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How To Treat Your Dry, Brittle Hair At Home

Having dry, brittle hair can be quite the annoyance—especially if you are attempting to style it, as dry hair can be more difficult to manage. Dry hair can also be an indication that your hair is not healthy; something is robbing it of its moisture.

Dry Hair Maintenance Tips

Identifying the cause of your dry hair is one of the best ways to treat your dry hair—eliminating the issue. In the meantime, here are a few tips to help keep your hair well-hydrated:

  • Shampoo & Condition CORRECTLY. Target your roots when shampooing and your ends when conditioning. Also, use products that are sulfate and paraben free to reduce how harsh they can be on your hair and scalp.
  • Skip a Shampooing. Its ok to let a day, two, or even more go between shampooing your hair. The amount of time between shampooing’s is different for each person based on their own hair types. Find a good balance that works for you. If your hair is excessively oily but still dry or brittle (especially at the ends), try using a dry shampoo to absorb the oil without washing away all the oils your hair needs.
  • Brush Correctly. Oil (sebum) is produced and released at the scalp. The sebum can make its way down straight hair more easily than it can coiled or curly hair, so regular brushing is of utmost importance to spread the protective and moisturizing sebum to all your strands. Ideally, use a boar bristle brush to distribute your hair’s natural oils.
  • Use A Leave In-Conditioner or Deep Conditioning Treatment. These are either left in your hair as it dries or rinsed out after sitting for several minutes (20-30 minutes).
  • Air Dry. Heat is another cause of dry hair—and after a hot shower and shampooing, your hair may already be a bit dried out. Allow your hair to air dry or use the lowest heat setting on your hair dryer if blow drying cannot be avoided to minimize further damage.

What Causes Dry, Brittle Hair 

Dry hair is a common affliction that affects both men and women. Many who have dry hair also complain of brittle hair—hair that breaks easily or sheds more than normal—and excessively frizzy hair. While prevalent, it is usually not a symptom of a serious health condition but rather the side effect of an incorrect hair care routine for the type of hair one has. If you suffer from dry hair, modifying your hair care regime or swapping out certain products can help turn the tides against dry, brittle, or even frizzy hair.

Causes of Dry Hair

Sebum Production & Reduction

There are a few different potential culprits behind dry hair—sometimes it is as simple as using the wrong type of product for your hair type, causing it to dry out. Your hair follicles, like other pores on your body, produce a natural oil called sebum that is designed to moisturize and protect your hair (same as it does for your skin). Some hair products, like shampoo, are designed to remove the buildup of this natural oil, and in some cases, it strips away too much oil, leaving behind dry, frizzy hair. The amount of sebum your body produces can reduce over the years, leading your hair to suddenly become excessively dry.

Hair Type

Certain hair types are prone to being dry, like curly or coily hair. This is because it is harder for sebum to travel down the strands compared to straight hair to fully nourish and moisturize the stands.

Sun Exposure & Tanning Beds

UV light not only causes harm to your skin—it can also damage the hair cuticle (the outer layer of the hair strand). The cuticle is responsible for locking in moisture and protecting the hair from environmental factors. When the cuticle is damaged, the hair becomes dry and brittle.

Applying Heat

Hot showers can cause the sebum in your hair to wash out, which leads to dryness. Blow drying on high heat and routinely using the blow dryer (like after your daily shower) can cause the hair to dry out and become damaged. This holds true for other heat-based styling tools like hair straighteners and curlers.

Chlorinated Water

Swimming is an excellent pastime; however, if you do not rinse or shower following a dip in a chlorinated pool, your hair may suffer from it. Chlorine can remove the natural oils present in your hair and excessive time in the water can wash away what sebum is present on your hair.

Hair Products

From your shampoo to styling products—and every in-between and beyond, like hair coloring kits—can lead to the loss of sebum, damage the cuticle, or affect the level of moisturization in the hair.

Health & Medication

Some diseases, conditions, and the medications (or treatments) used to remedy them can affect your hair, especially those that may affect hormone production. A change to regular hormone production may affect hair growth and sebum production, leading to drier hair.

Treating Dry Hair

Maintaining the health of your hair is important. When your hair is dry and brittle, it is more prone to breakage and loss. Preserving the moisture and natural oil of your scalp and hair is the ideal way to prevent or counter dry hair. 

Regular visits to your stylist can also provide you with specific tips for your hair type as well as professional treatment options like a deep conditioner, trimming of damaged ends, or a moisturizing treatment like our Malibu Hair Treatment or the Olaplex Treatment.

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