If your hair is dry, brittle, unmanageable, or feels like straw, these are all signs of a change in the hair’s protective hydrolipidic film which could be due to an internal imbalance or to repeated harsh treatment. Here are our tips for restoring moisture to your hair, to make it smooth and soft once again.
- Understanding dry hair
Under normal circumstances, hair, like skin, is covered in a hydrolipidic film composed of sebum and sweat from the sebaceous and sweat glands. This film moisturises, nourishes and protects. It forms a natural barrier which protects the hair from damaging external factors. It is essential to keeping hair shiny and soft.
But occasionally it can become altered for various reasons:
• Internal factors: sebaceous gland activity can be slowed by a nutritional deficiency, a circulation problem in the scalp, hormonal changes (during menopause, for example), stress, etc.
• External factors: the sebum covering the hair can be stripped away by harsh treatment (harsh shampoos, dyes, perms, hair straighteners, overly vigorous hair brushing, overly hot blow drying, etc.), or by the sun, sea water, or chlorine in pools.
The keratin which makes up the hair shaft (the visible part of a hair) is then exposed, weakened and loses some of its elasticity. The scales which compose the outermost part of the hair become irregular in shape and no longer overlap one another as they should. The hair becomes dry, straw-like and brittle. It tangles easily and becomes unmanageable.
- Caring for dry hair
• Eat a balanced diet: protein, vitamins, trace elements, minerals and essential fatty acids in the right amounts are all necessary to give your hair the daily nourishment it needs. Remember to eat almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts, wholegrain cereals and fatty fish.
• Avoid hair dyes, perms, crimpers and hair straighteners, as these damage hair.
• Once or twice a week, apply hair oil before shampooing, for a deep nourishing treatment. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes.
• Wash your hair with a mild, nourishing shampoo specially formulated for dry hair and, if need be, follow this up with a treatment. Avoid washing your hair too often (even with a mild shampoo), as this will inevitably strip your hair.
• Rinse your hair thoroughly with warm or cool water. Avoid hot water, as it has a drying effect. Then dry your hair gently with a soft towel. Do not rub.
• Let your hair dry naturally as often as possible. If using a hair dryer, place it a good distance away from your hair and opt for a warm setting.
• Untangle your hair gently with a natural bristle brush, without pulling on knots.
• Massage your scalp regularly to stimulate blood circulation: this will help bring essential nutrients to your hair’s roots.
• If you have split ends, have a few centimetres cut off.
• When on holiday, rinse your hair with fresh water after swimming in the sea.
• Several times a year, take a course of food supplements that nourish the hair.