Dry Hair: Possible Causes and Treatments
Dry hair is frustrating to work with. It lacks moisture and elasticity, making it brittle and dull. For some, it's a constant problem; for others, it comes and goes. What causes dry hair?
There is no one cause for dry hair, of course; the individual variables are too great. But let's take a look at some of the possible causes and treatments for dry hair.
Dry Air, Dry Hair
Have you noticed that your hair is drier at certain times of the year? For many, the climate has a profound effect on the health and appearance of their hair. Cold, dry, winter air that is made even drier with electric heating units can make hair limp and dry. In the summer, there's more moisture in the air in the form of humidity, but there's also more exposure to sun, salt water, and swimming pool chemicals - all of which can dry hair.
Too Much Washing
Unfortunately, daily shampooing, product application, and blow drying can wreck your hair's moisture. Remember that every time you wash your hair, you're stripping away natural oils as well as sweat and dirt. Adding products to your hair such as mousse, gel, or spray makes the cycle even harder to break, because you want to wash out the product every day. Some shampoos are more drying than others, too - harsh detergents found in some shampoos for oily hair can dehydrate your locks quickly!
Because the hair we see on our heads is, essentially, dead, we often don't think about nourishing it with nutrition. But the hair that's now dead came out of a live follicle at some point, which is why forensic scientists and other professionals can look at a strand of hair and determine much about what the person ate, drugs he/she took, and so forth.
Your hair is like a record of what you've put into your body. So while you can't really nourish your existing strands with nutrition, remember that your hair is replacing itself all the time, so eventually your good diet will show.
Certain vitamins, minerals, and healthful fats are necessary for healthy hair. Some of the top ones include vitamins C and E, and the minerals biotin and zinc. Also, deficiencies in healthful fats like avocado, salmon, and olive oil may make hair dry, too.
Medical Conditions and Medications
More serious causes of dry hair may be an underlying medical condition and/or medication. A malfunctioning thyroid or parathyroid, for instance, may result in dry, brittle hair. Usually, dry hair may result when either of these glands is under-producing its respective hormone.