Quench Your Dry Hair
My love/hate relationship with my own hair has gone on since I was in middle school. From getting my bangs permed (don’t laugh!) in the fourth grade, to having my mom convince me in the 6th grade that I needed to cut my hair like a boy, from cutting all my hair off my senior year of high school into a Vidal Sasson-like bob, to sitting in my stylists hair in my 20’s as I watched her bleach my jet-black hair so I can have light brown tresses and highlights. Through all the damage, my hair has maintained an extremely dry disposition. It’s been an emotional roller coaster, full of self-esteem lows and perfect blow-out highs, but at the end of the day, my hair feels unnaturally crunchy and heavy.
If your hair life is similar to mine, we can all rejoice, because we can get rid of dry hair. We no longer have to put up with its insolent behavior.
Pay attention to the products you put in your hair. Oftentimes cheap hair care products like shampoos and conditioners contain ingredients that can actually be harmful to your hair. Just because something is expensive does not mean it will provide you with the results you’re looking for. Look for products that are specifically for dry or damaged hair. Wash your hair with shampoo every other day or only twice a week. Daily shampooing is infamous for stripping away your hair’s natural emollients. Nourishing your hair with the right ingredients will strengthen brittle and weak strands. Try a deep conditioner or mask once a week to add even more moisturizer to your hair. When you dry your hair, avoid rubbing your towel roughly over your head — this will cause excessive frizziness. Instead, gently blot your towel against your hair.
Avoid using too many styling products such as hair spray and mousse. These products contain ingredients that can weigh your hair down as they build up. Try to designate several days in the week when you will give your hair a much-needed vacation from gel and pomades. Also, if you hound your hair with products, make sure to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to help eliminate the majority of residue that has built up in your hair.
I used to be a slave to my blow dryer and flat iron, but then my hair started to look like straw and the husband stopped running his hands through it. Take a break from blow drying, ironing, and curling your hair, especially during the summer months when dry air and even humidity can wreak havoc. Instead of blow drying your hair straight on the weekends, opt for less cumbersome styles like braids and a simple low ponytail with a headband. Your hair will appreciate it.
Minimize the amount you color your hair. Hair color contains ingredients that strip the natural oils form your hair. Bleaching your hair can also cause extreme brittleness and dryness. Obviously, the more often you subject your hair to this process, the more damaged it becomes. When coloring your hair, lighten it only up to two shades lighter or darken it only two shades darker. This will lessen the trauma your hair experiences every time you color your hair.
Protect your hair from the elements. When you’re at the beach, always cover your hair with a hat or scarf. Your skin is not the only thing the sun can damage. Even cold air can have a drying effect and make your hair look lifeless. Again, a hat can help against cold air.
A healthy diet correlates with a healthy head of hair. When you consume foods that lack any nutritional value, you’re starving your hair of much-needed vitamins and proteins that promote healthy, shiny hair. Eat fruits and vegetable and drink a lot of water. Try taking multi-vitamins to supplement your diet.
Get your hair cut. If you haven’t had your hair cut in six months or more, you are way overdue for a visit to the salon. Tell your stylist that you have dry hair and they will work with your hair’s natural texture to give you a flattering style. Getting your hair cut consistently (about every 8 weeks) will help keep dry and frizzy hair at bay.
Restore natural oils to your hair and watch your locks come back to life with a healthy sheen. If you are at your wits’ end and have tried everything by changing your hair products and throwing away the flat iron and you still experience dry hair, ask the advice of a medical professional.
Take that, dry hair, and don’t ever come back. Embrace healthy, lustrous hair once again.