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The effects of pollution on hair are mostly assumed but often dismissed. After all, a little bit of smog can’t hurt already dead hair cells, right? On the contrary, because the hair comprises dead, keratinized cells, it cannot repair itself once it’s damaged. Find out more about the effects of pollution to protect your hair from damage.

Contributes to Hair Loss

A 2019 study by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology found that exposure to air pollutants called particulate matter is linked to . Particulate matter refers to particles in the air composed of solid and liquid droplets. These include dust, dirt, smoke, and soot. However, others are too small to see with the naked eye. The study also revealed that these particles are also responsible for decreasing a certain protein in the scalp responsible for hair growth and hair retention. 

Although the harmful effects of air pollution are more spoken about, water contamination also poses problems for the hair (at the very least). According to the National Library of Medicine, traces of heavy metals like copper in water can destroy the hair cuticle and increase hair porosity. It exposes it to further damage, leading to weakness and hair fall.

Makes Hair Lackluster

Porous hair means . Oxidative stress, the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, can result in lackluster locks. According to the International Journal of Trichology, this can manifest in loss of color and hair graying. It can speed up the loss of pigment, depending on the amount of stress on the hair. Extreme cases can result in hair loss.

Accelerates Hair Aging

This loss in pigment is one of the symptoms of hair aging. However, oxidative stress can trigger other symptoms, including a decrease in hair production, the thinning of hair follicles, and the thinning of strands. Anyone who has these symptoms before 30 is experiencing premature hair aging. The International Journal of Trichology notes that this affects other aspects of a person’s life, including their self-esteem.

Promotes Dandruff

The most obvious and physical effect of pollution on hair is buildup. Whether the particulate matter is dust, smoke, or soot, it has a liquid component that allows it to bind quickly to the hair and scalp. If not properly cleansed and sloughed off, these can build up on the scalp and result in hair follicle damage, itching, irritation, and . Of course, it also makes your hair look dull, dirty, and weighed down.

Detoxifying and clarifying products can remove buildup from the scalp and hair strands. TRESemmé Detox & Nourish Shampoo is specifically formulated to clarify the scalp, remove impurities, and replenish the hair with nutrients. 

Use Sunsilk Naturals Sakura & Raspberry Radiance Shampoo to bring back radiance to dull tresses. It restores the hair’s natural shine and leaves it fresh and radiant. 

Meanwhile, for a burst of freshness, use Love Beauty & Planet Radical Refresher Shampoo with clarifying tea tree oil to rid the scalp of impurities, and a fresh vetiver scent for an instant lift.

You could also massage your scalp regularly to dislodge any stubborn residue, , and distribute your natural oils to your hair strands.

Environmental stressors may seem inescapable, but you can keep your hair healthy and lush with the right routine. Combat the effects of pollution by using the right products to cleanse and nourish your hair and scalp.