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There are numerous reasons to stop smoking. As most of you already know, smoking contributes to heart disease, lung cancer, and vascular disease. Those alone are solid reasons to give it up, but did you know it can and does affect your hair? Smoking has been linked to early skin aging and even contributes to hair loss and premature graying, so if you need another reason for wanting to quit smoking, add vanity to the list.  

Smoking is a difficult habit to break but if you are able and ready to do so, you may want to know just how great it can be for your body, hair included. Mermaid_Hair00 recently quit smoking and was wondering how that will affect her hair’s health. She inquired about the perks for her hair in our Curly Q&A.

Question

Ex-smokers: How has quitting smoking changed your hair?  I've recently quit smoking. (It’s been almost 2 months) Of course I feel fantastic in general, but I've heard that quitting can boost your growth rate and overall health of the new growth.  Has anyone experienced this?  Post before and after pictures if you have them!

Answer

Congrats on giving up smoking. You are well on your way to brighter skin and happier hair.  Quitting smoking brings benefits like reducing your heart rate back towards normal levels, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and you can expect more luster in your curls.

Unfortunately, the 7,000 chemicals in cigarettes affect all the cells in your body and that includes hair follicles according to registered nurse and Director of North Shore-LIJ Center for Tobacco Control Pat Folan. She says that smoking has been associated with hair loss and ceasing to smoke will make your hair look better. WebMD states that as men and women age they tend to develop thinning hair and smoking actually accelerates this process. Also, some studies actually suggest people who smoke are more likely to go bald. Smoke negatively affects your body’s blood circulation and that means impaired blood flow to your hair follicles. This disruption affects the normal hair growth/loss cycle and can result in thinning hair and even hair loss. Smoking not only accelerates the aging of your hair, but it may cause dryness and an oil imbalance. The good news is that when you quit smoking you experience better blood flow to your hair follicles. Some have claimed hair growth or hair thickness, but no scientific evidence has been attributed to that. Making the decision to stop smoking, prevents pre-mature aging of your scalp and hair, dryness, and potential hair loss and thinning when you quit smoking. 

Have you seen any changes in your hair since you’ve stopped smoking?