Have you ever walked behind a bus and been hit with a mouthful of smog and smoke? It is completely disgusting and I hate to think that I’ve breathed in all of those fumes. I wipe my face and try and cough it out, but I never stop to think about all the air pollution that has gotten into my hair and will sit there until my next wash day, a week later.
Today, the air is overloaded with dust, dirt, lead, smoke, nickel, ammonia, arsenic and hydrocarbon which does not only put adverse effects on our interior health but also affect our hair very badly. Even after a day out in London, I can blow my nose and find a lot of dark dirt from the pollution in the air. Since our hair is often unprotected, it’s very susceptible to air pollution damage. This air pollution cause scalp irritation, dryness, breakage and even premature baldness. With curly hair, we use a lot more than just shampoo and conditioner, between serums, sprays and leave-in conditioners, our hair is inadvertently more susceptible to attracting and collecting air pollution and sticking to our product coated hair. The toxic content present in the air is also able to enter into the skin of the scalp and hinder the capability of hair to generate fibre and grow. These problems get more serious in city areas or area nearby industries. But the problem is not restricted to outside only, even pollution from indoors such as a kitchen fire, smoking, chemicals and common dust can impact your hair too.
How to Protect your Hair from Air Pollution
Cover Your Hair
Covering your hair with either a scarf or a hat is a great way to protect your hair from air pollution. Not only are headscarves beautiful, but they cover your hat and you can wear your hair in so many styles. To learn how to wrap a headscarf, click here. are also a great way of protecting your hair from the pollution in the air. If not a scarf, you can give a hat a go. While some hats may mess up your hairstyle or dry out your hair, you can opt for a satin lined cap or beanie like the ones sold by British Black Owned brand Curlisha. Covering your hair and scalp is a good way 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.
To counteract the damaging and drying effects of air pollution, look for products that contain a lot of moisture. Opt for products that state Aqua in the first 5 ingredients and include ingredients like Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin. Look for hydrating masks that moisturize and strengthen hair’s natural hydro-lipid layer, which coats the hair to help keep it hydrated. If you are worried about air pollution, try and stay away from products that feel sticky on the hair. Products that make your hair feel sticky can cause pollution particles to stick to the hair, so avoid products like heavy oils.
Nourishing the Scalp
Nourishing your scalp can help you to counteract the effects of air pollution on your scalp. Essential oils can help you improve the health of your hair with very little risk of side effects at an affordable price point. They’re also easy to use and relatively affordable, if you are in the UK I would recommend using FreshSkin.co.uk for free delivery and good prices. For many, just mixing some with a carrier oil (a base oil or vegetable oil, is used to dilute essential oils and absolutes) or your shampoo and applying that to your scalp regularly can increase hair growth, strength, or shine.
Adjust Your Routine
Hair that has been exposed to excessive amounts of air pollution becomes damaged, feeling brittle and making breakage and split ends more likely. Giving your hair a regular hair detox can help to minimize the effects of air pollution. Ingredients with the ability to maintain hair and scalp health by inducing healthy blood circulation to prevent itchiness, thinning hair and flaky skin are expected to be in demand. These include those with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, such as apple cider vinegar and turmeric.
How do you protect your hair from harmful pollution? What products have you found are most effective? Share with us! If you have any specific struggles or concerns with your hair, don’t hesitate to comment below, submit a hair analysis form or just send me a message.
– Paris x