Have you tried different products that claim to moisturize, however, you still struggle with dry hair. Dry hair can make you want to throw in the towel, due to its cause of breakage, hard crunchy hair and the frustration. Well, before you scrap all of your favorite hair products, let’s take a look at the “dry hair checklist” to see if there are any changes you can make to your current regimen.
Your Shampoo Regimen: Because many of the products we use have silicones in them, especially non water soluble silicones (Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Amodimehticone, Dimethiconol, and Phenyl Trimethicone), it is extremely important that you clarify (see my article on the importance of clarifying and natural clarifying solutions). What silicones do is coat or seals the hair shaft therefore preventing moisture from permeating the hair follicles. This means that if you use products that are heavy in ‘cones’ you may notice that your moisturizing products will not be doing their job. Initially, it may feel moisturized, but as it dries it feels straw like, brittle and thirsty. Instead opt for natural ways to polish, style and moisturize your tresses (carrier oils, natural butters, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil). Anytime after you clarify, be sure to follow up with a deep condition to replenish moisture.
- Your Moisturizing Regimen: What are you using to moisturize your hair? In what order are you using these products? I ask this, because if you use an oil or butter before applying your favorite water based moisturizing application, then you have sealed the hair shaft before, therefore locking the moisturizer out. It is very important to apply your favorite water based moisturizer first, then seal with an oil or butter. Another important factor of not applying your oil before moisturizing is that the molecules in most oils are too large to permeate the hair shaft. This means that most oils that you use to moisturize your hair are not capable of ‘moisturizing’ it. Instead of moisturized hair, you feel a dry greasy mess. Try to apply your leave in conditioner as your moisturizer prior to applying your oils. And always use a ‘water based’ moisturizer or conditioner.
- Your Shampoo Technique: If need be, shampoo in the mirror and focus on cleansing your scalp. Shampooing in the mirror allows you to inspect your scalp to ensure that it is properly cleansed. Opt for shampooing in sections of four, instead of your entire head all at once.
- Your Hair’s Porosity: Overly porous hair is usually caused by chemical treatments (relaxers, texturizers, hair dyes) and improper thermal practices (blow dryers, flat irons, pressing combs). When the hair is porous, it is filled with holes along the hair shaft. Protein treatments are excellent for combating porous hair. Also, ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) rinses are excellent for porous problem solving.
- Your Water May Be Hard: Mineral buildup is a result of hard water, which contributes to dry hair. Mineral deposits act the same way as our other enemy..silicones. In order to defeat the enemy of hard water ‘mineral’ buildup is to clarify twice weekly or incorporate weekly apple cider vinegar rinses. ACV acts a gentle clarifier to remove product and mineral buildup. Always use cool water to do your final rinses using Apple Cider Vinegar.