Alcohol and Hair Loss and What Can Help

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : November 20, 
| 4 Sources

Alcoholism Side Effects

Alcoholism and Hair Loss
Curing alcohol-induced hair loss is incredibly straightforward.

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Hair loss, also referred to as alopecia, is a condition caused by a disruption in the body’s hair production cycle. Hair loss could actually happen anywhere on the body. Nonetheless, it most commonly concerns the scalp. Generally, the scalp has about 100,000 hairs that go through phases of growing, resting, and then, falling out, and finally, regenerating.

There are several negative consequences can come if someone is drinking more than moderate drinking guidelines on a regular basis is detrimental to one’s health.

Men tend to drink excessively more than women. Excessive drinking is associated with significant risks to men’s health and safety, and the risks increase with the amount of alcohol consumed. One of these risks include hair loss. Hair loss is usually distressing and could significantly impact the patient's quality of life. 

Alcohol and Hair Loss
What Are the 'Normal' Causes of Hair Loss?

The typical person will shed between 50- 100 hairs per day which can often be seen in a hair brush or in the shower. A multitude of reasons have been cited by researchers, along with an equally large amount of solutions as to why we lose our hair. It is generally agreed that the two major causes of hair loss are:

· The most common type of hair loss is the one caused by heredity effects. Parents who suffer from hair loss problems can very well pass on these very same characteristics to their children.

· The next most common cause of hair loss is due to stress. This is also known as Telogen Effluvium (TE). Many people actually suffer from hair loss problems due to the levels of stress they face at work, school or home. Stress has also been scientifically researched to result in hair loss issues and bald patches.

alcoholism-hair-lossPhoto by Viajero

Alcohol and Hair Loss
How Can Alcohol Cause Hair Loss?

It is known that alcohol can lead to the malabsorption of nutrients. This deficit can have a negative impact on hair. There are several reasons as to why alcohol causes hair loss:

  • Hair loss due to alcohol consumption is mainly due to the fact that alcohol affects the levels of estrogen and zinc in the body, which subsequently affect hair growth.

1. Excessive drinking RAISES the level of estrogen, high levels of estrogen result in hair loss.

2. Excessive drinking REDUCES zinc levels in the body. Zinc is essential for healthy hair growth. 

Other contributing factors include:

  • Drinking alcohol is known to cause dehydration in our bodies. Dehydration can contribute to brittle hair and poor hair health
  • Constant consumption of alcohol can also induce a lower level of vitamins B and C in your body.
  • Furthermore, folic acid levels can also fall which is also vital in maintaining healthy and strong hair.

The fact that alcoholics rarely have a balanced diet can also add to vitamin deficiencies which contributes to weakened hair. Alcohol use is often accompanied by poor food choices which can contribute to changes in the vitamin, protein and other deficiencies mentioned above. Poor sleeping habits can also add to a persons’ level of stress. It is important to note that alcohol will not lead to hair loss in every person who drinks heavily.

Alcohol and Hair Loss
The Science of Hair

Our hair is made up of 2 main components.

These are the shaft and the root. Apart from that, it is vital to know that cells are formed at the root and will die out as time goes by, stimulating hair growth.

In addition, our hair is like a tissue that requires constant nourishment in order to stay healthy and grow well. Poor self-care and nutrition habits are common deficits alcoholics experience which would lead to poor nourishment of their hair.

Alcohol and Hair Loss
When to Worry About Hair Loss

Losing small amounts of hair is not something that you should concern yourself with and it is in fact, a very normal occurrence.

Research and studies have shown that 10% of our hair is in a state of constant rest and has a possibility of falling off. The remaining 90% is kept in constant growth at an average rate of about 1 cm a month.

The lifespan of each particular strand of hair is usually between 5 and 7 yearsNonetheless, it is possible that external factors such as aging, malnutrition and consumption of alcohol can shorten the lifespan of hair and result in hair loss.

The time to start worrying about hair loss is when your normal pattern of hair loss changes and it is only you who can determine what normal is.

If you are worried about losing hair, then it is time to visit your physician/doctor. You may be encouraged to take nutrient supplements such as Zinc, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Calcium. Your doctor may also talk about having a healthier diet. If there is room to add more nutrient dense foods to your diet, take the opportunity. Not only would this benefit hair, it would also be beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing.


Alcohol and Hair Loss
Treatment for Hair Loss

The treatment for alcohol-induced hair loss is very straightforward, either cut down on your alcohol consumption or give up altogether.

Much easier said than done I know, but if your hair loss is from excessive drinking and it bothers you enough to come to this page, then what better incentive do you need? If you feel that you are not in a place where you are ready to stop drinking, a suggestion would be to address the diet concerns that are noted above.

First, avoid dehydration. Dehydration is a health concern that will impact many organs and bodily functions in addition to hair loss. Make sure that you are drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Avoiding sugary drinks such as Cola, could be a wise choice.

Second, try to have a balanced diet. This would include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Including fruits and vegetables would likely address any deficiencies with Vitamin B and C as well as your folic acid levels. This too would likely aide in other health concerns that you have. Even feeling “sluggish” can be the result of a poor diet.

Schedule an appointment to see a licensed dermatologist. Hair loss involve so many causes. Thus, the sooner you identify the cause, the greater your chances of achieving the results you want.

Food options rich in Zinc include:

  • Meats
  • Shellfish
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Whole Grains
  • Some vegetables; ie. Potatoes
  • Dark Chocolate

Other recommendations include having good hair care. This would include using a mild shampoo, and avoiding using hair dryers, curling irons and a hair straighter.

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Products Focused on Reducing or Preventing Hair Loss

Before beginning products known to help with hair loss, a wise decision may be to have a discussion with your doctor. Hair loss is a common experience, however, it may be associated with an underlying health concern that needs to be addressed. Malnutrition would be an example of an underlying health concern that would likely be impacting more than just hair loss.

  •  Rogaine is a product commonly used for hair loss. Rogaine contains Minoxidil, which is FDA-approved for re-growing hair. There are two formulas on the market at this time; one for women and one for men. Please follow the link to a provider if you are interested in purchasing it.

-Rogaine for Men

-Rogaine for Women

  • Shedavi is a Vegan, all natural formula diet supplement. Shedavi has more than 1,000 times the daily recommended value of biotin which is known to aide in hair growth. This product can be used by both men and women. Please follow the link to a provider if you are interested in purchasing it.


  • Collagen is known to have a vital role in the health of our hair and nails. Collagen powder is flavored and can simply mixed with water and drank. This product can be used by both women and men. Please follow the link to a provider if you are interested in purchasing it.

- Collagen powder

  • Vegan gummies would help supplement some of the vitamin concerns commonly associated with drinking that are mentioned above. These gummies include Biotin, Vitamin B, Zinc and Folic Acid. This product can be used by both men and women. Please follow the link to a provider if you are interested in purchasing it.

Vegan gummies

  • Propidren is a dietary supplement that contains a DHT blocker. DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a known factor in hair loss. By taking Propidren, the supplement would block the production of DHT and therefore reduce hair loss. This product is recommended to be used in a combination with the Propidren liquid for 3 months. This product can be used by both men and women. Please follow the link to a provider if you are interested in the supplement and/or the liquid option.

- Propidren supplement

Propidren liquid supplement

There is no doubt that alcohol can contribute to hair loss. However, if you drink moderately then it is unlikely alcohol is the cause and stopping drinking will not solve the problem. Rogaine contains Minoxidil, which is FDA-approved for re-growing hair. To learn more about this treatment and read user reviews, just follow the link.

If you found this page helpful, then the following pages may well be of interest:

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


NYU Langone Health. Types of Hair Loss.

American Academy of Dermatology Association. Hair Loss: Tips for Managing.

American Family Physician. Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment. September 15, 2017.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Excessive Alcohol Use is a Risk to Men's Health. October 23, 2020.

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