Alcoholism and Hair Loss

Alcoholism Side Effects

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

Other Alcohol/Health Issues

It goes without saying that drinking more than moderate drinking guidelines on a regular basis is detrimental to one’s health.

However, although we are aware that the side effects of alcoholism are many and varied, few of us are aware of the specifics

It is not, for example, commonly known that alcohol, and more specifically alcoholism, can cause hair loss.

Alcoholism and Hair Loss
What are the 'normal' causes of hair loss?

A multitude of reasons have been cited by researchers, along with an equally large amount of solutions as to why we lose our hair. However, 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 offspring.
  • The next most common cause of hair loss is due to stress. 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.

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Alcoholism and Hair Loss
How can alcohol cause hair loss?

There are 3 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.
  • In addition, 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.

Alcoholism 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.

Alcoholism 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 years.

Nonetheless, 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.

Alcoholism 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 wish to stop or moderate your alcohol consumption, then Deborah Morrow, our addictions counselor, can give you a free online consultation in which she will assess your drinking problem and give advice as to possible treatment options.

Only attempt withdrawing from alcohol under medical supervision, alcohol withdrawals can be fatal.

If you can't stop or cut down on your drinking, or don't want to, then you can try to take zinc/folic acid supplements and improve your diet. This may improve the situation.

It is not common for someone who drinks moderately to suffer from hair loss. If you do, it is more than likely caused by something other than alcohol.

Another thing: hair loss is a relatively minor side effect of alcoholism, there are other, far more serious, physical effects of alcoholism not to mention the effects of alcoholism on those living with an alcoholic.

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Free Expert Advice Available Now

  • Speak with an addiction specialist 24/7
  • Confidentially guaranteed
  • Discuss your treatment options


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:

Return from Alcoholism and Hair Loss to Alcohol Abuse Effects 

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