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Dry hair can be caused by a number of factors, from medication and genetics, to something as simple as the weather condition. It’s unsightly, but there’s a bigger side effect to dry hair—it can lead to premature hair breakage and loss. “Fixing” dry hair will take some trial and error, but it's vital for the long-term health of your hair.
If you're ready to remedy your dry hair once and for all, listen up! We'll start by letting you know some of the potential causes of dry hair.
If you live in a region with severe temperatures (particularly where there’s four seasons and your hair/skin has to adjust to swings), dry hair can be common, as the varying temperatures can strip your hair of its moisture. Colder weather in particular can make your hair become dull, increase the likability of split ends, and you may even experience hair loss due to your hair being stripped of its hydration.
Numerous medications may cause dry or thinning hair including anti-depressants, antibiotics, acne medications, antifungal medications, chemotherapy drugs, high blood pressure medication, weight loss drugs, gout medication, and many others. Never stop or change a prescribed medication without consulting with your doctor—but do talk to your physician about your concerns, symptoms, and possible alternatives. Sometimes simply changing the medication can work wonders for dry hair.
Do you shampoo your hair too much, not enough, or just the right amount? It varies person to person, but two to three times a week is ideal for most. Many people, however, (especially women with long hair) feel “dirty” if they don’t shampoo daily or every other day. Too much shampooing can strip your hair of its natural, protective oils that give it that healthy sheen. This leads to both a dry, itchy scalp and dry hair. Too little shampooing can have a similar effect, allowing oils and products to build up and block natural oils from being released.
If you’re new to the idea of shampooing less, it can be a tough transition. The trick is to simply shampoo less—not necessarily wet and condition hair less. Daily wetting and conditioning of hair won’t strip away natural oils. In fact, it will often rinse off excess oils just enough to keep hair shiny and healthy. Using a dry shampoo when absolutely necessary, such as for a special event, will soak up excess oils and add volume and life to the hair. Be sure not to depend too much on dry shampoo, though! With too much use, dry shampoo can have the same negative impact as over or under shampooing.
It’s not surprising that depending on hair dryers, curlers, and straighteners too much will lead to dry hair, breakage, and damage. But how much is “too much?” If you notice your hair is dry, brittle, and full of split ends no matter how often you get trims, your styling tools might be too blame.
Reducing their use and learning to embrace your hair’s natural texture is best. Alternatively, if reducing the heat on styling tools is not realistic for you, we recommend using protective sprays on your hair prior to using these tools for a safer approach.
Do you have your hair chemically curled, straightened, or colored? There’s a reason stylists use gloves when managing this process—chemicals can and do burn! Your hair is much more porous and vulnerable than skin, so imagine the stress it faces when you use harsh chemicals on it. If you're diligent, however, about curling or straightening your hair, is the rare chemical treatment better or worse than daily treatments with a heat-styling tool? It’s usually a toss-up. Chemical curling and straightening doesn’t have any alternatives outside of daily heat styling, but you do have options with coloring. If you don’t want to give up coloring your hair, there’s a smorgasbord of gentler, natural, and organic options now available. Find a stylist who specializes in gentle coloring. The latest trend uses your favorite treats, like Nutella, to give hair a natural, gorgeous color!
Sometimes you have nobody to thank except Mom and Dad for your dry hair. Much of who we are, for better or worse, is inherited from our parents. If your mom or dad, or both, have dry hair or a dry scalp, you have a better chance of suffering from this fate, too. You also, however, have a lot more tools and tricks to battle dry hair.
Start by thinking about what you expose your hair to on a regular basis. Your shampoo and conditioner can make a huge difference in hair quality. Are you treating your hair right? Here are the fastest, easiest ways to restore sheen and vibrancy to dull, dry hair.
There are many reasons why coconut oil is always the answer. Many South Asian and Middle Eastern countries have used coconut oil as a cure-all for centuries, and it's not itching it's way to the Western World. Coat your hair in warm coconut oil prior to shampooing. You’ll likely need to shampoo twice in order to get all of the oil out, but the results speak for themselves. A natural and healthy way to moisturize your skin and scalp, you’ll instantly notice less frizz and fly-aways.
You can also use coconut oil as a main ingredient in most hair mask concoctions. We swear by our DIY Coconut Hair Repairing Mask, which you can watch below to learn how to create it.
Or, click here to read about our other go-to hair masks and treatments.
As previously mentioned, ditching or lessening your dependency on styling tools will go a long way in saving and preserving your hair. For people who love a well-coifed look, however, this is easier said than done. Embrace alternatives like old and new styling techniques before chemical treatments and heat styling.
We have plenty of heatless hairstyles on our YouTube channel. One of our favorites? Our super easy 1-minute heatless hairstyles.
Similar to coconut oil, argan oil can be used the same way. It soared in popularity a couple of years ago, although numerous cultures have depended on it for centuries. You’ll find coconut versus argan oil debates aplenty, so try them both and see which one works best for you and your hair type.
Interested in knowing what other oils are great for your hair? Check out our blog post on the Top 5 Best Oils for your Hair.
Dry hair and scalp can be a sign of a more serious condition. It’s also uncomfortable and can be embarrassing. It’s common in Western cultures to keep throwing products at the problem, but many of these so-called shine products actually coat the hair in a waxy material that prevents the hair from ingesting healthy oils. It’s a downward spiral that requires more and more subpar products to fix a problem that these same products exacerbated. Get back to basics, scale back the hair treatments, and let your body’s natural oils provide the shine and protection your hair deserves.
Less is more, but make sure the products you do use regularly, such as shampoos and conditioners, are high-quality and suitable for your specific needs. A paraben-free shampoo, (perhaps with an antifungal quality if you suffer from dry scalp,) might not provide the faux “instant results” that some other shampoos offer, and that’s a good thing. It takes time for hair to become truly revitalized from hair follicle to tip. You don’t want a quick fix that coats the hair and fakes shine, but rather a real solution that encourages healthy hair.
Have any other tips or solutions on how to remedy dry hair? Share it with us in the comments below - we'd love to hear your thoughts!
Written By: Emily Walters