Why is My Hair So Dry? 10 Common Causes You Can Easily Avoid

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Why is my hair so dry

Studies have shown that combating dry hair is fairly easy but unfortunately so many people still struggle with this.

And so, the nagging question in most people’s head is: Why is my hair so dry?

From this article you will learn that there are several causes of dry hair (we shall explore these in greater detail shortly) but in a nutshell, your hair is dry because of either;

  • Not moisturizing properly
  • Using the wrong products
  • Protein overload
  • Failing to deep condition
  • Chemical treatments
  • Excessive use of heat
  • Towel Drying
  • The weather
  • Hard water
  • Not protecting your hair when sleeping

Dry hair will usually be characterized by visible split ends, low volume, and dull brittle-looking hair.

Now, let’s take a detailed look into what actually causes dry hair and how to prevent it.

Why is My Hair So Dry?

1. Your are not moisturizing properly

You are either not moisturizing well or using the wrong techniques.

Moisturizing Technique

If your hair is prone to getting dry, then you may need to go an extra mile to ensuring it gets and retains the moisture it needs.

There are several hydrating techniques you can adopt.

The most popular technique is the LOC method. LOC is an abbreviation for Liquid, Oil and Cream.  

The effectiveness of any moisturizing technique depends on your hair porosity.

People with high porosity hair do well with the LOC method since the hair easily absorbs product but also unfortunately easily loses moisture.

The LOC method can also work for low porosity hair though with modifications. This looks like opting for lighter crèmes and hair oils that are easily absorbed by hair to reduce the chances of product build-up.

Frequency of moisturizing

How often you moisturize the hair also plays a key role in determining how hydrated your hair will be.

The LOC method for instance is recommended once or twice a week owing to the increased amount of hydration it provides and deep conditioning is recommended 2-4 times a month for severely dry hair.

People with low porosity hair might require longer frequencies in between hydration to prevent build-up.

2. Using the wrong products

Why is my hair so dry

It’s very important to understand your hair in order to use the right products.

People with low porosity hair find that their hair has a hard time absorbing products therefore should go for light products.  

Heavy products are likely to sit on the hair and cause build-up which prevents moisture from getting to the scalp. This eventually contributes to dry hair.

Harsh stripping products such as shampoos with Sulphates and Alcohols are likely to exacerbate dryness. To prevent dryness, your hair requires cleansing products that are gentle and moisturizing.

Some styling products such as hair gels are also known to make hair dry, therefore, use them sparingly and ensure all products are washed off to reduce dryness.

3. Protein overload

Hair thrives on an optimal protein-water balance that allows for moisturized hair that is resistant to breakage.

However, an overload of protein breaks this balance and as a result, the hair`s ability to absorb moisture is diminished. This ultimately leads to dry and brittle hair.

Additionally, protein overload can likely cause buildup on hair and scalp. This also limits the absorption of moisture in the hair causing dryness.

Some signs of protein overload in hair include split ends and dull lifeless hair that is shed easily.

Pro tip: stay away from protein treatments for a while if you experience this and consider a clarifying shampoo to break away protein elements from hair strands.

4. Failing to deep condition

All types of hair benefit from deep conditioning. This is because hair is prone to some form of damage and drying.

Deep conditioning, therefore, works to return the moisture, softness, and shine back to hair. It also acts to protect hair from heat styling and chemical treatments.

Experts recommend deep conditioning 2 to 4 times a month is you hair is extremely dry.

5. Chemical treatments

Causes of dry hair

Chemical treatments are great when you want to switch things up with your hair, whether you are looking to get a new color or changing your curl pattern.

However, these treatments may cause dryness in hair.

Dyeing the hair for instance involve breaking down the protective barrier in hair.  This makes it difficult for hair to absorb moisture. As a result, hair ends up looking dry and brittle.

One of the ways to return moisture into hair is to consider deep conditioning and hot oil treatments that are specifically made for processed hair.

6. Excessive use of heat

Excessive use of heat causes moisture loss leading to dry hair.

One way to reduce heat damage caused by heat styling is to use heat protecting products before styling.

Most importantly, limit the frequency of heat styling as well as look at alternatives to heat styling.

Related Article: Is it really bad to blow dry hair?

7. Towel Drying

Most people will usually use the same type of towel for their body to dry their hair. However, if that kind of towel is abrasive, it might end up causing harm to hair.

As a result, hair becomes damaged making it less likely to absorb moisture.

To avoid this, hair experts recommend switching to a softer towel or better yet using an old cotton shirt to dry your hair.

8. The weather

You may have noticed that your hair becomes dryer during cold weather.

This happens because there is lack of moisture in the air. Windy weather also is not so great as it causes hair to lose moisture.

Aim for a protective style in such a time.

9. Salty water & chlorine

There is nothing as refreshing as a nice swim on a hot day.

However, prolonged swimming in salty and chlorinated waters without a protection may result in moisture loss leading to dry hair.

Chlorine being a chemical, is a culprit for causing damage to the hair cuticle which acts as the protective barrier to hair. This ultimately leads to hair that has difficulty absorbing moisture further causing dryness.

10. Not protecting your hair when sleeping

Using a protective cover for hair achieves more than minimizing bad hair the following day. 

A sleeping cap or bonnet acts as a protective barrier against moisture loss and from friction between your hair and surfaces as you sleep.

Hair experts recommend silk or satin covers as these are likely to protect the hair from losing moisture.


So far, we’ve seen that your hair is dry because of:

  1. Not moisturizing well
  2. Using the wrong products
  3. Protein overload
  4. Failing to deep condition
  5. Chemical treatments
  6. Excessive use of heat
  7. Towel drying
  8. The weather
  9. Hard water
  10. Not protecting your hair when sleeping

Did we miss any causes? Let us know in the comments.

BTW, did you know hair porosity plays a key role in hair growth? Take this simple hair porosity test to determine if your hair is HIGH, LOW or NORMAL porosity.

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