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Dealing with dry hair poses a problem for many women. Contrary to the popular belief that water helps hydrate dry hair, it is one of the factors causing the condition, especially through swimming and over-shampooing. Other natural agents such as sun and wind, as well as chemicals, cause dry hair, and also, while some blame it on genetics, sometimes the damage is simply caused by blow dryers and similar devices emitting heat. Hair turns dry when its moisture content is below 10%, because then the hair is no longer able to attract and keep moisture locked in. Natural oils produced by the sebaceous glands at the root of the hair, help keep the hair nourished, but when not enough oil is secreted, the hair becomes dry and dull.

In order to prevent this condition, shampooing is one thing to pay a special attention to. Since oils are vital for keeping the hair healthy looking, women with dry scalp should shampoo their hair every 2 or 3 days, or even less. Mild shampoo with low pH is recommended. The roots and scalp are the areas to focus on, while hair shafts and ends should not berubbed. Conditioning dry hair is absolutely essential, and should be performed every time the hair is cleaned, and it is important to use a towel to eliminate excess moisture before conditioning. Roots and ends are focus areas, while combing the hair before rinsing makes sure the whole scalp is covered. The conditioner should be left to work for 1-2 to minutes in summer, and for at least 3 minutes in winter. Rinsing with tepid to cool water guarantees the best results, as well as conditioners with Humectants. Leaving mayonnaise on the hair for 5 minutes before the rinse is also effective.

Natural drying is the best way to dry the hair. Women are often pressed for time so they resort to blow driers, but blow driers and curling irons should be set to lowest heat possible when styling and drying. Another way to avoid hair damage is to use sponge or plastic rollers and cylinders. Styling products should contain fruit extracts or natural oils (almond and flaxseed are highly recommended) and they should be intended for dry hair. Wind, sun, salt or chlorine water are common causes of dry hair, so wearing a hat or a scarf when exposed to sun and wind, and a rubber cap when swimming greatly reduces this risk. To prevent the damage, some olive oil can be applied to hair before swimming and special swimmer’s shampoo after it.

Splitand dry ends are best prevented with regular trims (not more than 6 weeks should pass between the 2 trims). Diet can be responsible for the looks of the hair, and the intake of omega-3 fatty acids can do wonders in that respect. Fish and flaxseed are especially effective. A mixture containing 6 drops of lavender, bay and sandalwood essential oils, with 6 ounces of warm sesame or soy oil, applied to the hair for 15 minutes during which hair is wrapped in a towel and then rinsed off, greatly improves the condition. Homemade hot oil treatments also work, and best results are achieved when applied 3-4 times a week. One trick is to use 2 tablespoons of warm almond or olive oil, massage the scalp, put a warm moist towel around the head and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing. Alternatively, 1-2 drops of safflower oil rubbed between the palms can be applied to the hair and left to work.

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