Dehydration is one of the contributing factors to brittle and hair-loss prone hair. Tresses that lack moisture often appear frizzy, fried, and damaged. Apply a teeny-tiny bit of pressure on dehydrated hair, and you’ll spot hair strands falling to your palm almost instantaneously.
What is it with hydration that makes hair strong? And what are some ways to ensure that your tresses are properly moisturized? We’ll answer these questions in today’s post.
Why Is My Hair So Dry?
Dry hair lacks moisture, and there are some scientific reasons why this could happen to you:
- Your scalp is unable to produce enough natural oils to coat your entire head and strands. Sebaceous glands attached to hair follicles do not secrete enough sebum to lubricate the scalp and the entire hair. This could be a result of heredity or natural aging.
- Your hair’s structure and personal condition cause moisture to escape instead of being locked inside the strands. This could be due to damaged hair cuticles as a result of several external factors (exposure to heat, chemicals, over-styling, medications). The normal scaly compact appearance of hair cuticles gets loosened when they’re damaged. This leads to tresses that are unable to hold in moisture.
Other possible reasons why hair gets dehydrated include the following:
1. Too much use of thermal styling tools
Heated styling tools such as blow dryers, hair irons, and curling wands can strip off the natural oils in your tresses. Excessive use of these tools can give your hair a dry spell in the long run.
2. Frequent chemical treatments for hair
Hair colors, highlights, perms, relaxers, and re-bond treatments can do wonders for hair. But the chemicals in these treatments can cause your tresses to dry out. This is especially true if your hair gets any of these treatments frequently.
3. Harsh outdoor elements
Sun, winter, and water can all wreak havoc on your tresses’ hydration overtime.
Spending too much time under the sun could dry up your hair and make it prone to damage and hair fall. And the chlorinated waters of the swimming pool or the saltwater from the ocean can all strip your hair of its natural moisture.
During colder months, your hair is also highly susceptible to water loss and dryness. Living in areas with low humidity and using home heaters during winter months also contribute to dehydrated hair.
4. Poor quality brushes and wrong brushing techniques
Believe it or not, even your humble comb or hairbrush can dehydrate hair. Low-quality combs and metal brushes can possibly tear through the hair cuticles, damaging your locks and drying up your hair. Similarly, brushing hair when it’s wet can lead to moisture loss since strands are most vulnerable to damage when they’re wet.
5. Over-washing your hair
We all know that shampoos are meant to cleanse hair, but as they do, they also strip off essential natural oils and leave hair dry as a result. Washing your hair too frequently or lathering up with shampoos that have harsh ingredients could damage and dehydrate your locks in the long run.
6. Not using enough conditioner
Conditioners infuse water and moisture that your hair needs to keep itself healthy and strong. Under-conditioning your hair means denying your hair of the additional nourishment it needs after shampooing or washing, leading to dry and damaged locks.
7. Inadequate water intake
Not drinking enough water every day? It could manifest in your hair, too. Being unable to meet your daily water intake quota could lead to dry and dull tresses. The body is largely made up of water, and your strands are no exception to this. About ¼ of your hair’s composition is made up of water.
Practical Hair Hydration Tips
As you can see, dehydrated strands are prone to damage and hair fall. Hydration, therefore, is a key part of maintaining strong and healthy hair.
Quench your tresses’ thirst for moisture and water by following these simple tips:
1. Drink up your water using the 8x8 Rule.
Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day; this is known as the 8x8 Rule. That’s approximately half a gallon or around 2 liters of water every day.
But don’t chug down liters of water just to meet your quota all at once. Spread out these 8 glasses of water throughout your day. Drink up when you’re thirsty, and keep a water bottle handy so you can sip some throughout the day.
Not too keen on water because you’re craving for a bit of taste? Try adding lemon, cucumber, or any other fruit slices to add a mild hint of flavor and make water more palatable for you.
2. Load up on other fluids and water-containing foods.
Complement your water intake by drinking other fluids and consuming water-rich foods.
Fluids such as juices, coffee, and tea can all add up to your entire body’s hydration. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine-rich beverages like coffee and tea have weak diuretic effects, so you can enjoy them without worrying that they’ll dehydrate you. Moderation is always the key!
Several common foods are also loaded with water, such as fish, eggs, meat, fruits, and veggies. Specifically, load up on these foods:
- Fruits such as watermelon, strawberries, oranges, peaches, cantaloupes, and tomatoes
- Veggies such as lettuce, cucumber, cauliflower, celery, zucchini, and bell peppers
- Plain yogurt
- Skim milk
- Soups and broths
- Cottage cheese
- Coconut water
You may also try these top fruits for preventing hair fall, dryness, and damage.
3. Protect your hair as you heat-style.
There are unavoidable times when you really have to use heated tools to style your hair, sometimes even on a daily basis. To help counter the moisture-stripping effects of heat, follow these suggestions:
- Always apply a thermal protectant product all over your strands before styling your hair.
- Use lower heat settings on your hair tools.
- Invest in ionic styling tools, as they can help rei-infuse moisture by adding negative ions to your strands, thus, allowing water to penetrate deep inside your tresses.
- Use high-quality full-ceramic styling tools.
- Go heat-free from time to time and use braids, chignons, and buns instead to curl your hair.
4. Shampoo your hair properly and sparingly.
Dry hair doesn’t need to be shampooed every day. You can take a break from the ‘poo every other day to help your hair retain its natural moisture. Dry shampoos are your best bet if you find your scalp excessively oily after a few days of no ‘poo.
Also, choose a shampoo formula that’s creamy instead of soap-sudsy. Look for ‘poos with nourishing natural ingredients such as argan oil, apricot kernel oil, or aloe vera extracts. Shampoo at your scalp’s roots and work your way down to the ends.
5. Condition your dry hair most of the time.
Apply conditioner after every shampoo and during your no-shampoo days. Natural conditioners are light and non-greasy and are perfect for dry hair. Rinse-out conditioners specifically for dry hair can also be used. Condition your ends first and work your way up to the scalp.
Deep-condition your tresses once or twice a week, depending on its dryness level. It’s best to go for natural homemade masks, Ayurvedic preparations, or hair oil concoctions. You can also use commercially-prepared nourishing deep-conditioning treatments.
6. Tone down the chemical treatments.
Hair color treatments are commonly used by many people, but they do have unpleasant effects on hair in the long run. Opt for organic ammonia-free hair pigments or go for a balayage instead of a typical hair highlights session.
Minimize the use of perms and hair straighteners. If you must absolutely straighten your hair, try these natural hair straightening methods to save your tresses from chemical damage.
There are also plenty of home remedies for dry hair that you can try as an alternative to chemically taming your dry locks.
7. Invest in quality brushes.
Your dry hair can benefit from a change in combs and brushes. There are plenty of comb types and brushes in the market today, but your best bet is a boar-bristle brush. It’s a gentle type of brush that evenly distributes natural oils from your scalp all the way down to your hair strands’ ends.
8. Use leave-in hair conditioners.
Seal in the moisture from your shampoo and conditioner by using leave-in conditioners after you shower or style. Here are suggestions on how to use leave-in conditioners according to your hair type and texture:
For Curly Hair:
- Apply leave-in conditioner all over your hair just before a blow-dry session. Top it off with your styling cream or blow-out cream, then proceed to blow-drying and styling your hair as usual.
- Combine 1/3 part spray-on conditioner and 2/3 part water in a clean spray-on bottle. Mist the mixture all over your hair until damp. Apply another layer of leave-in conditioner, cream, or oil on your damp curls.
For Thick and Coarse Hair:
- While your hair is damp, apply leave-in conditioner all over. Always do this before using any hot tools to straighten or tame your thick hair. Slide another thin layer of leave-in conditioner on your tresses after using your thermal tools as needed.
For Fine and Dry Hair:
- Select a leave-in conditioner with a lighter formula so your fine-textured tresses won’t get weighed down. Concentrate on applying the leave-in conditioner on the ends, as this is the driest part of fine hair. Limit or avoid applying the product on your hair roots so your hair stays bouncy and won’t fall flat.
9. Use sun protection.
The sun’s UV rays can be harmful to your hair, so protect your tresses from damage and dryness by applying hair sunscreen or leave-in conditioners fortified with SPF. You can also use scarves or hats to shield your hair from the harsh sunlight.
10. Protect your tresses as you swim.
Use a swim cap to shield your hair from chlorine and salt as you swim, whether it be on the salty beach waters or on a swimming pool. Rinse out your hair thoroughly after swimming, and never skip the conditioner.
The Wrap Up
Hydrated locks are strong, healthy, and less susceptible to hair fall and hair loss. If you have dry hair, there are several factors that may contribute to it, such as:
- Heated tools use
- Chemical treatments
- Outdoor elements
- Poor quality brushes
- Over-washing and under-conditioning
- Not enough water intake
Addressing these concerns through dietary changes, hairstyling tweaks, and proper product use can save your tresses from damage and help infuse that much-needed moisture and hydration.
Have you ever experienced dry hair? How did you bring back moisture to your locks? Share with us your thoughts and tips in the comments section below.