When frizziness and brittle hair has replaced a mane of shine and softness, individuals are known to quickly scramble for the latest product on the market. Before reaching for a chemical-filled manufactured good, try considering one of the many remedies backed by Mother Nature. Today, there are plenty of safe, healthy, natural and herbal treatments for dry hair to consider when looking for a gentler answer to your hair care concerns.
What is Dry Hair?
When oil and moisture escapes your hair, it becomes dry and lacks the sheen and soft texture you desire. As the issue worsens, hair becomes brittle and dull – sometimes displaying straw-like characteristics. At some point in time, dry hair becomes inevitable, as strong hair care products; over-processing; or elevated exposure to the sun and wind causes hair damage. Some people will experience dry hair that comes and goes regarding various outside influences. A chronic issue requires a higher level of attention because a deeper health concern may exist.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
When hair easily breaks off, feels rough, looks dull, and appears frizzy or hard to manage – you are probably suffering from a case of dry hair. If paying special attention to the conditioning of your hair for a couple of weeks don’t seem to work, paying a visit to your doctor is suggested. They will perform a physical examination and ask appropriate questions to find the best course of action.
They will ask when you first noticed this hair dryness problem; inquire about your eating habits; ask about the type of hair care products you use; note the number of times per week you wash your hair; assess your normal mode of hairstyling; question your hair dryer use; and ask if any other symptoms are present at the same times, such as scalp bumps or itchiness. Sometimes, diagnostic tests are performed, including an examination of hair under a microscope and blood tests .
Causes of Dry Hair
In order to treat dry hair, you should familiarize yourself with some of the common causes of the condition. Below you will find some of the main reasons your head of hair has lost its luster, shine, and vibrancy:
a) Excessive Hair Care Habits: When you wash your hair too much (especially using shampoos containing damaging chemicals), you only strip away the elements that keep your locks moist. The heat that comes with excessive blow drying, curling iron use, and electric curlers also intensifies dry hair. It is important to remember that with each shampoo, essential oils are also eliminated from the hair.
b) Environment: If you reside in a city where the climate is quite humid, you stand the risk of drying out your hair. A great deal of sun, humidity, and dry heat is known to damage hair. This risk increases if you are a person quite fond of the great outdoors, including frequent romps in the ocean or pool or constant contact with wind and the sun.
c) Eating Disorders: Anorexia is a disease where people self-starve themselves in an effort to stay thin. Through this process, the body is robbed of vital nutrients. Most of these nutrients are needed to keep hair shiny, soft, and full of luster. A common side effect of anorexia is dry hair, which eventually causes hair to fall out.
d) Poor Diet: Malnutrition occurs when a person follows a diet that lacks essential vitamins and nutrients. As a result, hair become dry, brittle, and damaged. Usually, this is a sign of a diet lacking omega-3 essential fatty acids.
e) Hypothyroidism: When the body produces too little of the thyroid hormone, an individual is suffering hypothyroidism, which not only causes dry hair, but also weakness, fatigue, depression, and muscle pain.
f) Hypoparathyroidism: When the body produces too little parathyroid hormone, fallen levels of calcium and increased concentrations of phosphorus can cause dry hair among other symptoms.
g) Sickness: When one suffers a prolonged illness, they face the risk of dry hair. This may also come as a result of taking certain medications. An example of this is seen in cancer patients who commonly battle hair issues, including dryness.
h) Dyes and Perms: Using these kind of hair treatments place undue stress on the hair, which causes dryness.
i) Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs: The chlorine contained in these refreshing dips in the water wreaks havoc on hair – causing strands to dry out.
j) High Mineral Contact: When local water supplies contain a high amount of minerals, washing your hair becomes a drying-out experience.
Negative Effects of Dry Hair
While the unattractive visual aspects of dry hair are enough to push people to find immediate cures, there are many other factors that make the problem worse. Dry hair is brittle and prone to breakage, where in extreme cases, one face hair loss. The appearance of dry hair is unhealthy and often produces a frizzy, unruly mess. This makes hairstyling much more difficult to accomplish. Hair that is continuously dry is also a sign that a more urgent issue is at hand – health and medical concerns.
Natural Cures for Dry Hair
Instead of turning to the many different commercial products found at the supermarket and pharmacy, more and more people are considering the use of natural cures for dry hair. A few effective options to consider include:
a) Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids: Adding salmon, fish oil, flax seeds, nuts, and walnuts to a diet helps deliver omega-3 essential fatty acids, which promotes strong and healthy hair. These substances also return sheen to dry locks.
b) Vinegar: Refresh dry hair with vinegar, which is known as a great conditioner that elevates shine and cleanliness. Add one tablespoon to your hair for an effective rinse. The remedy also controls dandruff when mixing 2 cups of water with 1/2 cup of vinegar. Using vinegar also combats frizzy hair.
c) Avocado and Banana: Combine a small overripe banana with avocado and spread into your hair. The remedy remains in the hair for up to one hour, where it is then rinsed out using warm water.
d) Eggs: In lukewarm water, whip an egg and apply to the hair to create lather. Rinse out the remedy with lukewarm water. In the end, you will enjoy cleaner hair with extra shine. A deep treatment for dry, damaged hair using eggs is made when combining three eggs, two tablespoons of olive oil (or safflower oil), and one teaspoon of vinegar. Apply the remedy to your hair and cover with a plastic shower cap. The treatment should remain in the hair for 30 minutes, followed by a regular shampooing.
Another egg recipe includes one teaspoon of baby oil, one egg yolk, and one cup of water . Beating the egg yolk until frothy, add the oil and beat once more. Next, add the water and then massage into the scalp and throughout the rest of your hair. A thorough rinse should follow.
e) Oil: Rubbing a small amount of oil into the scalp makes an effective treatment for dry hair. Olive oil is suggested, but coconut oil also works well. After rubbing the oil into your hair, you should cover with a cap and leave in for overnight. When you awake, rinse the remedy out with shampoo, concentrating on removing the oil.
f) Aromatherapy: Some individuals have improved their dry hair by combining six drops of lavender, bay and sandalwood essential oils with six ounces of heated sesame or soy oils. The mixture is then applied to the hair and wrapped in a towel for 15 minutes. A rinse follows, which helps ease dry hairs.
g) Hot Oil Treatments: To add moisture back to dry, damaged hair, hot oil treatments have proven quite effective. A suggested approach is to place 1 or 2 drops of safflower oil in your palms (rubbing them together), and then scrunching the mixture into hair. This is considered a rather effective leave-in treatment. You may also massage two tablespoons of warm olive oil (or almond oil) into the hair, followed by wrapping the head in a warm, damp towel. Wait 30 minutes and then rinse. Hot oil treatments are most effective when applied to the hair at least every 3 to 4 weeks.
h) Biotin: Administering a biotin supplement helps strengthen dry hair. A recommended dosage for adults is 30 mcg .
i) Vitamin A (Beta Carotene): A deficiency in vitamin A causes hair to become dry . Enlisting the help of a supplement or eating more vitamin-A rich foods is suggested. This includes fruits with an orange color, such as mangos, cantaloupe, papaya, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are recommended. You may also eat organ meats and cod liver oil to satisfy your daily intake of vitamin A.
 Solve It With Supplements by Robert L. Schulman (pg 47)