Tanning beds generally use UVA rays to tan your skin, and some tanning beds also emit UVB rays to produce a better tan. However, we now know that UV rays can age and damage skin – and they do this by creating a molecular reaction that produces damaging changes to the DNA and cell membranes. Research even shows a connection between melanoma and UVA ray exposure, which could mean that tanning beds put you at greater risk for melanoma. While all of this sounds quite grim for those who love the quick and effortless results of tanning beds, there is no specific evidence that links tanning beds directly with hair loss.
However, even with no hard evidence that links tanning beds with hair loss, they can still affect those with androgenic alopecia and actually speed up the hair loss process. It is believed that the rays from tanning beds increase the micro-inflammation that alopecia sufferers are more sensitive to.
While we don’t recommend it, if you are planning on using a tanning bed, you should take precautions. It’s important to protect your hair from UV ray exposure because the rays can affect the chemical structure of your hair, and even cause changes in color. This is especially important if your hair is chemically treated. UV rays can make your hair more porous and allow for dramatic color changes.
In general, you want to make sure to protect your hair and skin from sun exposure. One way to do this is to apply sunscreen to your scalp and the roots of your hair, or wear a hat when you go outside. Prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays can increase your risk of problems in the future.
If you think you’re losing more hair than normal, make an appointment to see one of our hair restoration specialists for a free consultation today.