One of the complaints I hear all the time is “my hair is so dry!” A few days ago, while in CVS two young ladies walked up to me and said, “what do you put in your hair? It looks so healthy and soft. Mine is so dry”. Right there in the hair care aisle, we chatted about natural hair & dryness.
Today I’m sharing some of the things we talked about. Here are 5 reasons why your natural hair may be dry.
1) Lack of Deep Conditioning
Deep conditioning is a step that I never skip in my hair routine. I can safely say that my hair’s ability to retain moisture partly comes from deep conditioning. When you deep condition, you replenish your hair’s moisture and you improve its elasticity and overall health.
The frequency and type of deep conditioner you use is ultimately up to you. I try to deep condition at least every 10 days or whenever I wash my hair. If deep conditioning is not part of your regimen and you’re having issues with dryness, you should add this step immediately.
2) Product build up
So you’re deep conditioning regularly but you still experience dryness. What gives!?
Well, it is highly possible that you may have product build up on your hair and scalp. As naturals, we often use products rich in oils and butters in an effort keep our hair moisturized. These very products can build up on your hair, and over time affect its ability to take in moisture. What can you do about it? You will need to clarify/detox your hair. I detox my hair about every 6 weeks or so using either Bentonite Clay, Rhassoul Clay or a Bobeam Shampoo Bar. Clarifying basically strips your hair of any and all product and gives you a clean slate to work with.
3) You need a trim
We all know that the ends are the oldest part of our hair and consequently the driest. If your ends are dry, it could mean that you aren’t moisturizing enough (or properly), but it could also mean that it’s time for a trim. I can always tell when I need a trim, my hair doesn’t retain moisture as well, my styles don’t look as great and my hair just generally isn’t at its best.
Please do not hold on to old, dry ends for the sake of length. Please believe me when I tell that a proper trim will breathe new life into your hair. Not only will your hair retain moisture better, your hair will look better.
Since my hair cut at the beginning of the year, I have committed to getting scheduled trims every 3 months, partly because I like to keep my hair shaped. The frequency of your trim depends on the state of your ends, but if you’re struggling with dry hair and you haven’t had a trim in a minute, this may be the solution to your problems.
4) Improper/Lack of Moisturizing
This probably should have been at the top of the list because it is one of the biggest reasons many naturals struggle with dry hair.
Depending on your hair’s porosity, some of us will need to moisturize more often than others. If your hair is colored, you will also need to moisturize more often.
No matter how often you moisturize, if you’re not doing it properly you will still have dry hair. There are a various layering methods that are used, the most popular of which are the LOC (created by BlackOnyx77) method or the LCO method. I’ve even heard of the LOCS method.
Despite the method you choose, always remember the basics. Water based products (the ones providing the moisture) should always be followed by oil/butter based products which seal in or prevent the moisture from escaping quickly. Remember to pay extra attention to your ends.
5) Weather/Environmental Factors
Here in Dallas, we experience some extremely hot temperatures during the summer months. Even if it’s officially fall, we are still experiencing warm weather (I’m not mad about that). I have personally experienced my hair being “fried” because of the heat. Similarly, as the winter weather approaches, the colder temperatures can cause your hair to be extremely dry.
Moisturizing your hair properly, deep conditioning as well as tucking/protecting your ends can make a huge difference in how dry your hair gets. In the fall/winter, protective styling is particularly popular among naturals because it’s a great way keeps your hair tucked away.
BONUS: Another environmental factor that can cause dryness is hard water. If you have hard water installing a shower filter is a quick, easy, effective fix.