You usually wake up from a night of heavy drinking feeling sluggish and probably a little sick. You’re dehydrated, lacking nutrients, and tired. You stumble over to the mirror, afraid to look up and see what stares back at you. Skin is feeling dehydrated and your hair…well, let’s just say bedhead isn’t to blame this time around. In fact, alcohol can have similar effects on your hair as it does on your skin. With the holidays in full motion and the end of the year quickly approaching, it might be a good idea to read up on how alcohol can affect your hair and lead to those dreaded #badhairdays.
What Your Hair Needs to Thrive:
Let’s start the discussion by introducing the essential elements to keeping hair voluminous and lush. You’ve probably heard people say, “drink more water” whenever you mention your hair or skin woes, and they’re right. Having the proper hydration is key to healthy hair and clear skin. Not only that, but eating a vitamin-rich, nutritious diet is also necessary because, like a flower, your hair requires the right nutrition to grow healthy and strong. Forget those DIY hair masks you’ve seen on Pinterest, if the damage is already done, it is hard to reverse with just an avocado & olive oil hair mask.
In addition to eating a healthy, nutritious diet and staying hydrated, it’s crucial to limit hot styling tool usage and tight hairstyles. If you just can’t live without your bombshell curls, then try using a thermal spray like the Nutrifuse Nutrient+ Thermal Spray which will protect the hair’s cuticle during styling.
Now that we know what’s needed to keep hair looking healthy and strong let’s move on to the exciting part—how alcohol consumption affects your hair.
What Alcohol Does to Your Hair:
Listen, we’re only human, and having a few drinks with your friends shouldn’t be shamed, but it’s important to recognize the effects that alcohol can have on your appearance. One of the most obvious problems with alcohol consumption is the dehydrating properties. We notice its impact first when we wake up to puffy eyes and desert-dry skin. Healthy hair relies on how hydrated our bodies are and a few drinks in the evening can severely alter your hydration levels. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it will cause you to use the bathroom more. Your body will lose more fluid than usual, and you’ll become dehydrated if you’re not replacing lost fluids with water. Through dehydration, your hair follicles grow drier and more brittle which can eventually cause hair loss—which leads us to our next discussion point.
Many factors connect alcohol consumption with hair loss. Besides keeping hydrated, your hair relies heavily on critical vitamins and minerals like zinc and folic acid to maintain strength and thickness. These two minerals are crucial during the development of keratin, which forms the hair follicle. Deficiency in these minerals is known to speed up the process of hair loss because it stunts the process of hair growth and leads to miniaturization, where the hair begins to shrink in size and eventually fall out. You’ll notice hair starting to look thinner, limper, and even more brittle with less shine and gloss. Besides the chemical imbalances caused by alcohol, excessive drinking can lead to lower quality sleep leaving you feeling exhausted and more stressed the next day—and stress is one of the leading causes of hair loss. That being said, a small amount of alcohol can reduce stress (think about that inviting glass of wine after a long day at work) and help you sleep better.
As always, moderation is essential, especially when it comes to alcohol. In conjunction with moderation comes a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking enough water to keep you hydrated. Everybody is different and what one needs may not be the same as another. Find what works best for you and stick to it. We’re not saying you should completely rid alcohol from your life, but be cautious of the damage it can cause and what you can do to avoid it.