Does Cocaine Cause Hair Loss?

Monali Sharma
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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does cocaine cause hair loss

Cocaine is an extremely addictive drug with severe health repercussions.

One such legitimate concern is hair loss.

People have been using the drug in various parts of the world for years, and the number of users is still growing.

According to Drugwise, around 1 in 5 adults aged 16 to 24 have reported using drugs in the year 2021-22, ending in June.

Keep reading to know does Cocaine cause hair loss? and ways to tackle the problem.

Cocaine and hair loss

Cocaine can have several physiological effects on your body, especially on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

It also damages your hair which can also result in hair loss.

Cocaine can cause a number of hair problems depending on how your body reacts to it.

Good to Know
According to the organization, Our World in Data, around 164 million people had an alcohol or drug use disorder in the year 2016.

Moreover, almost 70% of people with alcohol or drug problem are male.

Telogen Effluvium

Cocaine is a potent drug that can put your body in shock.

This shock can cause your body to react in a way that can lead to Telogen Effluvium (TE).

Your hair follicles prematurely stop growing in TE and enter the resting phase.

However, it is a temporary hair condition.

If you stop the drug use, hair should grow back within a few months, but ongoing use of drugs can cause permanent damage to the hair.

Diffuse thinning

Cocaine use can also result in another hair loss condition called diffuse thinning.

This hair condition causes an increased rate of hair loss from all over the scalp. 

Cocaine can cause loss of appetite leading to a poor and imbalanced diet.

Diffuse thinning results from a lack of vitamins and minerals required for healthy hair.

Other troubles with cocaine use that can harm your hair including

  • Getting less sleep
  • Feeling unwell from the effects of the drug
  • Drug withdrawal symptoms

Moreover, repeated use of drugs over a long period can damage your hair follicles.

It can cause long-term damage to the blood vessels in your body that bring blood to your hair follicles resulting in poor blood circulation at the scalp.

Symptoms of Cocaine use

Cocaine rocksSource: Gennaro_Leonardi_from_Getty_Images
Cocaine rocks

Drug use causes your body to release a massive amount of chemicals, such as adrenaline.

It increases your heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. 

Due to these changes, your body can not process the nutrients required to function correctly, leading to a number of symptoms.

Following are some signs that drugs are affecting your hair health.

Other symptoms of Cocaine include muscle cramps, increased body temperature, and insomnia.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor to rule out any other underlying conditions.

Cocaine addiction is severe, as it alters your brain chemistry. 

Thus making it extremely difficult to quit.

You may experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression, and even hair loss.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, seek immediate help.

Causes of hair loss

Cocaine can cause hair loss due to a number of factors.

Below are some of the common reasons for hair loss in cocaine users.

Physical and emotional stress

Woman worried about hair lossSource: Alexander's_Images
Woman worried about hair loss

Physical stress is the major cause of stress-induced hair loss, Telogen Effluvium (TE).

It is a type of hair condition that usually causes hair loss after a traumatic event, a shock to your system, or an illness.

Cocaine abuse causes stress, and poor diet, which are linked to TE.

However, Telogen Effluvium is not a permanent problem; you can regain your hair once your health starts improving.

Additionally, mental health can also lead to or worsen hair thinning.

Cocaine withdrawal can also cause significant stress on the body, causing temporary hair fall.

Nutritional deficiency

Your body needs a balanced diet with enough nutrients to function.

Cocaine use, however, causes reduced appetite, making it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients.

When your body gets limited nutrients and calories, it is forced to use them on more critical bodily functions, such as your heart.

Due to insufficient nutrients, your hair can not grow properly, leading to hair problems.

Recommended Article:
You can read What to Eat to Stop Hair Fall Immediately? to help manage your hair loss from nutrient deficiency.

Lifestyle habits

Cocaine use can change your lifestyle habits rapidly and drastically.

Regular drug abuse decreases sleep quality and nutrient absorption and impacts hair care.

Sleep is essential for our body to repair and maintain overall health. Reduced sleep impacts this, increases your stress levels, and impacts your memory.

All of these components are connected to hair loss.

If not addressed, this can turn into a never-ending cycle, directly affecting your overall health.

Treatment programs and expert help

Giving up drugs is extremely difficult.

The process can be severe and hard, with several side effects.

Although challenging, it is essential to prevent further damage and health complications.

Professional treatments can help provide the support required to break the addiction.

These treatments usually involve behavioral therapies, medications, and rehab centers.

Additionally, hair growth medications can help with drug-related hair problems.

You can also take some Cocaine addiction treatment services available to recover from drug addiction.


Regular use of cocaine leads to some serious health problems.

One lesser-known side effect of drug use is hair loss.

While hair loss from cocaine use is temporary, its long-term use can cause serious harm to your hair.

The obvious first step to treating hair loss is stopping drug use.

There are several treatment options available for people with drug addictions. Also, rehab programs can help you tackle your addiction and enter a life of sobriety. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Cocaine use cause hair loss?

Yes. Cocaine causes several changes in your body that lead to hair loss. Regular drug use can suppress your appetite and increase physical and mental stress, both of which are linked to hair loss conditions.

Is hair loss from Cocaine reversible?

Yes. Cocaine use typically results in Telogen Effluvium and Diffuse thinning, both temporary hair loss problems. After you stop taking drugs, your overall health starts to get better. As a result, your hair also starts to regrow.

What other health problems can cocaine use cause?

Cocaine is an extremely addictive drug that can cause serious health problems. People who often use it can suffer from heart disease, lung damage, and mood changes. If you inject the drug, it may cause HIV or hepatitis. Possible side effects from cocaine use are a runny nose and nosebleeds.

Are there any treatments for hair loss caused by Cocaine use?

There are a lot of health issues caused by cocaine use that are also linked to hair loss. Once you stop using the drugs, your hair also starts improving. Also, hair growth medications are available for patients recovering from drug addiction.

Does the use of Cocaine increase the risk of hair loss?

If you have a hair loss problem, using Cocaine can make it worse. Stress is one of the side effects of drug use. Regular Cocaine use can result in a stress-induced hair condition called Telogen Effluvium. Moreover, poor diet, often seen in cocaine users, can lead to diffuse thinning.

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