Dry Hair? You Could Be Making These 5 Wash Day Mistakes

black woman with natural hair frowning while she brushes it out


Having stunning, shiny, healthy hair can give you a huge boost of confidence. On the flip side, when your hair seems lifeless and dry, it can really keep you from living your best life. Dry hair is a common problem, but for some people, it seems impossible to fix. However, there are a few important changes you can make to your hair care routine that can make a big difference. Read on to learn why hair that is dry can be a problem and how switching up your wash day routine can help keep your locks looking healthy and feeling great.  

Why Is My Hair So Dry?

When you look in the mirror, do you see hair that you love, or are you faced with dry, frizzy, or brittle hair that makes you feel less than confident? If dry hair is an issue for you, there are a few reasons why this could be happening. Occasionally, it depends on your hair type or your genes. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as the weather and humidity level in the area where you live. And for other people, it may be a signal that something else is going in their body. Their diet may be to blame, or they may have brittle hair as a result of certain medications they're taking.

At its core, dry hair develops when your hair doesn't get enough moisture or can't retain the moisture you give it. When this happens, the outer coating of your hair doesn't have enough oil to protect the inner layers of your hair, resulting in a dull or damaged look. While there are many causes of dry, brittle hair, for a number of people, this problem is caused by poor hair washing habits. Here are a few ways to fix your hair care routine and improve your tresses for good:

1. Washing Too Often

Washing your hair too often can definitely dry out your strands. In reality, you probably have to wash your hair less often than you think. With innovative products like dry shampoo on the market, you can keep your hair looking great while washing less. How often you really have to wash your hair, though, depends on your hair type. People with curly hair can get away with only washing once or twice a week because oil doesn't show up as easily. Someone with straight or fine hair may find that their hair looks or feels oilier, so every other day should suffice. It's rare that someone needs to wash their hair every day.

If you have problems with greasy-looking hair between washes, try to look for a product that helps instead of washing your hair more. If you find that dry shampoo works well to keep your hair looking fresh, use it instead of lathering up in the shower. And when you aren't washing as often, this also means you can stay away from the damaging heat of styling tools. 

2. Neglecting Your Scalp

Dry hair usually starts with a dry scalp. If you notice that you have an itchy, flaky scalp, these might be signs that the skin on your scalp is too dry. When your scalp isn't properly moisturized and taken care of, it can't produce the oils that are needed to keep your hair looking shiny and feeling soft and supple. Massage your hair and scalp with a naturally moisturizing oil like coconut, avocado, eucalyptus, or jojoba oil. In addition, aloe vera gel can naturally soothe itchy skin. 

While we often remember to moisturize our hands, feet, face, and the rest of the skin on our bodies, our scalp gets forgotten. And shampoos often contain ingredients that can dry our scalp out even more. Counteract this by working scalp moisturizer into your daily skincare routine.  

frustrated woman looking at her dry hair's ends

3. Using Harsh Treatments or Heat

You've probably already heard that harsh chemicals and hot air can really damage your strands. But does this mean that you need to put away the products and hair dryer permanently? Not necessarily. If you love that styled look that you get from your hair dryer, opt for a cooler setting instead of blasting away with high heat. It may take longer to dry, but your hair will thank you. And go easy on the curling iron or hair straightener because these can damage your hair with heat as well. Use these tools as sparingly as you can and try not to exceed temperatures of between 350 and 375 degrees, as these temperatures can cause damage faster. 

In addition, some of our favorite hair treatments are loaded up with chemicals that strip hair of their natural moisture. Dyes, bleaching, relaxers, and perms can all make your hair seriously dry. Of course, sometimes it's hard to love your natural hair, and we often get the itch to switch up colors or styles. This is understandable, but make sure to give your hair some major TLC after these treatments.

When washing your hair, only use a small amount of mild, all-natural shampoo, and make sure the cleanser you opt for doesn't contain any damaging or drying ingredients. Also, avoid products that contain sulfates and alcohol, as both of these ingredients are prime culprits for dry hair. And if you're really looking to try something new, you can also look to ditch the bottle, as hydrating shampoo bars are becoming a popular and less harsh wash day option that promotes healthy hair growth. These shampoo bars are often loaded with nourishing and natural ingredients that your hair loves. 

4. Forgetting To Condition

Never forget the conditioner! It can make or break the health of your hair, as conditioner helps the hair cuticle stay flat, locking in moisture and preventing tangles and breakage. Choose a high-quality moisturizing conditioner that's great for your hair type and loaded with natural and hydrating ingredients. Every time you wash your hair, follow up with a conditioner. If your hair is extremely dry or brittle, a leave-in conditioner or a hair mask can help reverse damage and heal the outer layer of your hair. And every few months, treat yourself to a deep conditioning treatment at your salon to get that extra love and nourishment your hair desperately needs. 

5. Not Using Protection

After washing your hair, always use protection! Before you use any heat styling tools, it's important to apply a protective coating to your hair. And also, though you may not have realized it, the sun can damage your hair too. Look for products that filter out UVA and UVB rays, which can act like sunscreen for your hair. After washing and before you go out, make sure you defend your hair from damage. 

What To Do About Dry Hair?

So you're ready to get your wash day routine on track to fix your hair’s dryness for good? Caring for your hair doesn't have to be difficult and you don't have to live with brittle hair! First, think about how often you really need to wash your hair and stick to that schedule. Thin, fine, straight hair tends to show oil more easily. While this doesn't mean that your hair is necessarily dirtier or oilier, your hair type shows more oil, so you may find that you need to wash every other day to keep it looking best. If you have curly hair, stick to washing once or twice a week. But no matter how often you choose to wash, don't forget to grab a mild shampoo and a high-quality conditioner every time. Use only a small amount of shampoo and leave your conditioner in for the time that's recommended on the bottle. 

After washing your hair, let it air dry as often as you can. Staying away from the hair dryer, curling iron, and straightener can make a big difference. But if you absolutely do need to reach for these styling tools, apply a protectant first and use a lower heat setting. Next, if you choose to treat your hair with relaxers, dyes, and perms, don't forget to use a hair mask and get a professional deep condition every now and then. 

Finally, don't neglect your scalp, as the skin on your scalp is where your hair's natural oils are produced. Be sure to moisturize your scalp regularly just as you would any other part of your body. And don't forget to drink plenty of water and take your daily vitamins. If you stay hydrated and take care of your body, your hair will get healthier too. 

In reality, staying away from heat treatments is one of the best things you can do to prevent dry hair problems. If you want to ditch the hair dryer and the straightener, there are other options available to get the same results you crave! RevAir's unique reverse-air technology can dry and straighten your hair faster than traditional tools without causing the damage that high heat does. You can get that fresh look and style the natural way with RevAir.
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