Our cell phones are a constant presence in our lives. We keep them in our pockets and by our sides almost all the time. As cell phones became ubiquitous over the past quarter-century, many people expressed concerns about whether and how the electromagnetic radiation they emit affects our health. While studies have made clear that there is no link between cell phone use and cancer or other serious conditions, some evidence has emerged, suggesting that prolonged cell phone use may contribute to hair loss.
While not definitive, the 2016 study “Hair Loss Due to Electromagnetic Radiation From Overuse of Cell Phone” published in the Journal of Cosmetology and Trichology concluded that “exposure to cell phone radiation can lead to hair loss” through three different impacts on the body.
Specifically, the researchers looked at the case of a 46-year-old male patient who had an unusual area of hair loss around his left ear. His hair surrounding this area was fragile, but could not be pulled out easily. Thinner, slow-growing hair was also seen on the base of the scalp. The findings of a biopsy indicated “prolonged exposure to an irritant or antigen” but did not indicate typical hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata or androgenetic alopecia.
The study considered previous research on the subject of cell phone use and hair loss and concluded that the radiation emitted from phones could lead to hair loss by:
- DNA breakage. Subjects tested immediately before and immediately after extended periods of cell phone use showed an increase in DNA single-strand breaks in human hair root cells located around the ear where they held the phone.
- Genotoxic and hormonal effects of mobile phone radiation. Cell phones impact the circadian patterns of gonadal, adrenal, and pituitary hormones, elevate estrogen, and reduce testosterone. All of these have a negative impact on the hair growth cycle. In addition to causing hair loss, mobile phone radiation can create hormonal imbalance, disturb hair growth regulation, and affect other systems in the body leading to secondary hair loss.
The good news is that the researchers were able to effectively treat the hair loss through the “use of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, which can aid in the recovery of the damaged cells.” Additionally, “low dose 2% minoxidil application combined with low dose comprehensive nutritional therapy, limiting mobile phone usage and keeping the mobile phone instrument away from the ear, helps in complete regrowth of the hair.”
Again, this research is not conclusive, so there is no reason to throw your phone out the window. But if you do notice unusual hair loss patterns on your scalp near where you usually hold your phone, you should consult with a hair restoration physician.
No Matter The Reason Behind Your Hair Loss, The Miami Hair Institute Can Help
Our world-renowned hair restoration physicians at the Miami Hair Institute diagnose and treat hair loss cases no matter what the underlying cause. Through advanced hair restoration surgical techniques, technology, and alternative non-invasive treatments, we can help patients suffering from hair loss regain their hair and self-confidence.
To receive your personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.