Problems With Dirty Hair? Discover How Air Pollution Can Affect It!

Problems With Dirty Hair? Discover How Air Pollution Can Affect It!

When it comes to hair care, clean hair – surprisingly – gets a bad rap. Many people believe that frequent cleansing causes your hair to become dry, brittle, and damaged. Others swear that dirty hair holds a better curl, achieves a more slicked-back ponytail, and adds extra shine. While that may appear true, dirty hair is not great for your scalp or hair health — especially if the oiliness is sourced from air pollution. 

Up ahead, we unpack how air pollution wreaks havoc on hair health as well as the best products to strengthen and nourish the scalp while providing an effective cleanse. 

Signs of dirty hair caused by air pollution 

For most, the tell-tale sign of dirty hair is a greasy scalp and roots. While excess oil build-up might mean it’s time for a good lather, it isn’t the only way to tell whether or not your hair is dirty. Here’s how to tell if your strands and scalp have been compromised by air pollution:


Much like the sun’s harmful UV rays, air pollution has a drying effect on the scalp and hair. This can result in a dull appearance as well as signs of damage like stark dryness. 

Change in Texture

Carcinogens, toxins, and other nasty particles the come from air pollution can also cause a change in hair texture. Because of its ability to suck moisture from strands, the brittleness and damage caused by air pollution might also lead to thinner hair. 

Skin Irritation

Gasses, dirt, grime, and chemicals can also cause skin irritations. Although your scalp is protected by thousands of tiny strands, it is just as susceptible to the effects of air pollution. An irritated scalp is not the best environment for a healthy head of hair and might even lead to baldness. 


In dry environments, it’s not uncommon for scalps exposed to air pollution to experience flakiness and dandruff. 

Hair Loss

A 2008 study from the University of London’s School of Medicine suggests that particles in air pollution can have a long-lasting impact on the scalp as they might get in the way of the body’s ability to stimulate hair growth. Interestingly enough, the effects of pollution on hair were far greater on those that smoke vs. those that do not. 

Excess Oil

While air pollution commonly strips the hair and scalp of natural oils, it can also result in an influx of sebum as it tampers with the skin’s natural pH levels. As a result, some might experience excess oil, forcing them to cleanse more frequently.

How products can ward off the effects of air pollution on the scalp and hair 

Like the skin on our face, the skin on our head – AKA the scalp – needs proper care and attention. That’s where a regular hair care ritual comes in. 


When we think of dirty hair, shampoo is the first thing that comes to mind. With its ability to cleanse the scalp and lift away dirt and debris, shampoo is an excellent starting off point. If you err on the side of dry hair, shampooing with a gentle shampoo, such as our Murumuru Restoring Shampoo, can add a dose of nourishment back into your strands while cleansing the scalp. This hydrating, restorative shampoo will lock in moisture and help stimulate hair growth.

If your hair is damaged, try shampooing with a strengthening shampoo, such as our Patauá Strengthening Shampoo. This natural, 100% vegan shampoo will restore damaged hair as well as stimulate hair growth and treat dandruff. Also, it’s free from harmful chemicals!



Shampoo is necessary because it helps cleanse the scalp and strands of pollutants. However, in order to achieve a healthy ‘do, you’ll want to top things off with a conditioner. Conditioning the strands post-rinse and repeat can ensure that moisture is not only added back into the strands, but that moisture is locked in for long-lasting hydration. We love Lumina’s Multi-Nourishing Conditioner. This all-natural conditioner will deeply moisturize hair and strengthen it. Not to mention, this conditioner is also sulfate-free and can be used as a leave-in treatment.


After the shower, your hair might need an extra dose of hydration. That’s where treatments come into play. Once a week, use the Lumina Repairing Hair Mask for deep nourishment. This natural, organic hair mask will help combat dry or damaged hair as well as a dry scalp. It provides intense hydration, leaving you with stronger, softer, healthier hair.

As for a daily treatment, use the Patauá Restorative Hair Oil. This natural hair oil can help supercharge strands with the nutrients it needs to repair and strengthen hair.

Boar Bristle Brush

Brushing your hair with a boar bristle brush can not only lift away dirt and debris and invigorate the scalp, but it can also distribute natural oils from your roots to your ends, which can over time lead to a healthier-looking ‘do. Make regular brushing a part of your daily practice and reap the benefits! 

At the end of the day, we are all constantly exposed to factors like air pollution. That said, we encourage you to take the best care possible of your scalp, strands, and ends with our nourishing, 100% vegan hair care collection.

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