View Full Version : Could my hair be.... dry?

September 27th, 2009, 01:34 PM
I have noticed something odd lately. But first, let me tell you why it is odd.

I have had EXTREMELY greasy hair and skin my entire life. I used to wash my face 3x daily and my hair 2x daily just to control the oil. About a year ago, I started switching to natural products, which has really helped the grease. My skin is no longer greasy unless I go a few days without washing, and I can wait 3 almost 4 days between washings. My skin has never been "dry" but I do get "flakey" if I don't add moisture to it somehow. (Go figure.) Recently, I've noticed excess peeling, and my skin felt overly tight. So, I started moisturizing more regularly. My hands, also very dry.

But what is weirdest of all, is that my hair feels dry to the touch. And it's been frizzy a few days in the past week, FRIZZY. Can you imagine? Problem is, I don't really know what dry hair feels like... or what to do about it, seeing as I have never had dry hair in my life.

For the record, I use about a tablespoon of baking soda diluted in a cup of water to wash my hair about every 2-3 days. I use a boar bristle brush the night before I wash my hair to try and distribute the oils. And that is just about it. Recent changes to my routine are cutting down on the amount of BS I use (From 3tbsp to 1tbsp) and a henna/indigo/katam dye-job.

I have available to me coconut oil and olive oil, but I have heard that they only help your hair retain the moisture it has, but I think I need to add some more. I also have a mix of castor oil and olive oil that does wonders on my face. I also have a little bit of honey, but I don't know how to use it. I was thinking about maybe buying a conditioner, but I have no idea what to buy. The more natural and less processed, the better. Anyone have any suggestions?

Oh, and last thought, because my hair is so short, (I am growing from a fauxhawk) will it make my scalp super greasy if I put oil or anything on it? I am afraid that when I do anything to my hair, I will be back to square one on the grease control front.

So yeah, I am baffled! Thanks to anyone who can help me!

September 27th, 2009, 01:40 PM
After I started treating my hair better (using natural products, like you) and washing my hair less often (like you) the natural waves of my hair came out. I also used to have really greasy hair and skin. Has that happened to you?

I am also a 1b, which I never knew about before I started treating my hair nicer, and the downside of this for me was having the "frizzies" make their appearance. So your frizzies may just be related to that instead of dryness? I don't know for sure though. :confused:

September 27th, 2009, 01:43 PM
Maybe try reducing the strength of your BS solution? Baking soda is very alkaline, good at clarifying but that's a strong solution to be using every couple days. I used BS as a wash for a while, but it was less than a teaspoon per cup, just a mild solution.

Also, since it's so alkaline, you may want to follow it with an acid rinse; vinegar or lemon juice diluted in water, about 1 T per cup. This rebalances the PH of your hair and scalp.

As you grow your hair longer, you probably will want to add conditioner; Aubrey organics makes some nice ones, as does Giovanni. But first I'd cut back on the baking soda!

September 27th, 2009, 01:43 PM
nyemelis -- Yeah, I have heard similar stories before. My hair right now is bone straight, but I believe that is mostly just because it is so short. When it gets longer, there is a small wave in it, both sides curve towards the left, lol. So maybe I am a wavy and don't know it yet.

Roseate -- I tried doing an ACV rinse for a while, but it made my hair insanely slippery and brought back the oil. I will try it with lemon juice tho. Really, a tsp? That seems like way too little to me, lol. I only just back from 3tbsp to 1 tbsp a few weeks ago, so maybe when I am done with this bottle (I pre-mix) I will try cutting back even more. I have worried about how harsh BS is on my hair in the quantities that I use.

September 27th, 2009, 01:47 PM
Hey there! I am from Denver too and I have to say as a licensed cosmetologist and someone who has lived in Denver for 15 years that it is most likely the climate that is causing your problems. Denver, well Colorado in general is extremely dry. That is why even if you tend to have oily skin you may notice it getting flakey. One thing that is important to remember though is that oil and moisture are not the exact same thing. Just because your skin is producing a lot of oil does not mean that is well moisturized. So that said I can almost promise that you need to introduce a conditioner into your routine because the climate we live in is probably sucking your hair dry. I am not too familiar with organic products but if you could find a conditioner with avocado oil or shea butter, that might be nice. But since you have oil maybe you might want to give it a try and see if it works? Hope I was able to help.

September 27th, 2009, 01:48 PM
I would guess it's the baking soda wash as well. Perhaps switching off with something else every few washes would help you retain more moisture?

September 27th, 2009, 02:52 PM
I'd say yes your hair is dry. It's dried out from the constant washing with baking soda. A baking soda wash such as you are using or adding baking soda to a regular shampoo is what many people do to clarify. You have been clarifying your hair every time you wash it. When you clarify, you need to add back in all the moisture that has been stripped out. If you insist on keeping the bs washes, then I'd get a nice rich moisturizing conditoner, maybe one of the Burt Bee's or something from Trader Joes. Those are conditioners I like and I have dry ends. You'll have to do some label reading and see what you might like to try. There are lots of good moisturizing conditioners around. I would suggest forgetting the BS washes except for when you want to clarify and trying CO washing. There is a huge thread on it if you are interested. If you want more "natural" products check out the health food store. Since you are in Denver you should have plenty of places to check out including Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

September 27th, 2009, 03:02 PM
Oily hair and skin definitely can be dry. Oil does not contain moisture, it only helps to keep moisture in the hair and skin. Water is moisture. As is, adding oil into hair that is in need of moisture, is not a good "fix" to the problem: you would need a moisture treatment. Also flakey skin is a sign of dryness.

You mentioned honey: that's a great moisturizer! You can mix it into your shampoo or conditioner, or do a face mask from it.

September 27th, 2009, 03:15 PM
hmmruka -- That is a really good point about oil VS moisture, I always tend to think that just because everything is standardly so oilly, it must be moisturized. If nothing else, my experience trying to figure out the best routine for my skin should have taught me that! I always thought the climate was drying to "other" people, because I have lived here my whole life. I guess I assumed my skin and hair would have acclimated by now, or something. I don't have a good excuse, I will buy a conditioner!

Carolyn -- Unfortunately we don't have a Trader Joe's here, but we have Sunflower Market which is my favorite place to be. I will look into CO washing, I have heard of it before, but I have been afraid that it will make my hair oily again. :( It was seriously like, Severus Snape greasy and I really don't want to go back to that again. Is there a transition period?

Artic -- Can I mix honey with water and pour that over my hair? I don't have shampoo or conditioner currently.

Thanks everyone again for your responses, I will definitely start the hunt for a conditioner!

September 27th, 2009, 03:21 PM
There can be a transition period for some when trying CO washing. I didn't have one. I took to it right away with no problems. You just have to try to find out but I'd highly recommend giving it a try.

September 27th, 2009, 03:44 PM
Artic -- Can I mix honey with water and pour that over my hair? I don't have shampoo or conditioner currently.

Hmm, I have never tried to do that. I would be a bit hesitant to try it as it might make your hair sticky when it dries. You could try on a small lock of hair first and see how it feels afterwards?

You know I personally had bad experiences with CO washing. I don't want to scare you to not to try CO, but sometimes it gets lost in the sheer volume of opinions that CO doesn't work for everybody. If you have acne prone skin, you might experience what I did when I tried CO: It made my scalp break out really badly and the scalp acne/ infection lasted a long time afterwards. My hair loved CO but scalp didn't. (Same with oiling.) I know many love CO, the bad thing is that to know if it works, you have to try it yourself.

September 27th, 2009, 05:58 PM
My hair and skin used to get oily very quickly. I cut out SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) because it was causing rebound oiliness. Now I use a CO regimen and my hair takes twice as long to look greasy. I also have facial cleaners without SLS and my face stopped being so oily as well.

September 27th, 2009, 06:02 PM
Oh, also, if you don't want to try CO, you can find shampoos with SLS at health food stores, but it is a bit tricky. I haven't clarified my hair in a year, I am wondering what makes you think you need to do it so often? If you don't use a lot of heavy products, there are probably less drying ways to accomplish what you are trying to do.

September 27th, 2009, 06:15 PM
If you want to keep it all natural and unprocessed, there are quite a few people on here who have had very good results using a catnip rinse in lieu of conditioner.

Wicked Princess
September 27th, 2009, 08:07 PM
Out of curiosity...have you moved recently? I noticed under your avatar that you're in the Denver, CO area - a notoriously dry climate. The weather could be contributing to your hair woes - it sometimes does with mine.

September 28th, 2009, 02:09 PM
Artic -- Yeah, that is pretty much exactly what I am afraid of happening if I do try CO washing, maybe I will give a few of the other suggestions a try first, and use that if an "all else fails" scenario arises. I might switch to CO when I have longer hair, but for right now, there is no way to CO just my length.

Ravenreed -- I used to have that same problem, until I cut out SLS as well. I only use BS to wash my hair currently, and OCM/witchhazel/tea tree oil on my face. The results have been so good for controlling oil, that my skin and hair I believe have gone the opposite way. I am very involved in a natural living community on LJ, which is where I first read about using BS on your hair, it wasn't until I came here that I learned about it being a clarifier. So I am not exactly trying to "do" anything to my hair other than keep it free and at a reasonable level of oil.

Wicked Princess -- Nope! Born and raised in Colorado, but the even weirder thing is, it's been humid in my area, rumor has it the drought (which I grew up during) is breaking, but we will have to wait and see on that one!

September 28th, 2009, 03:19 PM
BS is really harsh stuff to use on your hair so often - very drying. Hair and skin prefer products that are slightly on the acid side. In fact, that acid mantle is absolutely essential for skin health. Most shampoos are pH balanced for hair and scalp; why do you not use them? I mix a short squirt of shampoo into about 1/2 cup of water - good results; no drying.

September 28th, 2009, 03:29 PM
For a natural grease cutter, have you looked into shampoo bars? They're very gentle and would cut the oil.

Alaffia makes a good liquid soap shampoo, which you can use with their conditioner(very rich, you can dilute it). You can also use conditioner as a deep treatment only once in a while?

September 29th, 2009, 06:18 PM
Spidermom -- I have used almost EVERY shampoo and conditioner available to me over the years, all in a constant battle to fight grease. My hair was so greasy that I had to wash twice a day to keep it under control. I used everything, and finally got so fed up that when I read about using BS to wash my hair I decided to just go for it because nothing could be worse than what I had been living with for almost 8 years. I have had wonderful results thus far, until about a week ago (and I've been doing this for over a year) so I am kind of afraid to go back to conventional products, I just need to find a way to get some moisture into my hair as well.

Fractalsofhair -- I have heard of them, but never used one, I will definitely look into one, thanks for the recommendation!

September 29th, 2009, 06:23 PM
a funny thing i learned about greasy skin is that if i moisturize it gets better..i was told that if you give it what it needs then it does not have to work overtime trying to do it...i have had great skin since i started to follow that routine, clean, tone, moisturize...I knwo living in a less humid state can take a toll..i hope you find something that works good for you!