Dry hair is a sign of hair damage. If left untreated, hair can become too dry and brittle. This can lead to breakage of hair strands.
Dry hair happens when hair does not have enough moisture. There are natural oils in the outer layer of hair which reflect light and make it shiny. In cases of dry hair, that outer layer breaks down, leaving hair to appear dull and lifeless and without the sheen and luster that healthy hair has. Although your scalp makes less of this oil as you get older, dry hair can affect men and women of any age.
There is no single cause of dry hair and there are many things that can lead to it such as environmental conditions, hair care, and medical concerns.
• Environmental conditions that may cause dry hair include long-term exposure to a hot and dry climate, spending too much time in the sun without hair protection, and swimming in salt water or a chlorinated pool because such water can easily damage hair.
• Hair-care practices and grooming habits that can contribute to dry hair include excessive washing, blow-drying every day, using curling irons or straighteners, using home chemical treatments such as perms and dyeing, and using harsh shampoos and conditioners and other hair-care products containing alcohol (you should always use hair care products that are meant for your particular hair type and use protein-enriched conditioners and styling aids to help repair any hair damage).
• Health conditions and medical problems that can lead to dry hair include malnutrition (which causes hair to lack necessary vitamins and nutrients and can lead to dry and brittle hair as a result), anorexia nervosa (an eating disorder in which a person undergoes self-starvation that can lead to malnutrition), Menkes kinky hair syndrome (a genetic condition in which cells are unable to absorb enough copper and affects hair health), hypoparathyroidism (which decreases the level of calcium in blood; calcium is an important nutrient for healthy bones, teeth, tissue, and hair), and hypothyroidism (thyroid glands not producing enough thyroid hormones). If such a medical problem is causing your dry hair, your hair may improve once you treat the condition.
While it is never a good idea to self-diagnose, here are a few things you can ask yourself:
• Has long has your hair been dry? Is it all the time or does it come and go?
• What are your eating habits?
• How often do you wash your hair? What kind of shampoo do you use?
• Do you use a conditioner or any other product? If so, what type?
• How do you normally style your hair? Do you use a blow dryer or curling iron or anything else that can damage your hair?
• Are there any other symptoms along with dry hair?
You should contact an expert if your dry hair is severe, does not improve with changes you make to your environment/hair-care practices, or if you start to lose any hair. The professionals at New England Associates® can help by performing a thorough physical examination of your hair and scalp under a microscope to identify the cause of your symptoms and help you review your options and solutions.
If you are interested in discussing more with an expert, contact New England Associates® today. At New England Associates®, how you feel about your hair loss, and making the right choice to solve it, matters. We encourage you to take the time and review the possibilities and come in for a no cost, no obligation private hair loss consultation.
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Since 1982 New England Associates® has known hair loss is as individual as you are. New England Associates® offers all of the procedures that work to repair, replace, restore, and grow hair. We are members of the American Hair Loss Council and the Better Business Bureau. Locations include Wakefield, MA and Manchester, NH. Our hair restoration options include hair and scalp treatments, non-medical hair replacement, laser hair therapy treatments, hair transplants, and shampoos and vitamins for fine and thinning hair.