Incorporate this hair care tips to combat pollution - Hindustan Times

How to care for your hair as you combat pollution

ByShweta Sunny
Jan 30, 2024 11:35 AM IST

As the air pollution in metros gets worse during winters, here is how you can look out for your tresses and keep them healthy

Air pollution in the metros can harm our hair and have a negative effect on the scalp. “Pollutants in the air like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter can deposit on the scalp and hair leading to dryness, irritation, and dandruff. They can clog the hair follicles leading to hair thinning and hair loss,” says Dr Sravya C Tipirneni, dermatologist and trichologist.

Make a DIY mist of rose water and essential oils like lavender or peppermint to refresh and protect your hair(Photo: Shutterstock)
Make a DIY mist of rose water and essential oils like lavender or peppermint to refresh and protect your hair(Photo: Shutterstock)

The chemicals in the air can lead to dullness and lead to hair aging due to oxidative stress, explains Dr Shibani Bhatia, dermatologist.

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In order to combat the side-effects of air pollution on your hair and scalp, follow these expert recommendations.

Cleanse your scalp: Pollutants in the air can make your scalp and hair feel greasy. Dandruff can be another issue. Invest in a good shampoo with salicylic acid that is also sulfate-free. Wash your hair regularly to remove the sweat, grime and dirt and keep your scalp clean. You can use a clarifying shampoo once a week to deep clean your scalp.

Moisturising conditioner: Hair loses its natural moisture due to heat and pollution. Applying a conditioner to your hair and leaving it on for 10 to 15 minutes, at least once a week, will give you healthy locks.

Cover up: If you are travelling, especially by two-wheelers, cover your hair with a scarf or a cap. The constant contact with the dirt, air and wind can make your hair rough.

Collagen: Hair is made up of keratin and amino acids. The addition of a collagen supplement can be beneficial as air pollution can cause free radical damage to your hair.

Antioxidants: Neutralise the oxidative stress your hair faces due to pollution by adding products with antioxidants like vitamin C and E to your regime.

Cleansing mask or scrub: A good exfoliating scrub or hair mask, once in 10-15 days, will remove the pollutants, which block the pores in your scalp. Don’t use it daily as it can dry out your hair.

If you are seeing hair damage and are unsure about the source, pollutants in the air can be the cause. It requires both internal and external support to keep your hair looking healthy and fuller.

  • Avoid using hot styling tools like blow dryers or straighteners as they may further damage your hair strands.
  • Do not regularly opt for tight hairstyles as it can cause hair breakage.
  • Go for regular haircuts and trims to remove split-ends.
  • A wide-tooth comb will help untangle your hair gently.
  • Consume a healthy diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals essential for hair growth.


  • Apply a hair mask once a week made from ingredients like aloe vera, honey and coconut oil to nourish and moisturise your hair
  • Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar diluted with water to remove any build-up and restore the natural pH balance of your scalp
  • Make a DIY mist of rose water and essential oils like lavender or peppermint to refresh and protect your hair
  • Use a DIY hair serum made from argan oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E oil to create a protective barrier around your hair strands.

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