Let’s accept it – there is pollution all around us and it affects our skin and scalp. The most common pollutant is dust, which tends to settle down on the hair and scalp. The increase in the number of vehicles has further contributed to air pollution, and our air contains very small bits of soot and smoke. These fumes contain harmful elements like nickel, dioxides of sulphur and nitrogen, arsenic, ammonia and various chemicals released from industrial and domestic sources. These pollutants stick to the scalp, leading to follicle stress and hair loss.
Pollutants and dissolved salts in water too affect our skin and hair. We may not realise it, but all this causes long term damage. Skin and scalp irritation may also occur, along with allergic reactions. The problem is particularly high in metros, where pollution levels are higher.
Pollution is particularly harmful for the hair and may cause dryness, irritation, itches, premature greying of hair, prickly scalp, hair loss and premature balding. Dandruff and other scalp conditions, including pain at hair follicles may also occur. The condition can be summed up as the ‘Sensitive Scalp Syndrome.’
Unfortunately, you cannot avoid these ill effects as you have to go out for work or leisure. But don’t think that you can protect hair from pollution by staying in your house. These pollutants also exist indoors: air conditioners recycle the same air and pollutants add up in badly ventilated areas. You cannot escape pollution which is all around us!
What can you do to avoid damage to the skin due to pollution? Read on for some simple steps:
Do not over-wash: Do not over-wash your hair thinking that pollution particles should be washed out every day. Follow your normal washing routine but use a mild shampoo. Using an aloe vera gel or coconut oil will help remove the pollutants that may have stuck to the scalp.
Use oil weekly: Follow an oil massage routine every week. Oil your hair in the evening and wash it out the next day. Natural coconut, almond or mustard oils are considered good for the hair. However, do not go out with oily hair as it will attract dust and other particulate matter.
Hydrate: Don’t forget your daily intake of water. Eating a nourishing and balanced diet will strengthen hair from within.
Exercise regularly: Exercising regularly will increase blood circulation in your body.
Reduce stress: Stress is a major cause of hair loss. Combined with pollution, it will wreak havoc on your hair. Try to reduce stress by following an activity or hobby that you like, and slow down your hectic life for your long term beauty.
Protect your hair: Cover your hair with a scarf when you go outdoors. This will prevent pollutants from settling down and sticking to your scalp. It will also prevent damage to the hair because of the sun.
Seek advice: Finally, if you have the sensitive scalp syndrome, seek the help of a trichologist, who is a specialist of the scalp and hair.
You cannot avoid pollution that is all around us, but you can take precautions to protect hair from pollution. Follow our advice and you can protect your skin and hair from the harmful effects of modern life.