There has been a lot of speculation that cigarette smoking may accelerate hair loss and cause premature graying. It is believed that this can basically be attributed to toxins in smoke that damages hair follicles and hormones.
Now, a report in the prestigious British Medical Journal, 600 men and women with half of them being smokers, were looked at and evaluated. After considering the variables, the researchers found a ‘significant’ and ‘consistent’ link between smoking and early graying.
Last year a team studied the link between smoking and hair loss by studying a group of 740 men in Taiwan, between the ages of 40 to 91. (This group was studied because men of Asian decent have low rates of hereditary baldness.) After controlling for age and family histories, the researchers found a greater rate of hair loss among the smokers. This risk grew with increased levels of smoking.
It is important to realize that this was a relatively small group of subjects, so we guess that a definitive answer will come in future years when more people are looked at.
For now, though, it might be a good idea to think about quitting smoking because every thing helps when it comes to fighting baldness.
New York Times, Anahad O’Connor, Published May 20, 2008