If you want to keep your hair, a new study suggests that you should leave work when it’s actually quitting time. Many of us don’t have the luxury of clocking in at 9 and leaving work at 5, but a link between excessive overtime and baldness has now been found.
Try explaining it to your boss when you’re the first one out the door. “Sorry, man – I can’t afford to lose any more hair.”
How Many Hours are Too Many, For Your Hair?
The study suggests that there is a significant link between those who work more than 52 hours a week and those who are balding. In fact, if you’re working these intense hours, you are twice as likely to go bald!
The study comes out of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in South Korea, which looked at 13,000 men between the ages of 20 and 59 over a four year period.
These men reported their age, marital status, smoking, income, and yes – their hours worked every week.
The link was alarming, even to researchers who expected there to be some correlation.
The lead author says that “The results of this study demonstrate that long working hours is significantly associated with the increased development of alopecia in male workers.”
He went on to suggest that limiting working hours in “younger workers, such as those in their 20s and 30s” could help reverse this.
Why Does Working Longer Hours Cause Hair Loss?
Researchers believe that it is a combination of several things that causes this hair loss in those working intense hours, not just one factor.
The first thought is that extended office hours actually causes a hormonal change within the body that affects the scalp, stopping the growth of new hair follicles. It’s unclear as of right now if a hormone supplement could help combat this for those stuck at work anyway.
Previous studies have linked an increase in stress to hair loss, suggesting that the body simply doesn’t know how to deal with it and starts attacking itself, including hair follicles.
It seems like this combination is what is really causing the hair loss – sort of a one-two punch for those already susceptible to balding.
It’s worth noting that the study did not include women, who also can suffer from hair loss and alopecia.