Alcohol and Hair Growth

Blonde woman with a bob haircut who is drinking wine
Q: Will drinking a lot of alcohol slow down hair growth? Will it cause hair loss?
A: As much as you might think otherwise, the answer to both questions is "Yes."
Excessive alcohol consumption causes a reduction in the levels of zinc in the body. Since zinc is an important mineral in the hair growth cycle, low levels of zinc can result in an inhibition in the growth of the hair and in the quality of the hair grown.
In addition, alcohol is a diuretic and excessive drinking can lead to dehydration with can further inhibit healthy hair growth.
Alcohol consumption has also been shown to lower the iron levels in the blood and thereby interfere with the normal hair growth cycle. Studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to hair loss (especially in women). This is also affected by alcohol's dehydrating properties.
And we should also point out that alcohol can adversely affect the hair when exposed on the exterior as well. Alcohol is used in some hair products to make them quick-drying and allow them to be dispensed smoothly. But these alcohols can strip moisture from the hair and leave the hair prone to styling damage, particularly in heat drying and thermal styling processes.
Photo: Dean Bertoncelj/Shutterstock
See also:
How fast does hair grow?
What is hair made of and how does it grow?
The 3 hair growth stages
How can I improve my hair growth?