The advent of winter season can affect hair health, making the strands frizzy and lifeless. Besides the cold, the other enemy of the scalps is pollution. Exposure to pollutants can cause chemical damage to the hair and also strip them off their protein, leaving an impact on the hair surface and cuticles.
Dirt particles from polluted air can attach to the strands and cause dryness and opacity, making the hair harder and less malleable. When the severity of the pollution is more, the pollutants often clog the pores of the scalp, resulting in incessant hair loss.
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So, how can we avoid pollution-induced hair damage?
Firstly, ensure that while choosing a haircare product, you avoid strong chemicals. Any product that contains parabens, sulphates, sodium chloride or any kind of aggressive preservatives and synthetic fragrances should not be included in the personal care regimen. The focus must be on including products that comprise natural ingredients and are free of ammonia, sulfate hydrogen, peroxide, ethanolamine, triethanolamine, diacetonamine, PPD petrochemicals and other synthetic substances. The most detrimental effect of products with such formulations is that they can further dry the strands.
When there’s a double whammy of winter and pollution, what our scalp needs is a range of haircare products that offer gentle cleansing and hydration. You need to hydrate the strands constantly to leave them replenished for longer. What's more, you need to invest in products contain active antioxidants, for they minimise the action of the molecules of pollution.
Research shows that when pollution is already damaging the hair and scalp health, one should refrain from using hairstyling tools. Such tools can make the hair more fragile. Deep-conditioning and oiling are a must, as they help in restoring the lost moisture.
Ayurvedic herbs and natural extracts like aquileia, amla and jua, all rich in vitamin C, can work well for hair throughout the year as well.
The trick to protecting hair from any kind of pollution damage is using products that are multifunctional. The shampoo must clean without drying the strands, the mask should hydrate deeply and the conditioner should add a touch of shine and softness.
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Clelia Cecilia Angelon is the founder and chief executive of beauty brand Surya Brasil.