Does Cocaine Cause Hair Loss

Does Cocaine Cause Hair Loss?

The Realities Behind Balding and Cocaine Consumption

Most people are already aware of the serious effects of cocaine on the body and brain. They may not be expecting some of the lesser-known side effects of cocaine consumption such as hair loss. Does cocaine cause hair loss and what can you do to minimize the effects of thinning hair caused by these illegal drugs?

Drug abuse has far-reaching side effects including an obvious alteration of your appearance. Hair loss is extremely common among cocaine users, but the mechanisms are not always obvious. There are three unique reasons that you may suffer hair loss when using the substance, so stay tuned to learn each one.

Keep reading for a closer look at how drug abuse can make hair fall out, and how the programs for recovery at Icarus Behavioral Health can help!

Stress Induced Hair Loss or Telogen Effluvium

Stress-Induced Hair Loss

Stress is perhaps the first and most pervasive catalyst for hair loss while using cocaine. This stress-induced hair loss is usually referred to by doctors as telogen effluvium. It basically means that your body is in a state of shock due to the illegal drugs in your system.

Sometimes, you might find that telogen effluvium surfaces after a traumatic event or similarly stressful mental health issues – which is how the body views cocaine use.

TE is most closely linked to thinning hair that falls out easily. You may notice that you have more strands around your shoulders or around your desk at work. Fortunately, many cases of TE are considered to be temporary and can correct themselves over time.

Does Cocaine Cause Hair Loss: How Stress Affects the Hair

The hair growth cycle is important to understand if you want to know more about how TE impacts your temporary hair loss. All hair follicles move through three distinct states: anagen, catagen, and telogen. To keep hair healthy, they should move through all three stages of the cycle.

Stress interrupts this phase and can cause hair to become stuck in the telogen phase, also known as the rest phase. In this stage, new hair growth does not occur and it instead moves into the shedding phase.

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Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Hair Loss Reversal

If you can correct the stressful impact of your cocaine use by seeking treatment, your hair can once again move through the cycle of hair growth. It may take some serious time before your body and hair follicles can recover though.

However, prolonged stress may lead to permanent hair loss. This is why seeking treatment options should be considered as soon as you realize that you have a drug abuse issue that requires treatment.

Hair Loss and Withdrawal Symptoms

Hair Loss

It is important to note here that cocaine and hair loss is not necessarily reserved just for active use. When you are going through the detox process of illegal drugs, it can be quite a shock to the system.

If you have not yet seen hair loss, cocaine withdrawal symptoms can contribute massive stress to the body and lead to thinning.

As your body becomes used to functioning without the drug and the worst of the withdrawal is over, your shedding should stop.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Cocaine Hair Loss and Drug Abuse

Chances are that it comes as no surprise to you that your body needs certain nutrients in order to function properly. Every body system requires a certain amount of nutrients to get its job done — and that includes the growth of your hair.

Unfortunately, cocaine abuse and cocaine addiction often make it difficult for people to absorb the nutrients from their diet.

What nutrients your body can absorb are often given to more essential body systems such as the heart or the brain. The body is extremely smart and it knows that hair is not an essential piece to survival. It will start to shed and you may not see hair regrowth until you are able to quit cocaine use altogether.

Lack of Appetite Contributes to Nutritional Deficiencies

Lack of Appetite Contributes to Nutritional Deficiencies

In addition to not being able to absorb the nutrients that you do eat, it is important to note that your lack of appetite also impacts nutritional deficiencies. Those who are mired in a cocaine addiction often find that their appetite is suppressed.

This means that you may not feel as hungry as you usually would and skip many meals. The more meals and snacks that you skip, the less likely your body is to obtain the nutrients it needs to nourish essential body systems as well as your hair.

Skipping meals is only a part of the link between cocaine and weight loss, as well as hair loss, but it is an important piece of the puzzle. If you can force yourself to eat more nutritious meals, you may see less hair loss even with continued substance abuse.

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Less Healthy Meals and Hair Loss

For many people who have hair loss, cocaine also leads them to eat less healthy meals. They may crave more junk food or fast food, both of which contribute very little to your baseline of nutritional needs. You might have noticed rapid weight loss with your cocaine use, and this can also cause hair to fall out.

Hair regrowth will depend on consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

It may not be possible for you to consider making healthy meals until you get your cocaine addiction under control. Most people who struggle with substance abuse have a hard time with activities of daily living, and that includes cooking and meal planning.

Not to mention, you would need to go to the store to purchase ingredients and consume them before they go bad. All of this is more difficult when cocaine addiction is the culprit behind your hair loss.

Can Hair Loss Happen as a Result of Lifestyle Habits?

Whether you are dealing with substance abuse or concurrent mental health disorders, you may find that you have adopted a series of maladaptive lifestyle habits. Hair growth and the health of your hair follicles depends on your ability to care for it.

There are two major lifestyle habits that impact your hair loss: lack of sleep and lack of self-care.

Lack of REM Sleep

Lack of REM Sleep

In many cases, sleep patterns are one of the first things disrupted by cocaine use. In particular, this means that REM sleep (rapid eye movement) or deep sleep is disrupted. Unfortunately for your hair growth, sleep is an important part of the process of the body starting to repair itself.

When there are too many other body systems on high alert and not enough REM sleep to care for and repair them, hair growth takes a backseat.

During REM sleep, this is also the stage where the body releases hormones to regulate other body systems. With sleep disrupted, your endocrine system will also be disrupted. This means that there will be even less focus on non-essential activities like hair growth. Your body will be doing the bare minimum to stay alive.

Clearly, cocaine can cause a lack of sleep, particularly with crack cocaine, so this can often be tied to poor diet and other ‘coke lifestyle’ choices that can lead to dramatic hair loss.

Does Cocaine Cause Hair Loss: A Lack of Self-Care

Of course, hair loss is not necessarily just biological. When you take illegal drugs like cocaine, you are more likely to let your self-care fall to the wayside. This might mean that you are not washing, brushing, and otherwise caring for your hair the same way that you used to.

As hair care is reduced or altogether missing from your routine, you may find that your hair not only falls out more regularly but that it also tends to break easily.

This can lead to thinning around the ends of your hair, giving you the appearance of much thinner hair even with the same number of strands. The only way to correct hair breakage is simply to trim it above the point where it broke off and start with fresh hair growth if you can keep it healthy.

Some people may not want to cut their hair shorter, but it could be a way to hide hair loss as a result of cocaine use.

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Taking Care of Temporary Hair Loss with Treatment

Of course, hair loss can impact almost any stage of your hair growth cycle. It could surface as bald patches or a receding hairline. Hair loss from cocaine use is not a one-size-fits-all issue linked to the drug itself. Instead, it is a variety of factors that all contribute to your body’s unique response to the drug in its system.

Low-level laser therapy can treat hair loss, and help your natural growth patterns to return, but this must be done with a foundation of abstinence from cocaine or further hair loss can occur.

Using Treatment as the Foundation for Renewed Hair Growth

Once your recreational drug use is under control with our help, you can try taking hair growth vitamins and take extra steps to nourish your scalp and hair follicles. As the stress subsides and your self-care improves, you should see hair growth speed up. Still, regrowing your hair after extended cocaine use is not an overnight fix.

You will need to refrain from indulging in drug addiction long-term if you want to see your hair restored to its thick and beautiful former state.

Get Effective Treatment Options for Cocaine Use Today!

Effective Treatment Options for Cocaine

If you are ready to take the first steps toward recovery, Icarus Behavioral Health is here to help. We offer services from medical detox for cocaine recovery to inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment options.

Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer to help you start on the road to recovery and minimize hair loss, along with other common side effects of cocaine use.

All calls are completely confidential, so reach out now for resources and to get options for a healthier life!

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