Smoking may be associated with age-related hair loss in Asian men, says a new report in the Archives of Dermatology.
Androgenetic alopecia, the most common form of hair loss, is characterized by progressive thinning of the scalp. Although this type of hair loss is primarily genetic, some environmental factors may also play a role.
Two researchers at the National Taiwan University surveyed 740 Taiwanese men aged 40 to 91. Clinical classifications were used to assess their degree of hair loss, their height and weight were also measured and blood samples were provided for analysis.
After controlling for age and family history, a statistically significant correlation was noted between hair loss and smoking– especially those who smoked twenty or more cigarettes per day.
Researchers believe smoking may destroy hair follicles and damage the papilla that circulate blood and hormones that nourish hair. Smoking may also increase production of the hormone estrogen, which counters the effects of androgen.