June 2022

Shocked! Pollution Causes Hair Loss?

Flint, Michigan, suffered from one of the most disturbing cases of water pollution in a developed nation in recent years. The son of LeeAnne Walters had been poisoned from the excessive levels of lead flowing within their tap water, which turned LeeAnne into a furious advocate for immediate systematic action.[1]

For decades, attention to polluted drinking water and its subsequent health effects has been studied but primarily with regard to developing nations like India, which to this day still has one of the most polluted rivers in the world, the Ganges. Yet, the story of Mrs. Walters and Flint is a prime example of how heavy metal pollution may occur in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect and how it can have serious implications for your central nervous function, cardiovascular and gastro intestinal systems, lungs, kidneys, liver, endocrine glands and bones.[2]

Shockingly, even hair loss is on the list.


The toxic substances 

Increased industrialization, technological development, growing human populations and over-exploitation of natural resources, agricultural and domestic waste run-off all have contributed to toxic water contamination. Heavy metals are one of the worst contaminants because they tend to accumulate in organisms and, so, the concentration of these metals may accumulate at higher concentrations as you follow the food chain upwards. Even those whom have no occupational exposure risk are susceptible due to indirect exposure from your food, beverages and air.[3]

Most of us understand that paint and electrical waste require a special method of disposal and shouldn’t be dumped into our everyday trash load. However, not everyone follows guidelines and there might still be trash backlogged and leaching toxic contaminants from years past when landfills hadn’t improved containment systems. Even then, many households still source local groundwater that is notoriously understudied with respect to local pollutants.[4]

Nearly 42 million people alone in the United States source their water from private wells and are, hopefully, using the best filters around to safeguard their households from toxic exposure to heavy metals.[5] If not, it could cause a lot of distress.


hair loss


Which contaminants specifically cause hair loss?

Numerous studies were conducted in the 70s and these established a relationship between nickel exposure and dermal irritation, like eczema, but they also found a surprising connection to hair loss.[6] In addition to this, researchers from South Korea found evidence back in 2019 that exposure to common air pollutants reduced the levels of four proteins responsible for hair growth and hair retention, beta-catenin, cyclin D1, cyclin E and CDK2.[7]

So, whether you are living in the city and going bald because of poor air quality or you are living in the country side with questionable water quality, it might be reasonable to assess how much pollution could be a contributing factor to your hair loss.

Good news is though that lifestyle choices, good infrastructure and simple dietary measures can help limit the effects of these pollutants.


Are you determined to save the head of hair that you enjoy so much, or hope to restore thinning patches? At our facility, we assess everyone uniquely and create a plan catered to your needs. We are proud of our reasonable prices and quality service. Check us out today.




[1] Gliha, Lori Jane, and Sameen Amin. “Meet the Flint Woman Who Blew the Whistle on the City's Water Crisis.” Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera America LLC, 27 Jan. 2016, america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2016/1/27/flint-woman-whistleblower-water-crisis.html.

[2] Sankhla, Mahipal Singh, et al. “Heavy Metals Contamination in Water and Their Hazardous Effect on Human Health-A Review.” SSRN Electronic Journal, vol. 5, no. 10, 22 Sept. 2016, pp. 759–766., doi:10.2139/ssrn.3428216.

[3] Mandour, R. A. “Human Health Impacts of Drinking Water (Surface and Ground) Pollution Dakahlyia Governorate, Egypt.” Applied Water Science, vol. 2, no. 3, 24 May 2012, pp. 157–163., doi:10.1007/s13201-012-0041-6.

[4] Pecci, Kirstie. “All Landfills Leak, and Our Health and Environment Pay the Toxic Price.” CLF, Conservation Law Foundation, 23 July 2018, www.clf.org/blog/all-landfills-leak-and-our-health-and-environment-pay-t....

[5] “What Is the Best Water Filtration System for Well Water?” FilterSmart, FilterSmart.com, 6 July 2019, filtersmart.com/blog/the-best-water-filtration-system-for-well-water/.

[6] Sankhla, et al., Ibid.

[7] Stubley, Peter. “Air Pollution Causes Hair Loss, Research Suggests.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media Ltd., 9 Oct. 2019, www.independent.co.uk/news/science/air-pollution-hair-loss-study-scalp-g....