The Relationship Of Air Pollution And Hair Loss

We all know that air pollution increases the risk of cancer and health problems related to the heart and lungs. It is estimated that air pollution each year causes 4.2 million young deaths worldwide (WHO data). It is also the cause of illnesses like depression or infertility. Moreover, a new study published at the 28th European Academic Conference on Dermatology and Venereal first showed the relationship between air pollution and hair loss.

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Air pollution seriously affects proteins that promote hair growth.

Air Pollution Causes Hair Loss

A study analyzed the impact of air pollution from vehicle exhaust and 24-hour industrial activity on the amount of protein in cells in hair follicles.

Using the Western Blot technique, the scientists found that the amount of Beta-catenin-a protein that promotes hair growth and regulates hair follicles-is greatly reduced by the influence of PM10 dust.

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In addition, the three proteins that play a vital role in hair growth are Cyclin D1, Cyclin E, and CDK2. They are also significantly affected when hair follicles are exposed to pollutants.

The lead researcher, Hyuk Chul Kwok, Korea Research Center for Future Science said that protein for hair growth is most affected when the human scalp cells are exposed to the air pollution created by burning fossil fuels. The higher the level of pollution, the more likely it is to lose hair.

How To Protect Hair From Pollution

Besides, an independent study conducted by hair transplant surgeon Rajendrasingh Rajput also showed that air pollution will increase the sensitivity of the scalp, causing itching, dandruff that excess oil and pain in the hair roots. Regardless of age or gender, the effects of air pollution on hair are equally severe.

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To keep hair from the effects of pollution, Rajput recommends that people should regularly wash their hair, moisturize their hair, and wear a protective scalp hat to avoid direct contact with the pollution. Limiting styling with heat methods is also a thing that you should note.

What Is Fine Dust Causing Hair Loss?

Air pollution particles (fine dust) are divided into two types. They are PM2.5, which is a solid particle with a diameter of microscopic, less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers, and PM10, a particulate matter with a diameter of less than or equal to 10 micrometers (but still greater than the diameter of PM2.5).

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Both are considered heavy air pollutants and severely affect human health in a variety of ways, such as heart attack, lung function-related diseases, cancer, and many other respiration problems. These dust particles will fill the hairline causing hair follicles to become blocked. This can lead to dermatitis, itching, and dandruff.

The sources of these polluted particles come from burning fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel, mining industries, and manufacturing construction materials such as cement, ceramics, bricks, etc.

How To Prevent Hair Loss From Air Pollution

Wear a hat

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It can be said that hats are not just for fashion, they actually can serve a purpose too. Covering your hair and scalp is a good method to protect it from any airborne particles that could be toxic and harmful. It’s also helpful in shading your eyes and face from the sun’s harmful UV rays.


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Pollution and other environmental factors dry out your hair and scalp, however, thankfully there are plenty of moisturizing regiments to counteract this. Look for hydrating masks that moisturize and strengthen hair’s natural hydro-lipid layer, which coats the hair to help keep it hydrated.

Deep condition

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Start a deep conditioning routine weekly. Deep conditioners are methods that used to repair damaged hair, penetrating deep into the hair hydrating and repairing it. Over-styling with chemical and heat in addition to the effects of pollution and the environment do a number on your hair.

Adjust your styling routine

Hair has been exposed to excessive amounts of air pollution leading to becoming damaged, feeling brittle and making breakage and split ends more likely. Also, be careful when using heat from a straighter, curling iron or hairdryer as well as brushing and styling.

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How do you protect your hair from harmful air pollution? A perfect protect way for your hair is wearing 10-inch weave hair which can cover your hair completely. What hair products have you found are most effective? Share with us!