Help My Dry Hair

Updated on January 19, 2017
M.D. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
14 answers

Over the past year, I've grown my hair out from a short pixie cut to a shoulder-length bob. My hair is very very fine, thin, straight, and incredibly dry. My hair has grown out, except for the short frizzy hair that sticks up because it was damaged and then it broke. I wash it every other day. I can't really go less often, because it's so fine and thin that it looks awful by day 3. Also relevant is that I take a daily diuretic. I drink water all day long, but hydrating from the inside is really hard for me because of the medication.

I've found a good lotion to keep my skin from getting too dry, and we have a whole-house humidifier that we run in the winter. But still, my hair is dry and brittle. Right now I use Suave professional shampoo and conditioner. I can't really justify spending a fortune on products. I asked the person who cut my hair last time, but all she recommended was the really expensive stuff that her salon sells. (side-note complaint: I go to a walk-in place that charges $18 for a haircut. Why in the world did she think I could afford $25 shampoo? When I asked her for a less expensive recommendation, she said she didn't know of one.)

Can you recommend something for my hair that is really moisturizing, won't weigh it down and make it flat and greasy, and also not really expensive?

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So What Happened?

ETA: Yes, I have both an Ulta and Sally Beauty Supply nearby. They have many products at all price points. I'm sure I could find almost anything, if I know what to look for.

Thanks everyone. I stopped in Sally on my way home and bought one of the ION repair packs to try (on sale for $1.50!). I will definitely look for a sulphate-free shampoo. The RENpure cleansing conditioner sounds great, and I saw online that I can get it at Target.

I love all the suggestions so far. I'm going to try them one at a time until I find something that works for me.

Featured Answers

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

I think you should try a sulfate/sulfide free shampoo and conditioner. I use this because sulfates dry out my hair terribly. Suave is awful for my hair. I usually look for what is on sale and try different shampoos. I also don't buy the expensive ones although I did one time in the past and it worked really well. I just can't justify spending that much on shampoo.

2 moms found this helpful

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S.S.

answers from Atlanta on

I use Nexxus products. They are expensive. But I feel, worth it.

I've also done an mayonnaise treatment.

Here's the "recipe"
APPLY mayonnaise to freshly cleansed, damp hair the way you would a conditioner. Focus on the ends as they are the oldest part of your hair, and avoid your roots especially if you have fine or thin hair. (AVOID the roots!!!) and I add more olive oil and lemon juice (like a teaspoon or vanilla)

PUT ON a shower cap (a plastic bag works just as well) or a heated thermal cap. This step can increase the absorption rate of the mayonnaise into your hair.
LEAVE the treatment in your hair for 15-30 minutes.
CLEANSE with a gentle shampoo to remove the mayonnaise from your hair. If you feel you still have some residue you can cleanse again.

You MUST purchase REAL mayonnaise. NOT fat-free.

I would also suggest getting your hair cut again. Ask the stylist to recommend a deep conditioner that you can use at home if you don't want to use a condiment for your hair.

3 moms found this helpful

O.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I have naturally curly hair down to my waist. And I have to color it often because I'm almost solid gray.

If you have a Walgreen's by you, check there. They have random clearance sales on their hair products. AND if you don't like them, you can bring them back for a refund. I use a spray in leave-in conditioner and a Moroccan oil that you can leave in. I usually just try whatever is on clearance and see what works for me. I don't like paying full price so I'm happy they consistently have big sales.

I also have used straight organic coconut oil (the one you buy for cooking). I just slather it on and twist it into a bun and leave it in all day. Then I wash it out. There's also homemade conditioners you can make with mayo, avocado and beer. Maybe google some of those recipes. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

E.J.

answers from Chicago on

Do you have a beauty supply store by you?

I have been told to use ION deep moisturizing packs 1x weekly to 1x monthly based on the condition of your hair.

The best way to do it (or a deep moisturizing treatment) is to wash hair and apply conditioner then put a plastic bag over hair with conditioner on (like a shower cap) and sit for 10 minutes. Then rinse it out.

The purpose of the bag is to use and capture the heat from your head to get a deep moisturizing.

You can also try a light leave in conditioner applied to hair before you add styling product. Infusium 23 (most grocery stores) makes good hair care products as well as a great leave in conditioner.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

I switched to Pureology products a couple of years ago and it's a whole world of difference. I notice when I go on travel and use less expensive products. It is INSANELY expensive. I will spend $70-80 for one liter bottle of shampoo and the same for conditioner. I have long, thick hair and these liters last me a MINIMUM of 9 months. So I figure even if they only last 9 months, I am spending less than $20 a month to clean and condition my hair. It's worth the upfront cost. A lot of local salons have sales something like buy one get one free, or buy one get one 40% off, that's when I buy them.

For store brand, I only use L'Oreal. That's the store brand version of Pureology.

2 moms found this helpful

T.D.

answers from Springfield on

we like tressemee. and hair dresser said its comprable to the expensive salon stuff.
we also use coconut oil. (i have dry scalp issues and dh has dry slightly curly hair.. kinda like straw.)
to use the coconut oil, i slather it on, and let it soak in for about 30 minutes. then shampoo it back out with tresemme or even baby shampoo

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T.H.

answers from Kansas City on

I see you already tried some things but I wanted to add that I also really think sulfates/sulfites are terrible on your hair! I stopped using them in my kids' shampoo years ago and noticed such a difference in their hair that I did it for myself and it made a big difference! Costco has a shampoo/conditioner in large pump bottles for $10 each that are sulfate free. I've been using them for years and really like them.

Also you might consider a daily leave-in conditioner. We use Garnier and it works pretty well. My daughter and I both have curly hair which tends to be drier and we use it to help curb some of that.

Also, and you're probably already doing this, but make sure when you do wash your hair that you leave the conditioner in as long as possible. Do your hair first so that you can condition while you do everything else.

2 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I use a lot of high end products for my hair and within a couple weeks I typically end up gravitating back to the suave with moisture, keratin or morraccan oil. I can't explain it but those work for me.

My favorite conditioner is Aussie (purple container) around $4 at grocery store!

I have long straight hair, not too thin but much thinner than when I was a teen.

1 mom found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

There's no 'repairing' damaged hair.
Once a hair shaft starts splitting, the damage/splitting continues up the shaft.
You have to cut the damage out - whether it's a all over trim or doing one hair at a time - it's up to you.
Identify what you're doing to damage your hair - and then stop doing that!
Dye will fry, and any sort of heat (curling iron, straightener, hot air blow dryer) will damage it too.
My hair was a mess once I was covering the grey - every hair on my head was split and would break off so easily.
I gave it up and started using henna to cover my grey and that greatly improved the situation.
I also gave up curling irons and only use a blow dryer if I can do it cold (no heat).
In the past I could never grow may hair past my shoulders - now it's past my bra strap.
As it got longer I loosely braid it to sleep in so I don't have tangles in the morning.
As for moisturizing - it's a bit tricky with fine hair - but coconut oil might help.
Rub some into your hair, wrap it up in cling wrap and a towel for 30 min, then wash as usual.
For a bit more body, try rising your hair with beer.

Home made hair masks can be fun!
Give some of these a try:

http://hair.allwomenstalk.com/diy-hair-masks-for-thin-lif...

1 mom found this helpful
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M.6.

answers from New York on

I use a cleansing conditioner called RenPure. You used to only find it on Amazon for about 8 bucks a bottle, but I just bought a bottle at WalMart last week for 6 bucks.

It is kind of like washing your hair with conditioner and you only need the one bottle (you don't have multiple bottles like shampoo, conditioner, leave in treatment, etc). A bottle lasts me about 3 months and I have very fine hair cut to a chin length bob. This "shampoo" has literally changed my life! Not kidding. I used to cry daily - my hair did nothing, was either too dry or oily depending on the product I was currently trying. It took a ton of product to get it to style. I spent a ton of time and a fortune. Now, I use very little product and just style with a round brush and a blow dryer.

It's less than 10 bucks to give it a try. I prefer the Rosemary Mint blend and I don't care for the pomegranate blend, but those are just my preferences. I like the smell of the coconut blend, but my hair doesn't quite act how it does on the rosemary mint. I fell in love after the 3rd use and now my mom won't use anything else either. She has thin/dry hair as well. Also, my hairdresser noticed reduced hair loss after 3 months and I have no build up on my scalp from using it.

PS - I don't have any stake in this product, just really love it. It really works for me, but it is one of those either you absolutely love it or absolutely hate it kind of products.

Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful
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N.Z.

answers from Los Angeles on

Try marula oil. I hear they're good for dry hair. There are also leave in conditioners and other hair moisturizing products, but if you don't want to try hair products, try taking prenatal vitamins for healthier hair.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from New York on

Try not to use much conditioner as it will weigh your hair down. What you need is some product that will de-frizz and add some texture. Use any volumizing mousse when your hair is wet. Dry as usual and then you'll want to put some frizz control on the ends. I use something in a vat (can't recall what)! Nothing expensive. I rub it well through my hands and put it where it's needed. Loreal, Garnier, etc all have stuff like that. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I stopped using shampoo entirely about 4 years ago. I buy Dove conditioner for dry hair. I wet my hair in the shower, put the conditioner on it, rub it in, rinse well, repeat. But when it's on the second time I comb out my tangles.

I rinse it well. If you don't rinse it all out then it can appear weighted down.

I do not have oily looking hair. I have coarse dry curly hair. When I use shampoo it's dry and brittle and has static a lot.

When I use only conditioner it is curly, smooth, it moves in the wind, and looks very shiny and healthy.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.G.

answers from Portland on

I have hair like yours, but have to wash daily because it just sticks up in cowlicks if I don't. I have stand up grey hairs on top that are fine but coarse.

A big help for me was going from long hair, to shoulder length bob to now chin length bob. My hair feels soft for the first time in ages. I only foil twice a year (to blend the greys with my brown). Before it was chin length, the ends felt dry, crunchy at times or did the flyaway thing.

My salon uses Bumble and Bumble. The shampoo my stylist gave me did not have sulfates in it. That's the thing that causes shampoos to suds up. I guess that's the ingredient that can potentially dry hair out and also strip color. I then used a conditioner that was not too heavy (I have fine hair) and I concentrated it more on the ends. Left on for 3 minutes in the shower before rinsing out.

I second the morocan hair oil. There is a type for finer hair. I have had my bottle for 2 years now. You squirt a few squirts into palm, run through your fingers, then run through ENDS of your hair. Not near scalp - you'll get the oilies.

I also am very cautious with my blow dryer. My stylist said let hair dry till damp on own before styling with dryer. Don't cook hair.

I ran out of my Bumble and Bumble and am now using the Aussie Purple (Volume) shampoo and conditioner of my daughter's. I love it. To be honest, not sure it's making that much of a difference over my Bumble and Bumble. It's lightweight too.

1 mom found this helpful
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