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We’re sure you know all about the health hazards cigarettes pose. Aside from the harm to your lungs from the direct smoke, cigarettes are loaded with chemicals, including arsenic, formaldehyde, ammonia and acetone, just to name a few. Nothing with those chemicals in it can be good for your body. Not surprisingly, this chemical cocktail produces strong odors, which just plain stink.

Since cigarettes are so harmful to your body, what about your hair? Can the damage cigarettes cause to your skin and lungs also be affecting your scalp and hair?

Cigarettes and Skin

Ever notice how someone who’s been smoking for years seems to look so much older than they really are? That’s because cigarettes wreak havoc on your skin and do damage that’s irreversible. After years of smoking, blood vessels in the top layer of your skin start to narrow, so your skin doesn’t get the oxygen it needs. Also, since smoking damages the fibers that keep your skin tight and intact, long-term smokers tend to have premature wrinkling.

With all of this damage to your skin, your scalp is no exception. Since cigarettes affect your circulation, they cut off moisture to your scalp, resulting in hair that is more dry and more prone to breakage and thinning.

How This Affects Your Curls

For us curlies, moisture is HUGE. Keeping our hair moist can mean the difference between a frizzed-out ‘fro and gorgeous curls. We spend so much time and effort working at keeping our natural curls beautiful; it seems silly to undo all this work for the temporary pleasure cigarettes can bring. Not to mention, if you’re using good hair care products, they probably smell good too! But you’re killing that smell by fumigating your hair in cigarette smoke.

You might think that if you’re not a smoker, you’re in the clear. Think again. Second-hand smoke leaves behind nicotine residue that settles on nearby smokers and third-hand smoke (what’s left in an area where someone recently smoked) also leaves behind residue that settles on surfaces of walls, carpets and you. If you enter a car or room where someone was just smoking, then you’re exposing yourself to nicotine residue since the cigarettes coat those areas with their harmful chemicals.

Want More?

Smoking causes wrinkles, but can you get rid of them (hint: this will include quitting!)?

Final Thoughts

Make quitting smoking another one of your New Year’s resolutions. Your hair and your body will thank you!