For people who suffer from dry hair, the silky and luxurious looking hair that is often portrayed in hair commercials may seem unattainable.
In order to manage dry hair, it is important to understand the root causes of the dryness. The culprits for unmanageable hair often range from internal to external.
- Aging: Our scalps secretes oils that lubricate our hair. When our scalps are not producing enough oils, our hair will dry out . Furthermore, the older we get, the less oil our scalps produce.
- Hormone change: Birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause can cause dry and brittle hair in some women. Birth control pills trick the body, making it think that it is pregnant. Pregnancy and menopause cause a hormone change in our body, particularly with estrogen and testosterone A health professional can provide specific methods in helping to balance hormonal changes.
- Illness: If dry hair is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fatigue, sensitivity to coldness, trouble losing weight, hair loss, and impaired memory, it could be an indication of a thyroid condition such as Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid). A doctor can do a simple test to check your thyroid levels.
- Undernutrition: Under eating or simply not getting enough of the daily recommended nutrients can lead to many health complications, one of which is dry hair. If malnourished for an extensive amount of time, hair can even fall out. A proper diet is needed to give hair shine and flexibility.
- Chemical treatments: Chemical treatments , such as perms and hair dye, weaken the hair’s cuticle. The cuticle is the protective outer layer of the hair, which seals the moisture in. Repeated use of chemicals treatments will further weaken the cuticles. When the moisture isn’t securely sealed by the cuticle, it will leak out, resulting in dry hair.
- Weather: The burning effects of the sun and the harshness of strong winds can damage the hair’s cuticles. If one lives in hot or dry conditions, such as a desert, or in areas that experience very cold winters, wearing a scarf or hat over one’s hair will decrease the hair’s exposure to the sun, cold, and wind. Also, moisturizing hair and applying a weekly deep conditioner will help seal in moisture.
- Dry Heat: Overusing electric appliances, such as hair straighteners, will cause dryness and fizziness in hair. If used too often, hair may fall out due to weakened hair.
- Over washing: Shampoo strips the scalp of oils. This is great for ridding the scalp of accumulated oils that weigh the hair down and create an itchy scalp; however, an overuse of shampooing will strip away the oils needed to keep hair sleek and shiny.