Dry hair: Causes and treatments
by Doaa Al Mosawi, International Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate
Dry hair is no fun, everybody knows that. Naturally, we all want strong, luxurious hair that doesn’t break off all the time and lacks shine, but how?
Why is my hair so dry and brittle?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is ‘why is my hair so dry and brittle?’ Do you use heat on your hair a lot, wash it frequently or expose your hair to lots of wind, dry air or sun?
Identifying the problem is the first step in finding a solution for your dry hair, and we have written this guide to help you do just that!
So, why is my hair so dry?
There are a few main reasons our hair can become dry:
1. Your scalp is not making enough oil needed to keep your hair moisturised
Your hair can’t moisturise itself, it relies on the oils made by your hair roots – which are under your skin.
When your scalp doesn’t make enough oil for your hair, it becomes dry – the opposite dilemma to greasy hair.
As you get older, your hair will naturally start to produce less oil. This is why dry hair is particularly prevalent in older men and women.
2. Your hair lets moisture escape
Another reason your hair may be dry is that it is letting moisture escape.
Every healthy hair strand is surrounded by something called the ‘cuticle’ which acts as your hair’s protective layer.
The cuticle is made of different layers which lie tight against each other and protect your hair from sun damage and heat.
If a cuticle’s layers become damaged and peel away from the hair, it struggles to hold moisture and some oil will escape.
3. Your diet or hormones may have something to do with it
A diet lacking in vitamins and protein can cause hair to become dry and make it more prone to breakages.
This is because your hair needs a variety of nutrients to grow and repair itself, including vitamins A, C, D, and E.
Hormonal changes in the body caused by things such as pregnancy, the menopause and birth control can have undesirable effects on the hair.
If your dry hair is caused by hormones, you may also feel fatigued, colder than usual, weaker and your hair may begin to fall out.
This is something best talked about with a doctor if you feel like this might be causing your dry hair.
*source: hollandandbarrett.com, by Doaa Al Mosawi, International Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate