Researchers have proved the negative impact of some polluting substances on hair’s health. New treatments and diet proposals.

According to a recent Research and Markets report, pollution and climate are driving innovation and growth in the hair care markets.

Consumers who live in very polluted areas around the world face every day are easily detectable, as the effects show up in many aspects that affect the health and shine of hair. We are talking about effects such as thinning hair, loss of hair volume, dandruff and prematurely greying hair.

India’s cities are some of the most polluted areas in the world and people are becoming increasingly sensitive. Those who have some purchasing power, as the growing middle class, particularly in the northern areas of the country, are keen to experiment with new hair products and services. The brands, local and imported, are flooding the market with an abundant range of new products at an impressive rate.

The consequence on the Indian market is a boom in sales for the haircare sector, especially in shampoos, conditioners, hair loss therapies, products that offer shine, strength, and length, and anti-aging products.

The top segment is hair oil, differentiated by perfume oil, light oil and more. Hair color is also on the rise.

Hair damage by pollution

Pollution Degrades Hair Structure

The effects of pollution on hair have been studied in depth also by the main Brands: research published by L’Oréal, conducted by “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, confirms the negative effects of pollution on hair fiber structure, namely: degradation. 

According to the authors, phototoxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), somewhat common in any area where air pollution is rampant, are the major risk for human hair health.

In China, another country well-known for the highest levels of air pollution, researchers conducted a test on the cuticle and cortex of 200 human hair fibers collected from among women living in Baoding and Dalian, in the north-east of the country. The results proved a more severe structural degradation of the hair fiber over time with increased PAH concentrations.

What are the feasible solutions?

Cosmetic hair treatments specially designed to contrast the pollution damages are in high demand. But that is not all. Consumers are becoming more aware of the ingredients they eat, drink or use for beauty purposes. Using natural food ingredients that are rich in antioxidants can help protect hair and lessen pollution damages. Some components are now observed as more effective to protect hair from environmental concerns.

Healthy Eating

The same trending ingredients linked to better hair when eaten—including those containing zinc or vitamin B—can be utilized in hair care to appeal to these health-conscious consumers.

Botanical Solutions

Herbal antioxidants are a good way to start when introducing consumers to anti-pollution hair care since their functions are simpler to communicate.

Botanical options include moringa, a purifying extract; Indian lotus, which creates a barrier on the hair to protect from humidity and pollution; and Kakadu plum, a potent source of vitamin C from Australia.

Turmeric

Very famous among the lovers of Indian cuisine, turmeric can be utilized to soothe and cleanse the scalp and hair after pollution exposure. Its antibiotic properties also work to exfoliate, which can help to regulate scalp conditions.

Other claims include hair loss prevention due to turmeric’s active curcumin content; this reportedly maintains scalp health to prevent hair loss.

Natural Detox

Pollution exposure can increase the quantity of dead skin and oil trapped on the scalp. Ingredients with the ability to maintain hair and scalp health include those with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, such as apple cider vinegar and turmeric.

Other detoxing scalp exfoliators, such as pink salt, can be utilized to give hair texture while absorbing excess oil.