Hair - dry
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. (For example, kwashiorkor)
Dry, brittle hair may be a symptom of metabolic diseases such as hypothyroidism and Menkes kinky hair syndrome.
* Excessive washing, harsh detergents or alcohols, excessive blow-drying
* Environmental dryness
* Anorexia nervosa
* Harsh shampoo
* Hair dye
* Hair perms
* Chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs
* Overuse of the blow dryer or curling iron
* Too much exposure to sun and wind
* High mineral content in local water supplies
* Cancer treatment
* Certain medications
* Nutritional deficiency
* Prolonged illness
* Shampoo less frequently -- perhaps only once or twice a week
* Add conditioners
* Avoid blow drying and harsh styling products
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
* Your hair does not improve with gentle treatment
* You have hair loss
* You have any other unexplained symptoms
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and may ask the following questions:
* Has your hair always been slightly dry?
* When did the unusual hair dryness first start?
* Is it always present, or is it off and on?
* What are your eating habits?
* What kind of shampoo is used?
* How often do you wash your hair?
* Do you use a conditioner? What type?
* How do you normally style the hair?
* Do you use a hair dryer? What type? How often?
* What other symptoms are also present?
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
* Examination of the hair under the microscope
* Blood tests
Home Remedy Treatments for Dry Hair
You can learn to treat your hair with T.L.C. and teach your dry hair to be more manageable. Here are some home remedies for treating your hair properly:
Don't overdo the shampoo. Shampooing too often is one of the most common causes of dry hair. Many people believe that squeaky-clean hair is healthy hair, so they wash it one or more times every day. But shampoos often contain harsh cleaning agents that can strip away your hair's natural oils, which help hold in moisture. On the other hand, a gentle shampoo will stimulate the oil glands, so you probably shouldn't go longer than three days without a good lather.
Be kind to your hair. Dry hair is the most fragile type of hair and is subject to breakage, so it must be handled with care. When lathering, be gentle. Avoid any pulling or yanking on your hair in any way, which strains the hair shafts. Don't scrub with your fingernails, which can not only break the hair but irritate your scalp. Work up a lather using your fingertips, instead.
Dry hair is very brittle and easy to break.
Use a gentle shampoo. Dry hair needs a gentle, acidic cleanser. The ideal shampoos for dry hair have a pH of between 4.5 and 6.7, but here's a good rule of thumb: Don't use any hair cleanser that you wouldn't put on your face. Some people recommend baby shampoos, but their pH is usually far too high; such alkaline shampoos dry out the hair. Acidic shampoos are better for your hair.
Pour on the conditioner. Strawlike hair needs conditioning. Look for products that contain little or no alcohol, which will dry out hair even more. Reading labels will help, but it might be simpler just to take a whiff before you buy: Conditioners with little or no fragrance tend to be low in alcohol or contain none at all. If your hair is really dry, consider using an overnight conditioner, which you apply before going to bed (you sleep wearing a shower cap) and rinse off in the morning.
Pour the hot oil. Hair-care professionals often recommend hot-oil treatments to repair dry, damaged hair. Over-the-counter hot-oil products are available that you heat and place on the hair for 5 to 20 minutes (according to package instructions). Wear a plastic bag or shower cap over your hair while the hot oil is on, then wash the hair thoroughly with a gentle shampoo.
Nix the 100 strokes. Despite what you may have heard, too much brushing can actually fracture the hair, causing it to fall out. Fragile, dry hair is even more vulnerable to excessive brushing. Always brush hair gently and never when it is wet (use a comb, carefully, when hair is wet). The type of hairbrush you use is important, too. Boar-bristle brushes or "vent" brushes are good choices, since their rubberized tips don't pull the hair excessively.
Give yourself a scalp massage. One way to stimulate the oil glands on the scalp is to gently massage the scalp during shampoos. Gently rubbing your scalp with your fingertips stimulates the oil glands. It feels pretty good, too.
Pace your hair treatments. If you perm on Tuesday, dye your hair on Thursday, and put it in hot rollers on Saturday, your hair is destined to be dry and damaged. You don't have to abandon styling practices such as dyes, permanent waves, or hair straightening if you have dry hair. Just keep in mind that it's important to space those treatments out as much as possible.
Hold the heat. Using hot combs, hot rollers, and blow-dryers is asking for dry hair. Hot rollers are the worst because they stretch the hair while the heat shrinks it. Hot combs also tend to stretch the hair while exposing it to heat. If you must use artificial heat, keep your blow-dryer on a low setting and avoid pulling or stretching the hair while drying.
Now that you've got a good idea about how to treat your dry hair well, let's step into the kitchen for some natural home remedies to keep dry hair looking great.
Natural Home Remedies for Dry Hair
If your hair has the moisture content of the Mojave Desert and nothing short of dipping your mane in a bucket of oil seems to correct the problem, here are a few home remedies that can make that brittle hair supple and shiny again.
Home Remedies from the Cupboard
Nuts and seeds. Try snacking on some seeds and nuts. They contain essential fatty acids that can pop that sheen right back into your hair.
Vinegar. There are several ways you can help your dry hair with vinegar. Vinegar is a great conditioner and can improve cleanliness and shine. Just add 1 tablespoon vinegar to your hair as you rinse it. Keep a travel-size plastic bottle of vinegar in your shower for this purpose, and take one when you travel, too. Since dandruff can make your hair look dull, use vinegar to make dandruff disappear. Massage full-strength vinegar into your scalp several times a week before you shampoo. Or, a brief soak in vinegar and water before you shampoo can help control dandruff as well as remove the dulling buildup from sprays, shampoos, and conditioners. Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar to a small basin of water and drape your hair into it. As an alternative, you can put the concoction in a spray bottle and apply it to your hair. A conditioner that controls dandruff and gives your hair a healthy shine can be made by mixing 2 cups water and 1/2 cup vinegar. Apply the conditioner after rinsing out your shampoo, and let it stay on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly with water. If you need a stronger treatment for dandruff control, use this same method, but keep the rinse on your hair for 1 hour, covered with a shower cap. Then rinse it out. This vinegar rinse will also help control frizziness in dry or damaged hair.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Avocado and banana. Mash a little overripe banana and avocado together, spread in your hair, and leave it there for up to an hour. Then rinse with warm water.
Beer. After your shampoo, rinse your hair with a little beer. This can help restore shine.
Beer is a natural home remedy for dry hair.
Restore shine to dry hair by rinsing it
Eggs. To clean hair and give it a super shine, whip an egg into tepid water (not too hot or you'll be dealing with a poached egg), then lather it into your hair. Rinse it out with tepid water or that egg will poach right on top of your head. To deep-treat damaged hair, give it a healthy sheen, and cure dryness right down to the roots, use this pre-shampoo conditioning treatment: Mix together 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons olive oil or safflower oil, and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Apply it to your tresses, cover with a plastic cap, and leave it on for 30 minutes. Then shampoo as usual.
Mayonnaise. You'll need the full-fat kind, not a diet or low-fat version. Slather 1 tablespoon or so onto your hair, rub it in down to your scalp, then cover with a plastic cap and wait about 30 minutes. Rinse it out thoroughly or you'll be craving tuna salad the rest of the day.
Oil. Rub a little oil into your scalp. Olive oil works well, as does coconut oil. After you rub it on, cover your hair with a cap and leave it on overnight, then shampoo and rinse the oil out in the morning.