Is Lead Exposure a Potential Cause of Hair Loss?



Residents of Flint, US, have been drinking bottled water for years after it was discovered the local water supply contained high levels of lead. However, it isn’t just ingestion that they might need to worry about. Exposing the hair and skin to high levels of lead can lead to numerous health problems.

Hairdressers help

A local stylist has been protecting her clients’ hair for years using charcoal shampoo. However, many don’t realise the potential effects lead can have on the hair. The Pure Bliss Salon & Spa is partnering with Transitions School of Cosmetology and Hair Studio 57, to offer a three-month free hair treatment for those suffering with lead exposure. This includes supplying them with hair care products. But is lead really something you should be worried about and can it cause hair loss?

Lead and hair loss – what you need to know

While the amount of lead you’re typically exposed to in your water supply is limited, over time it could cause problems for the hair. Residents of the US city Flint, started to notice bald spots along with itchy, dry patches after showering in the water. Authorities have stated it is safe to bathe, but not to drink the water, but many are developing rashes and suffering with hair loss which they are convinced is down to the lead in the water.

Lead can certainly cause hair loss, but it’s worth noting that you have to be experiencing severe lead poisoning to start losing your hair because of it. In fact, it’s much more likely to contribute to other, serious conditions such as cancer, high blood pressure and kidney disease.

So if you are starting to notice your hair becoming thinner or starting to fall out, it’s unlikely it is going to be caused by lead poisoning. The amount contained in tap water isn’t enough to cause severe poisoning. It’s worth going to the doctor as they will be able to diagnose the problem, enabling you to seek proper treatment.


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