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Why Is My Hair So Dry?

Garnier’s ultimate guide to hydrating hair is all you’ll need to pack some moisture back into your strands. Explore our top tips and products for moisturised hair. 

Our hair is made up of two major parts: the root and the hair shaft. The shaft is the part of our hair we can see; the long strand that comes out from the scalp. The outer shell of the shaft is called the cuticle.

When hair is in good condition, the cuticle is highly resistant to wear and tear and also acts as a shield against external aggressions. 

During the average hair growth cycle of 3 to 6 years, our hair is exposed to many environmental stresses such the sun and humidity. However, it’s not just the environment that impacts our hair – we also do a lot of work to maintain it, such as brushing, washing, drying and even using repeated chemical treatments.

So what is happening to our hair? All these things are actually changing the appearance of the hair fibre.

‘Normal’ or ‘healthy’ hair is usually soft, shiny, silky, strong and full of life. However, every day we subject our hair to these routines that can damage our locks, making them dry, dehydrated and even prone to breaking. Everyday styling can harm our hair. Think about it: how many times a day do you brush, wash, pull and comb your hair? And what about using a hair dryer, straightener or even just tight elastics? No wonder our hair ends up damaged and weakened. Dyeing, bleaching and permanent straightening all aim to change the colour or state of our hair. However, these treatments also contain chemical components that can alter the hair fibre in the long run. Add this to the daily stresses of life and our hair is literally at breaking point! Beware of brittle hair… Brittle hair is another sign that your hair is dry and dehydrated. While you might only see it as a strand of hair breaking off, it’s actually much more serious. The hair cuticle is a major part of the fibre’s strength. Therefore, the more the cuticle is damaged or altered, the more hair becomes fragile and prone to breaking.



Best and worst ingredients for dry hair

Few hair moisturisers actually work on your locks. Depending on whether your hair maintenance levels are amateur or pro, when it comes to moisturising you should make sure to do it well. Look out for these key ingredients in your products that are sure to provide long lasting effects for your hair. From the benefits of aloe vera to the moisture holding effects of shea butter, we’ll tell you what you should and shouldn’t use on your hair.

Natural oils

The general rule of thumb when it comes to looking for natural oils in your products is to go for those that you can easily pronounce. Examples include coconut oil (rich in fatty acids), almond oil (to repair and nourish) and jojoba.

All synthetic and mineral oils, these do nothing for your hair but block its natural moisture.


Our hair is already 91% protein, but this is damaged on a daily basis by outside effects, such as too much sun exposure. To keep your hair's protein topped up, find a product that contains ingredients such as keratin, wheat protein or panthenol. These help your hair's overall porosity. Remember, it's recommended that protein-packed conditioners are only used once per month.

Exposing your hair to chlorine without suitable protection.

Shea butter and mango butter

Shea butter and mango butter help protect against moisture loss, keeping any dryness at bay. Even if you don't have hair that is prone to dry spells, a butter will still mix well with other hair products to help prevent hair damage.

Petroleum jelly. This clogs pores and leads to unwanted build-up such as dandruff.

Aloe Vera and Coconut Milk for hair care

Use Coconut Milk and Aloe Vera for dry, dehydrated hair in need of natural nourishment. Both are naturally moisturising and can be found in many hair products. Their natural fatty acids, vitamins and minerals make it an excellent product for detangling hair and combatting an itchy flaky scalp. Try our Garnier Ultimate Blends Moisturising Aloe Vera Hair Food Range for Normal to Dry Hair, blended with Aloe Vera & Coconut to hydrate hair without weighing it down.

Products that contain alcohol formulas that dry out hair.


Of course, water is one of the main things our hair needs to retain moisture and a product containing water is even better. When looking at the label on a product you may be considering, check to see if water is in the first four ingredients. If so, it should be a product that will help to condition properly.

Washing your hair in water that is too hot doesn't let the hair's cuticle reseal once it has taken in moisture. Once conditioned, rinse your hair in lukewarm water to help close the cuticle.


Treatments and remedies for dry hair


Coconut oil for dry hair

For another natural way to take care of your damaged locks, try a coconut oil treatment for dry hair or check out our tips to learn about maintaining dry hair. Are your locks dull, unruly and rough to the touch? There's no doubt about it...your hair is dry. And it's time to do something about it.

Dry locks age prematurely and keratin loses its elasticity. In fact, sebum, which is supposed to hydrate the scalp, is not doing its job properly. As a result, breakages occur more frequently, it is more fragile and needs a specifically adapted hair care routine to remedy the problem.

To compensate for a lack of hydration, opt for using a combination of coconut oil hair shampoo and an organic coconut oil hair mask. If your products are not coconut oil based, they should ideally be rich in nourishing ingredients like shea butter or almond, jojoba and macadamia oil. Selected for their superior nourishing properties, these ingredients penetrate the fibres deep down to restore suppleness, strength and shine. Try our Garnier Ultimate Blends Smoothing Coconut Hair Food Range For Curly and Frizzy Hair, blended with Coconut and Macadamia to help nourish & replenish dry hair with suppleness.

The pros' top tip: space out how often you use shampoo to preserve the natural sebum created by the scalp.


Put an end to blow drying!

It's well known that the heat from styling tools can seriously damage your hair. So, imagine the damage caused to dry types! Avoid overheating your style and instead try to pre-dry as much as possible using a towel (without rubbing), followed by air drying. If you really can't live without your blow dryer, ensure you apply a heat-protective coconut milk to your lengths and turn down the temperature of your appliance.


Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

The key to lovely hair, despite it being dry? Hydration!

Castor Oil, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil or Coconut Oil can be applied once or twice a week as an essential hair mask.

The pros' top tip: try Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Coconut Oil 3-in-1 Hair Mask Treatment, an intensive treatment for dry hair that can be used in 3 ways: 1. As a conditioner: on wet hair, to instantly smooth & detangle hair without weigh down. 2. As a hair mask: on wet hair, leave for 3mins and rinse out to leave hair feeling intensely nourished & beautifully smoothed. 3. As a leave in conditioner: on wet or dry hair, apply a small amount to lengths to tame frizz and leave hair irresistibly smooth. It really is the best dry hair treatment.


Take care when brushing your hair

Detangle with a brush that is made up of 100% boar bristles. These softer, more natural bristles will keep your style hydrated from the root down to the ends by helping to distribute sebum evenly.


Eat a balanced diet

Some foods can actually help prevent dryness. Which ones, we hear you ask? Opt for those rich in iron, unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin B such as lentils, cereals, nuts and oily fish.
If you've ever wondered about the best way to deal with dry hair, then wonder no more. Our tips range from coconut hair oil treatment to Shea butter.
External aggressions or brittleness...dry hair is often considered difficult to look after. Here are the 5 commandments to make looking after dry locks a walk in the park.


Don’t wash your hair as often

Generally, dry hair is a sign of a lack of sebum, which acts as a natural protecting agent. Shampooing too frequently can cause sebum to be washed away and leave your locks stripped of their natural oils. The best solution is, therefore, to space out your washes to once every three days. Gone 2 days and can't wait any longer? Try dry shampoo or a coconut oil hair treatment to solve your bad hair day.


Find a shampoo for dry hair

Dry locks also tend to be lacking in hydration. Banish dryness by opting for shampoos, hair masks for dry hair, detanglers and specifically designed creams that are rich in nourishing properties such as those based around Shea butter or almond, macadamia and jojoba oil, which act as a dose of moisture for super dry hair. Products with natural ingredients have long since proved themselves to be the best. We recommend Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Coconut Oil 3-in-1 Hair Mask Treatment for Curly Hair.