June 14th, 2023
TIPS TO CARE FOR DRY HAIR
Written by Sarah Heath
We work so hard to keep our hair strong (and on our heads) but one problem that plagues so many is having dry hair. It’s a common complaint among my clients, and full disclosure: I too have had seasons of dry hair. So, I wanted to compile some frequently asked questions associated with dry hair, but also offer some solutions to alleviate the frustration.
WHAT CAUSES DRYNESS IN HAIR?
Some of you may be wondering if it’s natural to have dry hair, and YES, some hair textures are naturally susceptible to being dry; they usually fall into the category of thick, coarse and curly hair types. Other hair types develop dryness by overprocessing their hair through various chemical treatments and/or dramatic colour services. Remember earlier I mentioned that this is common? Well, that pool of dry hair grows when we talk about people who heat style their hair often using curling irons, blow dryers and flat irons…that intense heat worsens the situation and dries out hair further.
Some hair textures are naturally susceptible to being dry while others may develop dryness due to various factors like chemical treatments, environmental aggressors, and more.
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY HAIR IS DRY?
A couple of things are easy to spot by asking yourself some of these questions: Do you experience excessive frizz? When you initially towel dry your hair, are your ends already dry? Do you suffer from static? When you curl your hair does the top of the curl look buoyant, and the ends look sad? Do you feel like your hair could give you a paper cut? You may hear my sense of humor when the questions flow through your mind, but if you answered yes to one or more… you have dry hair.
Does this mean that you are now doomed to a season of bad hair days and eternally dehydrated tresses? No. BEHOLD, I'm sharing some of my tips to keep dryness at bay!
HOW TO KEEP DRY HAIR MOISTURIZED?
Here are some of my top tips to keeping hair hydrated and moisturized:
Stretch out your wash day schedule and use hydrating hair products.
I’m not suggesting anything wild here, just push your wash another day. Shampooing with a formula that’s too deeply cleansing (I’m looking at you clarifying shampoo!) can strip away your natural oils. So, make sure to always use hydrating hair products such as a shampoo that’s formulated for dry hair. Also, using a creamy conditioner is an absolute must to add extra moisture. So go ahead and put off washing your hair one extra day, leave the conditioner in your hair for 1-5 minutes and feel and see the difference.
Soak your hair before you plunge into the pool (or ocean!)
This is a personal tip that I speak with experience. I was a lifeguard before I was a hairstylist. Each and every day we were required to swim 20 laps in the pool. The results were, let’s just say, obvious. But I have a simple solution for you to try out- soak your hair with normal water before you get it wet with the pool water or salt water. Soaking it in advance means that your hair is going to be saturated with clean water vs. the bleach water (that’s essentially what chlorine is) in the swimming pool. If at a gym or public pool the shower is the perfect spot to accomplish this, but a bottle of water will work in a pinch.
Don’t seasonally give your hair an extreme makeover.
Perhaps you used to be like me, and every season switch things up? I would add red in the fall, go dark in the winter, just to re-blonde it for the 10th time come Spring and Summer. Warm tones? No thank you, I want cool blonde highlights. All of this stresses your tresses, which can lead to excessive dryness and breakage. If you want to really remedy this situation? Stick to demi permanent color (ask your hairdresser your options) or keep the highlights no brighter than 2-3 levels lighter than your natural color. In addition, if you end up colouring your hair, consider using a hair serum or a hair repair treatment to keep hair looking smooth and moisturized.
Focus on Hydration not Strengthening.
Make sure your shampoo and conditioner are focusing on hydration and moisture, not something else like strengthening or reconstruction. Too much protein will make the hair feel brittle over time. So, look for descriptive words like “moisturizing”, “hydration”, “butter”, and “balm”. Search for ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, argan oil, mango extract, sunflower seed oil. These are all great hydrators that will lessen the appearance of dryness and work to bring that hydration from your scalp to the ends.
Turn down that heat on your tools!
Let me ask you what temperature you bake cookies at? 350 degrees. Consider this- what temperature are most flat irons operating at? 350-425 degrees! Would you ever consider grabbing a hot pan from the oven without any type of protection? Absolutely not. The lesson here is we don’t want to cook our hair. Make sure you always use heat protection, it’s another non-negotiable. If you have a hot tool that has an adjustable temperature experiment with turning it all the way down to its lowest setting. Give it a few minutes to pre-heat and then try it out, the results may surprise you!
Well, there you have it, my 5 semi-unconventional tips for dealing with dry hair. Hopefully you've taken something away from this that you find valuable! You can always take our hair quiz on DESIGNME Hair if you're suffering with dry hair to find a customizable routine that can give you your best hair days ever!
Sarah Heath is from Boston, Massachusetts and is a true hair enthusiast. Throughout her 14 years as a salon professional, she has mastered the art of balancing a behind-the-chair career while sharing professional education around the country for leading industry brands. Her love for DESIGNME was instant and she is so excited to share the love and bring accessible education to all.
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