Bad hair days have a way of creeping up on us. Whether you’ve slept on your hair awkwardly, are way past wash day or have suddenly outgrown your cut, these dreaded days will quickly make you feel as if no amount of styling will keep your tresses at bay. But it seems that in the quest for good hair, there is one more aspect to consider: your postcode.
A new study by The Solid Bar Company, experts in luxury vegan haircare, has found that unmanageable hair could be down to where you live. In the study of 120 UK towns and cities, the brand looked at how each area performs across seven categories, including water hardness, humidity, online searches for common hair concerns, air pollution and wind speed.
“Having a bad hair day can be extremely frustrating. Alongside genetics, environmental factors can play a huge role in how your hair looks and feels and it’s really interesting to see how these conditions differ throughout the UK,” says Rebecca Bennett, haircare expert and Founder of The Solid Bar Company.
Londoners are hardest hit by the environmental factors taking a toll on tresses, due to very hard water, high UV levels and above average air pollution, the study reveals. And of the 10 worst places to live in the UK for your hair, four areas are based in the capital, namely, Newham, Hounslow, Harrow and Barking.
Scotland sits at the other end of the spectrum, having dominated the list of the best places to live for a good hair day, with a massive six of its towns and cities ranking in the top 10. Taking the top spot is Inverness, thanks to its soft water, low UV and humidity levels, clean air and quality hair salons, the study found.
Of all the various environmental factors studied, hard water proved to be the worst offender as the high levels of certain minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) it contains leaves a scaly buildup on hair strands, and contributes to depreciating hair health. Add this to high air pollution and UV exposure, and you’re left with long-term damage to your locks caused by a block in the absorption of moisture, leading to lacklustre, dry, brittle hair.
While it’s unlikely we’ll be retreating to the north based on matters of hair health, there are a few things we can do to help.
Healthy hair toolkit
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo, £24