With the festivities upon us this December, many will be in the mood to eat and drink during their celebrations. While the occasional drink is fine, drinking often and in excess may prove detrimental to your health in the long term. And we’re not just talking about the risk of liver damage and heart disease.
Your hair health could be at stake, too. While there is no direct correlation between alcohol consumption and hair loss, studies have shown a link between the two that warrants caution during your merry-making.
In this article, we share six ways alcohol consumption can negatively impact your health and how it contributes to male and female hair loss in Singapore.
Fact #1: Alcohol affects nutrient absorption
Alcohol impairs the secretion of digestive enzymes that are crucial in breaking down food into simpler and absorbable molecules. Alcohol can also damage the intestinal lining, further affecting the absorption of these molecules.
With reduced absorption of nutrients from the food you consume, the health of your hair and scalp is affected.
Fact #2: Alcohol Interferes with Fat and Vitamin Absorption
Alcohol consumption impacts the breakdown of fats in the body. Why is that a problem? There is a group of vitamins, including A, D, E and K, that relies on efficient fat digestion to be absorbed by the body. These vitamins impact the health of your body and hair.
Vitamin D, for example, plays a crucial role in the normal functioning of your hair follicle. Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is a common culprit in various types of hair loss, including female pattern hair loss, chronic telogen effluvium and alopecia areata.
Fact #3: Alcohol affects the Body’s Keratin Production
Alcohol affects the amount of keratin available to make up the main structure of your hair and nails. Keratin is a type of protein found in your hair and the surface of your nails. It is produced from the protein in your food and then converted into amino acids to be transported to the rest of your body.
Drinking alcohol has been shown to not only interfere with this process, but affect the way protein is re-synthesised in the body as well. As a result, there are fewer amino acids and the body becomes less effective at rebuilding them into keratin. This influences keratin supply to your hair.
Fact #4: Alcohol contributes to Oxidative Stress
Alcohol, when metabolised, will cause the liver to produce acetaldehyde and NADH2, chemicals that induce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, and can play a role in both male and female hair loss.
Oxidative stress can poison your hair follicles and has wide-ranging implications. Accelerated hair follicle damage has been linked to the hair loss condition androgenetic alopecia and the heavy shedding condition telogen effluvium.
Fact #5: Alcohol can affect your Hair Transplant Surgery
Like with other surgeries, you are not allowed to drink alcohol before and after a hair transplant procedure. Even non-surgical hair transplants for that matter. This is because alcohol can affect your recovery.
When alcohol is consumed, it inhibits the absorption of vitamin K, which is required for blood clotting. Blood clotting is crucial in the healing of wounds and preventing excessive bleeding.
What is a Good amount of Alcohol to Consume?
How much alcohol should you consume then? According to HealthHub, the recommended amount is 2 standard drinks or less in a day for men, and 1 drink or less in a day for women. A standard alcoholic drink is defined as a can of beer (330 ml), half a glass of wine (100 ml), or 1 nip of spirit (30 ml).
It is possible to have fun drinking while also taking care of yourself. We’re not looking to be a buzzkill. Rather, we want you to be fully informed when making choices about your hair health.
If you need more advice on lifestyle changes you can make and treatments for your hair health, contact us. At Terra Medical, we have years of experience in scalp and hair diagnostics and treatment to provide you with a holistic and comprehensive solution.