Can beta blockers affect your hair health?

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Are you one of the millions of individuals who rely on beta blockers to manage conditions like high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, or anxiety? If so, you might have wondered whether these medications could be affecting the health of your hair. The connection between beta blockers and hair health is a topic of interest that deserves attention. In this blog, we’ll discuss beta blockers side effects on hair health to help you better understand this relationship.

Beta Blockers 101: A Brief Overview

Before diving into the potential impact on hair health, let’s briefly understand what beta blockers are. Beta-blockers are a class of medications primarily used to treat cardiovascular conditions. They work by blocking the effects of adrenaline, leading to decreased heart rate and lowered blood pressure. Additionally, they are sometimes prescribed for anxiety and migraine prevention due to their calming effects on the nervous system.

There are several types of beta blockers, often classified into different generations based on when they were developed. Here are some common types:

1. First-Generation Beta Blockers

These are the older beta blockers that were among the first to be developed. They tend to block both beta-1 and beta-2 receptors and might have more non-specific effects. Examples include propranolol and nadolol.

Propranolol side effects on hair have been associated with reversible hair loss in some individuals. However, its impact on hair health varies widely and should be discussed with a healthcare provider when considering its use.

2. Second-Generation Beta Blockers

These are newer beta blockers that are more selective in targeting beta-1 receptors, which are primarily located in the heart. They have a lesser effect on beta-2 receptors, which are found in the lungs and other parts of the body. This selectivity helps reduce some of the potential side effects associated with non-selective beta blockers. Examples include metoprolol and bisoprolol.

Metoprolol side effects on hair are generally negligible. While individual responses vary, its primary focus on heart-related concerns suggests that a significant impact on hair growth or loss is unlikely. If you have specific concerns about metoprolol or any medication’s potential effects on your hair, consulting a healthcare professional is advisable.

3. Third-Generation Beta Blockers

These beta blockers have additional properties beyond their beta-blocking effects. Carvedilol, for example, not only blocks beta receptors but also has alpha-blocking properties, which can be beneficial in certain conditions.

4. Fourth-Generation Beta Blockers

This term is sometimes used to describe newer beta blockers that have more specific properties or improved pharmacokinetics. However, the term is less commonly used than in the previous generations.

The Potential Impact on Hair Health

Some studies suggest that beta blockers might have an influence on the hair growth cycle due to their impact on the body’s hormonal balance and blood circulation. However, the evidence is inconclusive, and the effects can vary from person to person.

1. Hormonal Influence

Beta-blockers could potentially affect hormones that play a role in hair growth. Hormones like cortisol and testosterone, which are intricately linked to hair health, might be influenced by these medications. Changes in hormone levels could potentially disrupt the hair growth cycle.

2. Blood Circulation

Proper blood circulation is crucial for delivering nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles. Since beta blockers are known to reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, there’s a possibility that blood flow to hair follicles might be compromised. Inadequate blood supply can impact the health of hair follicles, affect the growth phase of the hair cycle thereby impeding hair growth.

3. Individual Variability 

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience hair-related side effects from beta blockers. Genetics, overall health, and other individual factors play a significant role in determining how a medication affects a person. Some individuals might notice changes in hair texture, thickness, or shedding, while others may not observe any significant differences.

Maintaining Healthy Hair While on Beta Blockers

If you’re taking beta blockers and concerned about their potential effects on your hair health, here are some tips to consider:

  • Nutrition: Ensure your diet is rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and proteins that support hair health.
  • Hygiene: Keep your scalp clean and maintain good hair hygiene to prevent issues like dandruff or scalp inflammation that could exacerbate hair problems.
  • Stress Management: Since beta blockers are sometimes prescribed for anxiety, stress management becomes crucial. Practice relaxation techniques to mitigate the potential impact of stress on hair health.


The relationship between beta blockers and hair health is a complex and nuanced one. Regarding the beta blockers side effects on hair, there is some theoretical basis for a connection but individual responses can vary widely. If you’re experiencing concerns about your hair health while taking beta blockers, it’s best to consult a medical professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your unique situation. Remember, maintaining overall well-being through a healthy lifestyle remains a key factor in promoting hair health, regardless of any medications you might be taking.

HK Vitals


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