"I've always struggled with dry hair"


Why is it that all of a sudden our hair can become dry, more brittle or less shiny? For some, it may not be a sudden change but rather a constant struggle with dry or breaking hair.

An increase in dryness can be particularly problematic if we have highlights or colouring. The struggle only gets harder with age because our hair loses moisture and its texture changes as we grow older and wiser. Dealing with dryness is importance, as low hair moisture weakens our hair strands and increases the likelihood of breakage. In this blog, we are tackling all things dry hair and providing some quick and easy tips to manage it.


Those of us with straight hair often face dryness due to low hair porosity. Porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. If the hair cuticles are tightly packed with few gaps, the hair has low porosity. This means it is difficult for moisture to seep in and penetrate each hair strand (West, 2023). An easy way to tell if your hair is low-porosity is if takes a long time to get your hair wet, and then a while to dry.

Wavy hair faces battles due to changes in air moisture. Reduced moisture in cold air makes wavy hair fall flat, while hot summer days or hot showers frizz it right back up - the worst of both worlds! (Stanborough, 2019)

Medical researchers from the Nigerian Journal of Dermatology (2021) explain that women with curly, kinky and coily hair types have a curved follicle structure which makes it harder for the natural oils and moisture from the scalp to move along and down each hair strand. When hormones change or if chemical hair treatments are used, the hair’s protective layer also becomes weaker which means moisture escapes more easily and increases breakage.

Speaking about hormones, a big hormonal shift we experience is, of course, menopause. Menopause results in a decline in our Oestrogen levels. Oestrogen plays an important role in maintaining the moisture balance of our hair and skin. With reduced Oestrogen, the oil-producing glands in our scalp produce less oil, causing increased dryness and changes in hair texture.

Lastly, those of us with beautiful thick locks, have our own battle with moisture retention. As thick hair contains more hair strands and thus has higher density, the natural oils our scalp produces have a larger surface area to cover. As a result, oils can be more thinly spread across our hair, making moisture retention more challenging.

Considering we can’t avoid growing older and wiser or changing our genetic hair type, here are a few light adaptations you can make to your routine to reduce dryness and breakage.


Beyond (of course!) wearing a silk hair wrap to lock in the moisture overnight, remember that your hair and skin health are intimately intertwined.

First, don’t leave the house with wet hair. When hair is wet, the bonds are weaker making it easier for our hair to break. We all know this, but for us busy women - it’s sometimes tempting to let that slip!

Because your hair is weaker when wet, it’s best to avoid tying up your hair after the shower, even inside the house, and whatever your hair type. To get your hair out of your face, maybe use a bandanna or hair wrap.

When it comes to using a hairdryer, the curlier your hair is, the less beneficial this is, and for kinky and coily hair, it’s usually not recommended. This is a dilemma in winter: for curly hair, consider alternating between diffusing your hair and natural drying. For coily hair, schedule your wash day carefully, or wrap your hair while it dries. For kinky, coily and curly hair, deep conditioning or oil treatments can help infuse some extra moisture. Consider doing this at least once a month, depending on your specific hair. (Nigerian Journal of Dermatology, 2021)

However, if your hair is straight you don’t have to worry about all of that! It’s usually preferable to use a hairdryer than letting your hair dry naturally. In general use a microfibre towel or a cotton towel with a fine flat weave. Remember a hairdryer is a heat tool, which increases our hair’s tendency to frizz, so a heat protector spray is important (think sunscreen for your hair). If your hairdryer has multiple settings, it's also a good idea to avoid the hottest one. (Vogue, 2019)

Some final simple tips (and sorry to sound like your mum): stay hydrated, moisturise your skin, take your vitamins and avoid over-shampooing. Shampoo in particular can break down and strip our hair’s natural oils, and these oils give our hair its moisture and shine. Reducing the use of shampoo is good for our hair, reduces our get-ready time and is great for the environment!

Hope this helps and if you have a question or any tips you’d like to share, please comment below.






Nigerian Journal of Dermatology, 2021:  Healthy Hair Care Practices; Caring For The African Type Hair https://www.nigjdermatology.com/index.php/NJD/article/view/180
Vogue, 2019: Why winter is wreaking havoc on your hair—and how to solve it https://www.vogue.com.au/hair-insider/why-winter-is-wreaking-havoc-on-your-hairand-how-to-solve-it/news-story/8e7e8b88c4bc92e4e66de3a651d67464
Stanborough, Rebecca. 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/types-of-hair
West, Mary. 2023. Low porosity hair: Signs and how to care for it: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/low-porosity-hair

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published