Although the effects of air pollution on our general health have long been recognised, it is only recently that its impact on our hair has been studied. We take a look at the latest research and discuss ways to protect your hair from pollution damage.

The Effects of Pollution on Hair Growth

Hyuk Chul Kwon and a team of researchers from the Republic of Korea’s Future Science Research Centre recently presented a study entitled “Effects of particulate matter on human dermal papilla” at the 28th EADV Congress in Madrid. Particulate matter describes small liquid or solid particles, and dermal papilla are cells found at the base of the hair follicle. The team exposed dermal papilla cells to diesel and dust particles measuring 10 micrometres or less. Particles of this size are considered major contaminants and are linked with cardiovascular illness, as well as other serious health conditions. The dermal papilla cells were examined 24 hours after exposure, using a process that identifies protein levels. The test showed that the cells had lower levels of beta-catenin, cyclin D1, cyclin E, and CDK2, proteins which are involved with hair growth and retention.

Protect Your Hair from Air Pollution

The World Health Organisation estimates that 90% of us live in an environment that is contaminated by air pollution. Pollution is caused by the burning of fossil fuels (such as coal, diesel and petrol) and industrial activities (mining, construction and manufacture). It is difficult to completely avoid air pollution – so how can we protect our hair from damage? One suggestion offered by the study’s authors is to exercise indoors. You may also want to use a hat or head-scarf to cover your hair and scalp when you are in heavily polluted areas. Another option is to use anti-pollution hair care products, which are available from a growing number of beauty brands.

While this new research reveals important information about hair loss, bear in mind that pollution is only one of the factors that contribute to baldness. If you are concerned about excess shedding or slow growth, seek expert advice. Vinci Hair Clinic offers free consultations, so that you can find out what is causing your hair loss and get customised advice on the best treatments for your needs.

The Link Between Air Pollution and Hair Loss