Restoring Dry Hair

If there's one drawback to warm weather, it's that all that time spent outdoors can strip the natural moisture from your hair. The remedy? A deep-conditioning treatment using rich, emollient oils. Although many many oils can be used -- olive is a favorite in Mediterranean countries, while Native Americans used jojoba -- blends are better, says L.A.-based stylist Philip B., who was doing so many of the treatments that he created an at-home kit as part of his line of botanical-based hair-care products. "A mix of different-size oil molecules will penetrate and condition more effectively," he explains. With Philip's help, we've created an easy at-home treatment that gives even the driest hair bounce and shine. Follow these steps, and remember your grade-school science: Since oil won't mix with water, it slides right off wet hair. Don't dampen your hair until the wash-and-rinse stage.

Note: Use a natural, blended oil for best results.
Try: Philip B. Rejuvenating Oil, Aeto Botanica Fortifying Oil, Better Botanicals Herbal Hair Oil, or L'Occitane Olive Hair Care Oil.



1. Brush Dry Hair
Oils will penetrate dry, thirsty hair better than hair that's been freshly washed and conditioned. Brush hair thoroughly to distribute its natural oils, and drape a towel over your shoulders to catch drips.

2. Go Section by Section
Work the oil into your hair one section at a time. Starting at the ends and using your fingers, apply the oil a few drops at a time. Work it into the hair until it's saturated, stopping an inch from the scalp. Pay particular attention to dry and damaged areas, which will absorb more oil.

3. Lock in the Moisture
Blow-drying will help the oils penetrate the hair shaft. Using a dryer with a nozzle attachment on a medium-high setting, direct heat down the hair shaft and away from the scalp. Your hair will absorb much of the moisture it needs when heated; if it still drips, blot the excess with a towel.


4. Sit Back and Relax
If your hair is dry, leave the oils on for 20 to 45 minutes. Colored, damaged, or brittle hair will need 45 minutes to 2 hours. For a truly deep conditioning treatment, leave the oils on overnight -- just cover your pillow with a fresh towel.

5. "Dry" Shampoo, Then Rinse
Apply a heaping handful of a natural shampoo to dry hair. Work it into the hair and scalp for 3 to 5 minutes. If needed, spritz your hair with just enough water to create a workable lather. Rinse with warm water.

6. Rebalance Hair's Moisture
Hair is already moist, so a light conditioner is all you need. To remove any oil residue and leave hair bouncy, try a cider-vinegar-based rinse (such as John Masters Organics Herbal Cider Hair Rinse & Clarifier). Rinse, dry, and style as usual.

Text by Donna Garlough; photographs by Anita Calero

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Comments (15)

  • Ikoon 14 Mar, 2010

    The most beautiful shampoos my family ever tried: are made in Canada by DRUIDE. I's extremely different and better than anything else . Believe me!
    You'll be surprised It's available directly on www.druide.ca and fast delivery! All ingredients are natural certified organic.

  • beauty_educator 11 Nov, 2009

    I had very <a href="http://www.healthyhairplus.com/Dry-Hair-s/615.htm">dry hair</a> until I started using a good moisturizing shampoo, it made a world of difference.

  • research_1 4 Mar, 2009

    and for red heads, I use henna and jojoba oil~ no stripping issues
    And I used to use chemical red dye and let it fade quite a bit then used henna. Works great!

  • research_1 4 Mar, 2009

    try Jojoba oil instead. Avail at heath food store, trader joe's elswhere. Wiki Jojoba to learn about it. Great for skin too, night moisturizer, protects or restores from windburn.

  • GwenHex 8 Feb, 2009

    and forget the whole oil thing, i like the bottles in the background.... i want a tub like that : (

  • JennBun 2 Feb, 2009

    GwenHex - Try using Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment, it's a little pricey but it goes a long way and works like a charm. The stuff is truly amazing!

  • GwenHex 2 Feb, 2009

    I have used EVOO twice now and not seen any results at all. Also, DO NOT USE IT ON DYED RED HAIR. It's too acidic and takes the color out faster, same with ACV. It sounded too risky and it was too much of a hassle. But, an avocado did not even work for me, so I may just have the stupidest hair out there.

  • ulihelisdi 2 Feb, 2009

    You can use a mixture of white vinegar and water [half and half] and use that to get the excess oil out of your hair. You can also use the same mixture once a week to remove hair product, as a clarifier. I use my regular shampoo to wash my hair after the moisturizing treatment.

  • DiviDivi 2 Feb, 2009

    Very interesting comments. What is a natural shampoo as mentioned in No.5?

  • carole7777 2 Feb, 2009

    I wish we could either go back and edit our comments (for typos, especially) or have the font larger when typing. Its too hard to read.

  • carole7777 2 Feb, 2009

    I wish we could either go back and edit our comments (for typos, especially) or have the font larger when typing. Its too hard to read.

  • carole7777 2 Feb, 2009

    Extra virgin olive oil is a bit ligher, and burns at a lower temperature. I think for a har treatment, a medium olive oul would be just fine.

    Olive oil is also a great, natural, make-up remover. Just wet a washcloth with warm water and dab at your eyes a bit, apply olive oil with your fingerrtips, and wash away the loosened eye makeup with the washcloth. Rince a few times. It doesnt hurt your eyes, but you may not want a film of oil in your eye.

  • Cspearl 2 Feb, 2009

    This is excellent! I have damaged hair regularly because of meds and weather conditions. I love the coconut oil suggestion. Thank you!!!

  • roseisarose 8 Apr, 2008

    hi sher77
    i use either olive oil or coconut oil (my personal preference) and warm them in the microwave before application to the hair. it does not matter whether olive oil is extra-virgin or first-pressed. And yes, you can buy either at the store. I usually buy the coconut oil at the health food store.

  • sher77 8 Feb, 2008

    can you use medium olive oil from the store

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