Suffering from hair loss and dry skin?
Do not throw your hands up in despair…
We’re going to suggest a solution you might not have considered before. It’s not a designer face cream or the next Brazilian blow dry. It’s something so simple and essential to our everyday existence. Yet, something we are so quick to overlook.
But first, you must understand the causes of hair loss…
Causes Of Hair Loss & Dry Skin
There are 4 environmental factors which contribute to dry, sensitive skin and hair loss in the GCC:
Temperature / Direct Sunlight
In the Middle East, the direct rays that we are exposed to from the sun, even on a cloudy day, are extremely strong.
These high temperatures can lead to brittle, damaged hair and split ends. It causes the pores in our skin and hair follicles to open up. This allows sand and dirt in the air to clog up our skin and hair without us realizing.
Humidity is a catalyst for frizzy hair. The molecules in your hair will either attract or repel moisture depending on the air condition they are exposed to. Dry air will drain moisture from your hair, causing it to feel brittle. Whereas air which is humid will overload your hair with water causing the strands to swell and become difficult to manage. This is why you struggle to style your hair when it is frizzy.
- Use sunscreen to form a protective layer over your skin. This covers pores from harmful elements and helps retain moisture. A protein rich hair conditioner can prevent excess water vapor absorption and keep your hair manageable.
- Keep your hair regularly trimmed and free from split ends as these are prone to becoming frizzy in high humidity.
- Avoid the sun’s rays where possible to reduce the effect of overexposure.
- Drink the recommended 2 litres of water per day to combat the effect of dehydration and profuse sweating. This will flush out your pores and keep hair healthy and shiny.
2. Air Conditioning
Our hair and skin problems become worse when we take shelter from the sun in an air-conditioned building or car. Our bodies react to this extreme shift in temperature by closing the pores in our skin and hair follicles.
As we have not cleansed ourselves of the sand and dirt, they become trapped, drying out hair and causing blemishes on our face. People who suffer from eczema or psoriasis can experience rashes and irritation.
Air conditioning disturbs our body’s internal temperature control and reduces the production of sweat. It also dries the skin of its natural oils, leading to dry, dehydrated skin. Our hair takes 2-3 days to produce these natural oils which are vital to keep strands healthy.
When exposed to sand and dirt, and extreme climates, our hair starts to dry out, causing the first stage of hair loss – thinning of the hair.
- Regular use of moisturisers and lip balm will help protect exposed skin surfaces from drying out. Dry skin can crack and allow bacteria to penetrate. Keep your AC unit at a temperature of 24-degree celsius or higher and regularly clean the filters to prevent the spread of airborne diseases.
3. Air Pollution
A study at the University of London has linked the onset of male pattern baldness, to environmental factors, such as pollution.
Air pollution is caused by several factors. In the GCC, some major contributors are the high levels of gas being burned by the oil industry, dust and particle emissions from the construction industry. This, combined with the high levels of traffic congestion, is why 3 of the GCC countries (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE) were named among the top 10 most polluted countries in the world by the World Health Organisation.
Airborne particles, smoke and gaseous pollution such as carbon dioxide (Co2) can settle on the scalp and hair, causing irritation, and damage.
These toxins can stop hair growing by blocking mechanisms that produce the protein from which hair is made. Pollutants get into the bloodstream, skin pores and hair follicles causing stress and impairing the ability of the hair to make new fibres.
- Use a mild shampoo to cleanse the hair strands and pores of toxins. A nourishing conditioner or hair serum can then be applied to form a protective layer on the hair and scalp.
- If feasible, you should cover your hair when outdoors. A headscarf or hat can help shield your head from the elements.
4. Water Pollution
We wash our face, body and hair in it every day. But water in certain areas can cause damage to our health. The water in the Middle East is either lukewarm or hot, rarely cold. This opens the pores in our skin and hair whilst showering and exposes us to contaminants. The water temperature also increases the risk of Chlorine inhalation due to the evaporation of this harmful chemical.
What Is Hard Water?
From Doha to Dubai, hard water is everywhere in the GCC. It clogs up our washing machines, scales our kettles and dries our complexions.
Rainwater is soft and virtually mineral free. Yet, as it falls to the ground, the water absorbs minerals from the soil and rocks. If the rainwater passes through hard rock, it remains soft. However, if the water runs through softer rocks (like common limestone), it dissolves minerals – principally, calcium and magnesium. These additions will decide the water’s character and affect on our bodies
Living in hard water areas, such as the GCC,we become used to the chalky residue left on our taps. It can take multiple treatments to rid our washrooms of this scum. So, what exactly are these clearly visible deposits doing to our bodies?
Studies have shown that people living in areas of hard water are more likely to suffer from skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Hard water contains higher levels of mineral salts, such as calcium, and magnesium. Together with chemicals like chlorine, these minerals can exhaust moisture levels in our bodies.
Dry skin can cause gaps to appear between the cells – allowing germs, bacteria and allergens to get through. Hard water further strips away the body’s natural oils – causing red, itchy skin and dry, limp hair.
Mineral salts prevent foaming soaps from working fully, meaning more product must be used to achieve the desired effect. Many foaming products contain harsh detergents, which again rip away our natural oils. Harder water can also prevent soaps from being washed off, meaning chemicals remain on the skin.
There is a misconception that the water in the GCC does not meet international standards – this is not true! All municipalities have a responsibility to meet the global standards in order to keep us safe.
However, in some regions the pipelines, through which our water is distributed, are full of contaminants. They have not been properly cleaned or maintained and this is where the problem lies.
Causes of Water Contamination
As regions across the GCC (UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait & Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) have experienced rapid development over the last 10 years, construction companies have struggled to keep up with demand. In order to save time and money, they sometimes fail to properly flush out the newly constructed pipelines before connecting the mains water.
As a direct result of this, the water being pumped through begins to collect heavy metal, sand, dirt and other chemicals. The Facility Management Companies are unable to stop the flow of water to properly clean and decontaminate the pipelines.
Government municipalities then need to add a safe amount of chlorine to kill any bacteria build up or waterborne diseases. Similar to the method used in swimming pools, this ensures we do not get sick.
The cost of this is the detrimental effect it has on our hair and skin. Chlorine forms a layer of residue, blocking pores and causing dry sensitive skin as well as hair loss.
How To Check What’s In Your Water
Have you have ever felt your gums swell up when brushing your teeth and struggled to understand why? The problem is the bacteria contained in your water. Below we will show you a quick and easy way to see what is in your water by unscrewing the nozzle on your washbasin taps.
You can see a build up of sand, dirt, heavy metal, other sediments. What you will not be able to see is the chlorine, however, you can smell it. (It will smell similar to a swimming pool). To protect yourself from these contaminants, you should clean your tap filters on a monthly basis.
So, can we achieve healthy skin and hair in hard water areas? The answer is a resounding YES.
Prevention is always better than the cure. So instead of wasting your hard earned money on expensive cosmetic treatments, which don’t always work. A more effective strategy is to stop the problem at its source. By filtering the water you wash in every day, you can remove harmful elements like sand, dirt, heavy metals, bacteria and most importantly Chlorine. This will combat the adverse effect it has on your health and beauty.
Benefits of a Shower Filter/Purifier:
- Removes the Chlorine from your shower water.
- Removes water-soluble lead, mercury, nickel, chromium, and other dissolved metals.
- Reduces the buildup of bacteria and limescale.
- Retains moisture in your skin, reducing dryness and sensitivity.
- It helps combat hair loss by retaining moisture while maintaining your hair’s natural oils.
- Reduce respiratory problems through the elimination of chlorine vapor.
- Preserves hair treatment and colour.
What To Look For In A Shower Filter/Purifier:
- The highest Chlorine reduction rate.
- Duration of the filter cartridge.
- Easy installation.
- No effect on shower pressure.
- KDF 55 Medium – designed specifically for removing chlorine and water-soluble heavy metals in hot water.
- Easy to order replacement cartridges.
- Manufacturer warranty.
- Money back guarantee.
- A design which compliments your bathroom fixtures.
- Easy to remove and reinstall for regular travellers.