While tiredness and stress has long been linked to hair loss, it turns out working long hours could be making you bald.
If you ever needed more of a reason to get out of the office early this evening, a new study has revealed that spending at least 52 hours a week in the office can trigger hair loss.
According to reports, scientists are now urging lawmakers to reduce the number of hours people can be employed in bid to prevent it from happening.
The research, conducted in South Korea, examined 13,391 employed men aged 20 to 59, between 2013 and 2017.
They were split into three groups: ‘normal’ men who worked 40-hour weeks; those who worked ‘long’ hours up to 52 hours a week; and ‘much longer’ for anything above that.
Other factors like age, marital status, education, monthly household income, smoking and work schedule were also taken into consideration.
The study revealed men in their twenties and thirties who worked at least 52 hours a week went bald faster than those who had more regular working office hours, The Sun reports.
Cases of men with alopecia increased by 2% in the ‘normal’ group, 3% in the ‘long’ group and almost 4% in the ‘longer’ category. This was consistent with men across all walks of life, no matter what their marital status or lifestyle.
This has led experts to conclude stress caused by too much work and not enough free time is likely to be the main cause of hair loss.
Research lead Kyung-Hun Son, of the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, said:
The results of this study demonstrate that long working hours is significantly associated with the increased development of alopecia in male workers.
Furthermore, the strength of association has increased linearly as work time got longer.
Limitation of working hours in order to prevent alopecia development may be more necessary from younger workers, such as those in the 20s and 30s, at which hair loss symptoms start to appear.
Preventive interventions to promote appropriate and reasonable working hours are required in our society.
The research, which was published in the Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal, is thought to be the first of its kind looking at the impact of working hours on hair loss.
It is believed stress triggers damage to follicles, causing the hair to enter the ‘catagen’ phase, which is the end of active hair growth.
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.
Based on these previous researches, we can cautiously assume that the relationship between long working hours and the development of alopecia is likely to be mediated by job-related stress.
As if you needed a better reason to bob out of the office early this afternoon, this has got to be the perfect excuse.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.