Just like the rest of our body, our hair and our scalp are also prone to the effects of pollution. While the health of hair and scalp depends on a lot of factors such as one’s diet, stress levels, health conditions, etc. many problems can be amplified simply due to exposure to pollutants in the air.
Particulate matter, quite literally, is the pollution in the air. It comprises of tiny particles or droplets of pollutants like copper oxides, ammonia, sulphur dioxides, and others. These are only visible to our eyes on hazy days when the weather is moist and humid, but urban areas are packed with these toxic pollutants.
Let’s look at the ways in which these affect the health of our hair and our scalp.
1. Loss of shine and brittle hair
Hair needs moisture to stay healthy, much like our skin. Particulate matter is notorious for sucking out the moisture from our skin, and the same is true for our hair as well.
Tiny particles of sulphur and carbon monoxide present in the air settle on the hair shaft , and make it weak and dry. The result is hair that is lifeless and dull, and with prolonged exposure the hair becomes brittle and prone to breakage as well.
2. Dry and itchy scalp
Dryness of the hair and scalp results in dandruff and that excellerates itchiness. Since the scalp is covered in hair, it is hard to moisturise it as well.
In such a case, one should consult their doctor and get a prescription because ignoring severe dandruff can develop into serious issues like scalp psoriasis. Deep nourishing and regular oiling will fail to help in case the condition goes this far.
3. Hair follicles slow down significantly
Soot, smog, and other air pollutants settle on the scalp just the way they settle on our skin. Research has concluded that when hair follicles are exposed to these particulate matter, the hair-growth protein called β-Cantenin, which is responsible for hair growth, reduces significantly
This results in loss of hair which manifests over time, and as the hair growth is slowed down this further results in thinning of hair.
Our silky, or curly, or messy mane is important to all of us, hence we should work towards improving its health constantly. While environmental stressors are hard to avoid, you can use hair supplements to aid hair health and a deep conditioning mask to restore moisture, and these little moves can make all the difference.