Working long hours may be beneficial for your bank account but it could be bad news for your hair.
A new study has discovered career success may come at a price after finding that people who work more than 52 hours a week are twice as likely to go bald.
Although many of us are paid to work 40 hours, walking out of the office at 5pm is often a distant dream.
Research into the links between longer working hours and hair loss has taken results from 13,000 men in South Korea, where its commonplace to far exceed 40 hours at work each week.
The stress that comes with working longer hours can cause a hormonal change in the scalp and inhibit the growth of hair follicles.
Previous research has also shown that stress causes our immune system to attack hair follicles.
The people behind the study are now urging employers to be more considerate with hours their workers are allowed to put in, arguing that not only can it lead to hair loss but also a string of other negative side effects.
Academics from Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in South Korea used 13,000 men between the ages of 20 and 59 over a four year period (2013-2017) to conduct the research, but didn’t include women in the study.
The men were grouped according to the amount of hours they worked, and other factors including martial status, income and smoking were also taken into consideration.
It was found that there was a significant link between longer working hours and baldness.
Lead author Kyung-Hun Son said: “The results of this study demonstrate that long working hours is significantly associated with the increased development of alopecia in male workers.
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.”
Son added: “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.”
So if you’re a fan of your locks, tell your boss some scientists have said you need to work less.