Most of us are concerned about the effect the haze is having on our skin (breakouts and rashes, anyone?), but many of us overlook what it’s doing to our hair. The hard truth: Air pollutants get attached to your scalp and hair, which can lead to an itchy scalp, dehydrated strands or worse – hair loss.
Here’s what you should do to maintain a healthy scalp and hair while the PSI is up:
1. Don’t leave home with wet hair
When hair is wet, dust and pollution particles stick even more to strands. These particles can clog hair follicles, which can lead to hair loss over time. And since we’re on the topic of wet hair, don’t leave your hair in a bun when it’s still damp – trapping moisture breeds bacteria!
2. Wash your hair
You’re probably already doing this daily, but we thought we should mention it again. If you’ve spent the day out in the haze, your hair will need a good shampooing. This washes away all the pollutants that have collected on your hair and scalp. But be warned: Over-shampooing can have an adverse effect and may weaken or damage strands, so do it in moderation.
3. Don’t skip your conditioner
Hair has a tendency to become drier and more brittle when exposed to the haze, so hydrating it after every wash helps seal in moisture. Or use a hair mask once or twice a week.
4. Protect your strands
“When it’s hazy, it’s a protection element we really need,” says Violet Sainsbury, creative educator and master hairstylist for Moroccanoil. She suggests using hair products that are high in vitamin A and antioxidants. “Moroccannoil has a finishing spray called Glimmer Shine that’s rich in antioxidants, which is great for protecting hair against environmental factors.”
5. Eat right
Consuming the right foods or supplements can help strengthen your mane. Include foods with plenty of omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon and almonds into your diet. You can also load up on vitamin B6 and B12 to do good for your hair.