Scientists link air pollution to baldness

9 October 2019, 08:35

Scientists have studied the link between air pollution and baldness
Scientists have studied the link between air pollution and baldness. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Scientists have made a link between increased levels of air pollution and baldness.

A study found that increased levels of ‘particulate matter’ was having an impact on hair growth and retention.

The South Korean study found that the dangerous particles which are found in areas with high pollution decrease levels of a protein responsible for hair growth.

They exposed cells from the scalp to various concentrations of PM10 particles, with a diameter of 10micrometres or smaller, and diesel particulate extract. They found that there was a decrease in the protein responsible for hair growth, beta-catenin and morphogenesis.

According to the study, the levels of three other proteins - cyclin D1, cyclin E and CDK2 - which are responsible for hair growth and hair retention, were also decreased by PM10-like dust and diesel particulate depending on the dose.

This meant that the greater the level of pollutant, the greater the decrease in proteins was found.

Lead researcher Hyuk Chul Kwon, from the Future Science Research Centre in South Korea, said: "While the link between air pollution and serious diseases such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well established, there is little to no research on the effect of particulate matter exposure on the human skin, and hair in particular."