Summertime is always an interesting time for hair. On one hand, all the sun feels great and can even give you a quick boost of nutrients. On the other hand, your hair can get dried out and brittle, putting you at risk for hair loss.
No one wants that, and that’s why we want to discuss hair moisture. To know how to prevent the problem, you need to know what’s causing it.
What’s Happening When Hair Feels Dry?
Your hair can dry out in one of two different ways:
- Your scalp isn’t producing enough natural oil to properly moisturize your hair.
- Your hair strands are letting moisture escape.
Both of these conditions can either be hereditary (in your genes), or they can develop over time. As you get older, most people’s scalps simply produce less natural oil. If you’re not making up for this loss of moisture with other products, your hair will be dry and more prone to breakage.
How much moisture your hair strands retain depends on your cuticles. When hair cuticles are tight together, moisture stays in and your hair will look shiny, full and healthy. Loose cuticles (also brought on by age or genes) let the moisture escape.
How can you tell if your hair is dry? Well, you will definitely feel a difference when you run your fingers through your hair. It won’t be as smooth or as silky as it normally is. The other key part to check is your ends. Split ends are one of the main signs of unhealthy or dry hair.
What Causes Dry Hair?
Realizing that your hair is dry or brittle can be a bit shocking. The truth is, it doesn’t just happen overnight. Most of the time dry hair is caused by slow, consistent exposure. And we’re not just talking about the weather.
It’s certainly true that natural elements like sun, wind and extreme heat can contribute to dry hair, but one of the most overlooked factors is heat abuse from styling tools.
Flat irons, blow dryers, hot rollers, curling irons…all of the tools that we use everyday to make our hair look great are can strip your hair of its natural moisture if you’re not careful.
In fact, the heat from these everyday styling tools can actually break down your hair’s structure. Yikes. That’s what happens when you put a 400 degree tool directly on your hair.
What Should I Do About My Dry, Brittle Hair?
When your hair is dry to the point that the hair strand is damaged, there’s no way to reverse it. If you have split ends, you should immediately cut them before the split end rises up your hair strands and does damage to the root.
Experts say that your yearly trims are enough — you should be getting a haircut every three to six months. Not only does it keep your ends looking good, it can provide a better growth environment for your healthy strands. When your healthy hair looks fuller, your damaged hair will not be as noticeable.
For hair that is just dry, and not completely damaged, there are a few ways that you can breathe new life into it. But before you look into ways to give your hair more moisture, you need to be understand how to prevent it in the first place.
How Can I Prevent My Hair From Drying Out?
Prevention is absolutely key. If you know that you’re going to be out in the sun, or other extreme conditions, you should look for a light styling spray that protects it from the elements. A quality styling spray provides a very thin layer of protection that prevents the sun, wind, and water from penetrating your hair strands.
Another great way to prevent damage is by wearing protective hair styles like french braids or buns. These hairstyles reduce the amount of stress on your hair follicles and they don’t require much (if any) hair styling product or the use of any hot tools.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your styling tools altogether. You just have to make sure you’re protected. Before using your flat iron or blow dryer, make sure that you have a quality heat protectant serum. Not only will it create a shield between your hair and your tools, it will also make it easier to style your hair at lower (and safer) temperatures.
Always look for products that contain all-natural products. Serums with hair growth vitamins and nutrients like biotin, vitamin E, and iron can help your hair grow at its full potential.
Other Ways to Keep Your Hair Moisturized
Even though it’s tempting to simply wash your hair every time you shower, you really should only be washing it 2 or 3 times per week. Washing your hair too much can strip it of its natural oils. If your hair is feeling dry, take a few days off so it can get its moisture back.
While you shouldn’t be washing your hair everyday, you certainly can use a good conditioner every time you shower. If your hair is really dry, look into a leave-in conditioner that will boost your hair with nutrients.
Another key tip: use a boar bristle brush. Boar bristles are great for dry hair because they help spread your natural oils throughout the rest of your hair. It makes your hair look and feel healthier, and it even lets you wash less as often.
Keeping your hair properly moisturized is something that needs to be attacked from multiple angles. Even if you’re doing everything right product-wise, none of it will be very effective if your diet is lacking, or you’re not drinking enough water. Take care of yourself, and your hair will look much better.