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
Kerastase Aura Botanica Bain Micellaire Riche Shampoo, $33
Oribe Power Drops Hydration & Anti-Pollution Booster, $58
Lubricity Labs S Total Style 10-in-1 Styling Cream, $19.20
Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo, $26