There are many factors that may contribute to hair loss. For those who suffer from it, it can be very difficult to determine what the one sole reason for your hair loss is. Yet, one cause that you may not know about and is less understood is air pollution. Pollutants in the air can most certainly impact health in a variety of ways. What researchers have found is that it can also impact your body’s ability to maintain your hair health as well. How does this happen?
A Study to Consider About Hair Loss
Air pollution may cause hair loss prematurely, a study recently determined. The study was done by a cosmetic company in South Korea. It looked at how airborne pollutants and hair loss related to each other. It looked at specifically how dust and fuel particles located in the air impact the health of the scalp cells, the location where hair forms. They found that even interaction with common types of pollutants, hair loss may occur.
More specifically, the study found that those pollutants caused a drop in the presence of four specific proteins. These proteins are considered essential for natural hair growth and retention of hair. In short, the study implies that pollutants in the air can cause a drop in important proteins that contribute to hair growth and health, therefore, could potentially be a reason why some people lose their hair.
While this is interesting, and may provide some key insight into another reason why some people lose their hair, the jury is still out. The lead researcher of the study stated that more research would be necessary to confirm the relationship in a real life scenario, outside of the lab.
More Details About the Study
The science behind the study is rather interesting. The researchers used western blotting, a specific method, and scientific technique that is often used in the U.S. The goal was to determine the level of protein present in the cells at any given time.
What they found is that some proteins seemed to have lower levels when there was an increased amount of air pollutants exposed to them. Specifically, the levels of beta-catenin, which is necessary for hair growth, dropped significantly. This particular protein is also known for its role in regulating hair follicles, or the shafts that hair grows from.
In addition to this protein, the study also named cyclin D2, CDK2, and cyclin E as the other proteins that dropped in presence as air pollution levels increased. The higher the amount of pollutants present, the more significant the protein’s drop was noted.
How Can This Impact You?
If you take into consideration just how at risk your hair is, it is clear to see that pollution can play a big role in your hair health. The scalp is not as well protected as other areas of the skin from these pollutants, which could mean that there is a higher risk of hair loss here than anywhere else.
We also know that pollutants are very commonly problematic for overall health. It can cause respiratory problems, lead to damage of the brain, and create other types of risks. Fossil fuels and other pollutants in the air are breathed in by most people around the world, though some areas have a much higher level of risk than others do.
There is still a lot to learn about how pollution impacts hair health. There is no information about the age of those people who were studied nor any information about their gender. There is also no insight into how the study looked at other hair loss factors that could play a role in the process.
What we do recognize is that pollution is bad for the health of most people and the planet. The role it plays in hair loss is just one additional layer of the risk many people are exposed to. Unlike other types of hair loss causes, there may not be an easy treatment or solution for this type of risk. Though the study did not look at the level of damage and its length, it does make it clear that change is necessary.