The Best Products for Dry Hair.
When you are looking for the best products for dry hair, it pays to do a little research on the best ingredients for dry hair first. Hydrating hair and locking in moisture are key, as is avoiding ingredients that increase porosity and steal moisture from your hair to begin with. But before we get into the details on the ingredients to seek out (and a few to avoid), let’s talk about the relationship between dry hair and the damage that usually causes it.
There are many paths to damage: Bleaching, coloring, straightening, over processing, sunshine, and pollution for starters. Health factors, hair texture, and genes come into play too. Damaged hair cannot protect the delicate inner cortex well. It also leads to some all too familiar symptoms like high porosity, dullness, breakage, and dryness.
The Best Ingredients for Dry Hair.
Though there are many paths to damaged hair, there is really only one way out: Healthy growth. That means you must nourish your hair to minimize and prevent damage as your tresses grow (at about ½ inch per month). Below are some of our favorite ingredients to prevent damage, and to help nurse damaged, dry hair back to health.
Hydrolyzed Proteins and Amino Acids for hair.
Hair is made up of protein, and protein helps its structures stay strong. Though they may be microscopic, as it turns out, protein molecules are pretty big. In fact, they are too big to penetrate the hair shaft where protein structure is needed most. The term “hydrolyzed” is a big word that, in the case of damaged hair, adds up to huge benefits. The hydrolysis process breaks protein down through an interaction with water. The tiny amino acids within the protein then slip into the cortex of hair where they work their magic supporting hair strength and moisture retention.
Hydrolyzed Quinoa Protein
Specific amino acids in the best products for dry hair have a variety of benefits. Alanine, for instance, is hydrophobic. That means it will prevent hair that is porous (as dry hair usually is) from bloating with too much water. Histidine and phenylalanine, on the other hand, help increase tensile strength. It makes sense, therefore, that a balance of amino acids will provide optimal results. One of the best sources of protein for hair is hydrolyzed quinoa because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids, providing a multitude of benefits including repair, damage protection, hydration and shine.
Antioxidants for Dry, Damaged Hair.
Remember a few paragraphs ago when we said that the best path out of damaged hair is healthy hair growth? That’s where protective antioxidants come in, making sure your hair grows well and stays healthy as it grows. Here are a few of our favorite sources of antioxidants.
Organic Aloe Vera.
Aloe vera is a classic beauty ingredient and one we use a lot. Organic aloe vera is soothing. (Think of how good it feels on a sunburn.) That means it calms an itchy scalp while it adds shine, controls frizz, and promotes healthy hair growth. SEAL spray comes to mind immediately when aloe is mentioned. In this light-as-air foundation spray, aloe adds shine and close the cuticle. SEAL is just the start, however. Find organic aloe vera in these products too!
Commonly seen in the vitamin aisle, superoxide dismutase is an enzyme with anti-aging properties. Perhaps the most important antioxidant in our body (and naturally found in every cell), superoxide dismutase neutralizes the superoxide free radical helping to prevent hair loss and premature graying. Kente® BOND hair mask, Kente® BOND conditioner, and Satara® LEAVE-IN conditioner spray all feature Superoxide Dismutase.
Açai for hair.
Grown abundantly across the Amazon river delta, açai berries are rich in detoxifying antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins which promote healthy hair growth. Look for açai in Satara® VOLUME conditioner.
Green tea extract.
Green tea is one of our favorite ingredients, found in a slew of our best products for dry, damaged hair. (See the list here). With high levels of antioxidants, green tea improves scalp condition and supports healthy hair growth.
Oils for Dry, Damaged Hair
Oils capture moisture so that it does not evaporate too quickly from skin and hair. Many oils are too heavy for even the driest, coarsest textures, however. They flatten volume and leave roots greasy. The best products for dry hair are very careful about the kind of oils they use, focusing on their ability to penetrate hair without weighing it down.
Coconut oil has the ability to soak into the hair follicle, attaching to protein structures. Hair is therefore prevented from swelling with too much water. (If you don’t think that is a problem, head over to our post about hygral fatigue!). An anti-inflammatory nut oil that moisturizes and smoothes the hair follicle and improves the condition of the scalp, coconut oil can lead to healthier hair growth. If you are looking for coconut oil for hair, head directly to Gazar® DIAMOND hair serum. Rich with coconut oil, it is excellent used on damp hair before you style, or rub a couple of drops between your palms and over dry hair to take care of flyaways and lock in shine.
A rich natural emollient, shea butter seals moisture into hair while a high-level of vitamin E makes shea butter anti-inflammatory as well, helping with itchy scalp and overall dryness. Cubica® WAVE curl cream is formulated with shea butter to enhance dry curls, but it doubles as an excellent blow out cream for anyone looking for an extra blast of moisture.
Organic Argan Oil for Dry, Damaged Hair
Argan oil is an ingredient that has gotten a lot of press in recent years and for good reason. Lightweight and penetrating, argan oil seals in moisture, reduces flyaways, and calms down frizz. Find SEVEN haircare products with organic argan oil here.
Glycerin for Dry Hair
If your hair needs both moisture and volume, you often have to sacrifice one for the other. Not so when hair products are rich with glycerin. A humectant, vegetable glycerin binds with moisture in the air, drawing it into your hair and retaining it without adding the weight oils and emollients tend to. Find glycerin in Cubica® NUVO gel and Kente® BOND hair mask.
Jojoba for Dry Hair
Jojoba nourishes a dry scalp, balances scalp oil production, and seals moisture into the hair shaft. Its composition gives it the ability to easily penetrate the hair fiber, moisturizing, conditioning, and supporting healthy hair from its core. Additionally, jojoba is similar to sebum, the natural oil produced by your scalp. When hair oils are out of balance, jojoba steps in to nourish and hydrate in its place.
Guidelines for ingredients to avoid if you have dry hair
Sometimes what you do not put in your hair is as important as what you do put in it. When you are looking for the best products for dry hair, there are a few ingredients you want to avoid.
Are sulfates bad for dry hair?
The short answer is yes. Sulfates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are harsh sudsing agents that are simply too aggressive for hair that is dry or damaged. SEVEN haircare chooses to formulate without sulfates or parabens, and our haircare products are cruelty free, pH balanced and safe for curly and color-treated hair as well. To read up on sulfates and why SEVEN haircare chooses to be sulfate-free, click here.
The case of alcohol is a bit tricky when you are talking about the best ingredients for dry hair. One of the most commonly used alcohols in cosmetics is ethyl alcohol, also referred to as ethanol, SD Alcohol, or Alcohol Denat in its denatured form. Ethyl alcohols are fast drying, which makes them essential for aerosol delivery. That same quality can make ethyl alcohols drying, however, which means you want to use them sparingly if you suffer from dry or damaged hair. The secret with ethyl alcohols is to use them in a balanced formula. Cubica® WORKING spray for instance has hydrating aloe vera to counteract any impact ethyl alcohol would have.
“Fatty alcohols” are a completely different group of alcohols and instead of drying, they are great conditioners! Cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl or behenyl alcohol, are all fatty alcohols and are derived from coconut or other vegetable sources. They are gentle, conditioners for both skin and hair.
Want to know more about nourishing dry, damaged hair? Head here for the details on protein balance for perfect, healthy locks.