Your Guide to Treating Dry Hair


Of all of the hair issues out there, dry hair is arguably one of the worst. Dehydration shows itself by way of breakage, dullness, and generally meh-looking strands, and because the problem starts from the inside out, there isn’t necessarily a 'quick fix' that can remedy it the way you can with grease or frizz. 

“Dry hair can be caused by so many things, including over-processing hair from color or lightener, over-use of hot tools like flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers, using a harsh or low quality shampoo, or just lack of proper haircare in general,” says Redken Artist Kyle Pinneo. Since dryness is a hair health issue (not just a cosmetic one), in order to treat it you need to address the issue from the inside out. Read on as stylists explain how to do it, plus the moisturizing products your thirsty strands will drink right up.

What Causes Dry Hair?

1. Genetics: No matter what you do, some hair types are naturally dryer than others. ”The curlier your hair is, chances are it is naturally dryer,” says Redken Artist Blake Reed Evans. This is because the curls make it more difficult for the natural oils in your scalp to make their way down the strands, so you’ll need some extra help from nourishing ingredients in shampoo, conditioner, and styling creams to give your ends the hydration they need.

2. Color Processing: If you’ve ever dyed your hair, you’re likely all too familiar with the fact that hair with color in it simply feels different than virgin hair does. “Over processing your hair can lead to dryness as well! Your hair is held together by something called lipids, and coloring processes can destroy that part of your hair,” says Evans. “This can leave it feeling extremely dry.” Because of this, it’s important to use the proper products to restore hair to its healthier state.

3. Heat Styling: Years of using blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons can start to show themselves on your strands “If you aren’t using the right products you could quite literally be melting your hair and therefore causing dryness,” says Evans. Putting a hot tool on unprotected hair is like putting an iron on dry fabric—in other words, it can leave permanent dryness and damage.

How to Prevent Dry Hair

“Using an appropriate moisturizing shampoo and conditioner for your hair type can really help with the battle of dry hair,” says Pinneo. “Even just the addition of a deep treatment moisturizing mask can do wonders for dry hair. And the less heat you can use daily on your hair the better, since we know they can really dry hair out.” Here are three products that can help with prevention:

In the Shower: Redken All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner


When it comes to staving off dryness, the name of the game is lipids—you’ll need to pump your hair full of healthy fats in order to keep it nice and hydrated. Redken’s All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner is made with a protein complex that offers 15 times more conditioning than other products on the market, and will be your best bet for keeping hair properly hydrated. If your hair is slightly dry, All Soft will do, but reach for All Soft Mega if the situation is extreme.

Before You Blow Dry: Redken Extreme Play Safe 3-in-1 Treatment


Because heat damage is one of the biggest culprits behind dryness, it’s also important to properly protect your hair before using hot tools. Evans suggests working in Redken Extreme Play Safe Leave-In Treatment before giving yourself a blow-out to ensure your strands are coated with heat protection to prevent hair from getting fried. This 3-in-1 conditioning treatment strengthens hair, visibly produces the appearance of split ends by 70 percent, and protects hair from heat up to 450 degrees. 

Before You Heat Style: Iron Shape 11


If you’re going to use a straightener or curling iron, you’ll want to apply yet another layer of protection by way of Iron Shape 11. In addition to preventing breakage and defending your strands against the new heat damage you’re about to inflict upon it, it helps repair the damage that’s already there. It works as an ultra-lightweight styling spray to tame frizz, and will leave hair looking smooth and shiny without any stickiness. “The less heat you can use daily on your hair the better, since we know they can really dry hair out,” says Pinneo. “If you must use a hot tool make sure to use a good thermal protector to help maintain moisture.”

How to Treat Dry Hair

If your hair is overly dry and processed, one of the best ways you can treat it is with a trim, which will help get rid of breakage and split ends. But, until you can make an appointment to see your stylist at the salon, these products can help hold you over.

In the Shower: Extreme Hair Strenghtening Mask and Redken All Soft Deep Conditioning Mega Mask


If your ends are already dying of thirst, slathering on this mask combo will give them a dose of moisture they’ll drink right up. The Extreme Hair Strengthening Mega Mask provides deep conditioning that helps strengthen damaged hair from the root down, and the All Soft Mega Mask will restore shine, softness and smoothness to your strands. “These two mixed together is a powerhouse treatment for your dry ends,” says Evans.  Use the All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner set, then mix the two masks together and apply to wet strands in the shower. Let them sit for 3 to 5 minutes and rinse. Use every three washes for best results. 


After the Shower: Redken One United All-in-One Multiple Benefit Spray


“To treat dry hair, add a good leave-in to your hair, regimen like Redken’s One United 25 benefits spray,” says Pinneo. “It’s perfect for using right out of the shower.” It’s made with nourishing ingredients to help even out porous hair, providing lightweight conditioning that will reduce dryness and detangle and strengthen hair.