Brittle, dry hair is a very common problem. There are a multitude of causes of dry hair, including heat damage, certain hair products, medical conditions, and even climate. Fortunately, there are also many ways to add moisture and promote healthy, strong hair growth. Read on for our dry hair FAQs.
What Causes Dry Hair?
While shampoo is necessary for a clean scalp, it also tends to strip the hair of sebum. Sebum is the good natural oil that makes hair soft, shiny, and easy to maintain. Shampooing every day, especially with products that contain sulfates, can cause your hair to become dry over time.
Some heating tools are better quality and therefore less damaging than others. However, it goes without saying that applying high levels of heat directly to hair will cause some dryness, especially if done regularly. Over time, hair becomes finer, thinner, weaker, and broken when exposed to heating tools, especially without the use of heat protectant.
Humidity and heat levels can have an impact on hair health. Dry climates, or climates with humidity levels below 40%, can actually cause your hair to lose moisture and become dry. Extended exposure to the sun can also cause hair to become dry, so it is especially important for those who spend a lot of time outdoors to keep an eye on moisture content.
What Causes Brittle Hair?
There are a variety of medical conditions that could cause hair to become brittle. Cushing’s syndrome, for example, is a condition caused by an overproduction of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. Another example is hypothyroidism, which is an excess of thyroid hormones due to an overactive thyroid gland.
Brittle hair is often a sign of nutritional deficiencies. Insufficient zinc and iron in one’s diet, for example, can lead to an interruption to keratin production. Keratin smooths the cells that overlap to form hair strands. The layers of cells, called the hair cuticle, absorb keratin, resulting in hair that looks glossy and healthy. Accordingly, a lack of keratin can lead to damaged, brittle hair.
If you notice your hair is become brittle, it may be a sign of a hormonal imbalance. For example, hormonal imbalances in women can occur when there is an increase in testosterone. This can cause hair to suddenly become thin, brittle, or gray. If this occurs, bioidentical hormones can be used to correct the imbalance and ultimately help restore hair.
What are Common Homemade Hair Mask Ingredients?
Adding a homemade hair mask to your regular routine is a great way to treat dry hair on a budget. There are lots of different recipes you can use to make a moisturizing hair mask at home. Some common hydrating ingredients include:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Olive oil
- Coconut milk
- Sour cream
What are the Effects of Hot Water vs. Cold Water on Hair?
Cold and hot water affect hair in different ways. Washing with both can have different effects on hair health and moisture retention.
Some benefits of using cold water to wash and rinse hair include:
- Preservation of natural oils
- Effective washing via closed pores
- Improved blood circulation
- Sealed cuticle layers
How Can I Reduce Washes Without Getting Oily Hair?
While shampooing every day can dry your hair out, showering daily can actually help hair stay healthy. Rinsing brittle, dry hair thoroughly with water daily will help you wait longer between shampoos and prevent your scalp from getting too much sweat, sebum, and buildup of debris and product.
Change Up Your Style
Pulling your hair up into a bun, ponytail, or updo can help you go longer without washing. Throw your hair up in a scrunchie to reduce breakage caused by tight ponytail holders.
Use Dry Shampoo and/or pH Balanced Products
Training your hair to not become too oily between washes can take time and be a little uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are many dry shampoo products available that you can use in the place of regular shampoo now and then. Dry shampoo uses alcohols or starch-based ingredients to soak up oils and sweat. Most dry shampoos also contain fragrance, which will leave hair smelling fresh. A pH balanced shampoo can also help mitigate the natural oil production of your scalp and hair. Look for a pH balanced product with 4.5-5.5 pH to prevent dryness.
Which Vitamins Help with Brittle, Dry Hair?
Adding a vitamin to your daily routine can help reverse hair brittleness. The following vitamins can help hair appear healthier:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
How Can I Help My Hair Retain Moisture?
Adding a conditioner to your regular haircare routine is an easy way to retain moisture. Saturate your brittle, dry hair with a moisturizing conditioner and comb it through with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. Deep conditioners and moisturizing treatments are another simple way to help your hair hold onto the moisture it needs to stay healthy and manageable.
Choose a Brittle Hair Shampoo
If you are dealing with brittle hair, look for a shampoo that is free of alcohol, sulfates, and silicones. These ingredients dry hair out even more. There are lots of shampoos available that are specifically formulated for dry hair that can be used to improve overall condition and moisture levels.
Take a Break from Chemical Treatments
Strong chemicals tend to cause damage to hair beyond color or texture change. Chemicals dissolve the protective layer on hair strands. This results in damage to the cuticle. Stripped cuticles are less able to retain moisture, which leads to dry hair. Try taking a break from chemical treatments for a while if your hair seems brittle and dry.
Contact Eldorado today or stop by our Baltimore hair restoration center if you are dealing with brittle, dry hair and/or are interested in hair replacement services. Our medically-trained hair loss experts can help identify the best hair restoration solution for your individual needs. Give us a call at 410-469-6077 or fill out our quick contact form to get started today.