My hair used to get pretty dry, given that I live in a tropical country which made my hair weak and vulnerable.
Dry hair is a problem that has been nagging me for quite a period of time. Therefore I wanted to find out why my hair is getting dry and what I could do about it. In this article I would discuss the measures which I took to prevent dry hair.
The following precautionary measures have done wonders to my hair, and have helped me to get rid of dry hair. I hope these measures would help you too, as it did to me.
1. Avoid daily use of shampoo
Since I live in a tropical country the temperature is high almost throughout the year. The high temperature will result in sweating. The sweat will attract more dust particles and get clogged up in the scalp.
Therefore I used to shower and shampoo my hair every day to get rid of the sweat and dust residue in my hair.
Most of the shampoos in the market are loaded with a heavy cleaning agent which helps to clean the hair . Along with the dust and sweat residue, the shampoo will also strip away the natural oils in your hair.
The natural oils will provide moisture to your hair and help to avoid the dry hair. These natural oils will be replaced by our body automatically. But it could take some time depending on various factors including the age of a person.
Our body will have less chance to regenerate these natural oils, if we use shampoo every day. As a result your hair will look dry and thin.
The expert’s point of view is that it is sufficient to shampoo your hair twice a week and it is not needed to shampoo every day. This would minimize the damage caused to your hair by the harmful chemicals in the shampoo.
When you shampoo, make sure to apply conditioner too. The conditioner will help to moisturize your hair. Applying shampoo alone, even for two days a week could make your hair look dry.
Do not get me wrong, I still shower every day due to the tropical environment that I live in. But I have minimized the shampoo usage to a maximum of two days per week and whenever I use shampoo, I would also use a conditioner.
If you want to learn more about the damage that shampoo could do to your hair, then check out my previous article from here.
2. Get an oil treatment
This is something that I did not do up until recently, but did wonders to my hair when I started. An oil treatment would help to moisturize your hair. But doing it right is important.
My recommendation is to mix vitamin E oil with coconut oil, or olive oil or even sesame oil and apply it into your scalp. Then give your scalp a gentle massage, so that the oil is thoroughly absorbed.
Leave it for at least 30 minutes and wash it off. In my case I would mix vitamin E oil with olive oil and then apply it early in the morning and give my scalp a gentle massage.
Then I would leave it for like 30 minutes and wipe the oil off with a clean cotton cloth. Then I shower thoroughly to wash away the oil.
However, I do not use shampoo to wash away the oil. Because my purpose of getting an oil treatment is to recover from the damage caused by the shampoo. So if I use shampoo to clean the oil, then my purpose is not served.
If you feel uncomfortable and feel like you should shampoo to get rid of the oil and its odour then you could use shampoo.
In such situations make sure to apply oil on the days that you use shampoo, so you would not over use shampoo within the week.
If you want to learn more about the oil treatment to your hair, then check out my previous article from here.
3. Increase the water intake
Dehydration is a common problem among many individuals which they give very little attention to. Due to dehydration our body loses its moisture and as a result our skin will be dry. This could also lead to dry hair.
The general recommendation is that an healthy adult should take at least 3 liters of water a day. It is better if you can track your water consumption, so that you would have consumed an adequate amount of water by the end of the day.
Do not wait until you feel thirsty. Have a bottle of water by your side, and drink it every now and then.
Adequately nourishing your body with water will help to avoid dry hair.
4. Take more vitamins
A nutritious diet which is also rich in vitamins is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Vitamins help to keep the skin healthy.
Our skins get exposed to the harmful sun rays and environmental pollution. This will damage the cells in our body and thereby damage the skin, and the hair. As a result the hair will become dry and look dull.
Vitamins help the cells in our body to fight against this oxidative stress and keep our skin healthy.
Vitamins A, C and E have antioxidant properties which will help the fight against the damage caused by harmful rays of the sun and environmental pollution . Further the Vitamins A and C helps in the production of collagen which helps to keep the skin healthy .
Therefore including an adequate amount of vitamins in your diet will help to keep the skin and the hair healthy.
If you want to learn more about how vitamins help our hair, then check out my previous article from here.
5. Trim your hair
The outermost hair in our head gets directly exposed to the sun rays and the environmental pollution. As a result, the outermost hair, which is also mostly visible to the outside will get damaged.
This damage can make your hair look dull and dry.
However our hair grows everyday, and the new hair that is being grown is fresher and healthy than the outermost hair.
If you trim such outermost damaged hair, then your new hair will be more exposed to the outside. As a result your hair looks fresh and healthy.
Further, if you have long hair, the damage by the pollution can cause split ends. This can affect the nourishment received to the ends of the hair, and make them look dull.
So if you trim your split ends, then your hair would start to look fresh and healthy once again.
6. Reduce heat styling
Due to the busy lifestyle and the fashion trends most of the individuals use heat styling equipment such as blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons.
What most of them don’t understand is that such heating equipment removes the moisture from our hair by stripping away the natural oils.
As I mentioned before, it takes time for these natural oils to replace. Therefore if you are using these styling equipment on a daily basis, then you are at the risk of having dry and dull hair.
You do not have to give up using them, but minimize the frequency of use. I believe that using the heat styling equipment for a maximum of 3 days a week, giving free days for hair in between such days could minimize the damage caused to your hair.
If you want to learn more about heat styling and the damage it can cause to your hair, then check my previous article from here.
7. Lay off hair gel and spray
Most hair gels in the market are highly dense in alcohol. One of the purposes of using alcohol in hair gel is to remove the moisture in your hair quickly and allow the gel to settle.
Therefore when you apply any hair styling product with alcohol, it removes the moisture from your hair and makes it dry.
Now you might be asking a question, “No it does not make my hair dry. My looks moisturized and shiny from the outside. So how can it be dry?”
This is an illusion created by the chemicals including silicone which is used in the hair gel. Do not get fooled by such illusions .
If you are using hair styling products on a daily basis, then you are at the risk of developing dry and dull hair. However if you reduce the frequency of using hair gel, then it can do wonders to your hair.
Further if you can find alcohol free hair gel, from a trusted brand, then the damage to your hair will be minimum.
If you want to learn more about the damage caused to your hair from hair gel, then check out my previous article from here.
8. Take omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are mainly found in fatty fish. The experts suggest that omega 3 fatty acids help hair growth.
Further omega 3 fatty acids is a healthy fat which helps against the dry and flaky scalp. This would help to make the hair look fresh and healthy.
9. Avoid hot water showers
Hot water showers can be quite soothing and relaxing, and probably a part of your daily routine if you are living in a cold area.
Hot water will open up the pores in the scalp, which helps to clean up the dust and dirt clogging the pores. Along with the dust and dirt, the hot water will also remove the natural oils in your hair. This would make the hair look dry and dull.
If you do not give enough rest days to recover from this damage, then you will be at the risk of developing dry and dull hair. Sometime it can even lead to flaky scalp.
The expert’s point of view is that the water which is slightly hotter than the normal body temperature (slightly above 37 Celsius or 99 Fahrenheit) is the ideal temperature, if you want to shower hot water.
However if you could shower from normal water instead of hot water, then by all means do so. This could help against the problem of dry hair.
If you want to learn about how hot water could damage your hair, then check out my previous article from here.
10. Cover from the sun
The sun emits ultraviolet rays and infrared rays. These rays can damage the skin. The extent of the damage depends on the sensitivity of the skin of a particular person.
This damage could make your hair look dry and dull. So if you are going out in the sun, make sure to wear a hat or a cap, so that your hair is protected from these harmful rays.
If you are worried that wearing a cap could cause hair loss, then check out my previous article from here, to learn how to wear a cap safely without damaging your hair.