Can Vaping with E-Cigarettes Cause Hair Loss?
By now, you’d have to be living under a rock not to know the dangers of smoking cigarettes. But what about e-cigarettes? Though they are commonly said to be safer than cigarettes, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found nicotine and cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) in two popular brands of electronic cigarettes. Even more interesting and less talked about, the common chemicals found in both cigarettes and e-cigarettes could be linked to hair loss and balding.
What Are E-Cigarettes?
Since e-cigarettes are so new, many people who vape with e-cigarettes aren’t even sure what they really are. While cigarettes have been around for decades, electronic cigarettes were only introduced to consumers in 2004. Since then, they have become extremely popular. In fact, vaping among young people surpassed smoking traditional cigarettes in the U.S. in 2014, according to an article published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
E-cigarettes deliver nicotine in vapor form instead of smoke. When you blow out, you’ll see a cloud of vapor that resembles cigarette smoke. Since no toxins are produced by burning tobacco in these devices, many initially thought that e-cigarettes were a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. Yet, as more research is being done on the devices, dangerous chemicals and effects are being discovered.
How Nicotine Negatively Affects Hair Loss
At its core, e-cigarettes are nicotine delivery systems. Nicotine is a very addictive stimulant that has been found to damage your body in a number of ways. E-cigarettes heat a solution of nicotine, flavoring, additives, and other chemicals for you to consume.
Since the FDA doesn’t currently regulate e-cigarettes, there are various amounts of nicotine found in electronic cigarettes depending on the brand you buy from, along with other potentially unrecorded chemicals. A study presented at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 18th Annual Meeting found that e-cigarettes delivered similar levels of nicotine as tobacco cigarettes.
Unfortunately, nicotine has been found to be linked to hair loss. The Times of India notes that nicotine narrows your blood vessels, slowing fresh hair growth down. Blood vessels are key to growing hair faster and thicker, according to the Massachusetts General Hospital. Smoking electronic cigarettes may slow down your hair growth, speeding up the effects of balding and thinning.
Other Dangerous Chemicals in Electronic Cigarettes
Since the FDA doesn’t currently regulate e-cigarettes, nobody really knows what exactly is in the e-cigarette you vape with. However, nicotine is almost always found inside of them, and toxic cancer-causing chemicals, including an ingredient used in antifreeze, were found by the FDA in two popular brands of e-cigarettes.
New York Times notes that several studies suggest smoking can lead to premature hair loss. If the same chemicals that cause this are in e-cigarettes, hair loss results may be similar. Since not much is known about the safety of vaping, it’s best to say no to e-cigarettes. Thankfully, more research is being completed on this topic as we write.
Traditional cigarettes were once marketed to be safe to smoke, just as e-cigarettes are today. High levels of nicotine have proved that e-cigarettes may stall hair growth due to a narrowing of your blood vessels. If you’re worried about hair loss or thinning, it’s best to avoid e-cigarettes until more research is completed on them. Electronic cigarettes may worsen hair loss. You can always contact the Limmer Hair Transplant Center to discuss solutions to your balding or thinning hair.