Dry hair doesn’t just feel rough to the touch – it also looks dull and unhealthy. And whether you have long tresses or a short pixie crop, even the most stylish designer cut won’t help if you have hay-like strands. This is because dry hair doesn’t reflect light well, and will not enhance the cut or style.
To prevent this, haircare brand Schwarzkopf has created the Extra Care Hydro Collagen range that promises to help your crowning glory retain moisture for up to 72 hours.
WHY SO DRY?
But first, what exactly causes hair to become dry? While the condition can sometimes be linked to health conditions such as anorexia or hypothyroidism, as well as ageing (your scalp produces fewer oils that "trickle" down your mane), here are some of the more common reasons.
1. Environmental damage
We are all born with soft, smooth hair. However, it becomes rougher over time as we age, and due to everyday factors such as sun damage, pollution, harsh winds (okay, 24/7 air-conditioning), and – if you swim a lot – salt from the sea or chlorine from pools. All this damage actually causes the cuticles of each strand to lose their natural moisture gradually.
2. Heat damage
Blow-drying too often can cause hair to dry out because extreme heat, especially when concentrated in one area for a long time, can remove moisture in hair cuticles. The solution is to turn the heat to the lowest setting (better still, invest in an ionic dryer, which is said to do the job faster) and move your gadget about consistently, so that the heat never stays on one part of your scalp for too long. Or get just half the job done and then let your hair air-dry naturally.
3. Chemical damage
If you colour, perm or straighten your hair every now and then, be careful not to overdo it or you’ll end up with dry strands. Chemical treatments have one thing in common: The ingredients force hair cuticles "open" in order to infuse the shafts with pigments or straightening/curling chemicals. Do this frequently and the cuticles are sometimes left unfurled, which means they start to lose moisture all the time.
4. Using the wrong shampoo
Do your research before deciding on a shampoo, because using the wrong one can lead to problems such as itchy scalp, dandruff, frizzy hair or even hair loss. For instance, if you have dry and damaged hair, you should go for a shampoo formulated with more moisturising ingredients to lock in moisture.
THE ULTIMATE REMEDY
Hair and skin are made up of natural building blocks such as collagen, keratin and hyaluronic acid, which decrease over time due to ageing and environmental damage.
This is why the Schwarzkopf Extra Care Hydro Collagen range is formulated with a collagen complex, liquid keratin and hyaluronic acid – all in a scalp-friendly pH 4.5 formula – to infuse hair with moisture and keep it locked in for up to 72 hours.
The range includes a shampoo, a conditioner and a spray. The shampoo helps to “fill in gaps” in damaged cuticles, so that they are smooth again, and hair strands look and feel softer. Follow up with the conditioner for a generous boost of hydration. And for an instant shot of smoothness and shine, spritz on the freshly scented spray, which contains a water-based serum.
Available at selected Guardian and Watsons stores. Price from S$11.90.