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Do You Need an Air Filter for Your Mane?

I’ve spent so much time googling VOCs—volatile organic compounds, or potentially toxic chemicals which are emitted into the air via furniture, that I can no longer count the hours. Literal months have been lost sifting through furniture, trying to figure out if it’s evil or just a couch. To remedy this situation, it’s worth investing in a HEPA filter, which will literally clear the air. And if you’re going to do it, you should research to ensure you’re getting the right one. Not only could it help your health, but it can also benefit your hair. To find out more, we spoke with Dyson design manager David Hill on why you should invest in a HEPA air filter and how it protects your hair.

air filter for hair | Mane Addicts
(via Getty)

The Importance of a HEPA Air Filter

“At Dyson, we believe a purifier should do three things: sense pollution and respond automatically, capture particles and gases properly, and project clean air across the room. We’ve been focusing on purification for over 10 years, pioneering technology to tackle the problem of indoor air pollution. Ultimately, the efficacy of the filtration system is vital, and that comes down to both the filter itself, and how it is sealed into the machine. It should feature a fully-sealed HEPA filtration system to ensure it is capturing all the particles from the air which can negatively impact our indoor air quality. While many purifiers claim HEPA filtration, if they are not adequately sealed, dirty air can bypass the filter and escape,” explains David.

“Dyson engineers have re-engineered the machine airflow pathways to achieve fully-sealed HEPA 13 standard filtration, not only ensuring that no air bypasses the filter but blocking any potential leak points through which dirty air might enter the airflow. This means Dyson’s new technology like the Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde captures H1N1 virus and 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns such as allergens, bacteria, pollen, and mold spores,” he continues.

It’s time to stop taking indoor air quality for granted. “The average adult can breathe in over 10,000 liters of air a day indoors. To put this in context, we eat around one liter of food and drink two liters of water—both elements of our wellbeing we think about greatly. With this in mind, it’s important that we prioritize the quality of our indoor air. Typically, air pollution falls into two categories: particles (pollen, bacteria, mold, pet dander, etc.) and gases (volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odors, benzene, nitrogen dioxide, etc.). At Dyson, we make sure that we capture both using different parts of our filter. The HEPA media captures particles and the activated carbon in our filtration systems captures gases.

Our formaldehyde models go one step further with intelligent solid-state formaldehyde sending technology which allows the machine to sense, capture and destroy potentially harmful formaldehyde, one of the most common VOCs found in our homes. Dyson’s unique algorithm ensures that our formaldehyde sensor is sensitive to formaldehyde only. Formaldehyde can be emitted from items like pressed wood products, cleaning agents, carpets, permanent press fabrics, cigarettes, paints, and varnishes. Our Catalytic filter doesn’t capture formaldehyde—this won’t necessarily stop it off-gassing from the filter back into the room. Instead, it destroys it at a molecular level using Cryptomelane, a catalyst. Its molecular structure is ideal for trapping the tiny formaldehyde molecules, and as a catalyst, Cryptomelane triggers a reaction with the oxygen present in the air, breaking down the formaldehyde into tiny amounts of CO2 and water.” This is honestly such a relief because toxins like formaldehyde are widely pervasive in the most innocuous-seeming objects. Do a little research if you haven’t already and join me on this island of hyper-aware and mildly crazy.

Air Filter Hair Benefits

If it’s good for your health, it’s good for your hair—and the same is true for air filters. “In the winter months, the air can be drier. This is because air can only hold a certain amount of water and the colder the air, the less water it can hold before it condenses, resulting in low outside humidity. In addition, the drying effects of indoor heating from central heating systems, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, fireplaces, and AC units can all reduce humidity indoors. These changes to our environment can impact our homes, comfort, and wellbeing,” says David.

“Throughout the day, your skin is exposed to many different conditions, from temperature and humidity to air pollution and hygiene and cosmetic products. The National Psoriasis Foundation says, ‘For many people living with psoriasis or severely sensitive skin, dry air can cause symptoms to flare, and air pollutants can create issues when they land on the skin or are breathed in.’ And, much like your skin, your hair is also exposed to the elements on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s VOCs from hair products, cold, dry winter air, or heat from hair tools. Having a machine that helps to humidify and purify the air like the Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool can simultaneously take care of the air pollution emitted from these sources, as well as assist in maintaining optimal levels of humidity in your home.” All that balance spells restoration for your hair, considering it’s at an optimal temperature and air quality is on par.

Results May Vary

“Indoor air pollution is usually a pretty invisible problem,” notes David on the time it takes to see a turnaround.

“That’s why we’ve added our screens and connectivity to the Dyson Link app to try to make the invisible, visible. In auto mode, our purifiers will sense pollution events and automatically adjust the speed to clear the air pollution. This means that our filters are working from the moment you turn the machine on. Through the Dyson Link app and LCD display screen, you’re able to track indoor air quality in real-time, relate the data to behaviors and conditions within your home like cooking or cleaning, and discover how your air quality is tracking over long periods of time as well,” he shares.

The More You Know

To say people are homebodies is an understatement. “Even before the pandemic, people spent 90% of their time indoors. Now more than ever, the health and well-being of our indoor environments are extremely important. In fact, EPA has found that indoor air can be up to five times worse than outdoor air. Likewise, there has been an increase in the desire for air purification models in homes as people seek out the best ways to improve indoor air quality. This is indicated by a 50% increase in search interest for ‘air purifiers’ in 2021 compared to 2019, according to Google Insights,” he continues.

Ultimately, when looking for an air purifier for your home, it’s important to highlight a few key considerations, David breaks it down below:

  • Fully-sealed HEPA filtration systems: Dyson’s fully-sealed HEPA filtration system ensures that pollutants are captured in the filter and do not escape back into the air. Having a system that is fully-sealed is crucial to maintain effectiveness. 
  • Auto mode and reporting: Our whole room purifiers can be set to Auto mode. In Auto mode, the purifier will automatically sense pollution in the air and then increase the fan speed to draw in more air through the base of the machine to clean the air faster to restore the air quality. Reporting goes hand-in-hand with this. A common complaint about purifiers is that it can be hard to tell if it is really working. We’ve added screens to our latest generation of purifiers so you can actually see your air pollution levels in real time. You can also see all the data on the Dyson Link app.
  • Air circulation: In order to ensure you’re purifying the air in your entire room, you need to have good air circulation. Our purifiers are all equipped with Air Multiplier technology so that the clean air is properly circulated around the room.

Not only can an air purifier/humidifier benefit your body, but it can also help inject hydration into your hair, reducing the chances of breakage and lessening the likelihood of frizziness.

Along with air filters, humidifiers work wonders for your mane. Discover how a home humidifier can make your hair healthy HERE!

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