This post comes from a recent Newsletter from Dr. Bauman that you can subscribe to here.
Hello, it’s Dr. Bauman.
When it comes to the look, feel, and health of your hair, yes, your genes play a role.
But your DNA is not your destiny.
Your lifestyle also has a big impact on your hair health… for better and worse.
I want to talk about three common lifestyle habits that are major causes of hair loss. And, a few simple tweaks you can make to ensure your lifestyle is supporting your hair health and not sabotaging it.
First, let’s talk about smoking.
Tomorrow is National No Smoking Day. But the truth is, every day is a good day to not smoke.
As a doctor, I’m strongly opposed to smoking. It simply destroys our health.
Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung disease, while also increasing your risk for tuberculosis, eye disease, and weakened immunity.
Smoking also makes you look years older than your true age — and your skin and hair get hit the hardest.
Smoking causes deeper wrinkles on your face, particularly between the eyebrows, around the eyes, and around the mouth and lips.
Studies show that people who smoke also have fewer elastin and collagen fibers in their skin. As a result, the skin can become hard and leathery.
And if you’re a smoker and have thinning hair, the two could be linked.
As you may know, your follicles need oxygen, nutrients, and minerals to grow healthy hair. Your follicles get these nutrients from your blood.
Problem is, smoking can restrict blood flow to your follicles, depriving them of precious nutrients, causing your hair to die and fall out. (1)
What’s more, studies suggest second-hand smoke can also trigger hair loss. So even if you don’t smoke, but you spend time around someone who does, smoking could be an underlying cause of your hair problems. (2)
Simply put, smoking does nothing good for your hair or your health.
Next, let’s talk about stress.
If you’re feeling under pressure lately, you’re not alone.
According to a poll published by the American Psychological Association, 3 in 4 adults report feeling chronically stressed out. And nearly half of the people polled say they’re more stressed now than they were five years ago.
Stress levels are rising.
High levels of stress can lead to hormonal imbalances, which can cause hair loss. Stress can also disrupt sleep patterns, which can worsen hair loss.
Chronic stress can also lead to a condition called telogen effluvium, which causes hair to prematurely enter the shedding phase.
Bottom line: A stressful, pressure-cooker-lifestyle can be a nightmare for your hair… unless you’re taking steps to manage that stress. (More on that in just a minute.)
But next, let’s talk about sleep.
A good night’s rest is fundamental to good health.
Sleep lets your body recover and restore itself, so you can have the energy to live life to the fullest. And sleep is critical for hair health, too.
That’s because hair growth occurs during the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle, which typically occurs during sleep.
Unfortunately, many Americans today aren’t getting the sleep they need to look and feel their best.
Consider this: Back in the 1940s people were sleeping on average about 8 hours per night. And now in the modern age we’re down to about 6.7 hours per night.
Blame our lack of sleep on hectic schedules, screen time, stress, and more. But whatever the reasons, most Americans aren’t getting the 7 to 9 hours of sleep recommended for good health.
And not getting enough sleep (or not getting enough quality sleep) can disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to hair thinning and hair loss.
To recap: smoking, stress, and poor sleep — three common lifestyle factors that can damage your hair.
The good news is, these lifestyle factors are under your control.
Here are 5 simple tweaks you can make to make sure your lifestyle is working for your hair and not against it.
- 1. Manage stress: If you’re not doing so already, engage in stress-reducing activities such as exercise, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or spending time in nature.That said, sometimes it can be difficult to tame stress on our own. You may also consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor if stress is significantly impacting your life.
- 2. Improve your sleep habits: Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Consider limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding electronic devices before bedtime, and creating a comfortable sleep environment.
- 3. Eat for healthier hair: Fill your plate with foods like leafy greens, fatty fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. These foods are rich sources of hair healthy nutrients like biotin (and other B vitamins), vitamin D, and iron. (3)
- 4. Avoid these popular hair treatments: Popular treatments like hot tools, chemical relaxers and hair dyes can damage hair fibers and hair follicles and lead to breakage and hair loss. Opt for more natural and gentle hair care products instead.
- 5. Protect your hair from environmental damage: Don’t let Mother Nature make a mess of your hair! Exposure to environmental factors like UV rays, pollution, and harsh weather can damage hair. Protect your hair by wearing a hat, using a leave-in conditioner, or avoiding excessive heat and sun exposure. By making a few tweaks to your lifestyle, you can help improve your overall health and promote healthier hair growth.
Of course, if you’ve started to notice more hair in your hair brush or shower… a receding hairline… thinning patches… or other signs of hair loss, your immediate step should be identifying what’s causing this hair loss.
Because once you’ve identified the underlying causes of your hair loss (whether those are lifestyle factors like smoking, genetics, or something else) you can get to work on a customized hair health plan.
Knowledge is power.
And the first step in knowing what’s really causing your hair loss is joining me in a private 1-on-1 consultation.
At your private consultation, we’ll uncover what’s really going on with your hair health, explore available treatment options, and create a customized hair restoration plan tailored to your needs and goals.
This plan may include addressing lifestyle factors, adding hair health products to your daily routine, or exploring your surgical options.
And you’ll feel great knowing, yes, you can save or restore your hair.
My team and I would love to meet with you and discuss how we can help you reach your hair health goals.
Yes, knowledge is power. But only action gets results.
If you’re ready to take action to restore (or upgrade) your hair, I invite you to reach out today.
Or call us at (561) 394-0024 to book your consultation by phone.
Dr. Alan Bauman, MD, ABHRS, FISHRS
Diplomate, American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery
Fellow, International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery
(561) 394-0024 – Work
If you or someone you know has hair loss, hair thinning, baldness, or eyebrow / eyelash concerns, click to start either a long-distance virtual consultation OR an in-person, in-office consultation with Dr. Bauman. You can also Ask Dr. Bauman a Question or simply call Bauman Medical Group at +1-
*Each individual's treatment and/or results may vary