Hair Too Dry?

Woman has long blonde extensions.
By Philip Amaral
Find your shampoo sweet spot.
Dry, brittle, frizzy, or unpleasantly fluffy hair? There can be different causes of this sorry state, but a common one that I see in clients (and my former self) is shampooing too often, not conditioning enough, or (usually) both.
I’ll make the bold claim that no-one needs to shampoo every day, and that this practice is very hard on your hair. Depending on how oily your hair gets, and how many products you use in it, you can probably dial your shampooing back to 1-2 times per week.
Over-shampooing can be especially hard on curly hair, which is often drier to begin with (natural oils from the scalp don’t travel down curly hair shafts as easily). If you have drier, curly hair, you MAY not want to use shampoo at all – there are special conditioner-based washes for this hair type (a great one we have at the salon is @devacurl ”No-Poo” conditioning cleanser). A note for heavy shampoo-ers who suddenly cut back – I’ve read that frequent shampooing can cause your scalp to compensate by producing more oil. This means that if you suddenly halt your shampoo routine, your hair is going to be oilier for a month or so. A small price to pay for shinier, healthier, and lower maintenance hair IMO.
For some, shampooing less often is an easy fix for their dry/frizzy/etc. hair problems. Many of us with such hair issues will also benefit from CONDITIONER and I’ll explain below.


So, I talked about cutting back on shampooing if your hair is too dry. Now, I’m NOT saying that you can’t wet it daily, and I encourage gently rubbing your scalp with straight water or doing this with conditioner, in between shampoos. Most of us (read on) will benefit from regular use of conditioner…


When hair is damaged or frizzy-looking, its cuticle (outer layer of the hair) is in an “open”, frayed state. Conditioner helps to smooth and close the cuticle – that looks & feels like your dry hair returning to a smooth, shiny, “healthier” condition.


I recommend using conditioner in most hair situations – if your hair is coloured, long, curly, dry, frizzy, too fluffy, damaged, or if you style your hair with heat (blow drying, straightening, etc.). Colored hair can get especially dry and may need an extra conditioning boost – that’s a good time to come in to the salon for a deep conditioning treatment. Long hair can dry out towards the ends, especially if it is not regularly brushed through. If your hair is in its natural state, and not too long, you may not even need to use conditioner at all.


To summarize: experiment for yourself, but if your hair is too dry, brittle, or frizzy, you’ll probably benefit from less shampoo and more conditioner. The rhythm that seems to work for me is shampooing every 3rd wash (once or twice a week) conditioning/rinsing in between. You’ll find your own rhythm, based on your lifestyle, hair type & style.


(Sources: Personal experience, Byrdie “How to Train your Hair to be Less Greasy, According to Hair Stylists”, Allure “10 commandments of Curly Hair”,  Scienceline “How does hair conditioner work”

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