Balding and breathless: how smoking may lead to hair loss

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Smoking is known to lead to leg amputation. Now, it appears, it makes men’s hair fall out, too – and possibly for the same reasons.

A study of Asian men, renowned for hanging on to their hair compared with Europeans and Americans, found puffing on cigarettes can speed up male hair loss.

Smoking is known to accelerate ageing and is associated with facial wrinkles and grey hair.

Male pattern baldness runs in families and is partly influenced by male sex hormones but it is also subject to environmental factors.

Scientists studied 740 Taiwanese men with an average age of 65. After gathering information about the age at which they started losing their hair, their smoking history and their height and weight, as well as taking blood samples, they found cigarettes led to significantly more hair loss even after taking other factors into account.

The researchers suggest that smoking may damage the circulation supplying blood to the hair follicles.

 

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