Dry Hair – Causes

When a person hair is dry, the hair looks lifeless and brittle. For some persons even after washing their hair and styling it, the hair feels dry and looks like it has no sheen. Naturally, there are some hair types that are more prone to dryness than others e.g. very tightly curly hair because the hair’s natural oil does not reach the ends of the hair shaft adequately. In cases like these, natural and relaxed hair women have to take extra care with adding back moisture to the hair. However, there are times when the hair is extra dry and feels thirsty like it needs something, all hair types can go through this dilemma at one time or the other.

There are several reasons why a person’s hair can be dry and these factors can be categorized as external or internal. Some common external factors are:

ü      Using harsh shampoo

ü      Shampooing too often

ü      Infrequent use of conditioners

ü      Synthetic hair dyes

ü      Some harsh relaxers

ü      Exposure to harsh chemicals such as isopropyl alcohol

ü      Chlorine in swimming pools

ü      Washing with hot  water

ü      Overuse of the blow dryer or curling iron

ü      Too much exposure to the elements e.g. sun and wind

ü      High mineral content in local water supplies

ü      Change of climate

It is very easy to adjust the external factors that cause hair dryness. You can consciously cut back on the number of times that you use the hair dryer or wear a cap in the swimming pool or cover your head with a hat if you know that the day is going to be sunny and you will be standing in the sun for a prolonged period.

Internal factors, though, are another ball game. Some internal factors include:

  • Diet
  • Cancer treatment
  • Certain medications
  • Prolonged illness
  • Prolonged dehydration

These are a teensy bit more complicated to treat and may require doctor’s advice. Diet is relatively easy to adjust and taking supplements where there is a lack of nutrients may be a quick fix to the hair dryness problem.

Hair dryness for the most part, is controllable and should be nipped in the bud  immediately to reduce hair breakage and shedding.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Oils are not moisturizers, they seal in or seal out moisture. So using a hair oil for moisture to rectify dry hair may be counterproductive.


  • Mandy said:

    I have braids at the moment and I have dry and flaky scalp what should I do?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Mandy,
      Your scalp needs to be cleansed/washed and moisturized every other day as needed. This is a common problem with braids because the scalp is hard to reach, you will have to pay close attention to the scalp next time you wash.

  • Bell Fequiere said:

    I want to first congratulate you on your various success. I have every single one of your books and let me say you are a great writer. I have a question, I recently started going to your blackhair101 website and it is extremely informative, do you have a book with all the various articles you have on that website.

  • Shamiso said:

    Hi Brenda

    I reacted to V05 shampoo & conditioner last year. I cut all my Afro thinking this will solve my problem however my hair has never recovered. Now l have my mini afro again it’s very dry and my scalp is so bad, it’s very dry and it very very itchy. l have scales that are very flaky it’s so embarrassing. I feel like l have tried everything l have been to the Gp few times but seems like they just trying shampoos on me that are not helping. My hair is also dry no matter how many times l oil it.

    I have tried every product l can think of with no success. Please help me

  • chidinma Obinnakwelu said:

    Hello, please help me out i would like to have super soft natural hair but am lost, i deep condition every time i was but i dont wash every week, i do the water spray, and also leave in conditioner but still my hair is super dey, i naturally have super dry hair, the only time its kind of soft is when its wet once its dry it feels so harsh to feel please help.

Add your comment

You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.