Dry Hair: Here's How To Choose The Right Shampoo

Dry Hair: Here's How To Choose The Right Shampoo

Before deciding on a shampoo for your hair it’s important to know your scalp type as your hair roots are just below the skin on the scalp. To have healthy hair you need to have a healthy scalp. While shampooing it is important to focus on the cleaning of the scalp. So, ideally one should choose a shampoo for the scalp to have good hair. 

If your scalp is oily and the hair ends are dry then it is best to use a shampoo suited for oily scalp and apply a conditioner to moisturise the hair.

For dry hair, a mild cleansing shampoo with a lot of protein content and conditioning ingredients help. If your hair is dry due to hair colouring then soy extracts and amino acids are great for preserving your coloured hair. 

For dry hair, the main focus should be to moisturise the hair. A shampoo with oils, glycerin, two-in-one shampoos with silicone are ideal. Glycerine acts as a deep conditioner that can help retain moisture. Shampoos with oils like argan oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil, and olive oil help to nourish and rehydrate hair. Two in one shampoos with silicone are shampoos with additional conditioners. Many complain about silicone-based shampoos and conditioners that they weigh hair down, especially thin or fine hair. This tends to happen to people who wash their hair frequently. One can avoid this by cutting down on the number of hair washes and conditioning per week. 

Tips to Choose the Right Shampoo for Dry Hair

Dry hair is a sign of hair damage. Dry hair is hard to manage as it is prone to breakage. Due to lack of moisture the hair cannot maintain its texture. It gets tangled easily and requires mild and nourishing shampoos.

The first tip to choose the right shampoo for dry and frizzy hair is that the shampoo should be moisturising and creamy or oil based. It should provide hydration. Since dry hair is prone to frizz, such shampoos help by hydrating and moisturising the hair and thus reduces the frizz and roughness. 

Choose a shampoo with an essential oil like olive oil or coconut oil, these oils help dry hair reclaim the moisture and strength that it has lost. This is the most effective type of shampoo for dry hair.

Avoid shampoos with sulphate content, as it takes away the natural oils from hair making it dry. Sulphates are used in shampoos as it really cleans the scalp well but it can be very harsh on the natural oils in the scalp. It makes your hair frizzy, dull and prone to getting tangled.

So, what is sulphate free shampoo ?

These are shampoos which do not have the regular surfactants like ammonium lauryl sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate and ammonium laureth sulphate. 

Stay away from strengthening and volumizing shampoos. As the chemicals present in these kinds of shampoos do not give the required amount of moisture that  dry hair needs. This is not the right shampoo for dry hair.

Go for a shampoo that has a low pH level. Higher pH levels are harmful to the hair cuticles. Usually, moisturising shampoos have lower pH levels than the normal ones.

Try shampoos with tea tree oil or menthol to help moisture retention. This is the shampoo for dry hair that you should use. A Nioxin shampoo can be helpful if your scalp is moderate to severely dry.

If your scalp is moderately dry with little or no itching or flaking, choose a shampoo that mentions moisture, hydration, smoothing, or curls. These products help moisture retention and can be beneficial to both your dry scalp and hair. Look for this type of shampoo for dry hair.

Avoid shampoos with alcohol. It dehydrates your hair and strips off the natural oils of your hair. Also avoid these if it mentions mineral oil and petroleum. These are used as lubricants and can weigh down your hair.

There are a few more ingredients that you must avoid when choosing a shampoo for dry scalp. Like sodium chloride, (table salt), it is used as a shampoo thickener. High concentration of sodium chloride can result in hair loss, dry hair and scalp and also may cause an itchy scalp.

Never pick shampoos with ingredients such as mineral oil and petroleum, which are used as lubricants. These can weigh down your hair. 

Causes of Dry & Frizzy Hair after Hair Wash

There can be multiple reasons for your hair getting frizzier after a hair wash. Let’s look at some home remedies for dry and frizzy hair. 

Avoid using very hot water while washing your hair. Hot water strips the natural oils of your hair making it frizzier.

See to it that your shampoo does not contain alcohol. Nourishing oils are the best ingredients for frizzy hair. Argan oil, avocado oil and coconut oil being the most popular ones. 

Use a microfiber towel or an old t- shirt to pat dry your hair. The microfiber material is softer than your regular towel. It absorbs water or excess moisture faster, therefore it does not require much work in drying your hair. It does not lift the cuticle. It is important to keep the cuticles flat and smooth and prevent frizzy hair after a shower.

To avoid frizz post hair wash, it is best to comb your hair while it is damp.

Finally, apply a smoothening serum through your hair to control frizz. Look for an oil-based serum.

Avoid touching your hair too often. The water from your skin is transferred to your cuticles and this makes it frizzier. This happens if your skin has extra moisture in it.

Is It Good to Change Your Shampoo Often?

It is not a good idea to change your shampoo too often. But usually due to seasonal changes, your hair quality might change too and then you will have to change your shampoo as per the need of your hair and scalp.

If your hair feels and looks good and you don’t face any specific hair issues then there is no reason to change your regular shampoo.

Frequently changing your shampoo can do more harm than good. As you will not be able to figure out which particular ingredient or formulation is helping your hair. Also, you may just end up using a shampoo that does not suit your hair type. So, unless you face any hair problem, it is best to stick to the shampoo you have been using.

However, there is one exception. Regular use of silicone-based shampoos, may end up creating silicone deposits on your scalp and hair. Then you should change your shampoo every 3-4 months to avoid silicone deposits.

What Ingredients to Look for in Your Herbal Shampoo & Conditioner

Herbal shampoos are a good option as it provides nourishment and good hair health in a natural way. They are natural shampoos for dry hair and they also have the essential vitamins and minerals of herbs. It has a lot of benefits which you may not find in chemical-based shampoos.  

The natural ingredients to look for in your herbal shampoo are Amla, Bhringaraj, Brahmi, Soapnut (Reetha), Hibiscus, Lemon, Neem, Tulsi, Aloe Vera and Shikakai. To help remove dandruff causing organisms Ginger, Neem and Tulsi are ideal ingredients. Herbs like hibiscus gives the same rich silky feel as that of silicone. It makes a good natural replacement. These ingredients make the best shampoo for dry hair.

These ingredients make your hair strong and healthy from the roots while giving the essential nutrition. 

You will find a lot of options among herbal shampoos which are a fusion of synthetic cleansers and herbal extracts. These herbal extracts have the same efficiency and results when used in this form as that of those when used as standalone herbs. 

While choosing a herbal conditioner, coconut oil comes out as a clear winner. It’s both effective and natural. It promotes hair flexibility by easily penetrating the hair and improving hair strength. Other oils are palm oiljojoba oil, and olive oil. These natural oils are  composed of sebum, which our body naturally produces, and therefore these oils are compatible with hair.

Tea Tree oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil or silk and milk proteins help provide extra moisture to  dry hair.

Herbal shampoos and conditioners are generally considered mild, including seed oils and fruit extracts. They’re less likely to harm the hair and scalp’s natural pH and oil balance. This is because they are prepared with less chemical content, these chemicals can cause a lot of damage to your hair. Some non-herbal shampoos also contain parabens, which are preservatives that can disrupt the normal biological functioning of the body. Herbal shampoos have properties which can attack the fungus directly and address the root cause of the problem.  Chemical shampoos on the other hand are just a temporary solution to dandruff and cause a number of hair problems in the long term. Herbal shampoos can be used universally and are good for those people with sensitive skin too. A herbal shampoo will never turn your hair either dry or greasy. 

Tips to Shampoo Your Dry Hair Correctly

This is a common problem for most – how often to wash hair ? Try to wash your hair only 2-3 times a week as excess shampoo can strip off your hair’s natural oil. Oil your hair 2-3 hrs before applying shampoo. Oiling hair helps retain the oil which could be removed due to the harsh ingredients in the shampoo.

Detangling your hair before going for a wash is important. It is easy to detangle when the hair is dry. Detangle from bottom to top. Combing your hair before washing stimulates blood circulation in the scalp and prevents pores from clogging.

Wet your hair thoroughly. Take the shampoo in your palm and mix it with a little water. This helps spread the shampoo well in the scalp. It also dilutes the harmful chemicals reducing the risk of hair damage. Apply the shampoo to your scalp and gently work your way down to the ends. Do not use your nails to scrub the scalp. It will hurt the scalp and cause infection. Hair is most susceptible when it is wet. Aggressive back and forth movement of hair to wash your scalp can cause hair breakage and weaken the follicles. 

Gently massage your scalp and the root of your hair. Focus on cleaning the scalp. Unless you have applied oil, there is no need to shampoo twice. Do not use hot water. If you cannot handle cold water, use lukewarm water but the last rinse has to be with cold water. Cold water does not remove the sebum layer of the hair, a natural lubricant that protects our hair and keeps it strong.

Applying a shampoo and conditioner for dry hair is very important. Do not skip that. Do not apply conditioner on the scalp. Just apply it on your hair from mid shaft to the end. Comb the hair with the conditioner. Leave it for 2-3 minutes. Rinse it off well with cold water. Spend 1-2 mins to wash it off. Any residue of the conditioner can harm your hair and make it look dull. Wash with cold running water. The cold water helps close the cuticles and retain moisture. This way the hair does not absorb more moisture from the environment and turns frizzy.

There are a number of shampoo techniques for dry hair but you have to figure out which are the ones that suits your hair and scalp the most. It would take a continuous process of trial and error to come to a conclusion on your best shampoo for dry hair. Do visit us at Traya to learn about more effective methods to use shampoo for dry hair and ensure the better condition of your strands.

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Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) and Gold Medalist from Baroda Medical College. She has a decade long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.

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