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How Pollution Could Be Stressing Your Hair

City living isn’t always pretty. As it turns out, impurities and pollution in the air also affect hair health. To help explain why and how to address it, we reached out to celebrity stylist Bianca Hiller. Get the low-down on how pollution impacts your hair health below!

How Pollution Affects Hair Health

“Hair is exposed to different types of environmental pollutants which can cause the hair or scalp to become dry, brittle, and/or oily,” Hiller tells us. “Air pollution, UV rays, and heavy metals in water are all factors of pollution damaging the hair. These pollutants can lead to excess sebum in the scalp which produces hair follicles to become clogged and may even stunt hair growth. Air pollutants bring out frizz and dryness while being exposed to UV rays can cause discoloration, brittleness, and can damage the cuticle producing split ends,” she continues.

As if that wasn’t enough, you also need to be mindful of the tap. “Heavy metals in water such as chlorine can chemically react with the hair resulting in discoloration, color fading, or unwanted tones in the hair. Over time pollution will create the keratin in hair to become weak and fragile which brings the hair strand to break,” she says.

How to Protect Your Hair From Pollution

Okay, that’s definitely terrible. So how can we address it?

According to Hiller, it’s all about your product arsenal. “The best way to protect hair from environmental pollutants is using haircare products that help to counteract and protect the hair from various outside pollutants,” she explains.

As protecting your hair is essential in order to keep it healthy, get a clean regimen down pat. “Using a clarifying shampoo can remove hard metals, and keep the hair clean when it’s up against environmental pollutants such as pool water chlorine, smoggy air, and even excessive sweat. Limiting thermal styling such as straightening or curling the hair is necessary to limit color fading and breakage. Always use a thermal heat protectant whenever styling your hair,” Hiller advises.

Anti-Pollution Product Recommendations

“Adding products to your daily hair care routine like Olaplex can protect your hair from everyday pollutants,” Hiller shares. “Olaplex’s new No. 4C Clarifying Shampoo is a clarifying shampoo that can even remove hard metals and pollutants from the hair along with excess product buildup. It should be used once in a weekly routine and contains Olaplex’s patented bond-building technology to relink hair bonds to repair and strengthen hair.”

Hiller is also a fan of the brand’s hair serum. “Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum is a heat protectant that gives shine and style memory. It has been scientifically proven to protect the hair from pollutants for 48 hours,” she notes. “It also is a UV protectant and its lightweight formula is applicable for any hair type. In general, Olaplex products are perfect for not only protection from pollutants but also building strength from within the hair strand while you go about your day.”

Be sure to also follow THESE mandatory steps to protect your hair from pollution!



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