If your hair is looking dull and is brittle to the touch, you’re probably suffering from dry hair. The roots of our hair naturally produce the oil that keeps the hair and skin moisturized. Lack of oil production is one cause of dry hair. Other times, your hair doesn’t retain enough moisture and the healthy moisture escapes.
Many shampoo companies sell products targeted at “dry hair,” as if it were a type of hair in the same way someone can have fine or curly hair. Dry hair isn’t a hair type. It’s a hair and scalp condition. It can be remedied at home with natural ingredients or with drugstore products.
Learn how to go from fragile, unhealthy dry hair to lustrous, healthy locks. Keep your hair healthy with tips on how to avoid dry hair completely. Dry hair might weigh your hair down, but it doesn’t have to last forever.
Reasons for dry hair
Dry hair is caused by your hair’s lack of moisture or its inability to retain moisture. But there are reasons behind the lack of moisture that can be addressed for healthier hair. Your hair might be dry because:
What you eat doesn’t just affect your internal organs. Poor dietary habits can reflect in your weight, skin and yes, even your hair. These nutritional deficiencies can prevent your body from producing enough of the keratin protein. Keratin strengthens your hair and gives it the healthy shine you see in commercials for hair products.
Your hair benefits from other proteins besides keratin. If you have dry hair and suspect your diet may be the cause, there are foods you can add to your diet to help moisturize your hair. In fact, many of these foods are part of the at-home dry hair remedies we’ll provide for you.
Avocado, eggs, salmon, sweet potatoes and nuts are five foods that provide your body the necessary proteins and mineral for healthy hair. Sugar is something you want to avoid if you want to keep your hair healthy. Sugar stops your body from absorbing some of the minerals your body needs. Not just for healthy hair, but for all bodily functions.
Too Much Sun
Skin cancer isn’t your only risk when you go outdoors without sunscreen. Some exposure to the sun gives our skin much-needed vitamin D. But our bodies can handle only so much exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) light emitted by the hot sun.
Your hair is one of the casualties of too much sun. The hair has an outer protective cover, known as the cuticle. The UV light can damage the cuticle, causing the hair to weaken and break.
Damaged hair cuticles can’t retain the moisture produced by your scalp. This causes your hair to dry out and become brittle. You can’t put sunscreen on your hair, right? Actually, you can. Some leave-in conditioners have an SPF included to protect your hair from sun exposure. Hats scarves are another way to protect your hair. Sun damage can happen at any time of the year, not just the warm summer months.
Exposure to Chemicals
Hair dyes are the biggest culprit for exposing your hair to chemicals, but they aren’t the only one. Harmful chemicals are used in some hair products. Isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil are two chemicals frequently found in hair products. Reading the label before purchasing any hair product can help prevent exposure.
Chlorine is another chemical that damages hair and dries it out. If you’re a frequent patron of your local pool or have one in your backyard, the chlorine could be responsible for your dry hair. A swim cap can help protect your hair. Another trick is to wet your hair completely with tap water before getting into the pool. This prevents your hair from absorbing much of the chlorine.
Believe it or not, washing your hair TOO much can cause damage to your hair. Washing strips the hair of the healthy oils your hair needs to stay moisturized. The answer to how many times a week you should wash your hair differs from person to person. The general consensus is that washing your hair every other day is sufficient to keep your hair healthy.
There are a lot of styling products on the market these days that require the use of a heating tool, such as a flat iron, blow-dryer or curling iron. These tools can help your hair look great at the time, but repeated use can damage your hair in the long run. Constant exposure to the heat can remove both the protective cuticle and healthy oil from the hair. Not to mention the chemicals often found in these styling products.
Consider giving your hair a rest on the weekends and let it air dry instead of using the blow dryer. Never put wet hair in a ponytail or bun. The wet hair can break and cause further hair damage.
For some people, dry hair is just genetics. Low production of sebum, the oil the scalp produces to moisturize the hair, can be hereditary. Adding protein-rich foods to your diet is the best way to overcome genetically dry hair.
Medical conditions and medications to aid those conditions can have side effects that include dry hair. Anorexia is one of such conditions. Medical conditions that affect androgen hormone production can result in dry skin. Hormones are what causes the hair to grow. Fluctuating hormones that prevent the hair from growing, leaving your hair dull and dry.
Home remedies for dry hair
Eggs, olive oil and avocados aren’t just breakfast ingredients. The foods are rich in protein and can be used in different ways to replenish lost moisture in your hair.
Avocados are rich in more than just protein. They contain vitamins, healthy fatty acids and minerals that help restore luxurious shine to your locks. Combined with an egg, the avocado paste has an abundance of health benefits for your hair and body.
How to make the paste:
- Remove the pit from the ripe avocado
- Mash the avocado
- Mix one egg into the mashed avocado
- Massage mixture into wet hair
- Let the paste sit for 20 minutes
- Rinse the paste off several times with warm water
- Use avocado paste weekly until your hair is healthy
- Olive Oil
Warmed up olive oil can replenish the lost moisture to dry hair. The olive oil can be substituted for coconut oil, almond oil or jojoba oil. Castor and corn oils can also work in a pinch. The oils have vitamin E and antioxidants that will lock in moisture.
Warm up a cup of the oil and massage into your dry hair. Wrap your hair in a towel and let the oil sit for 30 minutes. Shampoo your hair and rinse with warm water. This treatment can be repeated once a week to strengthen dry hair.
Unsweetened Tea Rinse
Tea can ease your sore, scratchy throat. Why not transfer those healing properties to your hair? The kind of tea you should use depends on the color of your hair. People with blonde hair should avoid dark teas that can stain their hair. Black tea can enhance the shine and color of darker colored locks.
Brew a pot of tea. Let the tea cool and use it as a hair rinse after you’ve used your normal shampoo. You can store the rest of the pot of tea to use on your hair once a week.
Egg and Mayonnaise Mask
We already know that eggs contain a lot of protein. Eggs are the main ingredient in mayonnaise. Combining the two gives your hair double the dose of protein to strengthen and replenish moisture to your hair.
How to make the mixture:
- Mix 3 eggs in a bowl
- Add a dollop of mayonnaise
- Combine the eggs and mayonnaise into a paste
- Massage the mixture into wet hair, paying close attention to the ends
- Wrap your hair in a shower cap for 30 minutes
- Rinse your hair with warm water until the water runs clear
- Shampoo and style hair as usual
- Repeat the treatment once a week until moisture is restored
How to maintain healthy hair
Once your health has been restored to your hair, there are things you can do to keep it that way.
Ways to keep hair healthy include:
- Wear a hat in the sun
- Use a swim cap when swimming in pools
- Read the labels of styling products
- Cut down on use of heat-based styling tools
- Use one of the at-home dry hair remedies once a week
- Wash hair every other day
- Use a comb on wet hair instead of a brush
- Eat protein-rich foods and drink more water
- Take vitamin supplements, such as biotin or omega-3
Other products to help moisturize your hair
Dry hair can cause your hair to feel brittle and lifeless. Ignoring your dry hair problem can result in hair loss. Increasing your protein intake and taking care of your hair can help get your hair healthy again.