“Why is my hair so dry?!” It’s a question we obsess over every single fall, and the annoying condition makes having a good hair day close to impossible. But since staring incessantly at our strands and sulking in our own sad hair day sorrow does nothing but make us feel worse, we decided to investigate why dryness even occurs in the first place.
Over-washing your hair could be stripping it of the natural oils that help keep it hydrated and healthy. We like to give dry shampoo a major shout-out for helping us wash way less often. But interestingly enough, Cutler Salons hairstylist Melissa Parizot says that even overusing super rich shampoos that promise intense moisture could cause you problems. “It’s important to remember that the natural sebums and oils secreted from our scalp help promote healthy, shiny hair,” she says. “Eliminating these essential oils, which all shampoos will do, will compromise the suppleness and vitality of your hair.”
Pumping up the heater in your house? We like it toasty too, but going all-out with the high temps can actually make your hair suffer. “Excessive heat from radiators can dry out our hair and skin,” says Parizot. And we’ve definitely experienced this tight, uncomfortable feeling in our faces. “Combat this by keeping a humidifier running next to your bed,” she explains.
When the cold sets in, it seems like we immediately see a surge of dryness, whether it’s on our hands, our poor cuticles, and of course, our hair and scalps. When it comes to your locks, you can help fix the issue or prevent it from happening by using a hair mask, explains Parizot. “Indulging your thirsty locks with a hydrating masque, like Pureology Hydra-Whip Masque ($50.50,ulta.com), will help soothe and restore lost moisture,” she says.
She also suggests a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray like Redken One United Spray ($22, ulta.com) to rev up the moisture on a daily basis. And if the dryness is situated solely at your ends, apply a very small amount of a dry oil like Paul Mitchell Marula Oil Rare Oil Treatment ($40, ulta.com) at your tips and brush it through. If you really want to give your hair a deep treatment, apply a liberal amount in wet hair and slick it back into a sleek chignon for the day.
Not Using Enough Conditioner
Don’t cheat your locks the nourishment. Apart from your scalp’s natural sebum and oils, it’s what will replenish your hair with hydration. Next time you’re in the shower, skip the shampoo if you can and solely condition your locks. You can opt for a cleansing conditioner like Pureology Smooth Perfection Cleansing Conditioner ($34, ulta.com) that will rid your hair of product build-up without stripping oils. Be sure to leave the conditioner in for a few minutes so the nutrients can absorb into your hair and then rinse. Look for products free of harsh and potentially drying sulfates, too.
Beach sprays work magic when it comes to creating a textured, tousled look, but they can also really dehydrate your hair. Salt has its downsides, unfortunately. You can opt for a salt spray with added oils, like Bumble and bumble’s Surf Infusion ($29, sephora.com) or try a sugar spray (a moisturizing alternative) like Wella Sugar Lift Sugar Spray ($19, ulta.com).
Products With Too Much Alcohol
“Any products containing alcohol will inherently dry out the hair,” notes Parizot. “Try to avoid excessive use of hairsprays, dry shampoos, and high-hold styling gels.” Parizot says that alcohol does provide a hold to hair, but you’ll be compromising its health in the process of getting a budge-proof look. Opt for alcohol-free products instead—John Freida and L’Oreal both have product lines on the market that cater to this need.
Yes, overusing your curling iron can be the culprit for dryness. Damaged hair doesn’t hold on to moisture as well as healthy hair, and further frying it with a heat tool certainly won’t help. Parizot says to avoid using them in excess and to always use a heat protectant shield when using these tools. You can also try to keep the temperature setting between 300 and 350 degrees.
Anyone who’s gone platinum can attest to the dryness—and breakage—that bleach causes. Hair masks and ingredients like coconut oil can help you save your strands from damage, as well as spacing out touch-ups and color appointments.