Smoking and Balding: Does smoking Impact Natural Balding?

Does smoking Impact Natural Balding?


Genetic hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern balding (men), female pattern hair loss (women), is controlled to a significant degree by inherited genes.

Nevertheless, there are several environmental risk factors that influence the speed and progression of androgenetic alopecia.

Smoking is among the most influential of these. In 2017, Fortes and colleagues showed that smokers at nearly 7 times more likely to have moderate to severe balding. The effect of smoking on balding was identified in several other studies as well.

Other risk factors including obesity seem to accelerate balding. A diet rich in fresh vegetables may protect against balding to some minor degree.


Fortes et al. The combination of overweight and smoking increases the severity of androgenetic alopecia.
Int J Dermatol. 2017.

Schou et al. Alcohol consumption, smoking and development of visible age-related signs: a prospective cohort study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2017.

Fortes et al. Mediterranean diet: fresh herbs and fresh vegetables decrease the risk of Androgenetic Alopecia in males. Arch Dermatol Res. 2018.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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