Everyone knows that alcohol affects the body. There are warnings all over the place about the harmful effects of alcohol, but did you know that alcohol can also affect your hair?
The advice from nutrition centers is not to drink alcohol, or at least no more than one drink a day. However, absurd stories about the benefits of alcohol are regularly circulated. For example, a glass of red wine is said to be good for your health because of its high antioxidant content. But the potential benefits of alcohol outweigh the harms. Alcohol damages the brain, the gut, and even the hair.
Studies by skin experts and dermatologists have shown that drinking lots of alcohol can lead to vitamin deficiencies, skin dehydration, tissue damage, inflammation, decreased collagen production, and damage to skin defense mechanisms. That’s quite a lot of results. But what does this mean for your beloved hair? Well, a lot. Hair grows from follicles in the scalp, so any damage to the scalp can affect the hair.
1) Vitamin Deficiency
Alcohol is associated with vitamin deficiency. The main cause is poor diet in people who drink a lot. However, it has also been suggested that alcohol may cause decreased absorption and storage of vitamins. Vitamins C and E protect the skin from free radicals and keep it healthy. Vitamin A contributes to the production of new skin cells, and biotin (vitamin B8) is also essential for maintaining healthy hair.
2) Smothering of Hair Follicles
Alcohol increases the risk of scalp irritation. According to hair scientists and hairstylists, scalp inflammation suffocates the hair follicles where hair grows. As a result, follicles do not reach their expected lifespan. The hair becomes weaker and more prone to breakage.
The fact that alcohol dehydrates the body is perhaps not surprising. After drinking a lot of alcohol, the entire body is slightly dehydrated. As a result, it is only natural that the skin will also be affected. Especially if your scalp is already sensitive, this can cause itching and cracking, leading to further problems for your scalp. Dehydration causes the hair to lose elasticity, making it more prone to breakage. Scalp problems can have many other causes. Do you suffer from an itchy or cracked scalp and drink a lot? You now know the reason!
4) Too Much Sugar
Alcohol in drinks is not the only thing that can damage your hair. Sugar, which is often found in drinks, can also affect your hair. Are you consuming sugar? This will increase insulin levels in your body. And this, in turn, can cause inflammation.
5) Hair Thinning
Just as alcohol may or may not lead to hair loss, the same thing happens to thinning hair (thinning of the thickness of each strand). Alcohol primarily affects the skin, and studies have shown that alcohol (especially sugary drinks) can cause skin inflammation, including the scalp, which points to a link between alcohol and thinning hair. The reason alcohol causes inflammation is that the sugar in alcohol causes a spike in insulin. This is actually a hormonal spike, and hormonal changes affect inflammation. If you already have scalp problems, such as inflammation, alcohol will likely cause inflammation and damage the hair follicles, resulting in weakened, broken, or thinning hair.
This inflammation also results in a dry scalp (even more severe than the dehydration already induced by alcohol), redness, and itching as well. These adverse effects can be controlled with sedatives and moisturizers, but alcohol cosumption should be reduced first.
Disclaimer: The effects of alcohol described above vary from person to person. If you suffer from scalp irritation, scaling, or hair damage, we recommend that you carefully review your alcohol intake.