Does Chewing Tobacco Cause Hair Loss? The Link Between Chewing Tobacco and Hair Loss Explained

You likely know that smoking can lead to hair loss...but what about chewing or dipping? Does chewing tobacco cause hair loss? And beyond the scalp, can chewing tobacco cause hair loss elsewhere on the body - such as your beard?

If you use chewing tobacco or dip and have noticed more hair fall than usual, it's not a coincidence. There is a link between chewing tobacco and hair loss. And today, we'll explain everything you need to know about the science behind this phenomenon.

Before you start freaking out and end up causing even more hair fall through stress, understand that there are easy fixes to this problem.

You can look into hair regrowth techniques, or better yet - kick that chewing habit to the curb for good. It's not just wreaking havoc on your scalp - but chances are, you already know that. What you may not have known, though, is that there is a chewing tobacco alternative to help you make this nasty habit a thing of the past.

More on that later - first, let's address the main question at hand today. Does chewing tobacco cause hair loss?

Does Chewing Tobacco Cause Hair Loss? The Link Between Chewing Tobacco and Hair Loss Explained

Studies show that there does, in fact, exist a correlation between chewing tobacco and hair loss - as well as eventual male pattern baldness. And yes, it goes beyond the scalp - but more on that later. For now, let's examine the link between chewing tobacco and hair loss on the head.

Research suggests the primary culprit is nicotine - which is the addiction-forming substance that you can't seem to get enough of in the first place. That's right - the substance that's taken control of your bank account and is slowly degrading your oral health is coming for your hair, too! Here's why it happens:

It Restricts Oxygen Delivery to Your Scalp

The nicotine present in chewing or dipping tobacco can cause constriction of the blood vessels that provide nutrients and oxygen to our cells - including follicles located in your head and other areas where you may be experiencing hair fall. This leads to damage to your follicles and eventual thinning or complete destruction over time.

The reason this matters so much is that oxygen is so essential to healthy hair growth. And being how little oxygen gets to the scalp as is, restricting any possible flow creates a serious problem. All of this leads to increased production of DHT - a compound responsible for hair loss and the inability to regrow new hair.

Eventually, the restriction of oxygen to the scalp leads to AGA - or Androgenetic Alopecia. This is one of the most common forms of balding. We say this because if you don't stop the habit now, you could be doing irreversible damage to your scalp. On the other hand, by stopping right now, you're giving your hair follicles a fighting chance to come back to life.

And this is just one of the mechanisms by which chewing tobacco and hair loss are related. Let's examine another below...

Arsenic & Other Harmful Compounds Found in Chewing Tobacco are Responsible, Too

In addition to the restriction of oxygen in your blood vessels, there is another belief as to why chewing tobacco causes hair loss. Many smokeless tobaccos contain high levels of arsenic which actually does damage to the scalp and can interfere with circulation and disrupt your body's ability to create new hair follicles.

And we haven't even begun to discuss the effect that certain fertilizers and pesticides in that chewing tobacco can do your hair - let alone the rest of your body. Tobacco is also commonly found to contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and other nasty chemicals like nitrates. If you didn't already know, tobacco is one of the most heavily treated crops in the world - and the soil it's grown in is a cesspool for things that cause problems in your body (like hair loss).

Now, is it just your scalp hair - or can chewing tobacco cause hair loss in beards or other parts of your body, too? Let's take a look at what the science says.

Can Chewing Tobacco Cause Hair Loss in Beards or Elsewhere on the Body, Too?

Chewing tobacco does not discriminate about where your hair fall occurs. It’s not just on the head - you can experience hair loss elsewhere on your body too! If you're a long-time dipper or chewer, it's likely that you may have seen some thinning in places where you don't normally experience hair fall. This includes areas such as your beard, chest or even arms.

Is it Chewing Tobacco or Male Pattern Baldness Causing Your Hair Loss?

It's important to note that there does exist a difference between male pattern baldness (MPB) and hair fall caused by chewing tobacco. MPB is genetic and does not really have an environmental factor associated with it - as opposed to hair fall due to nicotine consumption.

The good news is that if you are experiencing hair fall due to chewing tobacco, it does not necessarily mean permanent balding. With the right lifestyle changes and a healthier alternative for nicotine consumption, such as Grinds nicotine-free pouches, you can begin to see an improvement in your overall health - including your hair. With that said, here are some tips to help you quit chewing tobacco for good.

Tips for Quitting Chewing Tobacco

Even if you're not ashamed of the fact that you're going bald, there is no question that quitting chewing tobacco is something you need to work towards. The long-term health implications of nicotine addiction are serious. Fortunately, we've put together some tips on how to quit chewing tobacco.

  1. Make sure you have a plan or strategy in place that works best for you. This could include setting goals, talking to friends and family about positive reinforcement or even using medication or patches to help reduce cravings.
  2. Prepare for withdrawals. We encourage you to read our article on what to expect when you quit dipping so you are prepared for some of the more unpleasant dip withdrawal symptoms, like irritability, nausea, headaches, and more.
  3. Look for healthier alternatives to nicotine consumption such as Grinds. Our nicotine and tobacco-free chew gives you that same feeling you've come to know and love - with none of the health consequences. In fact, we've formulated our dip replacement with a healthy dose of caffeine and B vitamins. This gives you that boost you need to conquer the day head-on. And with the best flavors, you'll find that making the switch comes naturally - you'll never get bored, either!
  4. Take it one step at a time - don't try and quit cold turkey. That's too overwhelming. Instead, start off with reducing the number of times you dip per day, or switch to another habit like drinking tea instead of dipping when you would normally reach for tobacco products.
  5. Find an accountability buddy who can motivate and encourage you during your journey - they can help keep you on track if you find yourself slipping up here and there!
  6. Reward yourself for milestones over time. Treat yourself at 1-week chew-free, a month chew-free, 3 months, 6 months, and beyond! This will keep you motivated - and frankly, you deserve to spoil yourself for this accomplishment. 

For more information on how to quit dipping tobacco, read our full guide on the topic. We're here to help you kick this addiction to the curb and transform your physical and mental health for the better. Not just with our helpful guides, but with our coffee grinds pouches too! Get yours today and start your journey to becoming a better version of yourself.

Final Thoughts on the Relationship Between Chewing Tobacco and Hair Loss

That concludes our in-depth review of the relationship between chewing tobacco and hair loss. We hope we answered the questions you came here with - such as does chewing tobacco cause hair loss? Can chewing tobacco cause hair loss on your beard as well as your scalp?

As you can see, there is an obvious connection between chewing and hair loss. This is because of the restriction of oxygen to the scalp - along with the introduction of hair-killing compounds to your bloodstream every time you chew. The good news? It's not permanent - at least, not if you start addressing the problem early. Waiting too long is a surefire way to say goodbye to your hair for good.

But with the help of Grinds, quitting this addiction isn't quite as insurmountable as it may have originally seemed. You just need a healthy alternative to chew - like our nicotine and tobacco-free pouches. This secret weapon, paired with a solid plan for quitting and a bit of resiliency, will have you well on your way to a lifestyle free of chewing-tobacco - one where hair loss is a thing of the past!