For those of you who like me, have experienced dry hair, you know how difficult it can be to manage, style, and improve. My goal with this article is to help you identify the different reasons why your hair is dry and which are the different solutions you can do to have a real transformation.
The first step to make a real change is by understanding the main causes of why your hair is not retaining enough moisture making it look frizzy and dull.
I had a real hair conversation with my friend Octavio Molina, an amazing hair expert and founder of TAVI, a botanically infused haircare & ethically made brand. He shared some of his solutions to improve dry hair and answered some of the most important questions you should know.
- Causes & Solutions : 7 reasons why your hair is dry
- Q & A with Octavio Molina
Causes & Solutions : 7 reasons why your hair is dry
By Octavio Molina
Using heat and/or hot tools everyday
Using hot tools is something most women do very often without knowing that this, in the long run, can damage your hair in so many ways. Blow drying your hair, using a curling or flat iron daily can cause your hair to lose its natural texture, shine, moisture, and eventually get worse by breaking and looking unhealthy.
Octavio Molina is a big fan of leaving conditioners and oils. He recommends using oil as soon as the hair is washed, towel-dried, and slightly comb with a big tooth comb, then apply a leave-in conditioner and finish with a sea spray for added texture.
Let air-dried in two loose braids and re-applied oil if necessary. Also, if you want to blow dry your hair without heat, he recommends air-dry and uses a medium-size curling iron to add/enhance any texture on the hair.
Hair processing (Coloring, bleaching, perms)
Having any chemical process in your hair can make it weak and with time it could start to fall, break and lose its shine. It is very important that you at least know which products to use before, during, and after this process to help and protect your hair strands and scalp from drying.
After your hair is been processed Octavio suggests you avoid shampooing your hair as much as you can. Your scalp produces sebum (I know, gross) but is excellent for dry hair, what you want to do is to brush your hair every night with a natural bristle brush to distribute the oils from roots to ends.
Over exposed to water
Washing your hair daily and using shampoos/conditioners daily tend to remove the natural oils in your scalp and hair.
It is recommended that you wash your hair every other day. It will take time for your hair to adapt to this but after a few weeks you will start to see the difference within its texture and eventually the natural oils on your hair will also help to maintain your hair hydrated. Also, avoid washing your hair under hot water and over brushing it when it is wet.
Using the wrong hair products
Try avoiding products with ingredients like alcohol, peroxides, sulfate (salt) overly scented, and or synthetic perfumes; these ingredients tend to dry and damage your hair even more.
Focus on using products that are botanically formulated. Aloe vera is a great ingredient to use on dry hair due to its ability to help it retain moisture. Using Oils rich in vitamin E and antioxidants such as Coconut, Olive, Castor, Almond, Jojoba, Argan oil.
Here is an easy way on how to apply
- Pick one or 2 of your favorite oils, mix them in a small container and warm them up slightly. A good tip I like to add is using also Lavender Oil for an extra boost and nice smell (you will feel you are in a spa)
- Apply the mix starting from your scalp and towards your ends
- Massage gently
- Use a shower cap and leave for 20 – 30 minutes
- Rinse it out taking a regular shower but making sure you don’t use hot water
- Do this ones a week if your hair and scalp are very dry
Yes, stress can cause dry hair and hair loss as well. When your stress levels are really high, your hair can get affected by becoming weak. The good news is that as long as you balance your stress levels, your hair can eventually grow back as normally as before.
Making sure you are having the right sleep (6-8 hrs daily) and taking time to meditate or take deep breaths every day are good ways to lower your stress levels helping your entire body to feel and look better.
Over exposure to sun or extreme temperatures
Going back to basics, sun exposure or extremely cold weather are well knows factors that cause your skin to get dry and flaky. The same thing happens to your scalp and hair if you over-expose it to these temperatures.
Treat your scalp and hair as you treat your skin. For sun protection and extremely cold weather, applying natural oils will be your life saver to prevent your hair to dry. Apply any of your favorite oils before going out, you can also apply SPF on the areas where your hair parts and on your crown to protect those vulnerable areas that tend to be more exposed.
Bad Nutrition habits
Not having the right nutrients daily can really affect your hair texture, elasticity, and overall health. For example, not having enough protein which helps improve your hair texture, or getting your fatty acids which contribute to the production of natural sebum keeping your hair naturally moisturized can be affecting your hair.
Make your diet part of your priority and not only for your hair but for your overall health. Here are some recommendations that will help boost your hair moisture and texture:
- Drink your water (8 glasses daily)
- Eat food and fruits rich in omega 3 such as salmon, tuna, oysters, walnuts, berries, broccoli, among others.
- Add supplements to your diet like biotin, collagen, B vitamins, zinc, iron and other Vitamins such as D & E to help boost your hair health (ask your nutritionist or doctor for the best option for you)
Q & A with Octavio Molina
Which are some ways to improve hair texture and dryness
Depends on the texture, for example, if you are trying to bring out curly hair texture, your best bet is to use cream-based products such as Shea butter, coconut oil, etc. As far as improving dry hair, what I find that works the best, is oils that are light enough to be absorbed by the cuticle/fiber of the hair, avoid heat styling, and alcohol-based products.
How to deal with dry scalp
I often find people trying to combat dry scalp with shampoos that are specifically designed for that, but I believe that when your scalp is dry, the last thing you want to do is put more shampoo on it. Instead, I try to use oils on my scalp to help it with the dryness. Avoid using shampoos with sulfates (salts).
I love using Argan oil before I go to bed, I apply a few drops of it on my hands and gently massage it onto the scalp.
Are hair masks good for dry hair
Of course, again, I am a big fan of brands that are botanically infused, plant-based, etc. My favorite one is Shu Uemura Musk Rose oil for colored hair and the Minu hair mask by Davines made with salina capers to protect color from fading.
Is dry shampoo good or bad for dry hair
Everything in moderation is okay. There are some products out there that can compromise the integrity of the hair and scalp but some fantastic companies like chlorine offer excellent Dry Shampoo options without all the irritants and flammable gases.
Have a look at our tutorial on how to apply Dry Shampoo
What to look for when trying to find a dry shampoo
Octavio recommends going for a translucent powder, lightly scented formula with some natural starch such as sugar or cotton extract. His favorite is Klorane’s dry shampoo.
Tips to blow dry hair that is thin and dry
Preferably air-dried hair before, apply a texturizing spray like a sea spray, then only use low heat on the drier. Finer hair is going to be easier to stretch with less heat and hold the style better.