So, while we sit and wait for the government’s latest plans on tackling the issue, we think it’s best to do all we can to protect ourselves from the potentially dangerous pollutants in our air.
Ahh, pollution – when will you leave us alone? Well, when we stop producing it we suppose. While it’s currently estimated that general air pollution levels in big cities across the UK are falling, air pollution levels in this country frequently go above and beyond international air quality standards, and levels of some harmful pollutants (such as ammonia) are still on the rise.
While we’re already relatively clued-up on the effects of pollution on our skin (hello inflammation, pigmentation and breakouts), it turns out that our hair is starting to feel the strain too. What damages skin, has the ability to damage the scalp, and what damages your scalp is absolutely going to start impacting the health of your tresses.
Mark Leeson, Global Artistic Ambassador for Revlon Professional and Founder of Mark Leeson Salons explains: “If you’re walking anywhere where there are cars (so this isn’t just for city dwellers) your hair picks up metal deposits like copper and iron and other particle matter. Pollutants make hair drier, duller and more difficult to manage. Particle matter in the air actually damages hair cuticles and even the internal hair shaft.”
Besides damaging strands, drying them out and generally wreaking havoc, pollution can also be really damaging if you get your hair coloured. “Free Radicals from pollutants are very reactive molecules and they can react unpredictably during the colour process, causing a lot of damage to the hair shaft and internal structure of the hair,” explains Mark.
So what can be done? The bad news is that regular shampooing and conditioning won’t be enough to remove pollutants. However, that’s not to say nothing can be done. As pollution becomes a more pressing issue in our beauty regimes, a host of products are now available to help battle the side effects.
If you’re serious about protecting your hair from pollution (and we think everyone should be), these are the products you should consider adding to your haircare lineup ASAP…