Dry hair is one of the most common hair problems for women no matter your length or texture.
The causes of dry hair vary and how to fix dry hair will also be different for everyone, based on several factors. The weather, medication, genetics, are all causes of dry hair. Whatever the root of the problem, the solution all comes down to how to moisturize dry hair—and girl, trust us, we have some easy to follow remedies for you.
The best approach to fixing dry hair is to ask, “why is my hair so dry?” in the first place.
Why is my hair so dry?
Dry hair can be caused by a number of external and internal factors. External factors include things like the weather (cold weather = drier hair), how often you wash your hair (over-washing can strip the hair of its natural oils), the hair products you use (are they filled with alcohols and drying agents?), hair tools you use, or chemical styling and dyeing. Internal factors include the foods you eat, how hydrated you are, any medications you may be on, hormonal imbalances, and even genetics. Let's dive deeper into this.
Dry hair causes
Let’s look at the most common—and sometimes most overlooked factor—the weather, and more specifically the air. There are varying seasons and temperatures and if you’re experiencing fall/autumn right now the temperatures are dropping. The colder the weather the drier the air, not only stripping your hair of moisture, but also making your hair dull, brittle and sadly, prone to split ends.
The lack of humidity and reduction of moisture in the air also causes static, meaning hair is charged up with electricity causing static hair to cling to your cold weather accessories and clothing.
If you wash your hair often, you may wonder why is my hair so dry, still? Dry hair is caused by lack of moisture, as you know, and many will try and remedy this over-washing. A big no-no. Over-washing your hair actually strips it of its natural oils and shine not only causing dry hair, but dry and sometimes, itchy scalp.
If you’ve noticed sudden dry hair, or experiencing dry hair for longer periods of time, it can be caused by medications you’re taking. There are several types of medications, some taken daily that cause dry hair including anti-depressants, certain antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, gout, antifungal and high blood pressure medication, weight loss drugs, hormonal therapy, and more. While it’s always important to read and understand the side effects of medication, they can’t always be prevented. Be sure to speak to your doctor or health care provider about any prescribed medication and talk about any concerns or side effects. There could be alternatives to the medications you’re taking.
Heat styling tools
Heat tools do wonder for voluminous waves, pin-straight hair, and so many other styles and looks. But heat styling tools also do a number on the health of our hair. While we are big proponents of using hair protectant products, there’s no full-proof way to protect your hair from the damage of heat styling tools other than using them less. Hair dryers, curlers, and straighteners – when used often all lead to dry hair, breakage, and damage. If you’re susceptible to dry hair, breakage or split ends, heat styling can be the cause.
Processed or chemically-styled hair puts a lot of stress on your hair – there’s a reason your stylist and colorist wears gloves. If you color your hair often or get your hair chemically straightened, permed or curled you may notice the texture of your hair become much drier, brittle, and sometimes lacklustre. It’s no wonder experts or stylists recommend spacing out these appointments, but dry hair can be an ongoing issue even after some time after your chemical treatment. While there are a ton of more natural and less harsh products out there for these common treatments, including natural hair dye, limiting these treatments are the best way to prevent dry hair and further damage to your natural hair.
If you want to experiment with color or add highlights without the chemicals, try clip-in hair extensions to work in natural-looking hair tones.
Sometimes, dry har is simply in our genes – thanks mom and dad. If your parents or siblings are susceptible to dry hair or scalp, it’s likely you are (or will be) too. The best way to remedy genetically inherited dry hair is to keep it healthy and moisturized with the best products and practices. Read on, we got you covered.
How to fix dry hair
Limit the hair washing
To make up for the dryness your scalp will work in overdrive to create natural oils which can lead to oily hair – just adding to your list of hair problems. Experts say washing your hair two to three times a week works the best for most people for a healthy balance of clean and moisturized hair and scalp.
If you’re scratching your head on how to moisturize dry hair, it’s also essential to look at the products you’re using on hair wash days. Conditioning the hair is essential to fix dry hair, but you don’t need to lather your whole head with conditioner. Instead focus conditioner from the mid-shaft to your ends, where you need it most. Using shampoo all over your head and hair works, but don’t over-do it. Be sure to rinse all products out thoroughly too.
Protect your hair from heat styling
A good way to protect your natural hair from heat damage, especially if you have dry hair is to use hair extensions instead. Not only can you pre-style hair extensions, they also hold styles like waves and curls for longer giving you more length and fuller, thicker, well-styled hair for days. The bonus? No damage to your natural hair from heat styling tools. Using Luxy Hair, rated the best clip in hair extensions, also make it easier when you’re getting ready for your day or night out. Simply pre-style your hair extensions, store them in their carrier or box and clip them in when you’re ready to go.
Moisturize your hair naturally with hair masks and hair oils
Especially in the colder seasons, hair masks and hair oils will be your BFFS. Coconut oil and argan oil are especially beneficial for dry hair. Coconut oil naturally nourishes your scalp and helps to reduce oil buildup. By strengthening your scalp, it also helps to moisturize and nourish dry, brittle hair. Coconut oil is also known to give your hair an extra shine boost. Leave it in as a hair mask or leave it in before you shampoo for extra protection.
Argan oil works similarly for dry hair. It is full of antioxidants and vitamins helping to increase your hair’s elasticity and restoring moisture. It does wonders for dull hair, giving you natural oomph.
Read the labels of your products like shampoos and conditioners carefully. Look for products that suit the specific needs of your hair and look for shampoos that are paraben-free. Dry shampoos are great for in-between hair wash days, but they also have their limits. Overusing dry shampoo can cause buildup which will lead to further problems than just dry hair.
Remember, conditioners are your friend and picking up leave-in conditioners for the colder months are also a great way to help fix dry hair.
Don't forget your scalp
Be kind to your scalp and use products that will also help to moisturize your scalp. Keeping the scalp healthy is essentially the foundation of healthy hair. It’s easy for the skin on your scalp to become dry or irritated in the winter not just because of the weather, but the overuse or wearing of hats, earmuffs and other cold weather accessories.
Limit (or ditch) styling tools and chemical treatments
Limiting the use of heat styling tools and chemical treatments can do wonders for the health of your hair and is a simple way to fix dry hair. While hair extensions do offer you an alternative way to add length, various styles, and color to your look, there are plenty of heatless hairstyles that can help too. There are a ton of ways to refresh your look and rock the styles you love without all that heat and chemicals.
As the colder months approach for many of us, how do you prep your hair? Is there a dry hair remedy we missed? Share your tips with us in the comments below.
Written By: Rosalyn Solomon