Dry hair – How to treat and prevent it

Last updated: 7/2/2022

Both men and women can have problems with dry and damaged hair. Hair drying out is quite a common situation, but you can get treatment and relief, and it is preventable. Here is some advice on how to treat your hair when it dries out.

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Read by Anne Thestrup Meimbresse

Anne, Varde Pharmacy
Anne has a MSc in Pharmacy from the University of Southern Denmark and has worked as a pharmacist at the Varde pharmacy for several years. Here she advises both costumers and doctors about the correct use of medical products.

Many people worry about dry hair at one time or another in their lives.  It may be caused by anything from the weather or your lifestyle, or be hereditary. Extreme cold, frost and wind, or sun, salt water and chlorine wear down hair.

Dyeing your hair and using a lot of products for styling is not healthy for your hair either. All these factors can give your hair a dull look, so that it feels lifeless, and the hairs break easily.


Why hair dries out

There are many things that can give you dry and damaged hair.

  • If your parents have trouble with dry, dull hair, then it is very likely that you inherit the problem too
  • Hair comes in many different types, and problems with your hair depend on whether it is curly, thin or thick, or dyed. Curly or frizzy hair is vulnerable because of the structure of the hairs
  • Your hair’s well-being depends on what you eat, too. If you avoid food with vitamins, it has a negative effect on your hair
  • When it gets frosty in winter, it dries your hair. In summer, your hair is exposed to UV rays, which can also give dull, lifeless hair
  • Going for a swim in the sea or the swimming baths is great, but soaking your hair in salt water or chlorine dries it out
  • Chemicals in products used for lightening, colouring or perms weaken your hair
  • Sulphates, alcohol, silicone and perfume all contribute to imbalance in your scalp, and thus affect the supply of nutrients to the hair


Give your hair a rest

Once your hair has become dry and damaged, you need to give it lots of moisture and good care products. At the same time you need to leave it in peace for a while, depending on how damaged it is. During the resting period, it is important to avoid chemical treatments on your hair, such as dyeing. Blow drying and smoothening are not good for damaged hair, either, because both of them wear the hair down. Avoid combing it too often, as well.

When your hair has regained its moisture, if you start a routine with good habits for washing and caring for your hair, you can come a long way towards avoiding dry hair. There are several other things you can bear in mind to avoid your hair drying out again.

Avoid clips and elastic bands in your hair. They wear hair down, and the wear increases if you sleep with them in your hair.

If your dream is to have your hair lightened, it may be tempting to try bleaching it yourself. However, it is a good idea to let a professional hairdresser do it. A good hairdresser is trained to assess precisely what your hair type can withstand.

When you style your hair with a flat iron, a blow drier or a curling iron, they are hard on the hair. You can minimise the wear on your hair by using tools that maintain a constant temperature at 185 degrees. If the temperature is lower, the styling will not last. If the temperature is above 215 degrees, your hair will be singed off. A common disadvantage with cheaper smoothening and curling irons is that the intervals when the heating element turns on and off are too long. A good smoothening or curling iron maintains a constant temperature at 185 degrees, which ensures that your hair is optimally styled without wear.


Use a conditioner or hair treatment

Even if you use a good smoothening iron, curling iron or hairdryer, you can take even better care of your hair if you use a product that protects it from heat when you style your hair. Heat-protective products often make the styling last better, so besides protection, your style will last longer.

When you wash long hair, use a good conditioner or hair treatment. These make the hair easier to brush out, and you should use a good brush for this after washing your hair. It is wise to have the ends trimmed regularly, too, and then your hair will not tangle so much.

If you have dry hair, it is quite enough to use shampoo twice a week, and otherwise simply rinse your hair through without using any products.

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Advice for preventing dry hair

  • Cut down on hair products and do not use hot styling tools so often.
  • Eat food with the right fatty acids, which you can get from salmon, almonds and avocados, among other things.
  • Take dietary supplements – including vitamin B and Omega 3 if you do not get enough in your food.
  • The high vitamin A content in carrots keeps your scalp healthy and adds oil to the hair follicles.
  • Use a nourishing hair treatment daily or a couple of times a week.

Oils and proteins

If you have trouble with dry hair, a hair treatment may help. This is a hair care product that repairs and moisturises dry and/or damaged hair. A hair treatment contains nourishing ingredients such as proteins and oils, which are there to restore and moisturise your hair.

The treatment works by penetrating right into the heart of the hair, where it moisturises and repairs deep down. Hair has sulphide bridges, which are important to keep it healthy and strong. If the sulphide bridges are damaged, the hair will look dry and damaged. A hair treatment repairs the sulphide bridges, so that the hair becomes soft, healthy and resistant again.

Spread the hair treatment through damp hair, and allow it to work for at least two minutes – preferably longer. It is best after you have used shampoo, which opens the hair, so that the hair treatment can penetrate into the individual hairs. A conditioner closes and seals the hairs again, so a hair treatment works best between shampoo and conditioner. You can also leave the hair treatment overnight, if your hair needs intensive care. Spread the treatment through the hair, and cover it with a plastic bag to keep the heat in, so that the strands of hair open and really allow the product to penetrate into the hair.

A great many hair products are made to soften the hair and give it a sheen, curl it or protect the hair during styling with curling irons, flat irons or blow driers, but they are not always made to care for the hair. That means it is always a good idea to find hair products with ingredients that care for the hair, or to supplement those you have with hair care products.

Moisture for the hair

If you have dry hair, try using Australian Bodycare Hair Clean Shampoo. It is mild, but cleans hair effectively without damaging the hair or scalp. Besides Tea Tree Oil, the shampoo contains water-soluble coconut oil, which adds moisture to your hair, leaving it shiny, with a lovely soft feel. When you use the shampoo, it strengthens your hair too, so it can withstand more wear and tear.

Australian Bodycare Hair Care balsam heals damaged hair and protects against further damage from wear. The product contains Panthenol, which helps to restore the structure of the strands of hair and strengthen them, while it also restores the moisture balance. Oils extracted from Shea Butter add sheen and leave your hair and scalp soft and well-groomed. The conditioner can be used daily after washing your hair, and it will not make your hair limp and flat.

A shampoo and conditioner are a good starting point for a care routine that benefits your hair and scalp, so that you have strong hair and a healthy scalp. On days when your scalp needs a little extra care, you can supplement with a Scalp Serum treatment, which is the third product in the hair-care series.

The main ingredient in Scalp Cure is Tea Tree Oil, and it is the antibacterial effect of Tea Tree Oil which is so important. It prevents uninhibited bacterial growth on the scalp. At the same time, the treatment has soothing ingredients, which relieve the feeling of dryness and irritation on the scalp, while Macadamia Nut Oil boosts moisture and strengthens the hair roots.

See the video: How to use the products

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