Dry Hair 101: Major Keys to Combat Dry Hair
Heeeyyyyy everyone! Long time, no see! I’m back! Did y’all miss me? Lol
So I posted a question to my personal Facebook page about a week ago asking “What struggles do you (the people) have with their hair?”
Lets just say, we got some hair issues that need to be addressed! ASAP!
A lot of people stated that they had issues with dryness, retaining length, breakage/shedding and styling. I was surprised and amused at how many guys commented about losing their hair lines!! I’ll do my best to help the fellas, too!
I’m going to break up different topics in future blogs but today I want to focus on the most common issue...DRYNESS!
Now, I wrote a post about understanding dry hair in a previous post but now I’m going to break down what you can do to combat dry hair. Y’all ready?!
So let’s DEFINE dryness…
According to Google (Google is our bestest friend lowkey):
Dryness is the absence or lack of moisture or liquid.
Our hair is naturally drier than other races and ethnicities because of the tight textures we have been blessed with. The tighter the curl/texture, the harder it can be to keep moisturized but it can be done!
1. CREATE A ROUTINE
First things first, in order to have moisturized hair, YOU NEED A ROUTINE!
Let me say that again….YOU NEED A ROUTINE!!!
If you are struggling with dryness and you have no routine, then how can your hair possibly flourish? Having a weekly or bi-weekly routine is necessary when you desire to have healthy hair. Here are some simple steps to start a routine:
- Condition/Deep condition
- Leave in conditioner
- Light Oil to Seal Moisture
Creating a routine isn't a hard task to incorporate. There's no need to make it complicated or time consuming. Time is key, especially for those who work in Corporate America, entrepreneurs, and stay-at-home mommies who are holding down the household. Make it fit YOUR lifestyle!
2. WATER CONSUMPTION
I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!!
Water is your number one moisturizer! There's no product that can moisturize your hair, skin and organs like water can. Drinking enough water will help with moisture issues in the hair, alleviate dry scalp issues that are caused by dehydration, your elasticity will be poppin and your hair will be shiny as f@*%! (Shoutout to Issa Rae) The recommended amount of water a day for men is around 13 cups and for women 9 cups. A great way to monitor how much water you drink is to invest in a water bottle that has measurement indicators on the side. The one I use is the Brita BPA Free Water Bottle 32 oz that I aim to refill at least 3 times a day. What I love about this bottle is that it has a built in filter so it's super convenient. Yes, you will have to go to the bathroom A LOT but just remember you're getting rid of toxins and your hair will be fly!
I am very firm about cleansing the hair. I know a lot of women have replaced shampoo with co-washing however, there can be drawbacks to that.
Shampoos are formulated to cleanse the hair. Conditioners are formulated to add moisture and soften the hair. When using conditioners to shampoo the hair, it can cause buildup on the hair. This will lead to moisture not being able to penetrate the hair and the end result will be dry hair. Co-washing is a good refresher in between shampoos but I don't believe they should solely replace shampoo.
But Cari, sulfates are harsh to the hair! What should I use?!
There are great sulfate free shampoos that will cleanse your hair without stripping your hair of moisture and your natural oils. They have clarifying, moisture, strength and sensitive scalp shampoos that are sulfate free!
Clean hair is able to absorb moisture easier than hair that has a massive amount of build up. Having clean hair also clears your scalp of any dirt or debris that may stunt your hair growth. If you workout throughout the week, cleansing your hair is a must!
I suggest shampooing your hair once a week or every 10 days depending on your lifestyle and usage of products. A moisturizing shampoo is good to use once a week. If you want to give your hair a nice reset, incorporate a clarifying shampoo once a month followed by a moisturizing shampoo.
After any shampoo, you need to condition. Conditioner adds moisture to the hair and aids in dryness, elasticity, and shine.
There are two types of conditioning:
- Instant conditioning
- Deep Conditioning
Instant conditioning is left on the hair for up to 5 minutes and rinsed out. Those who have limited time throughout the week can do this. Also, if you have minimal problems with dryness, this will suffice for your weekly routine.
Deep Conditioning is leaving conditioner on the hair for 10-30 minutes depending on manufacturer's instructions. Deep conditioners penetrate the hair strand more than instant conditioners and focus on specific issues with the hair. There are moisture/hydrating deep conditioners for those dealing with dryness. There are also repair deep conditioners for those who are suffering from shedding and/or breakage. Repair deep conditioners usually have protein to help build the hair so you would want to use this in moderation if you're sensitive to protein. Deep conditioners are also labeled as masks/masques. Always choose a deep conditioner based on your hair texture and problem/issue. Here's a tip! If your hair texture is fine, search for a deep conditioner that is labeled as “lightweight” or “weightless.” This is formulated to not weigh your hair down but also moisturize your hair properly.
Another great way to take your conditioning to the next level is to incorporate steamers and conditioning caps to your routine! Steamers will have your hair feeling all luscious and plump after you use one. I always incorporate steaming while I'm working on my lovely clients. You can also invest in a steamer for home use. There are quite a few consumer steamers that will do the job, so I encourage you to do your research!
If you like to multitask during your routine, a conditioning cap is another great option. These caps can be heated up or use your own body heat to help the conditioner penetrate more into the hair shaft. They are super convenient and you can clean your home or make conference calls all while giving your hair some love! Now if you can’t get your hands on either one, you can always throw it back and use a shower cap or grocery bag (black girls you already know!) and wrap a towel around your head to keep the heat in. No excuses!
5. MOISTURIZING X SEALING
Moisturizing and sealing your hair after you've put all of that goodness into your hair is necessary in fighting dryness. Leave-in conditioners, moisturizing creams and light oils will help you maintain moisture throughout the week.
Leave-in conditioners can be utilized for:
- Extra moisture after shampooing and conditioning
- Style Prep
- Refresher during the week
Leave-ins can be used throughout the week. They are lightweight so it's great for daily use if needed. Be sure to choose a leave-in that is water based and full of vitamins and nutrients so that your hair can always stay on point!
Moisturizers serve a similar purpose as leave-ins.They can come in creams, milks and sprays. These are great for refreshing a style or adding much needed moisture throughout the week. Be mindful of the consistency and your hair texture. If your hair has a fine texture, a lightweight spray or cream is great. If your hair is a normal texture/medium texture, you may want to try a moisture milk. They aren't too heavy or light. If your hair texture is coarse, then you can go for a thicker consistency. However, the goal is to not weigh your hair down! Use all of these AS NEEDED!
As we all know, our hair is naturally dry. Our natural scalp oils take a little time to travel down our hair strand because of all of the coils and bends we have throughout our head. So to aid in that, hair oils can be incorporated into our routine. Oils are used as sealants for the hair. They are also used to treat our scalp of different issues. Now, there are some oils that have moisturizing properties but they don't replace water or moisturizers. Oils seal in moisture, so it's best to use them after applying a leave-in or moisturizer to lock it in.
I'm all about keeping the hair light and bouncy. Oils such as olive oil and the holy grail...coconut oil (I know you got a jar underneath that bathroom sink..don't lie lol) can be too thick for lots of hair textures.
I'm about to put y'all on game!
These oils are considered fatty oil and are high in oleic acid.They have bigger molecules and can be hard for the hair to absorb properly. Hence, why you may feel a thick coating on your hair. It's also hard for other products to mix well with these oils and can leave a white residue on the hair. I know we all have experienced that!
But Cari!! I love my coconut oil!! What else can I use?!
There are quite a few oils you can use that have great benefits and it doesn't leave the hair greasy or heavy! Here are a few of my favs:
- Grapeseed Oil
- Baobab Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Apricot Oil
- Argan Oil
You know I can't leave y'all hanging without giving you the keys!
6. DIET X EXERCISE
This really should be first but I'ma let y’all slide a little! Having a healthy diet and exercise helps the blood flow more into your scalp and moisturizes that hair from the inside out. Every tip I mentioned before won't be used to there full potential unless you are taking care of your body first. Fresh fruits and veggies will always be your hair's best friend! Need a few suggestions on what fruits and veggies to incorporate, click here. Exercising goes hand in hand with this! If you're from the Chicago area, hit up my girl Seobia Rivers for her amazing Cardio Kickboxing class! She will get you together!
7. PROTECTIVE STYLES
Protective styles are great for retaining moisture, especially in the winter months. Remember to moisturize your hair while you have protective styles installed. I know we tend to forget our hair when it's tucked away but moisturizing will help decrease the amount of shedding you'll have once you remove the style. Some great options for protective styles are:
- Single Two Strand Twists (with/without weave)
- Braids (Feed-in braids, braided updos, box braids, etc.)
- Crochet Weave
- Extensions (sew-ins, wigs, etc.)
Any so many more….
Of course, you'll want to remember to do these in moderation. Too much tension can cause breakage and some missing edges…...you don't want this to be your life, RIGHT!?!
Last but not least, always seek a professional to gain more clarity about your hair. Some of us aren't hair savvy so having a stylist who cares about healthy hair care is necessary!
CONSISTENCY IS KEY! RESULTS WILL VARY BASED ON CONSISTENCY!
If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to email me! I will help as much as I can!
Again, thank you all for taking the time to read! I’m grateful to be able to share this gift God has blessed me with. Until next time!
“Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whitersoever thou goest.” - Joshua 1:9 KJV