9 most effective tips to protect hair from air pollution

Soon it will be time for fireworks as Diwali is approaching. But several cities are already affected by air pollution. People exposed to air pollution often complain of coughing, itchy eyes, breathing problems and dull skin. Your hair can also take a hit from air pollution. They can lose their shine and become very dry. So make sure you protect your hair from air pollution.

The air quality in major cities, including Delhi, is quite poor. Earlier this week, the country fell into the ‘very poor’ category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. That’s because the general air quality index (AQI) stood at 373.

Effects of air pollution on hair

You need to take care of your overall health, but don’t forget about your hair.
Pollution, in the form of airborne particles, toxic gases and chemical residues, can wreak havoc on your hair, says Dr Sonali Kohli, consultant dermatology, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Mumbai.

Air pollution causes damage to your hair. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are the side effects of air pollution on hair:

1. Dryness and brittle hair

Pollution can strip the natural oils from your hair, leaving it dry. It also becomes more susceptible to breakage due to loss of its oils.

2. Hair loss

Hair loss can occur due to many factors, with pollutants in the air being on the list. They can clog hair follicles, leading to thinning hair and even hair loss.

3. Dull and lifeless hair

We can apply many hair products to bring back the luster and shine. But air pollution can still rob your hair of its natural shine, leaving it looking dull and lifeless.

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4. Scalp irritation

Harmful particles in the air can lead to an itchy and irritated scalp, possibly causing dandruff, which can be very persistent and refuse to leave your side.

Tips to protect hair against pollution

There are some healthy habits you should follow and look for ingredients that can help fight pollution. This is what you need to do:

1. Antioxidants

Look for ingredients like vitamins C and E in hair care products to fight the free radicals generated by pollution, reducing oxidative stress on your hair, says the expert.

2. Moisturizers

Aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and glycerin are all moisturizing agents that can help retain moisture and combat dry hair caused by pollution.

3. Natural oils

Opt for natural oils such as coconut oil, argan oil and jojoba oil to create a protective barrier on your hair. They help prevent pollutants from damaging your hair.

4. Proteins

Proteins like keratin help strengthen hair, making it more resistant to any kind of damage from air pollution, says Dr. Kohli.

5. Shampoo and condition regularly

Choose a sulfate-free shampoo that is gentle on your locks. Use it to cleanse your hair and scalp and then use a nourishing conditioner to keep your locks hydrated.

Woman with dry hair
Cover your hair to prevent damage. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Cover your hair

Before going outside, consider wearing a hat or scarf to protect your hair from pollutants, especially on particularly polluted days.

7. Use protective products

Invest in hair serums or sprays that contain antioxidants and natural oils. These will help create a protective shield against air pollution.

8. Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water to maintain your overall health and also to minimize hair dryness caused by air pollution.

9. Eat a nutrient-dense diet

Consume foods rich in vitamins and minerals to support your hair health from within. So start consuming green leafy vegetables, nuts and lean proteins.

By using the right ingredients and following these simple tips, you can maintain the health and beauty of your hair, even despite the challenges of the environment. Remember, a little love and care will keep your hair strong and radiant, regardless of the pollution in your environment.

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