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  5. Dry Hair Woes: Why & How You Can Fix It

Everytime you touch your hair, does it feel dry, damaged and dull? Winters make it even worse, right? You must have tried a sea of hair care products that can nourish your hair by now.

But the ideal thing to do before you apply new products to your hair is understanding the causes behind your hair’s dryness and then going for appropriate treatments. Keep reading to find out.

What Causes Dry Hair?

When your scalp is not able to make enough oil, you can have dry hair [1]. Dry hair and dry scalp usually go hand in hand.

Each healthy hair strand has a protective layer called the cuticle [2]. The cuticle protects your hair from sun damage. When your hair is healthy, the cuticle's layers lie tight and lock the moisture in. When the cuticle's layers move away from your hair, it can no longer hold moisture.

Some Of The Main Causes Of Dry Hair:

  • Aging
  • Extreme cold or hot climatic conditions
  • Swimming in chlorinated water [3]
  • Frequent washing of hair
  • Harsh shampoos
  • Regular blow drying, straightening or curling [4]
  • Dying or chemical hair treatments
  • Smoking

Signs Of Hair Dryness

  • Dry hair absorbs all water like a sponge instead of repelling water.
  • It is rough to touch and is prone to breakage.
  • If your hair is unable to hold a particular style or color, it could be a sign of dryness.
  • Dry hair can lead to dandruff in some cases.

How To Treat Dry Hair?

1. Hot Oil Treatment

Coconut oil is considered a great emollient. Heat coconut oil and massage your scalp for a few minutes to treat dry hair.

There is no scientific evidence to support the impact of essential oils on dry hair. Nevertheless, people use oils like argan oil, peppermint oil and lavender oil to moisturize dry hair.

Pro Tip:

Mix an essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and make a hair perfume. Spray on your hair whenever it feels dry.

2. Hair Mask Treatments

A. Eggs

You can make a hair mask with egg yolk, castor oil and honey. Put on a shower cap and let the eggs do the moisturizing for your hair.

B. Banana

Bananas have a soothing effect on hair. Mash two ripe bananas to make a fine paste. Add two tablespoons of mayonnaise and one tablespoon of olive oil. Apply this mask on your hair and leave it on for an hour. Wash with lukewarm water.

C. Yogurt

Massage a mixture of yogurt and honey into your scalp and leave it on for 20 minutes. Yogurt is known to restore your hair's natural oils.

D. Curry Leaves

Warm some curry leaves in coconut oil and let it cool. Massage this into your scalp and leave it on for half an hour. Wash with regular shampoo.

E. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a wonder plant due to the presence of antioxidants vitamin A, C and E. Aloe vera can lock the moisture in your hair. Opt for shampoos and conditioner containing aloe vera or simply cut open an aloe vera leaf to apply the gel directly to your hair.

3. Diet

You are what you eat. The same applies to your hair. A good diet can go a long way in treating dry hair. Include vitamin D rich foods like mushrooms, soy, yogurt and milk in your diet. Eat biotin rich foods like hazelnuts, eggs, liver and milk. Citrus foods, red bell peppers, salmon are also great food options when you are dealing with dry hair.

4. Omega-3 & Vitamins

You may not be getting vitamins from your food but you can turn to vitamin supplements. Vitamin A, C, biotin, and iron are all needed for healthy hair.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to bring back shine in your hair [5]. You can get them from foods like tuna, salmon and oysters. Antioxidant foods like broccoli, tomatoes, beans, blueberries and walnuts are great for your hair too.

5. Trim Hair

The hair on the edges can feel a lot drier when compared to the rest of the hair. Go for a trim to get rid of damaged hair and those split ends. Regular trimming can keep your hair healthy and add volume.

6. Deep Conditioners

Switch to conditioning ingredients like proteins, moisturizing oils and antioxidants to help restore the oil balance in your hair. Deep conditioning treatments not only make your hair manageable but also keep the sebum in check.

You can try natural options like honey, grapeseed oil and shea butter, or buy deep conditioners available in the market. Deep conditioners are more concentrated and are left on the hair for more time [6]. Choose a conditioner that addresses your hair concerns after knowing your hair.

Tips To Avoid Dry Hair

A. Avoid Washing Hair Daily

Over-washing hair or using harsh shampoos strips off the natural oil from your scalp, making the hair dry. Switch to a gentle shampoo that suits your hair.

B. Avoid Drying

Wrap your hair in a towel instead of air drying. If you want to sleep with wet hair, use a satin pillowcase that does not absorb all the moisture from your hair. According to a study, leaving your hair wet for a long period is better than drying your hair.

C. Take A Cold Shower

Hot water can zap the oils from your scalp leaving your hair dry. Try colder showers or the last rinse with cold water after shampoo and conditioner.

D. Wear A Hat

UV rays and pollution can have the same effect on your hair as they have on your skin. Protect your hair with a hat or stole to prevent the natural oils from escaping.

E. Avoid Salt Water

Salt in water can wick away the moisture from your hair. If you have to go to the beach or get into a swimming pool, consider a leave-in conditioner. This will add a layer of protection to your hair and prevent it from drying.

F. Avoid Heat Styling Products

We all love to do our hair once in a while. But heat styling like straightening, curling, perming and alcohol-based products can dry the hair.

G. Coloring Chemicals

The chemicals in coloring agents strip off the natural oils in your hair [7]. Dry and frizzy ends are common after a while. Skip shampoo on some days and stick to conditioners if you dye your hair.

Wrapping Up

Lifestyle changes and simple hair care can get back the moisture in your hair. If you notice other symptoms like fatigue, hair loss and intolerance to cold, it is time to make an appointment with your doctor to rule out possible health issues.

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