Could Blue-Light Exposure Accelerate Hair Loss?

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Specializing in everything hair loss–related, Beverly Hills, CA hair restoration specialist Dr. Craig Ziering says, of late, he’s been giving his patients some decidedly modern-day advice—and it’s something that goes beyond the standard words of wisdom when it comes to matters of hair health.

“Too much screen time is rarely a good thing,” he warns, adding that, while illuminated screens and their short wavelength blue light have been linked to the growing health condition of insomnia, what many don’t realize is the connection between poor sleep and hair health.  

“Your body needs good and consistent sleep for cellular repair and for general relaxation—especially during these stressful times that don’t have much of an end in sight. Sleep deprivation has also been shown to trigger hair-loss episodes called telogen effluvium, in which the hair-growth cycle gets disrupted and in effect ‘stuck’ in its resting phase followed by massive hair shedding.”

Plus, Dr. Ziering adds, there is some evidence to suggest that too much blue light exposure can accelerate genetic pattern hair loss for both men and women. “Limiting your screen time, has many benefits for your general health and well-being. It’s good to disconnect.” 

Hamden, CT dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD—who worked with all things–blue light brand Goodhabit for a recent event—backs the fact that blue light itself may not directly affect hair loss and shedding, but it most certainly affects sleep, which, in turn, stresses out strands in the long-term.

“When you don’t sleep, cortisol levels go up,” she explains. “This can increase hair shedding transiently—aka, you see it on your pillow and in the shower—and even premature hair loss if sustained.”

The bottom line, New York dermatologist Jody A. Levine, MD reinforces: Blue light causes stress, and it’s a source of concern that patients most definitely have on their radar.

“People are concerned about blue light and it’s aging affects on the eyes and the skin, but I have never heard a concern about it with regard to hair loss,” she says. “One can make an argument that people who are very stressed and working all the time on their devices may have increased hair loss/thinning, but that would be from the stress and not from the blue light.”

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