Dry hair occurs when the hair shaft cannot absorb or retain enough moisture, resulting in a brittle, lackluster appearance. Dry hair may result from washing too frequently, using harsh soaps and heated styling tools, or excessive exposure to the elements. In many cases, home remedies can restore moisture to dry hair. Consult a physician if your hair does not improve after a few weeks, as this could indicate a more serious medical condition.
Gelatin Protein Treatment
Protein treatments help fortify and strengthen hair and restore moisture to brittle or very dry hair. In his book “Alternative Cures,” Bill Gottlieb suggests using plain gelatin, which coats the individual hair strands and infuses them with moisture. Combine 1 tablespoon gelatin with 1 cup warm water. Set the mixture aside for about five minutes, allowing it to gel only slightly. Add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and 6 drops essential oil to the partially set gelatin, and stir well to combine. For best results, use essential oils that benefit dry hair such as jasmine, clary sage, lavender or rosemary. Work the mixture through shampooed hair and scalp, leave on for about 10 minutes and then rinse with tepid water. Repeat once a week.
Hot Oil Treatment
Hot oil is a universal remedy used to strengthen, add shine and restore moisture to very dry hair. Sally Freeman, author of “Ageless Natural Beauty,” recommends using castor oil, lanolin, olive oil or corn oil for dry hair. Combine 1/2 cup oil with 3 tablespoons dried herbs, and then heat the mixture in a saucepan over low heat for 30 minutes. For best results, use herbs that nourish dry hair such as burdock, lavender, rosemary, sage or horsetail. Strain the herbs from the oil, allow the oil to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then massage into the hair and scalp. Cover your head with a hot, wet towel and allow the oil to remain for at least 15 minutes before shampooing and rinsing as usual. Repeat up to twice a week.
Mayonnaise Hair Pack
Mayonnaise makes a great deep conditioner for very dry hair, according to Greta Breedlove in her book “Herbal Treatments for Healthy Hair.” To make a mayonnaise hair pack, add 1 cup of mayonnaise to a small bowl. Wet your hair with warm water and then gently apply a thick layer of the mayonnaise to your scalp and hair. Massage the mayonnaise into your scalp and then work it through your hair to the ends. Cover with a plastic bag and allow the mayonnaise to remain for 30 minutes before shampooing and rinsing. Repeat weekly to hydrate very dry hair.
Yogurt and Oil Mask
Yogurt and oil work together to repair brittle, damaged hair, according to Janice Cox in her book “Ecobeauty.” This remedy works well on dry hair caused by heated styling tools. To make, add 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 6 drops essential oil to a blender. Use jasmine, clary sage, lavender or rosemary essential oils, all of which help moisturize dry hair. Place the lid on the blender and process on medium speed until well combined. Apply to shampooed hair, cover with a shower cap or plastic bag and allow the mixture to remain for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water. Repeat two to three times a week.