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by: Better Not Younger
July 16, 2021
The height of summer means the hottest days of the year, and depending on where you live, those days could be full of humidity or as dry as the desert. But either way, summer means more sweat, and more sweat usually means extra showers.
So whether you mean to or not, if you have a habit of washing your hair every time you shower, there’s a good chance your extra showers are actually depleting your scalp of healthy oils and leaving your hair feeling dry and brittle.
Summertime also means you’re likely to find yourself relaxing by the pool or at the beach. The sun, chlorine and saltwater you’ll undoubtedly encounter will all play a part in creating your dry summer hair. Learning to be proactive and protect your hair from dehydration isn’t so different from surviving summer when you have thinning hair. Remember that natural oils are healthy and swim caps can save you from a headache later on down the road.
If you’ve been struggling with extra frizz lately, your hair looks dull, and/or it feels brittle, you might have dry hair. Dry hair happens for two main reasons: either your hair can’t retain moisture, or your scalp doesn’t produce enough oils to moisturize your hair.
There are quite a few reasons your hair might be unable to retain moisture, such as environmental aggressors, damaged cuticles, overwashing, harsh shampoos and heat damage. On the other hand, the amount of oil your scalp produces is most commonly impacted by your age, since your hair makes less oil as you get older, but it can be due to overwashing as well. The chemicals involved in bleaching and coloring your hair can also rid your hair of its beneficial natural oils.
Because your scalp produces less oil as you age, that often means that by the time you have a head full of grays, the texture and feel of your hair has changed as well. Don’t worry, that’s completely natural. But natural or not, your hair needs moisture. Keep reading to learn how to add that much-needed moisture back into your tresses.
If it feels like your dry hair has become more of a sudden issue than a gradual development, you might want to talk to your doctor. There are a number of health conditions, and medications, that could be causing your scalp to dry out.
Believe it or not, all hydrating products and techniques are not created equal. Thick, thin and curly hair all require something a little different to keep them at their healthiest.
If you’re suffering from perpetually dry hair, you might want to opt for a thicker shampoo, rather than one that’s clear and feels thinner when you rub it between your hands. The reason these shampoos are thicker is that they often contain moisturizing ingredients such as aloe vera and argan oil. This is often why shampoos aimed at those with curly hair have a creamier, thicker texture—because due to the shape of the cuticle and follicles, curly hair is more prone to dryness than any other hair type.
When choosing a hydrating shampoo, make sure to avoid sulfates, as they can be too harsh on your hair and scalp, stripping them of the beneficial oils you need to retain moisture.
The natural volume that comes with thicker hair can be both a blessing, and a curse. That’s because if you’re struggling with dry hair, it might be because the natural oils your scalp produces have a hard time reaching the ends of your hair. If your natural oils stay stuck on your scalp rather than soaking into your strands, you could end up with both an oily scalp and dry hair.
If this sounds like you, try applying a thick conditioner or butter masque in the shower, focused on the midl-length and ends, and combing a leave-in spray into your hair before styling. And, when brushing your hair, choose a boar bristle brush, as the thin, compact bristles will help distribute the natural oils in your scalp throughout your strands. Also, make sure that when you’re heat styling at home, you’re using a Heat Protection and Taming Spray to keep the moisture in your hair, where it belongs.
When it comes to thin or fine hair, the trick is to keep it moisturized without weighing it down, which means you should reach for a lighter-weight conditioner when in the shower and focus on applying it to the ends of your hair. Fine hair tends to be drier on the ends, and avoiding your roots will help keep your scalp from becoming oily. When styling, avoid any products that contain alcohol as a key ingredient, as they can dry out your hair.
That being said, no matter your hair type, try shampooing no more than two to three times a week. But if you still can’t resist the exhilarating feeling of a head-to-toe shower, remember that you can always just apply conditioner those days and skip the shampoo. Adding an extra dose of conditioner on the days you don’t shampoo will benefit your hair by giving it the chance to soak up extra moisture.
First and foremost, try washing your hair less often. Hair oils aren’t your enemy—you don’t have to rush to the shower as soon as your hair starts to feel a little “greasy.” It’s perfectly healthy, and normal, to only wash your hair once or twice a week.
While in the shower, don’t rinse the conditioner from your hair until it feels like you never applied it—because at that point, you might as well not have. Instead of sticking your hair under the pressure washer that is your showerhead to rinse your conditioner out, try using a cup to gently pour the water over your head and squeeze the conditioner out of your hair. It might sound crazy, but you will be amazed at how healthy and moisturized your hair will feel once it’s dry.
When it comes to drying your hair, leave your towel on the rack. Bath towels are designed to do one thing: dry. But while that’s great for your skin and keeps the water off your bathroom floor, that’s not what you want for your hair. Especially if you’re already dealing with dry or dehydrated hair.
So instead of using your bath towel to squeeze the water out of your hair or, heaven forbid, rubbing it against your hair and scalp, try drying it with a microfiber towel, 100% cotton t-shirt or flour sack towels. All of these are gentler on your hair and less drying than traditional bath towels.
Add a scalp massage to your weekly hair-care routine either when you shampoo your hair or at some point later in the day—you can even ask your partner for a scalp massage while you relax on the couch at the end of the night. Why is this so important? Because when you massage your scalp, you increase blood flow and sebum production (your scalp’s healthy, natural oil).
And while you’re at it, don’t be afraid to add oils back into your scalp and hair by applying coconut oil, argan oil, avocado oil or jojoba oil during your scalp massage. Or you could make your life simpler by reaching for your Superpower Serum and Liquid Comb, designed to make adding oil back into your scalp easier than ever.
Rather than having to run to your stylist for a deep-conditioning treatment, why not make it happen at home instead? All you really need is a restorative mask and a source of heat, such as a deep conditioning heat cap.
In order to get the most out of your hair mask, you need to apply heat to your hair, which will open the shafts in the cuticles so that they can absorb as much moisture as possible. Adding a deep-conditioning treatment to your hair-care routine once or twice a month will bring the moisture you need back into your thirsty locks.
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Una publicación compartida por Better Not Younger (@betternotyounger)
Una publicación compartida por Better Not Younger (@betternotyounger)
One of the easiest things you can do is make hair, skin, and nail supplements a part of your daily wellness regimen. While environmental and outside factors are often to blame for the health of your hair, you can give yourself a leg up by promoting hair health from the inside out.
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