Saturday, October 5, 2013

Allergens in your hair!

As a result of doing hair physical analysis (shop link on the right), and especially working with my and my husband's hair, I am learning about which allergens stay in your hair and why.
©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
What do I find the most? Mold. Mold is fungi and fungal spores (the fungal equivalent to pollen) are very small and very "sticky." I'm finding spores that are common mold allergies like Alternaria, but also other species.©Science-y Hair Blog 2013

I have seen some weed pollen from plants with air-dispersed pollen (ragweed, lamb's quarters).
I have also seen starches (the foods you touch leave starch on your hands).
©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
Tree pollen not as much, but it's not tree pollen season here and that is bigger, so it probably won't stick to individual hairs, though it definitely gets caught in your hair as a whole.
Fungal spore stuck to a hair.
©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
Keeping allergens out of your hair
About those fungal spores and pollen grains - they're sticking the most to hair which has had oil applied when dry. In fact, they're often stuck in visible oil residue. Bad news allergy sufferers! If you're carrying those allergens around all day and taking them to bed with you, you're bound to feel worse all the time.©Science-y Hair Blog 2013

Better to avoid oils as a leave-on during allergy season; conditioners don't seem to attract the mold spores and pollen as much. It helps a lot to rinse your hair daily if you can while your allergies are at their worst. If daily rinsing equals hair disaster - you might get relief from wearing a sleep cap or scarf over your hair so the allergens are not rubbing off on your pillow, to be breathed by you later.

If you have allergies, you've probably heard all this before. But you've probably never seen it. And it's always worth repeating.

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