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Is Vaping Damaging My Hair?

June 01, 2024

We all know the obvious consequences of alcohol, smoking and too much sugar, but what impact do these have on your clients’ hair health? In the final part of our series with Nioxin ambassador and globally recognised trichologist, Mark Blake (MIT WTS IAT), we explore the effects some vices have on the hair and scalp.


Vaping is not as bad for the hair as smoking, but the jury is still out. There is no direct evidence that vaping causes hair loss as no studies have been officially completed yet, but many of the ingredients in cigarettes are also found in vapes, alerting us to possible dangers.

When you vape, you may inhale up to 15 milligrams of Nicotine – this greatly reduces the blood supply to your follicles, with your blood vessels constricting every time Nicotine is inhaled. Hair follicles need a strong blood supply to enable hair growth, and we lose hair permanently when the blood vessels shrink to the dermal papilla (where hair is made in the scalp).

Alcohol overall is good for the hair, particularly red wine, but only when drunk in small quantities. Resveratrol in red wine has anti-apoptotic properties (this helps stop cells dying), helping to boost hair by fighting oxidative stress and promoting hair cell regeneration. Red wine may also help with dry scalps, as it is a rich source of bioflavonoid, which promotes keratin growth. Drinking Stout or Guinness is also a great way to boost your Iron and Vitamin B levels.

Cannabis is not good for the hair. It contributes to a weakened immune system, results in respiratory effects and irritates the lungs and bronchial passages. On the other hand, however, the dopamine release does trigger feelings of euphoria, which is actually good for hair.

Sugar is the enemy for hair. Studies have shown that there is a potential link between sugary drinks and the detrimental effect it can have on male hair loss. Men can lose their hair for a variety of reasons, but sugary drinks – which are particularly popular with the younger generation – can speed up this process.

Dark chocolate is good for the hair. Flavanols in cocoa work similarly to blood pressure-lowering drugs called ACE inhibitors. Dark chocolate makes you feel good due to the release of serotonin and endorphins, which is great for hair.

And finally… Sex is actually great for the hair, particularly at night-time because this is when the body repairs itself. Great hair is intrinsically linked to oestrogen levels, which is something females lack as they approach their Menopause. Sex helps these levels to rise. Hurrah!