Why is my hair so dry?

Many people struggle with dry, brittle hair that lacks shine and manageability. Dry hair can be caused by a variety of factors - from hair care habits to environmental damage. Understanding the common causes of dry hair can help you pinpoint solutions for lusher, healthier locks.

Balayage vs Highlights

External causes of dry hair

Environmental factors like sun, wind, and cold temperatures can strip hair of its natural moisture over time. This can leave strands feeling coarse, frizzy and looking dull. Those who spend a significant amount of time outdoors without protection may experience:

  • More dryness and breakage
  • Lacklustre shine
  • Unruly, tangled hair

Heating tools like blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons can also damage hair by stripping away oils. The high, direct heat weakens strands and disturbs the protective lipid layer. Overuse of hot tools leads hair that is:

  • Brittle and fragile - more prone to breakage
  • Frizzy - with a damaged cuticle layer
  • Prone to split ends - which worsen over time

Chemical services like hair dye, bleach, perms and relaxers open up the outer hair cuticle layer so chemicals can penetrate strands. When overprocessed, hair is left:

  • Porous and dry - moisture escapes easily
  • Weak and elastic - stretched out shape
  • Susceptible to further damage - broken bonds and tears

Water quality also impacts hair health. Hard water leaves mineral deposits that weigh hair down. Chlorine from pools/spas also strips away oils. Hair washed in these types of water needs extra moisture.

Why is my hair so dry in London?

The curve cut

Living in London comes with some particular hair threats that can leave locks extremely parched - the cold, wet climate, hard water with heavy mineral deposits, and pollution causing damage over time. Many Londoners struggle with extra dry, frizzy hair that lacks shine and manageability due to these environmental factors. The frequent moisture in the air causes hair to swell, while the mineral deposits in hard water weigh strands down.

Pollutants like smoke, car exhaust and dust settle into the hair follicle, stripping away protective sebum oils. This combination of external factors weakens the hair structure, causing excess porosity and moisture loss. Using sulfate-free moisturising shampoos to avoid further dehydration along with deeply nourishing masks and leave-in conditioners helps combat the drying effects.

Getting in moisture from both the inside and outside is key for Londoners battling perpetually parched locks from environmental stresses. Using a humidifier at home and wearing protective styles when out and about makes a difference too. Addressing the unique climate challenges helps transform straw-like hair into strands with shine and swing.

Internal causes of dryness

Nutritional deficiencies - Hair is a living material that requires adequate nutrition for growth and repair. Diets low in beneficial nutrients can lead to dry, thinning hair over time. Key areas to address include:

  • Protein - Found in eggs, meat, fish and beans. Needed to construct hair keratin.
  • Iron - Found in meat, legumes and fortified cereals. Carries oxygen to follicles.
  • Zinc + Vitamin B - Supports healthy oil production. Found in nuts, wheat germ, meat.
  • Essential fatty acids - Nourishes hair follicles and adds shine. Found in fish, avocados, seeds.

Hormonal imbalances - Hormones like estrogen, progesterone and thyroid hormones guide the hair growth cycle. When levels shift drastically (after pregnancy or menopause) excess shedding occurs. More hair loss = fewer hairs to hold onto moisture. Supplements help restore balance.


Medical conditions - Issues like anaemia, autoimmune disease and PCOS commonly cause abnormal dryness and shedding. Seeing a doctor helps pinpoint and address the root cause. Treatments can revive moisture levels from within.

Ageing - Over time, hair follicles produce less melanin, oils and protein that keep locks lush. This causes texture changes, dryness, thinning and greying. Using products with plenty of emollients adds missing hydration.

Medications - Drugs that treat conditions like depression, high blood pressure, arthritis and more also commonly cause dry, brittle hair as a side effect. Adjusting prescriptions or adding moisture products minimises damage.

Tips for combating dry hair

Soho hairdressing salon balayage 3

Limit heat styling - Allow hair to air dry when possible and avoid high temperatures. Apply a heat protectant beforehand to shield strands.

Rinse with cool water - Hot showers cause more swelling and damage. Rinsing hair with lukewarm to cool water seals the cuticle.

Shampoo less often - Lathering too frequently strips protective oils. Limit washing to 2-3 times a week.

Use rich, creamy conditioners - Hydrating masks and leave-ins provide lasting softness between washes.

Try overnight treatments - Applying oils, butters or creams then covering with a cap allows deeper penetration.

Use microfibre towels - Gently soak up excess moisture instead of rubbing. Limit friction and knots.

Get regular trims - Snip off damaged split ends before they travel further up the hair shaft.

Protect from sun/pollution - Shield hair under a hat or buff when spending time outdoors.

Following a healthier hair care regimen while addressing any underlying issues helps restore moisture and strength for noticeably softer, shinier locks. Focus on gentle handling, hydration and repair. With time the hair cuticle will lay flat and tightly for better moisture retention.

If your hair seems perpetually dry no matter what, don't hesitate to check in with your doctor or dermatologist. Sometimes other health issues manifest through symptoms in the hair. Getting to the root cause helps you fix the actual problem for improved nourishment and growth.


To book, please call Gusto Hairdressing Salon Covent Garden Salon on 020 7836 9163, or Oxford Street Salon on 0207 486 5044. Book online for our Covent Garden Salon, or Oxford Street Salon.

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