Hair Care

Why is my hair dry?

Anyone who follows my blog knows that for the past few months I’ve been on a journey to understand my hair. I am a firm believer that to take care of your hair you first have to understand your hair. Last week I wrote a piece on hair follicles and it leads me to write this post on why is my hair dry? My hair is really thick and curly. By the end of most days you can look at my hair and see how it has coiled up on the ends because of my curly texture. Even if I comb it out really good in the morning by midday the curls are back. I pretty much got to the point in saying ‘I’m just going to let it be.’ Now here’s the down side of my curly texture of hair: it can be on the dry side most of the time. Most people of color can relate but still might be wondering why.

Hair Follicles

Let’s break this down. If you look at the hair follicle chart above you will see the different shapes of hair follicles and which nationalities would have certain follicles. To understand why your hair tends to be on the dryer side, it all comes down to your curl pattern and the curl pattern comes from your hair follicle shape. When you have curly hair or coiled and kinky hair, the natural oils from the scalp may not quite make it to the ends of the hair shaft because of the curliness of the hair. Look at it like this. Your toy car has a spiral track with lots of twist and turns but if the car doesn’t have enough speed it won’t make it through the turns to get to the other side of the track. This is what happens to the oil from your scalp when it moves down the hair shaft. This is also what makes your hair dryer and how we differ from nationalities with rounder hair follicles. Caucasian, European and Asian nationalities tend to have a straighter hair texture which means that they have rounder hair follicles; this helps the oils travel from the scalp to the ends of the hair shaft easier. This also means that people with rounder hair follicles have to wash their hair more often because the hair is oilier then people with flatter hair follicles and can come across greasy if not washed consistently.

As I started to learn these things about my hair, I started to understand the daily process of managing my curly and sometimes dry hair. Keeping my hair on a daily routine has helped a lot and my hair is more moisturized then it has ever been. Now when you look in the mirror to touch your hair and you feel like your hair is a bit dry, don’t freak out. Your hair just needs a bit of moisture. You’re not alone in this struggle. Many people are fighting this problem as well. Just blame it on your hair follicles and grab the oil.



Moisturize Daily: Apply oil to your hair and scalp daily by using your hand to massage the oil through your hair.

Co-Wash more often: Shampooing strips the scalp of natural oils and can be harsh to your hair if you never moisturize your scalp. Co-washing is when you are using the conditioner, instead of the shampoo, to wash the hair. It will add moisture to your hair by replacing the oils that was stripped away by the shampoo.

Hydrate: Make sure you drink lots of water. By consuming water you will moisturize your scalp and help keep your hair nice and hydrated. Drinking water will also help hair growth and hair thickness.

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  1. April 19, 2016 at 5:48 am — Reply

    Hi AJ, great article but the picture of the different hair follicles doesn’t have labels for the different nationalities. Please could you send me an amended version?

  2. May 17, 2016 at 9:33 pm — Reply

    What good oils are out there to use without drying out your hair?

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