Marijuana & Hair: Can Weed Cause Hair Loss?


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More and more folks are becoming cannabis-curious when it comes to weed for medical conditions. Researchers, too, are hopping on the cannabis caboose to look into claims about this supposedly potent plant-based drug.

Evidence suggests that compounds in cannabis known as cannabinoids (these include THC and CBD) may have real effects on certain types of pain and mental health conditions like anxiety.

Still, just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s totally free of side effects. Smoking cannabis might make you feel good, but what impact does it have on your hairline?

If you’re noticing signs of balding, you might wonder if your weed habit is helping or hindering.

Can weed cause hair loss? Or conversely, can weed make your hair grow? We’ll answer your burning questions below.

We’ll also cover how to treat hair loss, including effective treatments and lifestyle tweaks that may help with male pattern baldness. And we’ll briefly touch on a few non-marijuana-related factors that might contribute to excess shedding.

Can Weed Cause Hair Loss?

Here’s the thing: We know smoking nicotine cigarettes can negatively impact your skin and hair. Both smoke and nicotine break down fibers in the hair follicle, impacting hair growth. Smoke can also damage DNA and affect the hair growth cycle.

Going bald aside, there’s evidence that smoking might even cause premature graying.

2013 study involving 207 participants looked at two randomized groups of people. One group included folks who went gray prematurely (before age 30), and the other group included people with a typical graying pattern.

What did the researchers find? Cigarette smokers were more likely to experience premature graying than non-smokers. However, the study didn’t differentiate between those who smoked regularly and those who smoked occasionally, leaving us in the dark on the link between smoking frequency and hair graying.

All that said, it’s not clear whether smoking marijuana has the same effects on hair health.

One older study from 2007 suggested that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the active ingredient in cannabis that gets you high — might negatively impact the protein content of hair follicles.

Another study based on survey data from over 1,500 males found that testosterone levels were higher in men with more recent marijuana use. High testosterone levels translate to higher levels of the by-product DHT (short for dihydrotestosterone), a sex hormone linked to hair loss.

But having higher levels of testosterone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re destined to go bald. Read more about the link between DHT and hair in our guide to DHT and hair loss.

That’s about all the evidence there is to support a connection between marijuana and hair loss.

Still, it’s not a leap to conclude that any smoke — whether from nicotine or the ol’ jazz cigarettes — might damage your hair. So, if you’re worried about bald spots, consider switching from smoking weed to edibles — gummy is yummy, after all.

(Related: Finasteride & Minoxidil: The Most Effective Hair Loss Combo?)

Can Weed Make Your Hair Grow?

Emerging evidence suggests that cannabinoids have health-promoting effects — and these might extend to your hairline.

Wait — what the heck are cannabinoids? Cannabinoids are compounds, like THC and CBD, that come from the cannabis plant.

But did you know the body also has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), including cannabinoid receptors? Your body actually produces endocannabinoids similar to the cannabinoids in cannabis.

Cannabis produces its effects because it works on your body’s built-in cannabinoid highway. Think of cannabis compounds like the glass slipper for your body’s endocannabinoid receptors: They fit just right, potentially producing beneficial health effects — at least, according to emerging research.

Okay, back to hair. Can weed give you Fabio-esque locks? Probably not.

But some research indicates that cannabinoids might help with inflammatory conditions that cause hair loss. This includes alopecia areata (when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles) and telogen effluvium (a condition brought on by extreme stress that causes sudden, severe hair loss).

There’s also some evidence that cannabinoids help with skin conditions like eczema — which sometimes involves hair loss.

It’s important to point out that there may be a difference between ingesting cannabis orally and smoking it. Smoke itself might be bad news for your hair.

And ultimately, more studies are needed before healthcare professionals start prescribing weed for excessive hair shedding.

What You Can Do About Hair Loss

Noticing more hair around the shower drain than usual? Don’t panic.

There’s no conclusive evidence that weed can help with hair loss, but proven treatments are available.

Here’s how you can address hair thinning and balding.

Use Hair Loss Treatments

While research doesn’t back cannabis use to treat androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness, these FDA-approved medications can help:

  • Finasteride. Finasteride is specifically formulated to target and lower levels of DHT, a male sex hormone linked to male pattern baldness. It’s available in both oral and topical forms.

  • Minoxidil. Minoxidil is another proven treatment for male pattern baldness that comes in oral and topical forms, like minoxidil foam and liquid minoxidil solution.

Try Hair Growth Shampoos

Quality haircare products can help protect your hair follicles, too. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Volumizing shampoo and conditionerVolumizing shampoo and conditioner inject a dose of life into your hair to help camouflage patches of thinning hair.

  • Thickening shampoo with saw palmetto. Thickening shampoo is designed to promote fuller-looking hair. It contains saw palmetto, which may help block DHT.

  • Dandruff detox shampoo. This dandruff shampoo contains pyrithione zinc 1% and salicylic acid. These active ingredients don’t necessarily help with hair growth, but they can help reduce build-up that leads to limp, lifeless locks.

(Related: Does Topical Finasteride Work?)

Explore Lifestyle Tweaks to Reduce Hair Loss

The way you treat your scalp can impact your strands (or lack thereof).

To promote a healthy head of hair and prevent hair loss, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends:

  • Using high-quality shampoo

  • Avoiding over-washing your hair

  • Using conditioner to prevent dry and damaged hair

  • Heading to the salon for regular trims

  • Skipping heat treatments and chemical styling

  • Stopping harsh towel drying post-shower

  • Skipping tight hairstyles to avoid pulling on — and possibly damaging — your hair follicles

Follow these tips for a few months to see if you notice any improvement in the condition of your hair.

Address Other Factors That Can Cause Hair Loss

Your haircare routine isn’t the only factor affecting hair thickness and shedding. A few other things that might cause male hair loss include:

  • Too much stress. Chronic stress is a trigger for telogen effluvium. If you feel like you’re always on high alert, it may be time to think about creating a cooldown routine for your mind — whether that’s a morning yoga sesh or finding time during the day to walk in nature.

  • Nutritional deficiencies. It’s true: your diet can affect your hairline. Lacking certain nutrients, like iron, can trigger temporary shedding. Learn more about foods for hair growth in our blog.

  • Some medications. Some prescription medications that cause hair loss include high blood pressure meds and beta-blockers. Don’t just stop your meds cold turkey, though. Tell your healthcare provider about your recent hair loss and ask if another medication might be an option.

  • Health conditions. Hair loss can also happen with certain medical conditions, like autoimmune conditions and thyroid disease.

The Connection Between Marijuana and Hair Loss

The jury’s still out on whether weed is good or bad for your hair.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, you don’t necessarily need to quit weed. However, you’re probably better off opting for a proven, FDA-approved hair loss treatment like finasteride or minoxidil.

What do finasteride and minoxidil have in common? Let’s break it down:

  • They stimulate hair growth. Finasteride and minoxidil help promote hair growth — but they go about it in different ways. Minoxidil targets the blood vessels in your scalp, helping to promote blood flow. Finasteride helps inhibit DHT production.

  • They’re FDA-approved. Both treatments are approved to treat male pattern baldness.

  • They’re effective. These two hair loss treatments are backed by a ton of research.

The bottom line? There’s way more evidence to back up the effectiveness of these medications compared to marijuana. Bonus: research shows that they don’t seem to produce any adverse effects — even with long-term use.

You might not be able to completely reverse male pattern baldness, but hair loss treatments are available.

Our guides on how to make hair grow faster and how to cover up bald spots are full of helpful info and tips. And our biotin gummies are chock-full of essential nutrients to promote healthy hair growth.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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Discover the Most Popular Hairstyles the Decade You Were Born

Discover the Most Popular Hairstyles the Decade You Were Born

There are so many things that define each decade, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. But none of the things we’ve looked back on were quite as polarizing as the hairstyles. From piled-high funky styles to buzzed dos, here are the most popular hairstyles from the decade you were born, spanning from the 40s to the 2000s. 

Wikipedia / Mediafeed

Inspired by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood women at the time, the victory roll hairstyle featured tight curls pinned toward the face to frame it. Victory rolls were customizable, so you could opt for a single roll or different symmetrical or asymmetrical versions of dual rolls. 

Other popular hairstyles of the decade for women included tight curls, waves, and the pageboy. Women were also big on hair accessories, particularly the snood, which was essentially a crocheted bag used to cradle the hair and keep it in place. Both men and women sported the infamous pompadour during the ’40s. Men were also partial to quiffed hair or short curls and were also prone to just slicking their hair back.

Wikipedia / U.S. Army – Yank, the Army Weekly

Everyone knows the beehive hairstyle, whether you associate it with the ’50s or Amy Winehouse. All you had to do to be cool in the 1950s was pile your hair on top of your head in a conical shape to resemble a beehive. Lots of hairspray was needed for this one.

If your hair wasn’t long enough for the beehive, you might have sported other bouffant hairstyles, a poodle cut, an Italian cut, victory rolls, or even a pixie cut. Men were still into the slicked-back look along with side parts, the pompadour, or — if they were influenced by Elvis later in the decade — a Rockabilly do.

Wikipedia / Warner Bros.

Bouffant (derived from the French verb “bouffer,” which means to puff or fluff up) hair became popular during the 1950s, but dominated in the 1960s thanks to the iconic Jackie Kennedy sporting the style. The puffy, rounded hairdo was especially popular among housewives during the ’60s. 

Women also gravitated toward shorter hairstyles (influenced by Twiggy), including pixie cuts and flipped bobs and, for long hair, bangs. Men styled their hair with everything from the bowl cut and the ducktail cut to shag cuts and styles copying The Beatles.

Public Domain / Wikipedia

During the 1970s, the afro became a symbol of cultural and political expression, particularly within the African American community. The style pushed back against Eurocentric beauty standards and celebrated natural Black hair. Influenced by icons like Angela Davis and the Jackson 5, the afro surged in popularity, crossing racial and cultural boundaries to become a mainstream fashion statement. Its voluminous shape was achieved through techniques like picking, and its prominence spread among both men and women.

Separately, and inspired predominantly by Farrah Fawcett, long, feathered hair was also sought after during the ’70s. 

Wikipedia / GeorgeLouis at English Wikipedia

Whether it was crimped, curled, teased, spiked into a giant mohawk, or cut into a towering flattop, the most iconic ’80s dos could all be tied to one main group: big hair. During this decade, freedom of expression was fully embraced and displayed through hair. Styles like Jheri curls were popular thanks to Michael Jackson, and Billy Ray Cyrus spearheaded the popularity of the business in the front, party in the back mullet. The ’80s were eclectic times that reeked of Aqua Net and perms. 

Wikipedia / Allan Light

You didn’t even need to be a fan or viewer of “Friends” to ask your hairdresser to give you “The Rachel” in the ’90s. Everyone knew exactly which version of Jennifer Anniston’s hair you wanted. Layered, framed around the face, and shoulder-length was the style that ruled the decade. Chunky highlights, side bangs, and hair flipped out at the bottom were also wildly popular during the decade. And who could forget chopsticks carefully stuck into buns? All the rage. 

If you were a cool dude during the ’90s, you might have had frosted tips, spiky hair, or cornrows.


All you needed was a few bobby pins and some hairspray to make a pulled-back pouf happen, and every girl in the 2000s was on board. High ponytails and pigtails, choppy layers, and money-piece braids were a go-to as well. 

Skater boy hair/emo boy haircuts that swooped halfway across a guy’s face were also iconic during the 2000s. Who else remembers watching guys shake their heads in slow motion to get the hair out of their eyes like they were playing a role in the “Baywatch” intro? We shudder at the memory. On the opposite end of the spectrum, buzz cuts were prominent, along with faux hawks. 


Featured Image Credit: Mintra Kwthijak/istockphoto.