Hair is composed primarily of proteins (88%). These proteins are of a hard fibrous type known as keratin. Keratin protein is comprised of what we call “polypeptide chains.”
Damage to the hair is usually caused by heat (irons, blow drying, curlers, heat lamps, etc.), U.V. rays (Sun, lights, tanning beds), mechanical devices (combs, brushes, curling irons, etc.), chemicals (color, perms, relaxers, pool chemicals, the air, etc), or poor diet(specifically -lack of proteins and essential fatty acids). But there are steps you can take to restore your damaged hair and prevent it from going dry again.
Your hair is dry if:
- it looks dull
- it feels dry or rough
- it tangles easily
- it is difficult to comb or brush
- it has been treated chemically (permed, bleached or colored)
- it is liable to split ends
- it is dry and frizzy.
Tips to Manage Dry hair
- Dry hair is very fragile and needs special care. Be gentle when lathering and avoid any pulling or yanking. Don’t scrub with your fingernails – this will not only irritate your scalp but can cause hair breakage. Brush your lock gently and never when it’s wet.
- Allow your hair to air dry wherever possible. When you must use your hairdryer, blow drying hair should be done correctly – use it on a cooler temperature and aim it down the hair shaft..
- Be careful not to over wash your locks. It’s very easy to strip away the natural oils if you wash it too often. Once or twice a week is enough.
- Rinse with water alone on off days.
- Clarify your hair after you swim.
- Use a moisturizing and nourishing shampoo. Use only a mild, acidic shampoo that is labeled “for dry or damaged hair.” A good shampoo should have a pH of between 4.5 and 6.7. Look for ingredients like zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, or coal-tar.
- Combat the damage of chemical treatments, colouring, heat-styling and environmental pollution by deep-conditioning your hair on a regular basis. This will help replenish lost moisture and keep locks shiny and resilient Use products that contain no alcohol, which can dry out hair even more. In general, conditioners with fragrance have alcohol, so avoid them. If your hair is very dry, use an overnight conditioner. Mayonnaise is a great natural conditioner. Leave it in your tresses for anywhere from 15-20 minutes before washing it out.
- If you can afford, use a salon-grade shampoo and conditioner; these products contain less “filler” ingredients.
- Apply over-the-counter hot-oil treatment to repair dry, damaged hair. Wear a shower cap over your hair while the hot oil is on; rinse after 5 to 20 minutes. Olive oil and coconut oil work the best.
- Reduce your use of hairspray, mousse, hair gels and styling creams that contain chemical ingredients. With excessive use, they can easily irritate your scalp and damage your hair.
- Use a low or no ammonia hair color.
- While, shampooing, do a scalp massage to stimulate oil glands in the skin.
- Do not use mousse on brittle, dry hair, use a thickening lotion instead.
- Every six weeks snip off frayed ends.
- Beer is a good setting lotion to give healthy, shiny look to dry hair. Spray it onto your locks using a pump bottle after shampooing but before you blow-dry.
- Treating dry hair also should include drinking plenty of water, eating a diet of good proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins A,C, E, and calcium. Eat seeds and nuts. They contain fatty acids that will restore sheen to your hair.
- If you spend a lot of time in the strong sunlight, use a hair sunscreen or protect your hair with a headscarf or hat.
Mix three eggs, two tablespoons olive or safflower oil, and one teaspoon vinegar. Apply it to your hair, cover with a plastic cap for 30 minutes and then shampoo it out.
A really good recipe is to take a shallow baking pan and mush a banana. Then stir in the honey along with one egg,2 tablespoons plain organic yogurt, and 1 tablespoon jojoba oil. Work the mask ingredients well while stirring to make sure they are well blended.
In the case of hair ruined by hot rollers or straightening, you may have a few inches of relatively undamaged hair on the scalp. Get a medium-severe haircut to get rid of the frizzled hair tips, or leave the damage right where it is and concentrate on protecting the good hair.