Air pollution causes hair loss and baldness

Air pollution causes hair loss and baldness

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How does polluted air affect our hair growth?

Increasing air pollution has long been known to harm our lungs, but researchers have now found that air pollution also appears to cause hair loss and baldness.

The recent study by the Future Science Research Center in the Republic of Korea has now found that air pollution can promote hair loss. The results of the study have now been presented at the European Dermato-Venereology Society (EADV) in Madrid.

Hair follicles have been exposed to harmful particles

Exposure to common pollutants is associated with hair loss in humans. The researchers came to this result when examining cells that were removed from the underside of the hair follicles on the scalp. These were then exposed to pollutants (particles) that are produced by cars and industry.

PM10 and diesel particles affect hair growth

The results showed that the presence of a pollutant called PM10 and the presence of diesel particles reduced the levels of β-catenin, the protein responsible for hair growth. The study also found that the levels of three other proteins important for hair growth (Cyclin D1, Cyclin E and CDK2) were reduced by exposure to the same substances.

Air pollution favors many diseases

"Although the link between air pollution and serious diseases such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular diseases is well known, there is little to no research on the effects of exposure to certain substances on human skin and especially the hair," explains Study author Hyuk Chul Kwon from the Future Science Research Center in a press release.

The current research explains the effects of air pollutants on human follicle cells and shows how the most common air pollutants lead to hair loss. The investigation showed that the risk that occurs depends on the dose.

What is fine dust?

Particulate matter is the term used to describe a mixture of solid particles and droplets in the air. These pollutants are divided into two categories: PM10, the particles with a diameter of ten micrometers or smaller, and PM2.5, particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller. Both PM10 and PM2.5 are considered dangerous pollutants and are associated with various serious health conditions such as heart and lung diseases, cancer and respiratory problems. The sources of PM particles include, for example, the combustion of fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel as well as mining and the production of building materials such as cement, ceramics or brick. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Air pollution linked to hair loss, new research reveals, 28thEADV Congress (query: 11.10.2019), 28thEADV Congress

Video: Common Hair Loss Triggers (May 2022).


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