Dull, brittle and easily-tangled hair is a common problem in the winter, when dry indoor heat can exacerbate the harmful effects of the sun, pollutants, frequent coloring and heat styling—all of which can cause excess dryness. The good news is, with proper care and maintenance, dry hair can become more healthy-looking and manageable in no time!
Follow these tips from our experts on how to care for dry hair. Here’s what to do and not to do during your daily routine:
When washing dry hair
With dry hair, limit shampooing to about three times per week. In between washes, use a dry shampoo like Keratin Complex® Volumizing Dry Shampoo Lift Powder to refresh strands while helping retain the hair’s natural oils. You can also rinse your hair without a cleanser and just use a conditioner to nourish and moisturize.
When you do shampoo, choose a rich product formulated for dry hair. (Opt for natural cleansers such as sodium coco-sulfate, which won’t strip oil from your hair.) If dandruff is a problem, use a dandruff shampoo about once a week to keep your shoulders flake-free.
Apply a small amount of shampoo, work up a lather using your fingertips and gently massage it onto your scalp, avoiding any rough friction. Avoid too much cleanser on the ends, which typically show the most symptoms of dryness and damage.
Once you have rinsed out the shampoo, apply a conditioner with a low pH, concentrating on the ends. Let it soak in for 5 – 15 minutes as you complete your shower.
Be sure to use a deep conditioning treatment (such as Keratin Complex Vanilla Bean) at least once a week, as well. This will help tame tangles and relieve dryness—especially on the ends. Leave on for a minimum of five minutes. You can also wrap your hair in a warm towel while the formula penetrates.
When rinsing, use lukewarm or cold water. Cold will help close the cuticle, and will also give your hair extra shine and smoothness.
When drying fine hair
Avoid vigorous rubbing with a towel, as this can cause more breakage along the hair shaft. Instead, blot gently with a towel or paper towel, or roll your hair up in a towel turban to absorb the excess moisture. Allow to air dry.
When brushing brittle hair
Use a boar bristle brush on dry hair only, no more than twice a day. On wet hair, use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle.
When blow-drying and heat-styling dry hair
Avoid these styling methods as much as possible! However, when you must use heat-styling tools, follow these tips:
When blow-drying: Air-dry your hair until slightly damp, then apply heat-protectant or conditioning products (such as Intense Rx) and blow-dry on a low to medium setting, using fingers or your boar brush.
When styling with a flat iron or curling iron: Use the lowest temperature possible to achieve your desired results, and always make sure to apply a thermal protectant, such as Thermo-Shine, before using such appliances.
When styling dry hair
Don’t pile on the styling products, which can weigh the hair down and make it look greasy. Choose light products like KeraWhip® Hydrating Cream Conditioner or Kerabalm 3-in-1 Multi-Benefit Hair Balm (especially on dry ends), applying these very lightly and only where needed.
To add texture to limp, dry hair, try our Sweet Definition sugar spray, which is formulated with nourishing marine ingredients but no salt—the most dehydrating ingredient of all!
When working out or going outside
Wear head protection such as hat when outdoors to prevent more damage and dryness from the sun.
You can also give yourself a mini-hair treatment before a workout session: Run some Infusion Keratin Replenisher or Kerabalm through your locks and twist up in a bun. The heat your body produces while exercising allows the hair to absorb the keratin and conditioning ingredients for shinier, healthier hair.
When going to the salon
For optimal hair health, trim off dry, brittle ends every two to three months, with a professional hairdresser. Note that some color techniques, such as ombre, can cause even worse damage at the ends, so they may need to be trimmed more often.
In addition, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty or water, and to eat a nutritious diet that includes foods with healthy fats and other ingredients that encourage the scalp to produce more natural oils—such as salmon, dark leafy vegetables and nuts.