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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 ofthe factors causing the condition, especially through swimming andover-shampooing. Other natural agents such as sun and wind, as well aschemicals, cause dry hair, and also, while some blame it on genetics, sometimes the damageis 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 oilsproduced by the sebaceous glands at the root of the hair, help keep the hairnourished, 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. Sinceoils are vital for keeping the hair healthy looking, women with dry scalp shouldshampoo their hair every 2 or 3 days, or even less. Mild shampoo with low pH is recommended. The roots andscalp are the areas to focus on, while hair shafts and ends should not berubbed. Conditioning dry hair is absolutely essential, and should beperformed every time the hair is cleaned, and it is important to use a towel toeliminate excess moisture before conditioning. Roots and ends are focus areas, while combing the hair before rinsing makes sure the whole scalp is covered. Theconditioner should be left to work for 1-2 to minutes in summer, and for atleast 3 minutes in winter. Rinsing with tepid to cool water guarantees the bestresults, as well as conditioners with Humectants. Leaving mayonnaise on thehair for 5 minutes before the rinse is also effective.

Natural drying is the best way to dry the hair. Women areoften pressed for time so they resort to blow driers, but blow driers and curlingirons should be set to lowest heat possible when styling and drying. Anotherway to avoid hair damage is to use sponge or plastic rollers and cylinders. Stylingproducts should contain fruit extracts or natural oils (almond and flaxseed arehighly recommended) and they should be intended for dry hair. Wind, sun, salt or chlorine water are common causes ofdry hair, so wearing a hat or a scarf when exposed to sun and wind, and a rubbercap when swimming greatly reduces this risk. To prevent the damage, some oliveoil can be applied to hair before swimming and special swimmer’s shampooafter it.

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

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