Dry hair develops when your hair doesn’t absorb or retain enough moisture. This reduces its sheen and can make it appear lackluster, fragile, brittle, or dull. But what is the best treatment for dry frizzy hair? Find out about tips, homemade ingredients and natural products that can help you treat your dry hair, and keep it healthy.
What Causes Your Hair To Become Dry?
Dry hair can affect both men and women, at any age. But is more likely to develop as you get older.
Your hair consists of three layers. If your hair is healthy, natural oils in the outer layer help protect the inner layers. They also reflect light, making your hair appear shiny. Sheen and luster are two important signs of healthy hair.
Some of the environmental conditions that can cause dry hair include:
- living in a dry, hot climate
- excessive sun or wind exposure
- frequent contact with chlorinated or salty water
Haircare practices that often contribute to dry hair include:
- excessive hair washing
- use of harsh shampoos, conditioners, or styling products
- use of dyes or chemical hair treatments
- use of styling products and tools (electric curling irons or straighteners)
- regularly blow-drying your hair
In some cases, dry hair is the result of an underlying health problem that affects your hair’s ability to retain moisture. Examples include:
- Nutritional deficiencies: Lack of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids or other essential nutrients will unbalance your hair and scalp, and may cause your hair to become dry (or oily).
- Anorexia nervosa: An eating disorder, anorexia nervosa can lead to malnutrition. It can cause dry and brittle hair, along with more serious complications.
- Hypoparathyroidism: If you have hypoparathyroidism, the parathyroid gland in your neck produces too little parathyroid hormone, which decreases the level of calcium in your blood. Calcium is a key nutrient for healthy hair, as well as bones, teeth, and other tissue.
- Hypothyroidism: With hypothyroidism, your thyroid glands don’t produce enough thyroid hormones. Dry and brittle hair is one of the early symptoms of this condition.
- Menkes syndrome: If you have Menkes syndrome, a rare genetic condition, your cells don’t absorb enough copper. Low copper absorption affects the health of your hair, causing dryness.
What Is The Best Treatment For Dry Hair?
Warm oils as pre-wash treatment
Apply any of these oils warmed (28ºC – 30ºC) to your hair as a hair mask for about 30 to 45 minutes: olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, argan oil. Wash your hair normally afterwards.
Gelatin as a rinse-off hair conditioner
Plain gelatin is a good protein source for the hair. It coats the hair strands and moisturizes them, making the hair smooth and shiny. Mix 1 tablespoon of gelatin with 1 cup of warm water, and let it partially set for 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (and 6 drops of an essential oil if you can’t stand the smell). Apply this mixture for 10 minutes to clean hair, then rinse it with tepid water.
Beer as a leave-on hair conditioner
Beer contains a protein that helps to repair the hair cuticles, making the hair smooth and shiny. Spray on some drops of beer after shampooing, and allow it to dry naturally, it will work as a good conditioner without leaving any smell on the hair. You can always drink the rest…
Egg yolk as a pre-wash treatment
Eggs contain lots of protein, which helps to fortify and strengthen the hair and restore moisture to brittle or very dry hair. Whip 1 egg white with 2 tablespoons of tepid water and massage your hair and scalp with this mixture for some minutes. Rinse and wash your hair afterwards.
Whole eggs, oil and honey as a hair mask
Again, eggs to give protein to your hair. The oil and honey also contribute with anti-oxidants, vitamins and fatty acids. Mix 3 eggs with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply and massage your hair and scalp with this mixture. Let it set for 30 minutes (wrap it in plastic). Rise with cold water and wash afterwards.
Yogurt and oil as a hair mask/conditioner
Yogurt and oil together can make an effective home treatment for dry hair, giving it much-needed proteins and fatty acids. Prepare a mixture with half a cup of plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Apply the mixture to shampooed hair and cover it with plasti or a shower cap. Let it set for 20 minutes. Rinse the hair with water thoroughly.
Avocado paste as a hair mask
The avocado fruit is rich in vitamins A and E, saturated fats, and minerals, which all nourish damaged and dry hair, helping to moisturize and strengthen it. It’s no wonder avocado oil is a common ingredient in shampoos and conditioners. To prepare an avocado paste, mash a ripe avocado (no peel) with one egg and apply the mixture to wet hair for 20 minutes. Then rinse it several times.
More Tips and Tricks for Dry Hair
I can’t say I’ve tried these recipes, excepting using oils as a pre-wash treatment – pretty good treatment, leaves your hair more “alive” – but they are suggested by MedicalNewsToday. I am curious to try the avocado paste and the one with yogurt.
They are all-natural ingredients, and I expect to work to some degree as they will give your hair and scalp much-needed nutrients. I am a bit skeptical at using natural products as a leave-on (like spraying beer) but you can always use any of them as a pre-wash treatment or a hair mask, then wash and condition your hair afterward.
You can also treat dry hair through simple lifestyle changes. Here are a few you can try:
- Avoid shampooing your hair every day.
- Condition your hair every time you wash it.
- Use an adequate shampoo and conditioner that are meant for your hair type.
- Use moisturizing styling products, or simply avoid them
- Avoid chemical hair treatments.
- Blow-dry your hair less frequently.
- Avoid styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, and electric rollers.
Daily shampooing can rob your hair of its protective oils and lead to dryness. Try washing your hair once or twice a week instead. You can and should also apply hair oils or leave-in conditioners to add luster and softness.
Hair Health and Balance
Curiously, or maybe not, some of these tips are also valid for oily hair, the opposite of dry hair. Why? It all comes to balance: balancing your scalp health, the production of sebum and keeping your hair moisturized and protected with natural oils. Everything that “attacks” that balance, like chemical hair treatments, blow-drying, harsh shampoos, too much hair washing, will either turn your hair dry or oily or even both – it’s very common to have oily roots and dry ends.
Protecting your hair from heat and sun exposure is also important. If you live in a dry climate, wear a hat when you go outdoors and avoid long-term exposure to dry or windy air. You should protect your hair from chlorine and saltwater by wearing a bathing cap when swimming in a pool or the ocean.
If an underlying medical problem is causing your dry hair, your doctor may recommend medications or other treatments to address it. Your hair may improve once you treat the underlying condition. Work with your doctor to find the best course of treatment for you.
Why Use Natural Hair Care Products?
Dry hair needs moisture and conditioning. Deeply hydrating, mildly cleansing and providing your hair and scalp with essential nutrients is key to have healthy, beautiful, and shiny hair.
While most over-the-counter products are good to wash your hair, and even condition it, they fail at providing the nutrients, like vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants, proteins, as they are based on synthetic, lab-created ingredients. They may also be a bit too harsh for your hair and the main contributor to your dry hair.
In the end, the choice is always yours, but be sure that I will always recommend natural cosmetics, homemade or not. I believe that our skin benefits from all the nutrients natural ingredients have to offer.
Homemade Natural Shampoo and Conditioner
You can make your own shampoo and hair conditioner at home!! I only have recipes for solid shampoo bars, as they mean fewer ingredients, are simpler and easier to make and maintain. The hair conditioner will look a lot like the hair conditioners you are used to.
Dry Hair Shampoo Recipe
This shampoo bar recipe is made with SCI and nourishing oils such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, and shea butter, peppermint and rosemary essential oils. Peppermint and rosemary essential oils are known to promote hair growth and healthy hair, therefore, they are a must-have in any hair product.
Jojoba oil can be replaced with argan oil to make an even conditioning shampoo. The oils percentage is quite high, around 25%.
Hair Conditioner Recipe
This homemade hair conditioner is basically an emulsion, made with argan oil and jojoba oil, aloe vera juice, vegetable glycerin, B5 vitamin or d-panthenol, rosemary infused water or hydrosol, and rosemary essential oil.
For very dry hair you can replace one of these oils with shea or cocoa butter, for a stronger conditioning effect. Most of these ingredients are moisturizing, conditioning and/or have humectant properties.
Dry Hair Treatment Products
If you wish to try some over-the-counter products, Just Nutritive has a specific haircare kit for dry hair, and many products for extremely dry hair, all made with natural ingredients:
Dry Hair Kit
A kit comprising of a moisturizing pre-wash hair treatment, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and a specific dry hair treatment, with natural ingredients such as Murumuru Butter, Cocoa Butter, Pomegranate Oil, Jojoba Oil, Borage Oil, Aloe Vera Hydrosol, and many other loving ingredients, full of nutrients that will replenish moisture and restore your dry tresses!
10% Off with code FB10
Extremely Dry Hair
While Just Nutritive doesn’t have a specific kit for extremely dry hair, it has a lot of specialized products. Pay special attention to the Extreme Dry Hair Shampoo and Conditioner, the Nutritive Herbal Gel With Vitamins, the Protein & Vitamin Hair Treatment, and several Leave-In Conditioners, Moisturizer Hair Pomades and Nutritive Creamy Styling Gel products.
10% Off with code FB10
It’s true that these treatment kits and hair products are expensive. Many natural vegetable oils and essential oils are expensive, due to their intensive labor production, which justifies the products’ price. Don’t forget that these are alternatives to mass-production cosmetics.
Dry or damaged hair is a very common condition and doesn’t raise any health concerns, except in very specific cases. Usually the causes are related with environmental factors or adverse haircare routines. Sometimes, just changing some of your routine habits are enough to reduce the dryness in your hair and scalp.
Natural products are effective at nourishing your hair and scalp, and dry hair, like many other hair conditions, is just a matter of regaining a lost balance for your hair shafts and scalp.
Anyway, it’s difficult to say this or that one will work, as each one of us is different and has different needs. Try many of them, one at a time for a couple of months, to find out what works best for you.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any questions or wish to make a suggestion, please, leave a comment below.