Top 10 Tips For Helping Dry Relaxed Hair

For as long as I can remember I’ve suffered from dry hair. Even when I was natural, which was prior to middle school, I’ve had hair that tends to be on the dry side. That being said over the years I’ve had times when I’ve been able to get the dryness under control. Sometimes by sheer luck, other times through trial and error.

Currently, I’m dealing with dry hair again which I’m pretty sure is a consequence of having protein overload for close to a year. How do I know I’m dealing with dry hair again? Here are some of the signs of dry hair that I’ve been experiencing
  • Frizz: Some sections of my hair get frizzier than others. Some of that could be due to humidity but when I first moved to Florida I wasn’t having this problem.
  • Split ends: Yep, I’ve been having split ends in certain areas. Some of this is due to dryness and some is due to the remnants of the protein overload damage.
  • Dullness: Sometimes my hair will look dull and not have any sheen to it.
  • No movement: When my hair is lacking moisture a key sign is it doesn’t move and tends to be kinda stiff and lackluster.
  • Coarse texture: Dry hair tends to not just feel rough but it looks it too. It’s kinda crazy how clearly I can see that in my hair especially when I’m moisturizing my hair. The hair that is moisturized looks so much smoother than the hair that isn’t.
Top Tips For Helping Dry Relaxed Hair | A Relaxed Gal
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Some other signs of dry hair are brittleness, breakage, and no flexibility.

During a recent salon visit, my hairstylist told me that she felt my hair was feeling dry and suggested some product changes. In addition to working on finding the right mix of products, I’ve been pulling out some of the things that worked for me in the past and incorporating them back into my hair regimen or increasing my usage of them.

1. Clarify your hair sometimes

Sometimes the reason behind our dry hair is something called product build-up. This is when our hair strands are so coated with hair butters, oils, and other products that it creates a barrier that prevents any moisture from getting to the strands.

When I’m dealing with dry hair for a while and my moisturizing and sealing routine isn’t working the next thing I try is clarifying my hair. Even if it doesn’t completely solve the problem it does help a bit.

When I clarify my hair I will either use an actual clarifying shampoo like the ION Clarifying Shampoo or a sulfate shampoo like the Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo, or ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo.

2. Moisturize and seal often

This is a key part of keeping relaxed hair moisturized so if you’re not doing it and your hair feels dry this could be a reason why. Moisturizing and sealing are when you apply a moisturizer to your hair and seal in the moisture with a natural oil, hair oil, or serum.

I moisturize and seal my hair pretty much every night before going to bed. I only skip when my hair feels moisturized at the end of the day or when I’m feeling lazy. And let me tell you the times when I feel lazy are the times when I shouldn’t skip and it shows the next day.

Not everyone needs to moisturize and seal every day. Some can easily get away with doing it a few times a week or every other day. So you’ll need to figure out what works best for you.

Check out this video I did a few years ago showing I was moisturizing and sealing and sealing my hair.

3. Baggy your ends

Do what to my ends?! Baggy them which is done by moisturizing the ends of your hair and then covering them with a plastic cap or bag for several hours. I do this a few nights a week and wake up with moisturized and soft ends. You can see how I do this by watching the video below.

4. Deep condition regularly

Do I need to say more? Pretty much every hair issue can be helped by deep conditioning, as long as the right deep conditioner is used. I’ve been focusing on moisturizing deep conditioners when washing my hair each week. Occasionally I’ll rotate in a protein-based deep conditioner to keep the moisture and protein balanced in my hair.

If you’d like to see more about deep conditioning you can check out these videos and blog posts

5. Give your hair a good steam

Hair steaming is great for dry hair. Especially when paired with a moisturizing deep conditioner as the moist heat helps to lift the hair cuticles allowing the conditioner to really penetrate your strands. This can help with moisture retention.

To steam your hair you can use a steamer like this one or follow the steps in this article to DIY it. 

6. Stop using direct heat

Direct heat dries out things including our hair so it just makes sense to use less direct heat or none at all if we have hair that tends to be dry. I used to blow dry my hair once a week but realized that wasn’t doing much to help my hair. So I switched over to roller setting and sitting under my hooded dryer which uses indirect heat. I’ve noticed a big difference since I started doing that. 

7. Avoid too much protein

While our relaxed hair needs protein we have to be careful to not give it too much which is called protein overload. When our hair has too much protein the protein can keep moisture from getting to our hair strands leaving them feeling dry and brittle. 

If you find or think that you have protein overload check out this video where I share my protein overload experience and how I overcame it. 

8. Redo your hair regimen

Sometimes the reason for having dry is not using the right products for our hair type or needs so we need to redo parts or all of our relaxed hair regimen.

The best place to start is to understand your hair porosity and density. Knowing these two things combined with the issue of dry hair can help direct you to the types of products that would work best for your hair. 

You can find out more about building or rebuilding a relaxed hair regimen in this blog post.

9. Check your water

If you have hard water it could be a reason for your dry hair. Hard water contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium that can build up on the hair and keep moisture from getting in. 

Some ways to deal with hard water are
  • Get a water softening system. This can be expensive and depending on where you live it may not be an option
  • Use a filter. You can add a filter to your shower either by getting a showerhead with a filter or adding a filter to your shower. A filter is a good option if a water softening system isn’t an option 
  • Chelate your hair. This takes clarifying to another level as in addition to product build-up it also removes the minerals left behind by hard water.

10. Reduce exposure to the elements

When possible reduce exposing your hair to things like the sun, cold, and wind as much as possible as all of those things can remove moisture from your hair leaving it dry. 

Some things you can do to protect your hair when you’re outside are
  • Cover up your hair with a scarf or hat
  • Use a UV protectant when outside in the sun