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Working long hours ‘increases risk of early baldness’

Researchers say stress is to blame

Men who work long hours are at an increased risk of early baldness, scientists have claimed.

Researchers from South Korea examined 13,391 employed men aged 20 to 59 between 2013 and 2017.

They found that men in their 20s and 30s who worked at least 52 hours a week went bald faster than those with more regular office hours.

Incidences of alopecia increased by 2% among those who worked a 40-hour week, 3% among those who worked up to 52 hours, and almost 4% for those who worked any time above that.

Alopecia was consistent among men from all walks of life, whatever their lifestyle or marital status.

The scientists said stress caused by working long hours is the most likely culprit of hair loss. Stress triggers damage to follicles and causes the hair to enter the “catagen” phase – the end of the active growth of a hair.

Research lead Kyung-Hun Son, of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, said a lot of studies have revealed the mechanism of alopecia development by stress.

“In mice experiments, stress was significantly related to the inhibition of hair growth, induction of catagen cycle, and damage of hair follicles. Other researches have also suggested that stress can affect injuries and inflammations of hair follicles, cell deaths, and inhibit hair growth,” he added.