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Six unexpected causes of dry hair

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  • Category Advice Column, beauty, Parenting, Woman

Has your hair become unexplainably dry and brittle? It’s common for all hair types to experience dryness from time to time, but the root cause isn’t always obvious. 

We often blame our dry hair on the elements, and while it’s true that exposure to icy weather, wind or the sun may lead to dryness, there are numerous other (lesser-known!) factors that come into play. 

Here are six somewhat unexpected reasons why your hair may be dry:

Excessive hair washing

While it’s important to maintain good hair hygiene, over-washing your hair could do more damage than good. Shampooing too frequently could strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils, leaving it dry, dull and lacklustre. Try to wash your hair when it is necessary, rather than falling into a habit of washing it every day. Every second or third day should do the trick. If you have curly hair, try to wash it no more than once or twice a week, as curly hair tends to get dry more easily.

If you simply can’t wait two or three days in between washes, we recommend using a gentle sulphate-free shampoo that won’t strip your hair of its natural oils, like Renpure’s Tea Tree & Lemon Sage Refreshing Moisture Shampoo (R149.95).

Want to push it one more day? Dry shampoo is your new best friend. Try COLAB’S number one, the Original Dry Shampoo (R79.95).  

Excessive hair brushing

Yes, there is such a thing as brushing your hair too often. Excessive brushing can rough up the surface of the hair, increase static and leave it distressed. Try to brush your hair as little as possible and use a good quality comb or special detangling brush to get rid of knots as quickly and easily as possible. We recommend the Wet Brush Original Detangler (R149.00).

Too much heat

We’re often told that hot water dries out the skin, but did you know that the same applies to your hair? Exposure to heat may dry out the hair, so it’s best to rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Or better yet – if you can handle it – rinse your hair with cold water to smoothe the surface of each strand, leaving it soft and shiny. 

Another thing to keep an eye on is the heat setting on your styling tools. Always try to use your hairdryer, curler and straightener on the lowest heat setting possible. Most importantly, always use a heat protector spray, which will coat the hair and protect it from drying out. We recommend the OGX® Brazilian Keratin Therapy Flat Iron Spray.

Towel-drying

One of the biggest mistakes we make after washing our hair is to vigorously towel-dry it. This friction can cause major damage to wet strands, and has even been linked to hair loss and breakage. Instead of rubbing, gently pat your hair dry instead. If possible, invest in a microfiber towel as cotton towels are particularly harsh on wet hair.

Your products are wrong for your hair type

Sometimes we select hair care products with good intentions, but for the wrong reasons. A new ingredient might be the latest craze, but if it’s not suited to your hair needs, it can lead to dryness. When selecting shampoo and conditioner for dry hair, read the label carefully. Look for nourishing ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil and avocado oil. Stick to the same brand and product range rather than mixing and matching. This ensures your shampoo, conditioner and mask work together, and that there aren’t competing ingredients wreaking havoc on your hair. 

Try:

Marc Anthony’s new Hydra Lock Shampoo (R149.95) and Conditioner (R149.95) contains jojoba oil and quinoa protein to give dry hair a burst of hydration, while locking in moisture. 

Hydrate and replenish dry hair with Renpure’s Coconut & Vitamin E Shampoo (R149.95) and Conditioner (R149.95). 

Revive and restore your hair with HASK Argan Oil from Morocco Repairing Shampoo (R169.95). Infused with organic argan oil, this shampoo helps to repair breakage and smooth split ends. 

Drench dry damaged strands with OGX’s Coconut Miracle Oil Conditioner (R199.95). This ultra-rich repairing blend with coconut oil, essence of tiare and vanilla bean extract helps to repair, soften and revive strands.

You haven’t tried a leave-in moisturiser, conditioner or oil

If you condition your hair after shampooing, you might skip the third step of applying a leave-in conditioner or hair oil. Whilst not a necessity, applying a leave-in product is a sure way of giving your hair a moisture boost. Hair oils are versatile – they can be applied to damp hair after washing, or to dry hair whenever desired. In addition to adding moisture, they can also be used to smooth flyaways and to set a style. 

We recommend:

Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Dry Styling Oil (R169.95). This fast-absorbing mist hydrates hair while correcting damage, split ends and dullness. 

OGX’s Coconut Miracle Penetrating Oil (R189.95) helps revive your senses and your strands. This rich oil helps to calm frizz and tame flyaways, leaving hair silky soft and shiny.

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