Dry hair is a bad hair day.
Personally, I went through that and it wasn’t even a day. It was a dry PHASE of hair and I can (confidently) say that it wasn’t the best experience. My hair felt brittle as if it were going to break anytime. Even a bit of combing ends up with a pool of hairfall. There were split ends as well and it wasn’t a sight to see. Add to that the stress, my scalp became easily irritated that it itched and my dandruff became worse to the point that I refrain from wearing any black or dark-colored top so that falling white flakes would not be seen. From crowning glory it became my crowning shame.
What is the cause of dry hair?
Dry hair is not just caused by a single factor rather it is a result of multiple factors in play. At its very core, dry hair can be rooted from the lack of sebum, an oil secreted by the sebaceous gland. It could be that there is insufficient amount produced probably due to genetics but it can also be related to age. As we age, a lot of bodily processes slow down including production of oil which results in dry skin and hair. Another reason is that the sebum cannot fully travel the whole length of hair filaments causing it to dry which usually happens to curly hairs as well as long ones. Thus, hair is not fully lubricated causing it to fizz and dry.
Environment is also another factor that contributes to dry hair. You have probably observed this evidently during the summer when the temperature is so high and moisture evaporates. The hair is not an exception. And in the dead of winter, there’s the cold and the wind that also strips your hair off of moisture.
Lifestyle factors also come into play when it comes to dry hair. Did you know that certain common habits promote dryness of hair and you might be unconsciously doing these things? Particular examples of this are combing your hair too much and too rough or brushing it when wet.
Dry hair is not an uncommon occurrence and there are a lot of ways to bring back its natural glow. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered!
We cannot do much with the genetics nor age part of the cause, instead we redirect our focus into combatting dry hair by looking at the factors that we can control – the lifestyle ones.
First, there’s the bad brushes and the brushing habits that damage the hair. If you think that dryness of hair can only be attributed to chemical factors, you’re wrong at that. It starts at the very simplest things. When you use poorly made brushes – uneven and jagged bristles – the cuticle of the hair can be damaged and can lead to dry hair. If you’re wondering what a cuticle is, it’s the overlapping structure surrounding and protecting the cortex (responsible for hair shape and curl). When these structures are compact, moisture is essentially trapped and hair appears shiny and glossy. On the other hand, loosened structures caused by abrasions like these two factors can cause moisture to escape leaving the hair dry and dull.
Second is overwashing and under conditioning. This is one of the many causes of dry hair that people tend to overlook. Shampooing with a formula that is not designed for your hair type or has too many harsh ingredients can strip off your hair of essential oils which are important in keeping your hair moisturized. In addition to that, frequent shampooing can also produce the same dry result. At the same time, conditioning is also an important process and unlike shampoo, you can never really use too much of a conditioner.
Third is exposure of hair to environmental factors such as the heat, wind, chlorine, or humid air. Summer heat and wind can strip your hair off of moisture as well harmful UV rays. This also goes the same with chlorine. Dry hair is more sensitive to these kinds of exposure as it is already damaged.
Fourth is styling and chemical treatments. If you are one who always likes to keep up with the different hair trends, you are going to suffer dry hair from too much styling and application of chemicals to your hair. Just like the heat from the sun can damage your hair, heat directly applied to hair like blow drying, ironing, and curling can give a more intense damage to your hair. Hair color, highlights, perms, and other different treatments can turn healthy hair into dry hair as well.
Here are some tips to combat these factors to help your dry hair get back its shine.
Choose a boar bristle brush or a wide tooth comb.
A boar bristle brush aids in gentle distribution of natural oils into your hair strands. A wide tooth comb, on the other hand, can be used to gently detangle your hair without applying damage. Start at the bottom towards the top when combing.
Never brush when wet!
No matter how good your brush can be, wet hair is vulnerable to damage so the best move is to let it dry before brushing or combing.
Carefully choose your shampoo.
Although a lot of advertisements entice you with their product, it does not automatically mean that they are good for your hair. It’s best to research your hair type and the suitable products to use as to prevent any damage. In general, shampoo used for dry hair is creamy and should contain aloe vera or any essential oil like coconut, jojoba, or apricot kernel to retain moisture.
Skip daily shampoo.
Frequent shampooing can contribute further damage to your hair so take off days for your shampoo. Instead, condition your hair during those days. If your hair feels oily or flat, you can opt to apply dry shampoo on the roots.
Apply UV Protection.
There are a lot of product choices to choose from that contain UV protection. Before going out especially on a hot summer day, make sure you apply some on your hair like a leave-in spray or conditioner depending on your preference.
Try Balayage Hair Color.
If you want to style your hair under minimal chemical treatment, this hair coloring treatment is perfect for you as chemicals or hair colors are only hand applied to mid lengths and ends of your hair. This is also a low maintenance kind of treatment which means you don’t have to visit the salon many times just to keep its glow.
There are also a lot of home remedy treatments that you can use to keep your hair moisturized.
Use beer as a conditioner.
This is an interesting home remedy treatment that doesn’t usually pop out on lists but it’s an effective one! Beer actually contains proteins which help repair the cuticle (remember that dry hair has loosened cuticle structure). Don’t use this to wash though! Just a few sprays after a good shampoo routine will already do the trick. Don’t worry. It doesn’t smell.
Egg and mayonnaise.
This one is a very popular DIY treatment and you have probably experienced this in your life at least once. These two ingredients are packed with proteins that strengthens hair and restores moisture. For egg, you can mix 2 whipped egg whites with 2 tablespoons of tepid water and gently apply mixture to hair and scalp. Massage in circular movements and after a few minutes, you can rinse your hair with shampoo and some cool water.
For the mayonnaise, simply wet the hair using warm water and apply a thick layer of mayonnaise (make sure you have a bottle just for this! or else you will hear your mom yelling over who wasted mayonnaise!). Gently massage your hair and scalp then cover it with a plastic or shower cap for about 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing with shampoo and cold water.
Bananas are not only healthy fruits that can be eaten, they can also be used as hair masks by mashing it and spreading it thoroughly and evenly through the hair then leave it for an hour before rinsing. Bananas are high in potassium and as any other fruit, it also has a high moisture content which is good for dry hair. Aside from that, bananas can also help prevent split ends and soften the hair.
Dry hair can not just be moisturized from the outside but also from the inside. Making dietary changes can also effectively help you turn your dry hair to healthy hair. You can chomp on different foods like salmon and tuna which have omega-3 fatty acids that are proven to improve your health as well as your hair. You can also munch on some blueberries which also have beneficial impacts to your overall health. Aside from that, taking supplements rich in vitamins A and C, biotin, and iron can also help make your hair look healthier.