Dry Hair: Causes and Solutions

After having a recent conversation with a fellow natural about hair care, I decided to do a series on natural hair care and maintenance. The focus of this post is dry hair. Naturally curly hair is prone to dryness because of the structure of the hair. The natural oils produced by the scalp of those with curly/kinky hair are not able to travel all the way down the hair shaft because of the twists and turns of the curls. Dry hair is a set -up for breakage and breakage ensures that you will not “see” hair growth! Other problems can also exacerbate this dry state of affairs. Listed below are some common causes and solutions.

Dry Hair


Possible Causes

Shampooing too often
Use of ‘poos with harsh sulfates
Use of products with alcohol which can also be drying
Not drinking enough water
Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase or using a cotton scarf, which rob hair of moisture
Overly porous or low porosity hair
Not using water based hair moisturizers
Not sealing moisture in with an oil or butter
Improper hair pH
Excessive use of heavy products w/out proper cleansing (build-up)
Chemical Damage such as relaxers or other chemical straighteners
Color treated hair (notorious for dryness)
Using too much direct heat (blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron, etc. on a consistent basis)
Too much chlorine (from swimming pools or tap water)
Salt (from ocean water)
General weathering from the elements
Mechanical damage from over manipulation (which leave the cuticle vulnerable)


Increase water in-take
Pre-poo with an oil that can penetrate the hair shaft like coconut oil
Cleanse with moisturizing poos or ones that contain milder surfactants like Coco Betaine, and always follow up with a conditioner that moisturizes well
Use a water based leave-in conditioner after your wash and conditioning routine, and seal it in with a butter or oil while damp or wet
Explore protective styling to help retain moisture
Use deep conditioners weekly. Some may need to apply indirect heat through a shower cap, steamer, hair therapy wrap, etc., while deep conditioning
Evaluate if your water is hard or soft and if it needs to be treated
Protect your hair, when going swimming, with conditioner and a swim cap or use of a product specifically designed for sun/chlorine/salt, such as Ouidad Sun Shield
Determine the pH of the products you use in your hair and adjust the ratios/products accordingly
Always use a heat protectant when styling with heat.
Sleep with a satin pillow case and/or satin scarf
Be patient and gentle when handling your hair
When you’re in windy or sunny conditions, bun or don a hat
The take away is this: Find out WHY your hair is dry. After you establish this, you can determine how best to combat the issue. Remember, the goal is to always keep your hair well-moisturized. Well, as best you can anyway! A well moisturized head of hair is a happy one!

From Curlynikki