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Unknown Causes of Hair Loss: Pollution

We make it a priority at Zenagen to educate consumers on all topics relating to hair health, so that everyone can have the best hair possible. We focus a lot on things that affect your hair including age, sickness, diet and genetics, just to name a few. But, one thing people forget to think about is the environment can affect your hair (and skin)! You may love the city life, but the city life does not necessarily love you. Between the stress of the fast-paced lifestyle, and pollutants in the air such as UV rays, car exhaust fumes, and cigarette smoke, your hair can be easily damaged and more prone to hair loss. 



Those who live in highly-populated areas polluted by car fumes and cigarette smoke, such as NYC, most likely experience more wear and tear on their hair than those living near wheat fields in Kansas. Pollution consists of harmful particles released into the environment. They can be natural, like volcanic ash, or man made, like factory fumes. Unfortunately, we have no way of completely avoiding them, although there are ways to protect against them (which we will get into later). 


These pollutants have a huge effect on our scalp and hair, causing split ends and other hair damage. They especially can damage the follicles, which in turn results in hair shedding and loss. Here is a list of the top 10 most polluted areas according to the American Lung Association.


1: Bakersfield, CA

2: Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA

3: Visalia, CA

4: Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA

5: Medford-Grants Pass, OR

6: Fairbanks, AK

7: San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA

8: Phoenix-Mesa, AZ

9: Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV

10: El Centro, CA


UV Rays


Another environmental factor that is severely damaging to your hair health, are UV rays. The sun can damage the hair cuticle, which causes brittle or dry hair that is more prone to split ends, thinning and frizziness. UV rays also cause sunburn, which can cause inflammation of the scalp if sunburn occurs on sensitive scalp skin. Luckily, our conditioners can help protect against UV rays and soothe scalp irritation is sun damage does occur. However, we also recommend you use an SPF specifically made for the hair and scalp such as this one from Actiiv.


Here are the top 10 cities with the highest UV index.


1: Laredo, Texas

2: Tucson, Arizona

3: El Paso, Texas

4: Phoenix, Arizona

5: Albuquerque, New Mexico

6: Lubbock, Texas

7: Reno, Nevada

8: San Antonio, Texas

9: Henderson, Nevada

10: Colorado Springs, Colorado

How To Protect Against Environmental Stressors


Although pollution and UV rays aren’t something you can completely avoid, there are ways to soften the blow. One easy solution is to cover up. Protect your head with a hat or scarf, or even an umbrella. 


Another easy solution (and something you should already be doing) is using an SPF, like the one mentioned above. The beauty industry stresses the importance of SPF in your skin care products, so why neglect your hair? 


One final solution is to use a shampoo and conditioner that are going to protect your scalp and hair from pollutants and free radicals. We strongly recommend our Evolve system to those already experiencing damage, and especially those living in populated areas with high pollution and/ or humidity. Those wanting to prevent hair loss should use Revolve.


It is important to figure out a hair care routine that is custom to you. Get started with your custom hair care routine here


Learn more about hair loss shampoo.


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