The low down: Anti-pollution haircare

Urbanites listen up!

Hair & Beauty

Chances are you’re well versed on how to care for your complexion, especially when it comes to waging war on city skin. Yet can we really say the same for our hair? Aside from over-styling, pollution is a major factor in affecting hair health. But there is way to curb the damage so that locks stay luscious. Here’s the Spell guide on to how to protect your strands from the streets!

How pollution affects our hair

Studies by beauty giant UNILEVER have found that car exhaust fumes contain a spectrum of pollutants including PM (particulate matter), heavy metals, NOx (nitrogen oxide particles) and free radicals. On all hair types tested, it was found that after just 30 minutes of exposure, hair was less smooth, duller and more prone to breakage. The results also showed that the skin on the scalp is negatively impacted by pollution particles, as they cause irritation which sends sebum production into overdrive. Aside from the feeling of a greasy head, excessive oil can block hair follicles - weakening hair strands and making hair more prone to breakage.

How to fight pollution 101


In the same way you cleanse your face each night, you need to add an effective washing product to your haircare arsenal that will remove pollution from the scalp and hair surface. KERASTASE Bain Micellaire Riche, £22.10, is perfect for dry or sensitised hair. Laced with Thai Rice Bran oil and Amazonian Brazil Nut Oil, it provides up to 48 hours of durable nutrition, acting as a pollution shield to stop particles from reattaching to your hair.

KERASTASE Bain Micellaire Riche, £22.10

Follow with GROW GORGEOUS Hyaluronic Density Conditioner, £18. It contains B vitamin and Niacinamide, which are both powerhouses when it comes to repairing the weakened surface on the scalp.

GROW GORGEOUS Hyaluronic Density Conditioner, £18


You may well think that gels, sprays and styling creams would work as a barrier protecting your hair from the elements. However, in actual fact, they can encourage more pollutants to stick to your mane. Forgo when you can!


Eat your way to a beautiful mane! A daily dose of vitamin E will help to repair and build tissue while maintaining follicle health. Try to consume a good amount of vitamin A too, as this will help balance sebum levels, which will provide the hair and scalp with the hydration it needs after exposure to drying pollutants.

UDO’s Choice Oil, £20.99

Add a daily dose of UDO’s Choice Oil, £20.99 to a smoothie or drizzle over a salad. Packed with vitamins and essential fatty acids, it will help the cells in the hair and scalp to function properly so that they can retain moisture, eliminating brittle strands.

"30 minutes of exposure has hair less smooth"


Reach for products that help enhance the natural protective barrier. This will help prevent future damage from pollution while you're out and about. Reach for TRESEMME Biotin+Repair 7, £4.50. Brimming with keratin fibre actives, these have been shown to actively reinforce damaged keratin protein, restoring broken bonds and helping to repair the hair.

TRESEMME Biotin+Repair 7, £4.50

Then once a week smooth over your locks with KERLUXE Resplendisse Hair Mask, £46. Infused with four deeply nourishing oils (copaiba, abyssinian, jojoba and macadamia) as well as silk proteins, they get to work on restructuring the most weakened areas of the hair fibre while adding an invisible shield of protection.

KERLUXE Resplendisse Hair Mask, £46

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