Why Is My Hair So Dry Even with a Conditioner?


Beyond hair thinning, lack of moisture is a primary challenge we face as we age. Our skin glands produce less sebum, making our tresses perpetually dry.

Having low hair porosity or even high hair porosity and using the wrong products can also contribute to having dry hair, even when using a conditioner. Low porosity hair is hard to hydrate, while high porosity hair loses moisture easily.

Many of us attempt to moisturize our locks, but they can remain brittle and dry no matter what we do. For example, hydrating with extra coconut oil may only lead to clogged pores and oily hair. To achieve silky, smooth locks, the key is tailoring your solutions to your aging hair and scalp.

Why Does My Hair Lack Moisture?

Our hair’s texture changes as we age, slowly becoming thinner, grayer, and sometimes coarser and brittle. However, your hair may have high or low porosity in addition to age-related factors.

Your hair’s porosity describes how well your strands can take in oils and moisture and retain them. Both low and high porosity can result in dry tresses.

You Have High Porosity Hair

When your high-heat tools damage your cuticle layer, it will likely result in high porosity. When this happens, it’s more likely to result in high porosity hair. 

That means the cuticles are lifted and have gaps between them. This can make it harder for your hair fibers to retain moisture and could lead to frizz and tangle issues.

Dyed hair and certain textures, like curly hair, also naturally have a higher porosity. In the case of curly hair, the higher porosity is due to the shape of the hair strand and the cuticle layer being raised and open.

Additionally, aging is another common reason our hair becomes more porous. Aging hair becomes more porous as the cuticle gets roughed up over time.

You Have Low Porosity Hair

Our hair fibers comprise three distinct layers: the medulla (innermost layer), the cortex (middle layer), and the cuticles (outermost layer). If you have low porosity hair, it means your overlapping cuticle cells are tightly packed together with no spaces between them.

This makes it difficult for water, conditioners, and other products to hydrate your strands. In addition, if your strands have low porosity, you might find that your hair products aren’t penetrating properly and usually sit on your head.

For instance, you might apply a leave-in conditioner or a moisturizer on the ends of your hair and check back in an hour and find it still there. It might even come off in your hands if you touch it, meaning your hair absorbed little to none of your product.

How Do I Care for Low Porosity and High Porosity Hair?

If you have hair with low porosity, you may need to add more conditioners or use more than one product at a time, thinking that will solve your dry hair problems. Because your cuticles are so tightly packed together, it seems like no amount of product will penetrate. The key is to apply your hair products while your hair is warm and wet. Heat can lift your hair’s cuticles and allow moisture to permeate your hair shaft easily. You should also look for products with ingredients that will gently work their way past your cuticles.

On the other hand, if you have high porosity hair, the key is to apply conditioners and hair masques that contain oils or other ingredients designed to seal in moisture so it can’t escape. Remember that sometimes, these products will only lock in moisture without adding moisture to your hair. And in some cases, they may even block out water. 

You May Need to Deep Condition Your Hair

Deep conditioners have ingredients to nourish and fortify your hair by penetrating your hair shaft. The best approach for any hair porosity is two-pronged: First, hydrate, then seal in the moisture. So look for products that do both.

A deep conditioning product like Better Not Younger’s Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque or Silver Lining Purple Butter Masque can help you remedy your moisture concerns.

Both products use a proprietary plant-based butter blend made of avocado, murumuru, cupuaçu, macadamia, and mango. This butter blend works through your strands and helps coat and seal cuticles to protect, repair, and soften your hair.

Other hydrating ingredients include:

  • Argan Oil: Once our butter blend butter has penetrated your strands, argan oil seals them in.

  • Biotin: Biotin is a B Vitamin that nourishes and boosts your hair’s overall condition.

  • Caffeine: Included to stimulate blood flow to your roots and spur healthier growth.

It Could Be Time to Scrub Your Scalp

Your hair can experience perpetual dryness if your scalp is clogged with old hair products and buildup from dirt, pollutants, and dead skin cells. This can cause your scalp to become dry, itchy and irritated. 

Like your face, it’s vital to maintain open pores and keep your skin clean and refreshed. New Dawn Activated Charcoal Scalp Cleanser physically and chemically exfoliates and resets your scalp using lactic acid and proprietary activated charcoal:

  • Activated charcoal: Pulls out excess dirt and oil from your pores and scalp.

  • Lactic Acid: An alpha-hydroxy that exfoliates your scalp’s top layer while dissolving the buildup around your pores.

  • Menthyl lactate: A blend of menthol and lactic acid. It can soothe and cool your itchy scalp while leaving it feeling stimulated and refreshed.

Use this scalp cleanser during your shower once every week or every other week to keep your scalp and hair balanced and refreshed.

Check Your Shampoo

Look for a shampoo that doesn’t leave a residue that can block your pores and cuticles. Also, attempt to find products that contain ingredients to counter age-related dryness. The goal is to preserve your natural hair and scalp oils to maintain a balanced pH and healthy growth. 

Without them, your hair will become brittle and dry, no matter how many conditioning products you use. Shampoos that work well include:

Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo: This sulfate-free, no-residue shampoo strengthens your strands to reduce breakage. In addition, it contains bamboo, which is high in mineral and silica content to fortify your strands and bolster moisture retention. This is essential for all porosity levels, especially high porosity hair and aging hair biology.

Second Chance Repairing Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair: This shampoo adds ingredients that can penetrate your hair cuticle to hydrate severely dry or damaged hair. Agania Spinosa (argan oil) boosts follicle health while preventing your hair from drying out.

Use Products from Better Not Younger to Moisturize Your Dry Hair

Always remember to safeguard your hair and scalp if you’re going out in extreme weather. Wear a scarf or a hat to protect them from the sun and wind. Also, maintain a healthy diet full of nuts and omega-rich fish. Finally, take care of your mind and body from the inside out. 

Supplement your diet with Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails to ensure your body gets all the vitamins and minerals needed to grow lush, vibrant hair. Check out our complete lineup of BNY’s aging hair solutions on our Shop page.

Tell Us: Does your hair seem to lack moisture with age? Share how you combat dryness in the comments below!