Air pollution contributes to hair loss, study finds

The findings, which were presented at the 28th EADV Congress, found dust and diesel particles decreased the amount of β-catenin protein in hair follicles

Research conducted at the Future Science Research Center, Korea, has found that exposure to common air pollutants, known as particulate matter (PM), contributes to hair loss.

The findings, which were presented by Hyuk Chul Kwok at the 28th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress in Madrid, were collated by exposing cells from the scalp to a variety of concentrations.

The study used PM10 pollutants from dust and diesel extracts, and incubated the human follicle dermal papilla cells (HFDPCs) for 24 hours.

The HFDPCs were then processed using western blotting to detect the levels of specific proteins in the cells.

PM refers to a microscopic mixtures of solid or liquid matter in the atmosphere and are divided into two categories.

PM10 is particulate matter ten micrometres or less in diameter and PM2.5 is 2.5 micrometres in diameter or smaller.

The results showed the presence of dust and diesel particulate contributed to the decrease of the β-catenin protein, which plays an important role in hair follicle morphogenesis.

However, the team said further research needs to be undertaken to understand how quickly this affects people who are regularly exposed to pollutants, and if there is a difference between genders and age.