According to the American Heart Association (AHA), nearly half the population has high blood pressure. So, the odds are that you have some level of high blood pressure. This can raise the question: Can high blood pressure cause hair loss?
The short answer to this is yes; high blood pressure can cause hair loss. It may not cause hair loss in everyone, but it can worsen hair loss that might be caused by other things.
The American Heart Association has a lot of information that I looked through about high blood pressure. This information makes it easy to see how this medical condition can affect your hair growth.
So, let me tell you what high blood pressure is and the ways it affects your hair growth. Even if you have hair loss because of high blood pressure, there are things you can do about it.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure (HBP) is where the pressure in your blood vessels is higher than it should be. This increased pressure is usually caused by the muscles around your veins and arteries being tight against them.
The tightness makes your blood vessels smaller, which is why high blood pressure is also referred to as hypertension. As you still have the same amount of blood, this gives your blood less space to be in.
Extra pressure inside you causes stress on the walls of your blood vessels, heart, and everything else. Your organs can only handle so much pressure before they start getting damaged.
Often, you have no signs of having HBP until you have already damaged at least one of your organs. This is why the AHA and similar sites refer to HPB as a ‘silent killer.’
Your heart has the hardest time because there is more resistance as it pumps your blood. The extra strain, in addition to the added pressure inside itself, is what causes heart problems.
What is worse is that high blood pressure can build on itself. As damage happens to your blood vessels, the tiny tears allow plaque to build up there. This buildup cuts down on the amount of space in your blood vessels, thereby increasing your blood pressure even more.
Also, pain makes your muscles tense up. Doctors often prescribe muscle relaxers to those with pulled muscles since these can’t heal as well if they are tense. Tensing up also affects the muscles around your blood vessels, which is why your blood pressure goes up when you are in pain.
In short, damage from HBP can cause pain, which makes your blood pressure even worse. Having two cycles trying to make it worse is why HPB can escalate quickly.
How Does High Blood Pressure Cause Hair Loss?
Blood pressure can negatively affect your hair growth in a few ways. To start, the increased pressure can damage your hair follicles just as easily as it damages your heart and organs. Your follicles may go dormant due to this damage.
Also, it is through your blood that oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your hair follicles. When your blood pressure is not what it should be, it is harder for your follicles to get what they need. This can also cause your hair follicles to go dormant due to being deprived.
Next, those with even mild cases of HBP often have to take medication for it. Most medications for blood pressure have side effects. Sometimes these side effects can include hair loss.
What is worse is that the AHA says that if one diuretic and two other blood pressure medicines aren’t enough to keep your blood pressure from rising, you may have what is called resistant hypertension.
So, you may be taking multiple medications for HBP. This increases the chances that you are taking one that negatively affects your hair growth.
What You Can Do About It
You may feel that it is pointless to try to prevent high blood pressure if you know it runs in your family. However, the American Heart Association says that this is a myth. As long as you make good lifestyle choices, there is a chance you can still avoid HBP.
If you end up with HBP, these things will help keep it under control. They are also good for you if you aren’t in danger of ever having blood pressure problems. Some of these tips are:
- Avoid excessive salt. Processed foods are generally high in salt even without you adding any.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Take vitamins if you must to make sure you get what you need.
- Get plenty of exercise, preferably outdoors where you can also get sunlight.
- Try to stay at a healthy weight.
- Try to maintain healthy eating habits.
- Try to avoid stress. If you can’t avoid it, find ways you can relax.
- Don’t drink too much coffee.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol.
- Don’t smoke.
Next, if you are already taking medication for this, you can talk to your doctor about which one might be best for you. While some HBP medications can cause hair loss, there are some that may help with hair growth.
Blood pressure is often aided by vasodilators, after all, and some hair loss treatments like Minoxidil are vasodilators. Ask your doctor if this type of HBP medication might work for you.
Even if your doctor says that a vasodilator won’t work for your blood pressure, you can still ask them if it is safe for you to use one topically to help your hair growth. Whatever medications you use for your HBP, be sure to take them faithfully to keep your blood pressure in check.
High blood pressure can affect your hair in ways you don’t want. Unfortunately, the AHA classifies this condition as a lifelong one that affects you for the rest of your life once you have it. This makes it more important to start thinking about how it can affect your hair the moment you know you have it.
If you know any other tips to control your blood pressure or to help your hair not be affected by your blood pressure, please tell them to me!