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While your hair can gradually lose natural moisture over time because of aging, sudden dryness has other causes. Dry hair lacks the shine and silkiness of healthy hair, and you may notice more split ends and breakage 2. Identify the cause of suddenly dry hair so you can get to restoring moisture to your tresses 2.
How you treat and style your hair can strip your tresses of moisture, resulting in dry hair 2. If you've recently used chemicals on your locks, you might notice they are drier than usual. Coloring, perming or professionally straightening your hair involves chemicals that can strip your hair of moisture. Combine those chemical treatments with heat-styling products -- another moisture zapper -- and dried-out hair may be the result.
- How you treat and style your hair can strip your tresses of moisture, resulting in dry hair 2.
Hair Breakage Symptoms
Harsh hair-care products can also affect your hair's moisture content. Evaluate your hair-care routine, and note any new products you've recently started using. If those products contain harsh soaps or alcohol, they might be the reason for your drier-than-usual tresses.
Dry air may be the culprit when you notice a sudden onset of dry hair 2. If the weather has shifted and humidity levels have dropped, you might notice less moisture in your hair. Excessive exposure to the sun or harsh winds can also result in dry, damaged hair 2.
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- University of Maryland Medical Center: Dry Hair
- Medline Plus: Dry Hair
- American Society of Clinical Oncology. Hair loss of alopecia. Updated August, 2018.
- Saed S, Ibrahim O, Bergfeld WF. Hair camouflage: A comprehensive review. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2017;3(1 Suppl):S75–S80. Published 2017 Feb 16. doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2017.02.016
- Dua P, Heiland MF, Kracen AC, Deshields TL. Cancer-related hair loss: a selective review of the alopecia research literature. Psychooncology. 2017;26(4):438-443. doi:10.1002/pon.4039
- National Cancer Institute. Hair loss (alopecia) and cancer treatment. Updated January 15, 2020.
- Phillips TG, Slomiany WP, Allison R. Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(6):371-378.
- Watras MM, Patel JP, Arya R. Traditional anticoagulants and hair loss: a role for direct oral anticoagulants? A review of the literature. Drugs Real World Outcomes. 2016;3(1):1-6. doi:10.1007/s40801-015-0056-z
- Urysiak-czubatka I, Kmieć ML, Broniarczyk-dyła G. Assessment of the usefulness of dihydrotestosterone in the diagnostics of patients with androgenetic alopecia. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2014;31(4):207-15. doi:10.5114/pdia.2014.40925
- Vincent M, Yogiraj K. A descriptive study of alopecia patterns and their relation to thyroid dysfunction. Int J Trichology. 2013;5(1):57-60. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.114701
- Peters EMJ, Müller Y, Snaga W, et al. Hair and stress: A pilot study of hair and cytokine balance alteration in healthy young women under major exam stress. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(4):e0175904. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175904
- Pratt CH, King LE, Messenger AG, Christiano AM, Sundberg JP. Alopecia areata. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2017;3:17011. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2017.11
- American Academy of Dermatology. Alopecia Areata: Overview.
Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.