Dry hair: Causes, Management and Remedies
Learning how to moisturize dry hair can help you restore the lively look of your hair. At the fundamental level, dry hair can be due to two main reasons.
- The natural oils produced in the scalp are not enough to moisturize the hair. This phenomenon may be happening as you age. It can also be hereditary.
- The structure of the hair is not able to hold moisture. The moisture is escaping leading to dryness in the hair. This happens because the cuticles (which form the outermost layers of the hair, arranging themselves resembling scales or shingles) are loosely packed and there are spaces between them where moisture escapes from.
What Causes Dry Hair?
You could be experiencing dry hair due to a variety of reasons. These factors affect the outermost layer of the hair made up of cuticles and their ability to retain moisture. Here we look at some causes that can help us decide how to moisturize dry hair.
Frequent use of heat-based styling tools such as flat ions, blow dryer, curling iron, and hot rollers rob the natural moisture of the hair and make it dry. These tools employ heat and come in direct contact with the hair strand, damaging them.
The common shampoos available in the market use harsh chemicals to remove the dirt from your scalp and hair. These chemicals also strip the hair of its natural moisture and oils. Too frequently shampooing the hair can make it very dry and frizzy.
You must use a conditioner after shampooing your hair every time. Conditioner replenishes the moisture in the hair that the shampooing takes away.
Too many chemical treatments such as colouring, bleaching, dyeing, and perming harm the hair and makes it dry.
If the hair is exposed to harsh natural elements such as the sun, wind, chlorinated water, it can get dry and dull.
Uneven brush bristles and metal brushes disturb the hair cuticle. This leads to the escape of moisture causing dry hair.
Home Remedies to Moisturize Dry Hair
How to moisturize dry hair? While preventing moisture from escaping is one part, the second is actively moisturizing. There are many DIY masks and other home remedies for dry and frizzy hair. Most of the ingredients needed will be easily available in your kitchen. Let’s look at how to moisturize dry hair at home.
Hot oil deeply moisturizes your hair. It keeps the hair soft and hydrated. You can use coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, or castor oil.
- Massage the hair and the scalp gently with the oil for a few minutes.
- Leave the oil applied for an hour.
- Wash with a mild shampoo.
- Repeat up to two times a week.
Bananas are rich in potassium and have high moisture content. Olive oil moisturizes the hair.
- Take one ripe banana and blend it with two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Apply to your hair and scalp.
- Leave for twenty minutes before rinsing.
- Repeat once a week.
These ingredients together work as a very effective remedy on how to hydrate hair.
- Mix with half a cup of plain yogurt, two tablespoons of olive oil, and a few drops of essential oil.
- After shampooing, apply the mixture to the hair and cover with a shower cap.
- Rinse with water after leaving for about twenty minutes.
Aloe vera protects the hair against sun damage while lavender oil promotes hair growth.
- To one-fourth cup of aloe vera gel, add one cup of water and a few drops of lavender oil.
- Mix the ingredients.
- Pour this into a spray bottle.
- To use, spray on your hair and scalp. You can do this daily as needed.
Eggs are rich in fats and proteins. Together with olive oil, it hydrates the hair and makes it smooth.
- Blend one raw egg and two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp.
- Cover with a shower cap and let it sit for about an hour.
- Rinse using a mild shampoo.
- You can do this once every week.
Tips to Manage Dry Hair
Now that we know the major causes of dry hair, we can work around them to manage dry hair. Whether it is the practice of styling and washing, or diet and lifestyle, these tips should help you manage dry hair.
Heat-based styling products damage the hair and their use should be kept to a minimum. You can go for alternative hairstyles that do not require heat styling. If the use of these tools is unavoidable, make sure you spray a thermal protective product on your hair, so that the heat damage is minimized.
Shampoos are very harsh on the moisture in the hair. Choosing a shampoo that is suitable for your hair type is the key to knowing how to moisturize hair. We recommend that you go for products that are chemical-free and use only or mostly natural ingredients.
Daily shampooing may be doing more harm than help. Take a day or two off between shampooing. If your scalp is becoming oily due to skipping shampooing, go for dry shampoos.
As we already said, there is nothing like excessive conditioning. Make sure every time you shampoo your hair, it is followed by conditioning.
Apply UV protection to the hair if you are stepping out in harsh sunlight. Cover the hair with a hat or a scarf when stepping out on a windy day to keep the hair hydrated. When the weather turns harsh, you must step up the conditioning routine as well.
Coating the hair with conditioning cream or oil can protect it from chlorinated water. Keep the swimming cap on all the time you are in the pool.
Consider a hair colour that is ammonia-free and is gentle on dry hair. If you often straighten your hair using chemical treatments, you should explore non-chemical options. Natural products can tame frizzy hair as well as a chemical treatment.
Wet hair is very delicate and breaks off very easily. Thus, you should avoid brushing wet hair.
Use a wide-toothed comb and always start detangling your hair from the bottom first, working towards the top. If you use hair brushes, switch to a boar bristle brush which distributes natural oils from the scalp on the hair.
Get your hair trimmed every 5-6 weeks. This should keep the split ends away and prevent them from making their way up the hair strands. The goal is going for more small and quick trims and less brushing the hair throughout the day.
You can apply a leave-in conditioner or use any oil that has deep conditions, and cover your hair with a shower cap overnight. The next morning, your locks will wake up beautiful and hydrated.
It is important to layer the hair products. The leave-in conditioner goes first. You should put this on damp hair (but not wet). After this, you should apply other styling products. This way your hair will be hydrated and the styling products will get a base layer too.
If you are experiencing dry hair, you can make use of one of the DIY methods. This along with following the tips for managing dry hair should be able to keep your hair frizz-free and shiny.
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Dr. Jaspreet Sarna, M.D
Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) with a decade-long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.