Dry hair is hair that does not have enough moisture and oil to maintain its normal sheen and texture.
Hair - dry
Some causes of dry hair are:
- Anorexia nervosa
- Excessive hair washing, or using harsh soaps or alcohols
- Excessive blow-drying
- Dry air due to the climate
- Menkes kinky hair syndrome
- Underactive parathyroid (hypoparathyroidism)
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Other hormone abnormalities
At home you should:
- Shampoo less frequently, perhaps only once or twice a week
- Use gentle shampoos that are sulfate free
- Add conditioners
- Avoid blow drying and harsh styling products
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
- Your hair does not improve with gentle treatment
- You have hair loss or breaking hairs
- You have any other unexplained symptoms
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and may ask the following questions:
- Has your hair always been slightly dry?
- When did the unusual hair dryness first start?
- Is it always present, or is it off and on?
- What are your eating habits?
- What kind of shampoo do you use?
- How often do you wash your hair?
- Do you use a conditioner? What type?
- How do you normally style your hair?
- Do you use a hair dryer? What type? How often?
- What other symptoms are also present?
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
- Examination of the hair under a microscope
- Blood tests
- Scalp biopsy
Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW. Skin, hair, and nails. In: Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW, eds. Siedel's Guide to Physical Examination. 8th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2015:chap 8.
Marks JG, Miller JJ. Hair disorders. In: Marks JG, Miller JJ, eds. Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 20.