Dry hair is an issue that many of us struggle with on a chronic basis. It occurs when your hair doesn’t take on sufficient moisture or is unable to retain it. Either way, it’s cause for concern, considering that it can lead to brittleness, weakness, and breakage over time. Before you can remedy hair dryness, it’s important to discover the main causes of it. They can lend crucial insight into what you need to do to fix the issue. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the main causes of dry hair.
The Outside Environment
The environment can play a huge part in dry hair. And by the environment, we mean exposure that comes from external factors. For instance, when your hair is exposed to excessive heat or sunlight, the moisture in your hair evaporates more quickly, and you experience hair dryness as a result.
But heat isn’t the only environmental factor that can render your hair Sahara dry. Chemicals are another issue - chlorinated water in your local swimming pool and saltwater in the ocean can both zap your hair of moisture and leave you with dry, crispy strands.
Living in a dry climate can also promote hair dryness.
Your Hair Care Routine
There’s no question that the way you care for your hair can lead to dryness. Here are a few hair care mistakes that are known for decreasing the hair’s moisture levels:
Frequent washing with harsh shampoos. Harsh shampoos are great for getting rid of caked-on buildup. But they’re horrible for maintaining healthy hair hydration levels. Sulfate shampoos are often the worst offenders when it comes to dry hair.
Overuse of hair products containing drying alcohols and other drying ingredients. Drying alcohols pop up in products like hair sprays and gels. They help the product dry quickly after applying it to your hair. The problem is that they also dry out the surface of your strands.
Lack of proper hydration. Hair often needs topical moisturizers to maintain its hydration. That means that you need to apply the moisture to your hair yourself. If you’re not doing that, there’s no wonder why your hair is dry.
An Underlying Health or Medical Condition
Not all dry hair causes are related to the environment or what you do to your hair specifically. Sometimes, it’s an internal problem that could be to blame. Those who suffer from conditions like anorexia nervosa, menkes syndrome, or thyroid issues may all see a reduction in their hair’s luster and moisture levels.
In addition to these conditions, your hair could be dry because of a scalp condition. Some of the main scalp conditions that cause dryness include ringworm and psoriasis.
Dehydration can also play a role in dry hair - if you haven’t been drinking enough water to the point of dehydration, your scalp won’t be able to produce the sebum necessary to give your hair natural lubrication. What happens in the case of dehydration is that your body directs whatever water you’ve consumed to critical functions instead of hydrating your scalp and hair.
So, there you have it - several causes of dry hair. If any of these causes ring true for you, you’re one step closer to remedying your dry hair issue. But to get you started, it almost always helps to use sulfate-free hair cleansers only as needed, use a deep conditioner twice a week or less, and give your hair a dose of moisture with a water-based leave-in conditioner now and again. We hope you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best with your hair.
Author: Andrea Reyes
Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.