We talked a few weeks ago about how to handle one of the oldest and most common hair complaints in the book: greasiness. This time, with the help of Glasshouse stylist Mia, we’re approaching the other side of the spectrum in order to give you the rundown on dry hair, its causes, and most importantly, the ways in which you can combat it.
“Hair, especially long hair, is old by nature. Sometimes it’s about two or three years old, and like any material, you have to take care of it,” Mia says. It’s true that extreme dryness tends to be at its worst at the ends of the hair, because this hair is furthest from the scalp, therefore it misses out on the nourishment from natural oils that the scalp releases.
But dryness isn’t necessarily only the reserve of the longer haired amongst us. There are lots of environmental factors which can dry hair out regardless of length, and these become especially prevalent during the winter months. “When the weather gets colder, central heating and excessively hot showers can be bad for the hair and contribute to it feeling dry and lifeless,” notes Mia. “Also be aware that winter clothes like coats and scarves can rub on the hair and dry it out if they’re pulled too tight, so make sure to give your hair room to breathe!”
However, the main causes of hair dryness whatever the weather are lightening and heat styling. Hairdryers, straightening irons and curling tongs all cause major hair dryness by removing natural moisture from the hair. If you really must use heat to style, Mia suggests a protecting spray like Organic Colour Systems’ Thermal 2 Twenty: “It seems obvious, but as someone who blow dries hair every single day, it makes a huge difference!”
Dry hair, however, definitely isn’t a death sentence: there are a number of ways to nurse hair back to health, and to at least reduce the appearance and feel of dryness. First of all, Mia recommends considering a leave-in conditioner. “Leave-in conditioner is really underrated. It’s so simple to use and it’ll really improve the feel of your hair. Aqua Boost Leave-In Conditioner is especially good, as it’s cream-based so won’t weigh the hair down, but also nourishes whilst moisturising.” For especially dry hair, she likes a mixture of leave-in conditioner and Argan Oil Gloss to give “some extra moisture oomph.”
For a longer term hair dryness remedy, try regularly using a nourishing mask: Mia suggests Power Build Treatment (especially helpful for those with dry, lightened hair, as this adds much needed strengthening protein, which the lightening process removes, as well as moisture to the hair). For those in need of something even more moisturising, Sans [ceuticals] Nourishing Hair Hydratant is a conditioner which will get even the driest of hair feeling silky and soft after washing.
So, if you’re afflicted by dry hair, it needn’t be the end of the world: follow Mia’s advice and you’ll be swishing your smooth locks around again in no time.
Words: Lauren O’Neill
Cover image: Mirja Pitkaart