Hair is a remarkably tough material but over time abuse can wreak havoc with its natural properties. The hair becomes weakened, loses its elasticity and shine and becomes dull, brittle and eventually breaks. Hair is composed primarily of proteins (88%). These proteins are of a hard fibrous type known as keratin. Keratin protein is comprised of what we call “polypeptide chains. Hair normally has a moisture content of approximately 10%. Dry hair is hair that does not have enough moisture and oil to maintain its normal sheen and texture. Dry hair may result from too much washing, harsh detergents, a dry environment, inadequate diet, or underlying conditions, such as those due to malnutrition. Dry, brittle hair may be a symptom of metabolic diseases such as hypothyroidism and Menkes kinky hair syndrome. Dry hair is often caused by too much time in the sun, chlorine, salt water, over-shampooing, permanents, heat styling, or neglect. Healthy, silky hair is something we all want, but in our fast paced, fast food world, dry hair is what many of us have.
The long, luxurious locks on models in fashion magazines and the flowing curls of the girls on shampoo bottles may seem out of reach for the rest of us, but take heart. Dry hair may be the result of several factors, such as an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet lacking vitamins and nutrients, or the usage of products containing ingredients too harsh for your hair. Dry hair does not need washing as often as normal or greasy hair. Dry hair should be washed with a gentle shampoo. Massage the scalp to stimulate the follicles and loosen dandruff/dirt that may be clogging the pores. Use a swimming cap while in pools or salt water, and always rinse hair thoroughly after swimming. Heat styling such as hair dryers, curling irons, and hot curlers all cause dry hair. Perms, bleaching and color treatments cause dry hair as well. Use a soft brush for dry hair, taking care not to tug through knots.
Brushing the hair from top to bottom will also stimulate the scalp and bring sebum down to the ends. Exercise and a good night’s rest are good for the rest of your body, but they also help treat dry hair. Exercise contributes to proper blood flow, and sleep will give you better health overall. Many times dry hair indicates a poor diet or even mild dehydration. Always drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet of good proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and consider vitamin and mineral supplements. Vitamins A, C, E, and calcium are all good for treating dry hair. Do not wash your hair every day. Let your scalps natural oils help treat your hair. Use a shampoo that contains humectants (like panthenol or glycerin) which will encourage water to bind to your hair to reduce dryness. Avoid coloring, straightening, or perming your hair. Apply a few drops of safflower oil to your hands, rub them together, and then work some of it into the ends. Eat plenty of essential fatty acids (but avoid cholesterol).
Dry Hair Treatment Tips
1. Take a few drops of safflower oil in your palms and carefully take your hair (while dry).
2. Leave this in your hair for atleast 2 hours before washing.
3. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner (on ends only) every other day. Rinse with water alone on off days.
4. Avoid heat-styling (blow-drying, flat-ironing) as often as possible because it damages your hair.
5. Use a cold water rinse (this closes hair shafts, makes hair shiny, and lessens the chance of breakage and split ends).
6. Apply 5 tablespoons of honey on the scalp and hair.
7. Massage your hair with warm almond oil.
8. Do not wash your hair every day. Let your scalps natural oils help treat your hair.
9. Apply the conditioner only to the ends of your hair.
10. Avoid coloring, straightening, or perming your hair.