Hair SOS: Why is My Hair So Dry?

Serena Norr | 22 April 2016

Get rid of dry and damaged hair by understanding what causes it. 

We’ve all been there as we ask ourselves “why is my hair so dry?” You see it and you can feel it – those dry and damaged tresses are with you all day, everyday. They’re annoying and embarrassing, which if left untreated, can lead to even more breakage and damage that’s not only unsightly, but also falls in the category of being beyond repair a.k.a time for an emergency haircut. But before you go and chop it all off, it is crucial to understand the causes of dry and damaged hair that actually involves looking into your daily hair habits that you may not be realizing is causing some serious havoc to your locks. While it might not be pretty, understanding what you are doing will help you to treat dry and damaged hair as well as help you to break the cycle. Read on to better understand the causes of your dry hair ends, and learn more about how to treat them.

Common Causes of “Why My Hair is Dry”

1. Lack of moisture.

We all know that hair is dead, however, hair does contain around 12% of water where it needs daily moisture to fight against dryness. This doesn’t mean actually adding water back to your hair; but rather providing moisture that will help it to look and feel smooth, soft and shiny. An easy product that you can use is a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner such as the TRESemmé Moisture Rich Shampoo and the TRESemmé Moisture Rich Conditioner that can work to revitalize your strands as it infuses your hair with moisture that can help make dry and damaged hair soft and manageable.





2. Avoid using too much heat.

Blow-outs, flat irons, curling irons – it’s no wonder your tresses look fried when doing excessive heat styling. While we love the stylized look that these tools can create, these coveted styles usually result in damage and dryness. To help your strands, compromise with your routine by giving yourself off days (weekends are great for this) where you simply air-dry and style your hair naturally. When you do apply heat to your hair, be sure to use a heat protectant like Nexxus New York Salon Care Promend Heat Protecting Mist, which can work to form a protective layer around the cuticle as it guards against heat and friction.

why is my hair so dry sun damage
Protect your locks from the sun to avoid damage.

3. Sun damage.

Heat damage to your hair is not just from tools. By now we all know about the harmful effects of sun’s rays, which also applies to damage to the hair. The heat from the sun can zap your cuticles of moisture. The cuticles serve as a protective layer, however, with extreme heat this layer separates – making it’s ability to hold onto moisture lessen – causing breakage and damage. To help avoid sun damage to hair, we suggest to protect your head with a hat or a scarf. This also helps protect your scalp skin!

4. Chemical treatment overload.

If you are a diehard platinum blonde fan, you most-likely have damaged hair. This also applies to women who get any sort of chemical treatments such as coloring, bleaching, highlighting, perms, chemical straighteners and relaxers. To treat your tresses, use regular hair mask like the Nexxus New York Salon Care Humectress Replenishing Masque that can work to provide your hair with deep moisture and hydration.


5. Try not to over-brush.

That old-wives tale of brushing 100 strokes a day is actually causing havoc to your hair. Your tresses just need a brush through in the morning to get out any knots and to set product throughout your head. Anything else is too much where that tugging and pulling is actually causing your hair to break and may result in split ends. This is especially true if hair is not well conditioned

6. Break free from the ponytail madness.

We love get-up-and-go styles like the next gal, but the constant tugging and pulling from a ponytail can cause damage to your hair, especially if you use tight hair ties and rubber bands. We suggest using a fabric hair tie that’s a lot looser. Take a break every other day, and experiment with your style – you might be surprised how fun it is to wear something other than your beloved ponytail.

There you have it – dry and damaged hair can be resolved by taking small steps everyday to treat and nourish it. Before you know it, you’ll have some seriously nourished and healthy strands.

The Details on What Causes Dry Hair

1. Naturally Dry Hair

There are a few different reasons why you may just have naturally dry hair. First up is if you have curly hair. If you have a head full of curls, any oil your scalp does produce will have a hard time making it down your hair shaft. It’s one of those things that you can’t do a lot to change, but you can use products to hydrate your ends.

Another reason you may have naturally dry hair is if your scalp just doesn’t produce enough oil. The oil (sebum) that is produced from your scalp hydrates both your scalp and your hair. It helps to protect it from the elements and give it a little bit of waterproofing.

2. Damaged Hair

Damaged hair, on the other hand, is usually a factor of human error (sorry!). Hair is surprisingly not all that strong at the end of the day. We like to think that it’s indestructible, but hair is made vulnerable quite easily. You can damage your hair from simple things like over-washing, doing too many chemical treatments, and even your daily heat styling.

If you struggle mostly with damaged ends, you can easily use products to get your smooth, silky hair back. Use a product like the Suave Professionals Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Oil Treatment. It’s an editor favorite product for salvaging dry ends.


3. Over-Processed Hair

Another bummer of a reason that hair can get damaged is due to over-processing. If you are a familiar face at your salon, and regularly like to change your color, or try out processes (like perms) you may have over-processed hair. When your hair is processed too many times, it can take damage just due to the fact that your hair can only handle so much.

4. Too Much Heat Styling

We’re pretty sure you know by know but it always bears repeating that heat styling your hair can be damaging. It’s so important to protect your hair each and every time you heat style. For the ultimate protection, use a heat protectant. All you need to do is mist your hair before you style. Super simple and it may help save your hair.

5. Why is My Hair Dry?

We usually couple together dry and damaged hair together because they are almost always a team. The reason why damaged hair tends to be on the dry side is because it becomes more porous. This just means that damaged hair has holes in its’ armor which lets moisture out much more quickly. One simple way you can replenish the moisture in your hair is by using a hair mask. We like the Catwalk by TIGI Oatmeal and Honey Mask for it’s soft scent and because it brings so much shine.


Common Causes of Dry Hair

why is my hair so dry excessive blowdrying
Excessive blowdrying can cause damage to your hair.

1. You overuse heat styling tools.

We get: the blowout, the bouncy curls, the beachy-like hair waves – they are all part of your look. You religiously create these looks everyday without thinking of the havoc that they’re causing to your tresses. Try cutting down the use of the heat styling tools, let your hair naturally air-dry or use non-heated rollers like perm rods to achieve curly hair. When you just have to add heat to your hair, be sure to spray your hair with a heat protectant before you start. Try out the TRESemmé Platinum Strength Heat Spray that works to guard your hair from breakage, and other annoying issues like frizz and dryness.

2.You don’t treat yourself (to a hair mask).

We are busy people who don’t often have time for anything beyond shampooing and conditioning our hair in the shower. One easy thing you can do is to have a weekly hair spa day at home where you incorporate the use of hair mask into your regimen. Use a deep treatment hair mask that works to instantly repair dry and damaged hair. Formulated with Keratin Repair Actives, this hair mask will work to make your hair stronger and more resistant. And major bonus: your hair will feel super soft post-treatment.  Don’t you deserve it to your hair to give yourself an extra few minutes in the shower?

3. You don’t use the right pillowcase.

Most pillowcases are made of cotton, which can causes friction that can lead to hair damage. Do yourself (and your hair) a favor and treat yourself (yes, once again) by getting a silk or satin pillowcase.

4. You dye your hair on the regular.

Whether it’s an all over hair dye, or hair highlights, dying your hair works by zapping your hair of moisture and its natural oils. If this process is done regularly hair will become more and more damaged. When you do dye your hair, make sure that you use a shampoo and conditioner designed for color-treated hair to both hold onto your color and treat any damaged strands caused from the hair dye process.

5. You’re addicted to your ponytail, tight hairstyles, etc.

It’s so easy to pull up your hair into a ponytail (messy bun, tight braid and so on), but overtime this tugging and pulling is causing your hair to break and even split. While the summer heat makes updos an essential, try out some alternative styles every now and again like loose beach waves or a cute loose braid. Or simply leave your hair down!

6. You don’t get regular trims.

We are also totally guilty of this. Post-haircut we faithfully ask our hairdresser when we should come back to keep up our awesome new cut. Nod and smile when we hear the 6-8 mark and return months later with split and damaged hair. To break this hair damage cycle, keep an alert on your phone when you should return to the salon for a fresh snip.

7. You over brush your hair.

Brushing is good, over brushing your hair is bad. Get it? The act of brushing smooths out your hair while also helping get out any knots and assist with styling. However, if you’re a follower of the 100 brushes a day mantra, you’re actually causing hair damage to your with all of the tugging and pulling of your locks. As basic as it sounds, simply hair brushing daily and be done with it. Also, check out our hair brush guide to ensure that you are using the correct brush for your hair type.

Dry, Damaged Hair No More!

why is my hair so dry bleached hair
Bleached hair is susceptible to dryness and breakage.

1. Snip, Snip

The first step in ensuring you have soft, healthy-looking hair is to get a little trim. Any dead, lanky, split or breaking ends are going to make your hair feel ragged and dull. Snip off as much as you need to get rid of any damaged or fried ends. You may need to lose an inch or two, but it is worth it in the long run to have a clean slate for healthy hair.

2. Less Processed = Less Damaged

To truly combat dry, damaged hair, you’ll have to rein in how much or how often you process your hair. Dyeing your hair isn’t always damaging, but if you choose to bleach your hair, totally change your hair color regularly, or get a permanent treatment such as a rebonding or straightening treatment, these can all can add up! To combat damage, process your hair less often and use a hydrating hair oil to soften your hair.

3. Wash Responsibly

If you are a die-hard daily hair washer, it’s time we had a chat about how often you should wash your hair. Real talk: There is no reason that you need to wash your hair every single day unless you overdid it on the styling products the day before, sweat a gallon, or both. Over-washing can lead to extra damage, as hair swells each time it’s exposed to water and can lose moisture. Over-washing can also strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils both need in order to stay healthy. When you do wash your hair, shampoo and condition it properly.

4. Add in Moisture

For those with dry hair that isn’t damaged, your problem is a bit easier to solve. Remoisturizing hair can help give relief and reverse the visible effects of dryness. Adding moisture back into dry hair also means that you need to be consistent and use the right products. We’re big fans of using hair masks at least once a week to add hydration and shine onto your hair.

5. Heat Protection

Each one of us, with dry, damaged hair or not, needs to use a heat protectant before heat styling! It’s crucial because without first protecting your hair, heat styling can do some serious damage. Hot tools are, well, hot and can singe and burn off locks even in short bursts of time. To prevent this, you need to use a heat protectant (think of it as potholders for your strands).

Need more information about dry hair ends ? Check out the hair oil benefits for damaged hair.