So you’re wrestling with dry hair. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Whether it’s something you’ve dealt with your whole life, a result of a dye or bleach job, or even just because you haven’t been able to get to a hairdresser since MCO happened – dry hair is a common thing, and actually easily remedied!

Firstly, let’s touch on what causes dryness and what you should either be avoiding or tossing in the bin after you read this! Some of the more obvious causes, of course, is excessive colouring, bleaching or chemical straightening and curling (perms). These treatments will almost always strip hair of its natural oils, breaking down the necessary proteins in your hair follicles that keep it healthy, or open the hair cuticle so far that it can’t fix itself (just Google over-bleached hair to see that in action). These treatments are best done in a professional environment, but damage is unavoidable for the most part, so space out your appointments and make sure you go to someone who knows what they’re doing!

What you might not know, though, is that the shampoo and conditioner sitting in your shower could be the cause of your dry hair too. Overwashing is a big no-no, because it not only cleanses hair, but also strips away the natural oils and moisture your hair and scalp need to stay soft and silky. Typical shampoos can contain any one of these ingredients:

  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) – can damage the hair, make it brittle, and increase frizz.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – can fade your color and strip your strands of natural oils.
  • Parabensknown to be harmful, used as a preservative to prevent bacteria from growing in cosmetics and shampoos
  • Sodium Chloride –  is mainly there to make the consistency thicker, can make an already-sensitive scalp dry and itchy, which can eventually cause hair loss.
  • Polyethylene Glycols (PEG) –  derived from petroleum that is often contaminated with byproducts.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) –  reduce surface tension so water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients can blend together. In 1998, The European Commission banned DEA in cosmetics because of potential links to cancer. 
  • Formaldehyde – a preservative, if you’re wondering what to look for, a common one in shampoos is quaternium-15.
  • Alcohol – has a drying effect, and the higher up in the ingredients list they appear, the more alcohols the product contains.
  • Synthetic Fragrances – irritate the skin and scalp, which can lead to hair loss.
  • Synthetic Colors – to make a product look nice, come from petroleum or coal-tar sources, all of which come with harmful health effects. Synthetic colors will normally go by FD&C or D&C combined with a number.
  • Dimethicone – silicone that stops moisture and nutrients from coming in and instead collects dirt and residue. It can clog the pores on the scalp and cause skin irritation.
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine – although it’s derived from coconut oil, it can have negative effects like skin irritation, allergies, rosacea, and eczema.
  • Triclosanwas banned from being used in antibacterial soaps in 2016 but is still allowed in toothpaste, shampoos, and deodorants. It’s a chemical antibacterial agent known to cause hormone disruptions, which can lead to cancer and affect fetal development, among other things.
  • Retinyl Palmitate –  a known skin irritant that can cause peeling, scaling, redness, and itching. 

Yikes! Always check what you’re buying. If you want softer hair, read the ingredients on the back of the bottle. Yes, it’s a few extra minutes of your time, but it’s all worth it in the long run when you have the hair texture you want! Most friendlier brands will boast their benefits or what they don’t include in their product, but do be sure to always double check.

With that being said, what should you be using on your hair? Well, honestly, natural and organic products are the way to go. They won’t always seem like your usual brand, maybe not foaming up or smelling the way you’re used to, but your hair will feed off the natural goodness in these products and grow stronger, healthier and happier overall. We here at Hello Natural Co have a full range of hair care products that were crafted with dry and damaged hair in mind, which is why we have a 2-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo Bar for cleansing hair gently and leaving no big bottles behind. Investing in a friendly brand is always a plus, even if you spend a little more than usual, because healthy hair requires less product and in the long run, you’ll reap far more benefits using them.
Lastly, let’s talk hair oils and DIY hair masks. You can simply use argan oil or coconut oil in your hair, as it’s all natural and very beneficial when tackling dryness. Coconut oil naturally nourishes your scalp, helping to reduce oil buildup and by strengthening your scalp, it also helps to moisturize and nourish dry, brittle hair. Argan oil works similarly, as it’s full of antioxidants and vitamins helping to increase your hair’s elasticity and restoring moisture! Alternatively there are friendly brands that make natural hair oils specifically to help out dry and frizzy hair. Like our Luscious Hair Repairing Serum! It’s made with Organic Argan Oil, Lavender Oil and Rosemary Oil and aids in softening while adding strength to brittle, damaged hair.
As for DIY masks, milk and honey make a great mask to treat damage. Honey contains keratin to help strengthen the hair and prevent breakage caused by weak, brittle hair. It also encourages cell regeneration for a healthier scalp and has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm irritation, so when combined with milk (which is chock-full of proteins, amino acids, vitamin B12, iron, and zinc), the duo can help soften the hair and support its structure.

Because milk has a thin, liquid-y consistency, put one cup of milk along with one tablespoon of honey into a spray bottle and mist it onto the hair. Leave in for 10 to 20 minutes after shampooing (in place of conditioner). Rinse out with warm water for shiny, smooth results!

Then there’s bananas and olive oil. Banana hydrates and moisturizes dull, damaged, dry hair, as it’s rich in vitamins and minerals (such as potassium) that can strengthen the hair and balance the pH of the scalp, and olive oil is rich in healthy fats and vitamin E, which can make the hair look more shiny and sleek. It can also moisturize the hair and heal damage that can cause breakage and split ends.

To make this hair mask, use one ripe banana and one tablespoon of olive oil. Blend or mash the banana until it becomes a lump-free puree. Add the olive oil and continue mixing the two until it becomes a creamy, frothy hair mask. While in the shower, apply the mask throughout the hair and scalp with fingers. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it out.

So there you have it, some tips and tricks to restore dry hair and keep it healthy! With a little hard work, anything is possible and with the proper attention and care, you can transform dull, brittle hair into beautiful, shiny and soft locks that you will love

All the best!

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