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How to fix dry hair

Dry hair is a problem that affects many people. Hair that is dry feels rough and is a lot more prone to other problems like frizz, split ends, and breakages. This is because hair that isn't properly hydrated becomes brittle and is more susceptible to damage.

If your hair is like this, you don't have to suffer through it. You can fix dry hair and keep your hair looking and feeling healthy.

What causes dry hair?

Dry hair can occur naturally, but this is less common. In most cases, chronic dryness is due to previous use of dyes, bleaching, perms and relaxers, or even heated styling tools like straighteners and curling rods. The dryness is a result of the way these treatments affect your hair's cuticle layer.

The cuticle layer forms a protective scale-like covering that can be opened or closed. This protects the inner parts of the hair shaft from the environment. When you dye your hair or apply heat to it, these cuticles can be opened up. If they haven't sealed again afterwards, dryness results.

In the worst case scenario, hair that is significantly damaged can even be missing part of most of its cuticles. Hair like this is even more prone to dryness than any other hair type. In order to fix dry hair, either the cuticles need to be corrected, or the dryness itself needs to be symptomatically treated.


Sealing your hair

If your hair isn't overly damaged, your problems with dryness are more likely to be the result of open cuticles or a natural lack of oil. The first step to fixing dry hair is to seal the hair so that it can't continue to lose moisture.

This can be achieved by using conditioner every time you wash your hair and switching to a mild shampoo. Whilst shampoo opens your hair cuticles in order to wash your hair, conditioner seals them back up.

If your hair is stubborn or suffers from pH problems which are affecting the cuticles, it is beneficial to use a more acidic conditioner. This includes products like after-bleach rinses and sealing conditioners. These products will correct the pH of your hair and lock moisture in.

Whenever you use heated styling tools, you should follow up by allowing your hair to cool down afterwards and then applying a smoothing serum. Blow dry your hair in a direction that is from root to tip only. This helps to smooth the hair and seal it. When your hair is completely dry, switch to cold air to further lock in the style and condition.

Treating dry hair

If sealing your hair isn't enough to deal with your dryness, your dry hair is more likely the result of damaged cuticles or a lack of natural oil.

You can easily tell whether you don't have much natural oil by how often you need to wash your hair. If you can go three days or more without washing your hair and it doesn't feel or look oily, this is the cause of your dryness. If you do produce enough oil however, the problem is damaged cuticles.

The way you treat both conditions is very similar so you can address them both at the same time. The first step is choose a good leave-in conditioner and use this on your hair after washing. Applied to towel-dried hair, leave-in conditioners are an easy way to boost moisture levels and fix dry hair.

Intensive treatment

For many people, leave-in conditioner will be enough to treat their dryness and correct it. If you have very dry hair, it may be necessary to take this a little further, in which case you should switch your regular conditioner to a deep conditioning treatment like Redken Butter Treat.

Apply this in place of your regular conditioner and leave it for at least 5 minutes before rinsing it out. After towel-drying your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner, dry, and style as usual.

Dry hair that is given this intensive treatment is less prone to frizz and damage. If you plan to use any heated styling tools like a straightener, you should also apply a hair serum to your hair before and after use of heat.

Not only will a hair serum protect your hair from the heat, but it will also lock in moisture and seal your hair. If your cuticles are damaged, this is the best way to seal your hair as it acts like a barrier cream and locks in all the hydration from your conditioners. Hair treated with these serums is remarkably smooth, soft, and shiny afterwards.

Hair repair

The treatments above will give life back to your dry hair and can be started immediately, but for long term correction, it is important to repair any damage your hair has suffered. This is achieved by using protein treatments at least once a week until damage begins to be resolved.

Hair that contains structural damage can't hold onto moisture. Repairing this damage boosts your hair's ability to retain moisture, even when the cuticles are partially damaged. A product like Redken Extreme Cat Treatment can repair this damage and dramatically strengthen your hair.

    Do you have problems with dryness and need help to fix dry hair? Leave a comment for further advice geared towards your own individual hair...

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