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Does Meth Cause Hair Loss

Understanding the Fallout from Meth and Getting Support to Quit

The fallout from meth addiction can cost- it costs jobs, families, and relationships, plus it takes a toll on mental and physical health. It’s well known that methamphetamine causes poor skin health and tooth loss, but some people might be wondering, “Does meth cause hair loss, too?”

The short answer is that yes, in many cases, the prolonged use of meth and other substance abuse can lead to hair loss. If you or a loved one is experiencing hair loss from meth use, the first step is detox.

At Catalina, we help clients get through the hardest parts of detox and provide support that promotes long-term recovery. Keep reading to learn more about hair loss caused by methamphetamines and how to promote healthy hair growth during recovery at Catalina Behavioral Health!

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Does Using Meth Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, methamphetamine can cause hair loss due to a variety of reasons, all of which we will delve into. Most often, hair loss begins with patchy areas where hair appears thinner and eventually covers the whole head.

In most cases, drug-induced hair loss occurs for several reasons that we’ll discuss below.

Fidgeting and Damage of the Hair Follicle

Meth particularly can cause fidgeting habits that might make a person pull at their hair or pick at their skin, whether as a nervous reaction or when responding to the illusory presence of meth mites. This fidgeting is even worse in individuals who struggle with anxiety.

Pulling at one’s hair can lead to damage to the hair follicles which makes it harder for hair to grow. Other forms of fidgeting are also common with meth use, including picking at one’s skin on the face or body. Skin picking and pulling hair from the scalp both take a toll on an individual’s physical appearance.

Poor Nutrition and Hygiene

Poor Nutrition and Hygiene

Malnutrition and poor hygiene can also contribute to hair loss. Crystal meth, whether shard or powder, suppresses the appetite, and individuals may not eat as often as they need to or they may eat a poor diet with low-nutrition foods. Additionally, the way that meth interferes with your body inhibits the way it can maintain normal processes, like your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.

Individuals using meth also might not focus on their physical appearance. As a result, they may not wash or brush their hair as often as needed.

These habits stop them from removing oil and dirt buildup and dead skin cells from the hair. Without these things being regularly removed, they result in itchiness, flakiness, and even damage to the hair follicle.

Chemical Changes and Damaged Keratin

Methamphetamine addiction causes chemical changes all through the body. When a person’s organs are undergoing severe stress from substance abuse, it’s not uncommon for them to shed stray strands of hair.

It’s also not uncommon for drug abuse to damage keratin Keratin is the substance in your hair responsible for how shiny and healthy it appears.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

Of course, methamphetamine use is not the only reason a person may shed hair. Other illicit substances can also cause or worsen hair loss.

Certain medications, severe stress, mental health conditions, scalp irritation, and family genetics can also lead to hair loss. Additionally, a person’s self-care habits and nutrition play a role in the thickness and health of hair.

Does Meth Use Cause Permanent Hair Loss?

Fortunately, if you or a loved one are struggling with hair loss from meth addiction, there is help. Hair loss from meth use does not have to be permanent.

Treatment for hair loss from meth use is going to start with detoxing from this powerful stimulant drug and making healthy lifestyle changes. Medical professionals may also address issues with malnutrition as a part of recovery.

Additionally, a treatment program offering group and individual therapy for managing stress will often help tremendously. Finally, during or after treatment there are prescription, specialized shampoos and medications that can help reverse damage to follicles and promote hair regrowth.

Other Physical Signs of Meth Abuse

Losing hair is only one of the physical ailments associated with long-term meth use. It takes a serious physical toll on the body as well.

Individuals who use meth heavily also experience extreme weight loss. Methamphetamine is an appetite suppressant and it also speeds up metabolism, which burns the fewer calories consumed much faster.

Other physical symptoms include skin that appears dull, scabbed, or scarred from skin picking, tooth decay and tooth loss from “meth mouth”, and dilated pupils. Meth users also may have track marks from shooting meth or burns on their fingers and lips from smoking it.

Drug Abuse and Alopecia

Drug Abuse and Alopecia

Methamphetamine is not the only drug known for causing premature hair loss in men and women. Drugs like crack, cocaine, and heroin can all cause hair loss. There are even instances where marijuana abuse causes hair loss in individuals who struggle with hygiene.

In habitual users, poor sleep, self-care, and nutrition play a role in hair loss. While this hair loss may not be permanent, it’s important to look at treatment options for overcoming meth addiction to reverse the damage.

At Catalina, we’ll work closely with you on all aspects of treatment, from overcoming addiction to recommending a regimen to restore the health of your scalp, hair shaft, and follicles.

How Hair Loss Affects Mental Health

Hair thinning or loss is something that might worsen the struggle with drug abuse and mental health issues as well. The health of one’s hair is tied closely to self-image and hair loss can cause poor self-esteem.

When hair loss causes low self-esteem, there is an increased chance of anxiety and depression. These conditions can cause poor hair health on their own because of the problems they may cause with self-care.

Furthermore, poor nutrition, poor hygiene, and disrupted sleep patterns associated with mental health conditions can impact hair growth. Substance abuse also makes conditions like depression, anxiety, and paranoia worse and the associated psychological stress can cause hair loss.

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Can Damage to the Hair Follicles Be Reversed?

Yes, damage to hair follicles can be reversed. The most critical first step, though, is for drug users to take a look at treatment options for meth and detoxing from methamphetamine.

Ceasing drug use will stop more damage from occurring to the hair strands and allow the healing process to start. From there, treatments like medication, shampoos, and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) that stimulate hair growth may be recommended.

In cases where hair growth is slow or doesn’t improve, other routes may be considered. Some people consider a hair transplant if they are struggling with alopecia caused by addiction.

Overcoming Hair Loss from Meth Addiction

Overcoming Hair Loss from Meth Addiction

You cannot treat meth addiction overnight, just like addictions to meth or other drugs do not form overnight. For individuals struggling to overcome the withdrawal and cravings from quitting meth alone, you can seek professional help.

Getting help in a supportive environment is critical to overcoming addiction. Whether you are seeking help for yourself, a friend, or a family member, give us a call at Catalina today. We can answer your questions about treatment for yourself, family members, or loved ones.

At our facility, we’ll give you the tools and support needed to overcome addiction. A comprehensive treatment program might include treating symptoms of withdrawal to help you detox and providing individual and group therapy through the process.

During therapy, you’ll learn skills to manage stress and cravings for illegal drugs. Group therapy also provides a place to develop social relationships with people who understand what you are going through. This can help with some of the isolation and loneliness that can be all too common when abusing substances.

Effective Treatment for Hair Loss Caused by Drug Use

Repeated use of crystal meth or other drugs can lead to damage deep in the hair follicle, making it harder for hair to grow. After you’ve stopped using drugs, the next step is a healthier lifestyle that promotes hair health. This includes things like better nutrition that makes hair strong and improved hygiene.

In addition to better lifestyle choices, the right kind of treatment will repair damaged follicles and encourage hair growth. This might include special shampoos, medication, or a haircare regimen that supports healthy hair growth.

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Take a Critical Step to Reverse the Damage from Meth Now

Whether you are seeking treatment for yourself or helping a loved one access treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out today. At Catalina Behavioral Health, our team is waiting to help you reverse those symptoms from methamphetamine use like hair loss.

In addition to offering treatment for withdrawal and addiction, we can help you develop healthy coping skills for managing stress and cravings. Additionally, while stopping drug use will help reverse hair loss on its own, we can also recommend treatment for hair loss.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and get options for support with Catalina today!

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