Dry hair is an easy problem to spot – have you ever noticed your locks looking dull, lifeless, or frizzy? There are two major causes of dry hair: a lack of moisture being produced by your body or damage to the outer layer of the hair, also known as the cuticle. The cuticle is made up of shingle-like cells that overlap and protect the inner layers of your hair shaft. When the cuticle is damaged, your hair’s ability to hold moisture is compromised.
Dryness in the scalp will lead to dry hair if the hair is not treated properly. Our scalp, along with most of our skin, naturally produces sebum (oil) that moisturizes and protects our skin and hair. This is what keeps hair healthy and shiny. There are a variety of factors that can cause a dry scalp, although most of them are internal, due to hormonal changes or deficiencies. Hormonal changes can occur with pregnancy, birth control pills, and menopause. Hormonal imbalances can occur with malnutrition and thyroid dysfunctions. Consult your doctor about testing for these problems and options for managing the symptoms.
Damage to the hair cuticle can occur with overuse of heated styling tools or chemical treatments, mechanical damage from aggressive brushing or styling, drying shampoos or other hair products, overexposure to sun and pool chemicals, or extreme temperatures (even cold!). When the shingle-like cells of the cuticle are raised due to damage, it prevents the ability of your hair to retain moisture. Deep conditioning treatments can help repair this type of damage and restore the health and beauty of your hair.