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  • Rachel Galati

Why is your hair so dry? And what to do about it?

Are you a victim of dry hair? You're not alone! Many people go

through moments of dry scalp and hair so don't fret. I'll let you in on some insight I share with my clients when they find it interfering with good hair days.


Here's a list of what could be going on:


Weather:

It's February in San Diego and we just had a few days of dry weather from Santa Ana winds so pay attention to what the humidity ratio is in your area. It may be low!


Hormones:

As we age our hormones can flip flop on us, sometimes it's stress or health related. Sometimes extreme diet changes can be a shock to the system and the body is recalibrating. This is why hair loss can be a result of diet changes too. So it makes sense the body's natural way of hydrating our skin and hair might be a little off.


Medications:

Certain Medications can result in symptoms of dry skin and hair. So it might be a question to your doctor if that's a possible side effect of any medications you are taking.


Hot tools/blow drying:

If your hair is sandwiched between two hot plates ever, that is basically cooking the moisture out of your hair. High heat exposure reopens the cuticle resulting in moisture loss. Turn down the heat if you can. You might need less than you think. And please keep the nozzle on your blow dryer, there's a very hot metal grate it's protecting your hair from and if it's not there while you round brush you are burning your hair. Plus it gives your air flow better direction to avoid frizz.


Hair Color:

If you are doing any kind of color or blonding period, the hair will be drier. I'm looking at you platinums.. This is because the process of removing natural hair pigment means opening the cuticle and empting the hair shaft of the pigment. The cuticle never fully closes and makes it harder for hair to hold moisture. Think of it as a door with no lock on it anymore. That hair shaft is open and moisture is going in and out easily. It must constantly be replaced.


Sun Exposure:

Ever wonder why some product lines create special UV sun protection products? Because like our skin, our hair can take a beating from the sun and needs protection too. Living in San Diego pretty much means 24/7 sun exposure.. That's why it's a good idea to find UV protection for your hair if hours of gardening, beach days and sports are part of your lifestyle.


Products:

Styling products like hairsprays, shampoos and even conditioners containing drying alcohols like these:

Ethanol alcohol

Ethyl alcohol

Propanol alcohol

Alcohol denat.

Isopropyl alcohol

Isopropanol alcohol

Benzyl alcohol

They are cheap alcohols that evaporate quickly which may be helpful in some regard, but the trade off is dehydrated brittle hair and most likely the culprit to frizz.

The alternative fatty chained alcohols that won't do this because they are derived from fatty chained oils like coconut or palm. Look for these to see if your products are supporting moisture not counteracting it:

Cetyl alcohol

Cetearyl alcohol

Stearyl alcohol

Lauryl alcohol


Overwashing:

Over cleansing your hair on the daily goes beyond if your products are using harsh sulfates. Even "sulfate free" can lead to dry hair and scalp. It's the frequency that can remove the scalps natural oils/conditioner. Try skipping a day. Or doing a cold rinse after a workout, skip the wash do the conditioner it's what your hair needs most.


So what do you do about it? I suggest an arsenal of low toxic moisturizing products for support and maybe some lifestyle tweaks to help.


Here are my favs right now!


Oway Moisturizing Hair bath and conditioner has been my non toxic go to right now. It will properly hydrate your scalp and locks without feeling heavy or leaving a build up. The no rinse moist leave in conditioner is a great lightweight option perfect for fine hair detangling. Click the photo, and you can purchase through my affiliate link with a $5 coupon!

Not using a leave in? I just stocked my shelves with this new Superfluid. A collaboration with Oway and Blue Tit London, let me just say; this has been the missing link to my non toxic hair dreams! And they didn't last a week on my shelves! It has an earthy citrus spearmint fragrance only derived from steam distilled essential oils. The moonstone extract offers a great silky detangling property making the hair super manageable and shiny. If you're familiar with the Davines Oi Milk, this works very similar but with a less intense fragrance that isn't synthetic. It will help with frizz and quench color treated hair. I could go on with this one! Click photo to get yours delivered to your door!




For Sun Protection during and post exposure, Oway has a UV protection line for that too. If I was to pick one as a cosmetically colored redhead it would be the Sunway protective elixir . Fading and moisture retention are priority for the few times I'm outside. It's easy to throw in before my morning dog walks while I apply my sunblock. If you're doing more than that, then check out the whole line via the photo! And don't forget head scarves, hats and parasols are other ways you can protect your hair from dehydration by the sun.



Doing a hair mask can give you emergency moisture assistance. There are a variety of hair masks that can give you a more intense moisture treatment that is left on anywhere between 5-15 minutes. My top 2 favorites from Davines are the Renaissance and Let it Go masks. They are affordable, portable and give you multiple uses. I keep these stocked in the salon.


I hope these tips help you understand you could have a variety of reasons behind your dry locks. It could be one thing or maybe a handful of things. One thing is for sure, healthy happy hair won't happen by itself. It makes my job as a colorist easier when the hair is in good shape. The color lasts longer without fading or drying. Haircuts fall and style better when the hair isn't dry and broken. It takes a moment of reflection on our habits and lifestyles. And set aside time to care for your hair, because the products won't apply themselves ;)


Your neighborhood stylist,

-Rachel