We all get told our hair is our ‘crowning glory’ but if you’ve got challenges with dry, frizzy hair, it can feel more like a never-ending quest for a solution.
That’s where our team of hair specialists can help – we’ve got some seriously good, pro tips to transform your dry hair naturally (by which we mean without salon treatments costing hundreds!).
To effectively support your dry hair, we take a holistic approach - you need to look at several elements:
· How you care for your hair (inside and out)
· Any external issues (stress, hormones etc) that may impact the hair
· An understanding of the type of hair you have – some are just more prone to dryness
· Whether the scalp is the real source of your dry hair
· An understanding of the best type of products to use for your dry hair
1. How to care for your hair, inside and out
It doesn’t matter what products we recommend if you don’t consider the nourishment put into your body.
We might think we’re ‘getting away’ with being a bit lazier on our diets if our skin is ok, but our hair will always show any deficiencies.
You’ll often notice it following a period of illness too.
If you’re interested in following Ayurvedic principles of nutrition, we’ve a great guide to your dosha and how it might impact your hair.
Outside of that, the advice is always:
Lots of healthy oil and fat rich foods; Avocado, eggs and if you’re not vegan, line caught or sustainably farm salmon.
Fruit and veg help, as does balancing your calcium and vitamin D. The body considers the hair on your head a ‘non-essential’ so it will divert nutrients from there to urgent organs if necessary. Make sure you’re getting a good balance of what you need to support hair health.
2. Are there external factors influencing your dry hair?
If you’ve been through a particularly stressful period, your hair will be where it shows.
· Hormonal shifts, for example the menopause or post pregnancy, can often leave the hair thinning, broken and dry. We’re a fan of treatments like Amla, which naturally restore balance, reduce hair fall and return shine to the hair without the use of silicones
· Pollution is a huge contributor to hair and scalp concerns. Hair being challenged by external aggressors like VOCs and free radicals often appears overly greasy, but it’s actually a dryness issue causing overproduction. Learn more here.
· Stress is a key factor in scalp dryness. When we’re anxious for more than a brief period, we release toxic amounts of neurochemicals into the bloodstream. The bloodstream carries nutrients to the scalp. If this is impacted the hair dulls, thins, and breaks.
We’re big fans using scent to relax our stress levels, along with mindful breath work.
3. What Type of Hair Have You Got?
The hair type you have is a big factor in whether dryness is a big issue for you.
If you’ve got naturally straight, fine hair, that shines easily, the likelihood is, unless you heavily overprocess it (using heat every day, or harsh lighteners and colourants) it won’t be dry.
If you have a curl pattern above a 3 (tight waves or curls) you’ll start to see easier frizzing and dryness. Afro Caribbean hair, which typically has a pattern of around 4c (very tight, coily hair) is often very dry and very breakable.
Again, if you’re older, you’re more likely to have dry hair, as our production of hair nourishing oils slows.
Finally, if you’ve got lots of grey hair, that is also usually a much drier texture, and takes more work to keep looking smooth and shiny.
4. Is the Scalp the Source of Your Dry Hair?
Your scalp is responsible for the production of oils which keep the hair supple and moist. Often people with extremely dry hair, often have greasy scalps, as the glands go into over-production to try to compensate. This can be caused by:
· The use of sulphates (harsh degreasers often added to shampoo)
· Silicones (plastic added to conditioner that leaves an oily residue on the scalp)
· Use of alcohol filled styling products
· Washing the hair too often
· Bleaching the hair and leaving it with no moisture in the cuticle
If you have scalp conditions like Psoriasis, or Eczema, this can also impact the scalp, leaving it much more reactive.
5. Why Natural Hair Care is Best for Dry Hair (and which to choose)
We firmly advocate for an organic, natural hair routine for your dry hair concerns. Firstly, certified organic shampoos and conditioners are free from sulphates and silicones, as well as sourced from ethically grown ingredients.
Secondly, they tend to work in harmony with your body as opposed to against it.
Shampoo: Choose a natural, organic shampoo with ingredients like coconut oil and horsetail. You might wish to try washing once a week and skipping heavy conditioners.
It does take around 14 days for the hair to settle, but most people find their dryness improves rapidly.
Conditioner: If you have 4c or very coily hair, you might need to co-wash (wash your hair with conditioner). Learn more about that in our guide to curly girl hair.
Conditioners should be silicone free and lightweight.
Treatments: From once a week to once a month, you can use natural treatments to support your dry hair condition. We love Bhringaraj, an ayurvedic herb that supports shine without the use of silicone.
Mix it with a few drops of warmed hair oil, and massage into the scalp to improve blood flow and nourishment.
Dye: We’re big advocates of moving away from chemical laden mainstream dyes, which include harmful ingredients like PPD which are extremely drying.
Instead, we recommend natural colours like Henna and Indigo. Modern recipes offer bright, rich and thorough colour with an extremely professional result. These dyes also work with the hairs structure to keep it healthy and soothe the scalp.
They’re especially good at supporting coilier hair types like 4c, without increasing the risk of breakage.
Firstly, try to give your hair a break from heat styling at least two days a week. There are brilliant alternatives like the dressing gown method to boost curls if you need to.
Secondly, when you do style your hair, look for low or no alcohol styling products. Always use a heat protective spray and choose natural brushes over plastic.
For more expert natural hair advice, contact our team