Causes and solutions for dry hair

Woman with dry hair
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Dry hair is a common hair problem for both men and women. When the sebaceous glands do not produce enough oil to moisturize the hair, it is considered to be dry. Dry hair is often brittle, dull, and frizzy with flyaways. The causes of dry hair and the ways to cure it vary depending on various factors for each individual.
Chemical styling, hair coloring and bleaching
Hair coloring, bleaching, and chemical styling, such as perming and chemically straightening, are processes that alter the structure of our hair using chemicals. The chemical processes can lead to dry hair.
Chemical hair treatments are very effective due to the potency of the chemicals used to change the hair color or texture. Unfortunately, the harsh chemicals can also cause some hair issues in addition to the color change or texture change. Chemical treatments can cause hair to feel and look dry and brittle. The chemicals can dissolve the protective layer of the hair, causing damage to the hair cuticle. Stripped hair cuticles are less able to retain moisture, resulting in dry hair.
Limiting these treatments is actually the best way to avoid dryness; that is why hair professionals recommend spacing out chemical treatments.
Environmental factors / The weather
The weather is often the most overlooked factor. There are different seasons, and during fall and winter the temperatures drop. The colder the weather, the drier the air. The dry, cold air strips the hair of moisture, making it fragile, dull, and more prone to split ends.
In the winter months, it is important to cover your hair to protect it from dry air and wind. Don't worry about messy hat hair and take the necessary precautions to shield your locks with a hat or scarf. Wool hats and scarves can wick moisture away from your hair. Wear silk or satin between your wool hat and/or scarf and your hair to protect your strands.
The reduced humidity in cold air also causes static electricity, charging the hair and causing it to stick to clothing and accessories such as wool scarves, hats, and coats. You can avoid static hair by wearing cotton instead of wool. You could also apply an anti-static spray before putting on your hat.
Too much exposure to the sun and intense heat can affect the condition of your hair, making it dry and brittle. To reduce the risk of hair damage, wear a hat or scarf on your hair on sunny days or avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.
When swimming in a pool with chlorine or salt water, protect your hair with a swim cap and rinse it immediately afterwards. Salt water and chlorine are harsh and can cause your hair to become dry. Rinse your hair before swimming in a chlorinated pool to prevent it from absorbing the chlorine.
Causes of dry hair
Dry hair can be hereditary. If your parents or siblings are prone to having dry hair, chances are you are or will be too.
Dry hair can be caused genetically by reduced sebum production. Sebum is a natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands that protects the hair by moisturizing it. Hormonal causes can suppress sebum production, resulting in dry hair.
Hair type and wave pattern
The wave pattern is also an important factor when it comes to the dryness of hair. Curly hair is more prone to dryness due to the bends in the locks. The sebum or natural hair oil has a harder time making its way down the hair shaft to hydrate the entire length of the hair. As a result, the ends of curly hair are especially dry.
Health, age & menopause
Sometimes dry hair is the result of an underlying health problem that affects the hair's ability to retain moisture. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist when you suspect that your dry hair is caused by a medical problem.
Hormonal changes as we age can lead to changes in the sebaceous glands of our hair, resulting in a lower production of sebum and making the hair feel drier.
During menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, affecting the hair. The oil glands produce less oil, making the hair drier.
Dry hair can be caused by medications you are taking. Some alternative medicines do not cause the dryness. Talk to your doctor if you are taking a new type of medicine and noticing sudden dryness in your hair; there may be alternative medicines that do not cause the dryness.
Use of heat styling tools
Thermal styling tools can affect the health of our hair and heat styling can strip hair of its natural moisture. The best, and indeed the only foolproof way to protect your hair against dryness from heat styling is to limit thermal styling as much as possible. Do not use heat styling on a daily basis, as frequent use will make your hair dry and brittle.
Whether you are using a flat iron, curling iron, or hair dryer, your hair should never be exposed to heat without proper protection. Use a heat protection cream, mousse, or spray. Heat protection products coat the hair shaft and prevent it from drying out. And don’t forget: rolling your hair with old-fashioned rollers is much healthier than using a curling iron or heated rollers.
When blow-drying your hair, it is best to brush it from root to tip and hold the nozzle of the hair dryer about 30 cm (or 12 inches) away.
Washing your hair too often
Dry hair is caused by a lack of moisture, and many people try to solve this by washing it more frequently. This is a mistake. Excessive washing can actually remove natural oils and make the hair and scalp even drier. It is best to only wash your hair as often as absolutely necessary. For most people, washing it twice a week should be sufficient.
Don't wash your hair with water that's too hot. Hot water can lead to dry hair, so it should be avoided. Wash your hair with lukewarm or, even better, cold water. Cold water seals the hair cuticle, making your locks look shinier.
Wrong hair care products
Using hair care products that are not designed for your hair type can cause problems, one of which is dryness. For example, dry hair and damaged hair are not the same. Dry hair lacks natural oils, and damaged hair is affected by things such as rough handling, styling, coloring, and bleaching.
When choosing a hair product, always check the label and ingredients before buying. Avoid products that contain alcohol, as it can strip natural oils and moisture from your hair. Use hair care products specially designed for dry hair, and look for products that moisturize. Choose products with natural oils such as argan, avocado, and/or coconut oil.
Factors that can cause dry hair
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