sign up for our newsletter to get free sample alerts

Dirty Work: 9 Products That Repair Hair Damage From Pollution

Dirt is the least of your concerns
Photo 1/10

When you hear the word “pollution,” all sorts of thoughts come to mind: smog, dirty cities, the fact that it’s nearly impossible to wear white in an urban city with mass transit (seriously – the struggle is all too real). While the annoyance of dirty clothes is one thing, we rarely stop to think about what all this pollution is doing to our bodies. And if we’re being a little vain about it, it’s kind of wrecking our hair.  

Damage caused by all those bits of smoke, soot, ash and debris is real: your skin and hair are exposed to the elements every day, and the impact of constant exposure to pollution can cause real issues with clogged scalps and hair damage. And if you think you’re exempt from these issues because you don’t live in a big city, you’re wrong: exposure to the elements means you’re exposed to these micro-aggressors in some way all the time.

"Pollutions affect our hair and scalp the exact same way it affects our skin, which a lot of people don’t realize," explains Carly Quist, Kérastase artist and owner of Zed New York Salon. "We are always protecting our skin from these aggressors, but we forget to give our scalp the same care. Pollution starts to collect on our hair and scalp and coat it, which then results in many hair issues. As a stylist, I see this first hand. Many people will experience issues like scalp irritation, excess sebum secretion, dandruff, lack of moisture and hair loss, just to name a few."

“Pollutants create build-up and weigh hair down," adds Luis Ayala, a stylist at Bumble and Bumble in New York City. "Pollutants in water can also create mineral build-up, which can make lifting hair hard when coloring, making lightening hair difficult. It creates a film on the hair shaft, making it difficult for products to penetrate.”

The good news is, there are great products that can cleanse away particles and help restore hair and scalp health. Help is on the way.

Image via Imaxtree

Photo 2/10
Kerastase Aura Botanica Bain Micellaire Riche Shampoo, $33
Perfect for dry, sensitized hair, this gentle, effective shampoo is packed with Amazonian Brazil Nut and Thai Rice bran oils along with other ingredients to penetrate each strand with nutrition and protection while it gently cleanses without stripping or adding weight. It also acts as a pollution shield to prevent damaging particles from reattaching to hair. No sulfates, parabens or silicones: just healthy, stronger, clean hair.

Buy now

Photo 3/10
Oribe Power Drops Hydration & Anti-Pollution Booster, $58
Ever wish you could give the hair products you already know and love that extra boost of protection? Now you can. These supercharged, highly-concentrated serums can amplify the protective powers of your current hair care products. This version (they also make drops for Damage Repair and Color Preservation) provides a deep dose of hydration and defense against environmental pollution while delivering much-needed conditioning. Add a few drops to your existing styling product or use alone on damp hair. Either way, to quote Olivia Pope, "It's handled."

Buy now

Photo 4/10
Lubricity Labs S Total Style 10-in-1 Styling Cream, $19.20
Sometimes you need a product to do it all, and this styling cream is certainly up to the challenge. Heat protection? Check. Adds shine? You bet. Protects hair from heat styling with providing lasting hold? Oh yes. Not only does this hard-working product smooth, prevent frizz, detangle, condition and strengthen, it also blocks external pollutants from wrecking your hair. Oh, and it works for all hair types and it's safe for chemically-treated and colored hair. In short, you probably need it.

Buy now

Photo 5/10
Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo, $26
The best thing you can do about pollutants is to get them off your hair and scalp before they can do more damage by clogging pores and continue their free radical reign of terror on your strands (well, maybe not that serious, but you get the idea). This shampoo, named for the best day of the week, is intended to provide a once-weekly dose of deep cleaning that removes accumulated pollutants, debris, product, dirt and oil with an astringent mix of Panax ginseng root, rosemary and sage leaf extracts. It leaves behind a cleaner scalp and a great start to the week for your hair.

Buy now

Full Site | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy
TotalBeauty is a property of Evolve Media Holdings, LLC. © 2024 All Rights Reserved. | Affiliate Disclosure: Evolve Media Holdings, LLC, and its owned and operated subsidiaries may receive a small commission from the proceeds of any product(s) sold through affiliate and direct partner links.