Generally dry hair is dull and it looks the same after one has washed it as it did before. One of the most frequently occurring problems of dry hair is that it often is associated with the dandruff problem. Dry hair can result from external factors, such as exposure to harsh chemicals, or from internal causes, such as an illness. These are the primary external factors for those lackluster locks:
Causes of Dry Hair
- Harsh shampoo
- Shampooing too often
- Hair dye
- Hair perms
- Chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs
- Overuse of the blow dryer or curling iron
- Too much exposure to sun and wind
- High mineral content in local water supplies
Apart from these, there are many internal problems as well that may cause dry hair. These include:
- Cancer treatment
- Certain medications
- Nutritional deficiency
- Prolonged illness
Natural Home Remedies for Dry Hair
- Don't overdo the shampoo. Shampooing too often is one of the most common causes of dry hair. Many people believe that squeaky-clean hair is healthy hair, so they wash it one or more times every day. But shampoos often contain harsh cleaning agents that can strip away your hair's natural oils, which help hold in moisture. On the other hand, a gentle shampoo will stimulate the oil glands, so you probably shouldn't go longer than three days without a good lather.
- Be kind to your hair. Dry hair is the most fragile type of hair and is subject to breakage, so it must be handled with care. When lathering, be gentle. Avoid any pulling or yanking on your hair in any way, which strains the hair shafts. Don't scrub with your fingernails, which can not only break the hair but irritate your scalp. Work up a lather using your fingertips, instead.
- Use a gentle shampoo. Dry hair needs a gentle, acidic cleanser. The ideal shampoos for dry hair have a pH of between 4.5 and 6.7, but here's a good rule of thumb: Don't use any hair cleanser that you wouldn't put on your face. Some people recommend baby shampoos, but their pH is usually far too high; such alkaline shampoos dry out the hair. Acidic shampoos are better for your hair.
- Pour on the conditioner. Strawlike hair needs conditioning. Look for products that contain little or no alcohol, which will dry out hair even more. Reading labels will help, but it might be simpler just to take a whiff before you buy: Conditioners with little or no fragrance tend to be low in alcohol or contain none at all. If your hair is really dry, consider using an overnight conditioner, which you apply before going to bed (you sleep wearing a shower cap) and rinse off in the morning.
- Pour the hot oil. Hair-care professionals often recommend hot-oil treatments to repair dry, damaged hair. Over-the-counter hot-oil products are available that you heat and place on the hair for 5 to 20 minutes (according to package instructions). Wear a plastic bag or shower cap over your hair while the hot oil is on, then wash the hair thoroughly with a gentle shampoo.
- Give yourself a scalp massage. One way to stimulate the oil glands on the scalp is to gently massage the scalp during shampoos. Gently rubbing your scalp with your fingertips stimulates the oil glands. It feels pretty good, too.
- Pace your hair treatments. If you perm on Tuesday, dye your hair on Thursday, and put it in hot rollers on Saturday, your hair is destined to be dry and damaged. You don't have to abandon styling practices such as dyes, permanent waves, or hair straightening if you have dry hair. Just keep in mind that it's important to space those treatments out as much as possible.
- Hold the heat. Using hot combs, hot rollers, and blow-dryers is asking for dry hair. Hot rollers are the worst because they stretch the hair while the heat shrinks it. Hot combs also tend to stretch the hair while exposing it to heat. If you must use artificial heat, keep your blow-dryer on a low setting and avoid pulling or stretching the hair while drying.