to as long as a week. The reason this is so beneficial is because the digestive system must have time to rest and clean itself.
In daily life, we never stop eating so the digestive organs are under continual pressure to do their job and they never has time to repair.
All animals naturally stop eating when they are ill, because it allows the organs to repair themselves. You can’t fix a car while it is still running and the same goes for the body.
However, this article isn’t about using detox to reverse hair loss, luckily in between detoxes we can use the Liver Flush to keep the liver clean and working efficiently. I recommend doing the flush once every 2 months, or the next day after heavy consumption of alcohol.
The Liver Flush Mixture Is Made As Follows:
Take a large jam jar and squeeze the juice of two lemons into it. (You can include lime as well if desired) Add filtered water (we recommend this water filter for removing any nasty chemicals) up to three quarters of the jar. Add to this, one tablespoon of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and half a teaspoon of cayenne.
Then take 2 crushed garlic cloves and a lump of grated ginger and place in a cheese-cloth. Massage the garlic and ginger inside the cheese cloth, letting the juices drip into the jam jar. (You can soak it back in the mixture and massage again to get the most juice out) Garlic has been proven to help regrow hair.
Take the Liver Flush 101 mixture once per day for three days, and do this every 2 months to keep the liver functioning optimally. This is a particularly beneficial and efficacious method for men who suffer from hair loss and tend to drink alcohol regularly.
This method was first recommended to me by a Taoist Master who was well attuned to the connection between a clogged liver and thin lifeless hair. Along with keeping the body and colon clean using detox, he assured me this method would work well for any men who wanted to stop further thinning hair.