Has summer’s searing heat cooked your coif to a dull dryness? Or do you struggle with the frizzy hair all year? Either way, don’t despair. Here are the six most common dry-hair culprits, plus reviving tips from top stylists.
How to Prevent and Heal Sun Damaged hair
This one’s an easy fix: Before heading outdoors, either don a stylish sun-blocker hat like this ONE or spray your tresses with a UVA protectant.
Check out my detailed post featuring Non-Toxic UV Hair Protection Products for year-round well-being.
Then, once a week, treat your hair to a deep conditioner or a half-cup of warmed olive oil.
follicles already are filled with water, they cannot absorb conditioners,” says Umberto Savone, Selma Blair’s stylist.
Next, apply the conditioner or olive oil. Then wrap your head in a warm towel for 20 minutes.
Finally, rinse. You may be tempted to wear a shower cap to bed and keep the conditioner on overnight, but don’t bother. Savone says the treatment loses effectiveness over time.
Washing Your Hair Too Often
If your hair is dry, you should shampoo two to three times weekly – tops. “Overshampooing strips hair of the natural sebum oil your scalp produces,” says Mark Anthony Talavera, owner of Houston’s Mark Anthony Salon. “So massage your scalp as you scrub to stimulate oil glands.”
Look for a pH-balanced shampoo, which will close your cuticles. Then follow up with a light conditioner. If needed, rinse your hair or use a dry shampoo between showers.
Check out a detailed post on some of the Best Natural Hair Care Products to strengthen hair cuticles and tame and control frizzy hair.
What Ingredients Cause Hair Damage and Hair Loss
Gels, mousses, hair sprays and styling creams may keep your mane nicely styled, but many of them contain alcohol as a primary ingredient, which slowly robs your hair of moisture.
Instead, “live with what nature gave you–- and read the ingredients list,” says Talavera. “The first three items constitute 70 to 80 percent of the contents. You want emollients and conditioners and only denatured alcohol, which are less damaging.”
Are Blow Drayers and Curling Irons Good for Hair?
If you can’t air-dry your hair, make a point to cut – or at least curb – your drying time.
Fine, straight hair needs only 30 seconds per section on high speed, medium heat, says Gregory Patterson, stylist to Anne Hathaway and Janet Jackson at New York City’s Blow.
Curly, thick hair needs, at most, a minute per section, starting with medium heat for the first half and high heat for the second. Stop once your hair is warm, not hot.
Explore some amazingly easy, yet so practical Curly Hair Care tips.
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And before you switch on the heat, safeguard your hair with leave-in serum and a blow-dry accelerator. Look for soothing ingredients, like aloe vera and rice, soy, milk or almond proteins. “Think creamy,” says Patterson. “And always, always use a dryer nozzle. It closes cuticles, adds shine and stops the heat coil from hitting and frying hair.”
Check out some invaluable Hair Drying Tips Without Damaging It.
Your Hair Is Exposed to Water for A Long Time
Pool chlorine and ocean salt stress your hair, says Talavera. Before taking a dip, seal your hair cuticles with waterproof spray and (sorry!) wear a swim cap. Shampoo right after you get out of the water, and use a chlorine-countering clarifying shampoo once a week.
An Art of Taking Care of Naturally Curly Hair
Not only is curly hair dryer than straight hair, but the cuticles are rougher, adding to dullness. Restore the glow with polishers – preferably pigmented ones, because they have less parching peroxide and ammonia, says Talavera.
Or hit your kitchen: “Apple cider vinegar makes hair shiny by shutting cuticles,” he says. “Just rinse after shampooing, and your hair will look healthy.”
Michele Meyer is a freelance beauty, fashion and celeb writer for MORE, Travel + Leisure and USA WEEKEND. The former Allure and Lucky correspondent has also contributed to InStyle and Real Simple.