The problem of hair loss has become a hot topic in recent years and affects both men and women in America. In fact, it is estimated that hair loss often begins after the age of 35 and over 85% of men will lose part or all of their hair at some point. While some might begin losing their hair once they reach the age of 35, for some, hair loss begins at 50 which is still alarmingly young.
This hair loss condition is referred to as androgenetic alopecia and can be caused by a number of factors, from genetics to air pollution. Yes, you saw right, air pollution can lead to hair loss.
What’s the connection?
Now, the fact that air pollution could cause hair loss is something that has been proven by studies and yet acknowledged by a few. Most people blame the chemicals found in hair products for their hair loss when it can actually be caused by the combination of different types of particles found in polluted air. Keep reading to find out how this invisible enemy work and what you can do about it.
How does air pollution affect your hair?
A scientist from Korea named Hyuk Chul Kwon realized through his studies that too much air pollution can cause damage to hair and other parts of the body and it’s all due to the poisonous particles contained within it. Exposure to air particles that are polluted can cause discomfort, dryness, and sensitivity, leading to excess sebum production on the scalp that causes the roots to become greasy and oily which then causes blockages on the hair follicles. As you can probably tell by now, this is a recipe for disaster for your hair as it puts it into a state of disharmony that is not at all conducive to health.
Air pollution attacks the hair-growing protein
Air particles such as dust and industrial air pollution like fuel particles work by attacking the hair growth protein found in the scalp, causing the area to dry out. Eventually, this can cause hair breakage and loss.
Air pollution has also been proven to cause male pattern baldness, a disease that affects men at a high rate and can happen even at a young age. So for women, these polluted particles cause the hair to break, and for men, especially those who hardly keep long hair, it causes baldness.
Studies have also shown that the more your hair comes into contact with dust particles the more you’ll experience dryness, weakness, and breakage over time. This makes sense when you consider the fact that dust particles are seen as foreign by your hair.
When estimating how long the breakage process takes once hair has been exposed to polluted air particles, it was found that all it depends on how long the hair growth proteins hold out. Once proteins such as beta-catenin are depleted due to high levels of air pollution, it’s tickets to long, luscious locks.
Other hair-growth proteins that can be affected by air pollution include cyclin D1, cyclin E, and cyclin CDK2. These are all important to maintaining strong, healthy hair and once they’ve been depleted as well due to air pollution exposure, hair breakage and hair loss often ensues.
What can you do to reduce your exposure to air pollution?
Short of moving to the countryside or the woods, it helps to invest in products such as delicate skin shampoo that is formulated to gently cleanse the hair while causing minimal damage. The more you can reduce your exposure to pollutants both at home and out there, the better your chances of holding on to the hair you’ve got.
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