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Air Pollution & Environment Hair Loss

can the environment affect your hair?

Where you live, and the conditions that accompany it, can either amplify or compromise health. Environmental hair loss is a condition caused by your physical environment or environmental triggers.A physical environment is where you spend the most time; at home, work, or even the gym. Each environment contains risk factors like toxins, mold, pollution, air particles, moisture, humidity or dryness. Exposure can cause a biological reaction in the body, and symptoms include dryness, itching, scalp pain, irritation, and hair loss.Extreme and sudden physical shock can also trigger environmental hair loss. Examples include chemotherapy treatments, excessive dieting, medical illness, or any stressor that significantly disrupts the hair growth cycle.

can the environment cause hair loss?

Climate, pollution, medical illness, and extreme dieting can all cause environmental hair loss. 

Air Pollution

The adverse effects of air pollution are universally known. Yet startling evidence reveals that indoor pollution can be just as toxic to our health. Our skin and hair live on the frontlines of air particles, pollution, and dust. Hair follicles react to pollutants in the same way they do in cases of Androgenetic Alopecia (Male Pattern Hair Loss) and Alopecia Areata (Sudden Hair Loss). Hair falls out in patches and can lead to irreversible cellular and follicular damage. Cigarette smoke is another pollutant that can dry or damage hair follicles. As 40% of men smoke, as per the World Health Organization, cessation is crucial for optimal hair health.

Extreme Dieting

Diets that emphasize severe calorie restriction, linear nutrition, or sudden and drastic changes to food intake can send the body into shock. Many men over-consume protein for performance enhancement, which can increase cancer-risk, disrupt calcium homeostasis, and overall cause physical harm to the body. Extreme dieting or isolating certain foods can send the body into self-preservation mode. Instead of feeding the minimal supply of nutrients to the nutrient-dependent hair follicles, the body cuts funding and allocates nutrients to life-giving functions.

Medical Illness

Cancer and autoimmune diseases are the most common diseases associated with environmental hair loss. Hair loss can occur as a symptom of an autoimmune disease like lupus, or as a side effect of the treatment, such as chemotherapy for cancer. 


Where you live influences the type of hair you have. For example, a tropical climate can lead to dry, frizzy hair from repeated sun exposure. Humidity can also cause excessive dampness, and cold weather can weaken hair strands and cause them to fall out.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF hair loss due to the environment

The first signs of environmental hair loss appear differently for each person, but general symptoms include:

• Diffuse thinning (overall hair loss) across the scalp
• Severe scalp dryness, itching, and irritation
• Inflammation and redness at the root
• Patchy hair fall
• Oily scalp
• Total hair loss
• Dandruff


Visit a dermatologist, who will conduct a comprehensive review of your medical history, recent changes in health habits, and take a physical exam. Diagnosis may require a Trichoscopy (scalp biopsy analysis), which will reveal one of the following issues:

The findings will lead to one of the following diagnoses:

Anagen Effluvium

When your body experiences a traumatic environmental shock, it’s shaken on a cellular level. Hair cells within the follicle need to divide to grow, and this happens during the Anagen (growth) phase. When something foreign invades the body, such as chemotherapy or radiation, cells stop dividing, and hair sheds and falls out in large quantities. Anagen Effluvium, also known as Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia, is a common side effect of cancer treatment.

Alopecia Universalis

A rare hair loss disorder that affects one in 4,000 people and results in total body and scalp hair loss. Alopecia Universalis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks cells, mistaking them for foreign invaders. Environmental triggers like stress and medical illness can activate total hair loss across the scalp, face, and body.

Sensitive Scalp Syndrome

Ongoing exposure to air pollutants (both inside and outside) can lead to Sensitive Scalp Syndrome. Airborne particles, smoke, and gases cause scalp dryness, redness, and irritation. While exposure doesn’t guarantee a physiological reaction, it’s most common to people who encounter excessive dust, wind, smog, chemical fumes, or have recently relocated to a drastically different climate. Symptoms include itching, irritation, dandruff, diffuse thinning, and excessive shedding.


Certain environmental shocks are avoidable, like smoking or extreme dieting. Others, like medical illness, come as a blindside. A healthy diet and smoking cessation can powerfully reverse environmental hair loss. Air pollution requires finesse to counterbalance and neutralize free radicals. Air purifiers, mold inspections, and minimal exposure to pollutants can minimize the effects of Sensitive Scalp Syndrome.Medical or cancer-related hair loss is typically unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean it’s lifelong. Most environmental triggers, such as chemotherapy and radiation, cause temporary hair loss. While the experience is emotionally and physically painstaking, the hair follicles will resume regrowth after you complete treatment.


Once your doctor or dermatologist has isolated the environmental trigger and diagnosed the associated condition, you can begin treatment. Treatment options will vary case-by-case and according to the specific cause. 

Cosmetic Solutions

Cosmetic solutions are topical ointments, serums, and hair beauty products created to enhance the natural appearance of hair.

Popular cosmetic solutions include:

• Restimulate growth with daily, topical application of low dose (2% or 5%) of Minoxidil.

• Ask your doctor about options for prescribing Finasteride, a medicinal hair loss pill.

• For air pollution, one study found that adding antioxidants to shampoo and massaging the scalp for 3-5 minutes twice a week helped to remove free radicals and pollutants from the scalp and hair. Nourishing the hair shaft and strands with coconut oil also stimulated hair to reenter the growth phase.

• If nutrition plays a role in environmental hair loss, a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, protein, and omega fatty acids can reinvigorate hair cells with vital growth nutrients. The addition of nutritional supplements can also expedite recovery.

Some forms of hair loss from environmental shock may take longer to treat, such as chemotherapy-induced hair loss. In the interim, cosmetic solutions can help you retain your masculinity, stamina, and confidence.


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Based on 37 reviews
Daniel Alain
Jennifer Rose
Love my Follea Rene - and the amazing customer service!

I considered purchasing a wig for years as my hair became increasingly thin. I finally decided the time was right and I’m so thankful to have found Follea. I purchased the Rene 12 inch in Caramel Latte and I absolutely love it – both the color and style are perfect. Stylist consultant, Tracy Romo, was so incredibly supportive and knowledgeable -- she walked me through every step of the process. She assisted with measurements and answered all of my questions via video calls. I can’t say enough about the amazing customer service I experienced from beginning to end. Tracy guided me in the right direction every step of the way, even sending me helpful videos and styling tips. I honestly couldn’t be happier with my experience.

Daniel Alain
M. Terese Weir
Easy Beauty!

My Follea Style (6-11) is in all honesty the most comfortable wig I've ever worn - and I hate anything on my head! This wig just... goes where it's supposed to, no pulling it this way or that, no realizing your doggone wig is crooked.. AFTER you walk in to work. This success is in no small part to the Fit Kit I was sent to make sure of my size. 😊

Also, to say the hair is beautiful gives beauty a bad name. The hair is stunning. (I wear color Latte.) My consultant, Ashley, virtually took my hand to guide me through the process of buying my wig. Her help was and still is invaluable.

My hairdresser is very comfortable styling wigs. She created just the right "style" for my Style. That said, even straight from the box, Follea rocks!

Reading your Follea experience warms our hearts, our goal and mission is to help women all over the world feel beautiful, confident and like their best self. Ashley is an amazing and knowlegable guide, that will continue to be with you on your hair journey!

We invite you to join our @Follea community on Instagram, to learn best practices for your new Follea.

Thank you very much!


Daniel Alain Team

Daniel Alain
Kimberlee Bluhm
Wig #6

The ready to wear wig I received from Daniel Alain is beautiful. The packaging was so respectful of the wig. So impressed. I called with questions before purchasing and the staff was very kind and respectful as Loosing my hair was so unexpected and stressful. Thank you for wonderful customer service and a beautiful wig. So many compliments on how it makes me look. Thank you.

We are honored and so glad to hear you had a pleasant experience! Thank you or trusting us to help you during your hair-loss journey.

Thank you !

I had an amazing experience with purchasing a wig with Follea.
I can’t say enough about Tracy and the VIP service I got from her. She was always there on the other side of the phone , no matter what day or time and help me every step of the way!
I have never had such great customer service in any of the other leading wig companies I bought wigs from. Hands down the best!
Thank you

Thank you very much for sharing - it means the world to know that you had an exceptional experience with Tracy.

Daniel Alain
Patty McKenna
Amazing Personalized treatment

What a wonderful experience I had. Tracy was so sweet and kind and found me the perfect wig. Her patience and understanding when I couldn't decide exactly what I wanted , and finding me the perfect wig and answering all my crazy questions. I left with such a beautiful wig. Thank you again Tracy ♥️♥️

Thank you so much for your kind words. We are so happy Tracy was able to assist you on your hair journey!

Daniel Alain
Kim sissons
Tracy Romo is a life changer!

When you first go through your personal hair loss journey, you go through so many emotions and sometimes you get desperate. People like to take advantage of those searching for an answer. After making a very costly mistake, Tracy was a game changer for me! She was amazing, very knowledgeable and helped me understand what to look for, how to ensure I got the right size, face timed me to measure and ensure it was correct. I cannot say enough amazing things about Tracy, and my amazing Follea wig.

Kim, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience Daniel Alain. It warms our heart to hear to Tracy was such a positive impact. We would love to see your new hair debut, tag us on instagram @Follea.

Daniel Alain
Style 10 Inch Color 5005 Macchiato (comes with a soft rooting)

This is my first wig but not my first attempt with alternative hair. Its been a journey and one I knew I wanted to take with Follea. I was not wrong. The hair is silky soft and beautifully shiny. The staff is great and wonderful to work with. Their online consultation process is just what I needed. I received sample caps to try on to determine which size is the right size for me. I received color swatches as well to make the color selection process was a breeze. It does make a difference to see to the colors in person, dont be afraid to ask for color swatches. To see them against the light or while your home is worth it. All this happened after the online consultation, which was simple and fun. The rep provided samples of everything, explained the differences with each one. This helped me make a decision on what was right for me. Getting the samples of the wig caps and color swatches was a fun part of the experience but it also made me feel good about my decisions. I often worry about getting the wrong size and color. Once I was set ( and yes I changed my mind a bit) we went forward with the order. After I received my wig and cut the lace, the team was still there to help me with any questions I had.

Overall a great online purchasing experience. Once I received my Follea, I instantly knew this was it for me. I loved it and I was confident to wear it out.

Feeling Myself and Happy with a beautiful Follea Style, 10", Irish Cream

There are no words to fully express how grateful I am for finding Follea and meeting Janet. Her kindness combined with a professional, yet so gentle, advice helped me to find my beautiful natural looking European hair. Janet patiently showed me different styles and sizes (my head is so small!). She has never pushed me to anything. Only offered support and help on the way to my decision, and eventually ordered (incredibly urgently) the right size. I wish all patients to meet someone like Janet on their way! Before I found Follea, I faced a few horrible pushy people who wanted to make money of my sensitive, fragile situation of suddenly losing hair.
Today, I can face the Universe with a smile, again. I am back to work and normal life, interacting with people, attending important business meetings. Letting my health recover in calm confident state.
Thank You to Follea and Janet. May the Blessing and Kindness come back to You Multiplied Million Times.
I am already thinking of ordering a second Follea Style (bit longer this time). Every girl needs a special occasion HAIR! I have found mine.

Daniel Alain
erin graff
Looooove me some FOLLEA!!!

Girl I love my new wig!!!!!! I feel like Beyoncé wearing it, you can’t even tell that it’s a wig! My confidence is an all new high and I feel fierce. Thanks to Janet for making my hair dreams come true. Xoxoxo

Daniel Alain
Heather L
Follea's Petite

Recently, I bought the Petite in Chai Latte blonde with a natural-looking darker root and customized my piece by adding a few wispy bangs. If you are like me and try to stretch the length of time between washes to prevent an itchy scalp and breakage, this little priceless gem is a quick four clips away from a good hair day.

Daniel Alain
Diane B.
Great Customer Services

Great customer services! Received in a timely manner. Very happy with my topper, especially after I trimmed bangs and length to fix my own hair.

Hello Diane,

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to write this review for us. We are very happy to receive your feedback. Please tag us #danielalain in any photos we'd love to share your amazing look on our website and/or social media platforms.
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