What causes dry hair?

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The temperature


If you live somewhere very hot or very cold, your hair could be paying the price. Just as excess heat and cold can play havoc on our skin, so can they do damage to our hair. Extreme temperatures can leach moisture from hair causing it to become dry. Learn to dress your hair for the weather. Use scarves in winter to keep your hair safe from the cold and driving rain. In the sun, use sprays that work as sunscreen to protect your hair from UV light.


Medications


Medications come with a long list of side effects and many of these can impact our hair. Medications that treat a variety of conditions, from depression to acne, can really do a number on our hair. Talk with your GP to discuss if a switch to a different medication would be beneficial for you but don’t stop medications suddenly without contacting your GP as this can be dangerous. Keep a list of how you feel your medication is affecting your hair and book an appointment.


The way you wash


By over washing hair (washing daily), we can strip hair of its natural oils which help to keep it soft and supple. If you don’t wash your hair often enough, you can also experience a build-up of oil and dirt that can make hair look dull and make the scalp itch. It’s better to wash hair no more than 2 or 3 times a week. Yes, we know it can be difficult if you are active or a gym bunny, but just sweep the hair into a bun or use some dry shampoo to see you through. You also want to use the right shampoos and products. Many products contain chemicals which can make hair look dull and dry such as parabens. Avoiding such products helps your hair retain its sheen.

Heat styling

Nothing dries hair like heat and if you are excessively using straighteners, hairdryers and curlers, you are damaging your hair. Give your hair time to air dry and embrace its natural texture. Lay off heat styling as often as possible. In the long run, it’s the best option for your hair. If toy must heat-style, use protective leave-in sprays to give your hair a fighting chance.

Genes

For some people, dry hair is in the genes and very little can be done. Where there is a strong genetic component, the hair can be dry regardless of what you do to it. Its natural state is to be and stay dry. This can be eased with regular use of products like coconut oil or shea butter to help inject life into the hair.


So, if you have dry hair, don’t despair. Invest in the right products, wash hair 2 to 3 times a week, avoid heat styling, use coconut oil and be weary of the temperature. You can save your hair!