Could pollution be behind your bald spotAir pollution in Delhi, India is rising so high that a health emergency was declared in November 2016 and public primary schools were shut down in order to protect young children from exposure to dangerously high levels of pollution. Coincidently, a recent study has also found that sixty percent of Delhi men are scoring much lower than average testosterone levels, had a fifty percent lower sperm count than normal and were suffering from hair loss. Medical professionals suggest that cigarette smoking and increasing air pollution levels have a big role to play in these findings.

How can pollution affect hair loss?

Environmental factors can really influence the health of your hair; pollutants imply not just the chemicals which are emitted from traffic or industrial units but also substances such as smoke from cigarettes and fire. There are common pollutants which can be found in the home and can be harmful to hair itself and hair follicles. If anyone smokes at home then carcinogens found in cigarette smoke can damage hair, whereas any smoke from open fires which are not channelled out of the house carefully can harm hair follicles. Common household dust contains micro-organisms which if come in contact with the scalp can cause itching and scaling. Initially the change may be minute but if left undiagnosed and unresolved, alopecia can result.

How to protect your hair from air pollutants

Today for many of us who live in both rural and urban conditions, it is next to impossible to be able to completely avoid air pollutants. However some minor precautions can be taken to prevent any hair damage and hair loss as a result of pollution. Try to keep your hair covered when travelling in polluted areas or in the hot sun; a hat, hood or headscarf can help keep your hair looking and feeling healthy, shiny and clean. Practise healthy hair care techniques by shampooing three to four times a week even if you are staying indoors, look for products which contain natural ingredients and avoid the use of hair dyes as they can contain harsh chemicals. By ensuring we offer our hair maximum nourishment and protection, we can prevent damage leading to further hair loss.

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By Ian Watson

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