How to care for dry and damaged hair

When it comes to looking and feeling good, our hair can make a big impact! When our hair becomes dry or damaged – and let’s face it, we’ve all been there – those bad hair days can start to pile up. The good news? We can help you hydrate and care for your dry and damaged hair.

Dry and damaged hair: signs and causes

Before we get into the how and why of dry and damaged hair, let’s take a step back to understand healthy hair. Our hair is made up of two parts – the inner and outer layers of the hair shaft. The outer layer protects the inner layer, forming a protective barrier so that moisture can’t escape. Your scalp makes a lovely oily substance called sebum that keeps the outer layer hydrated and smooth, giving your hair that glossy shine and helping keep it soft and manageable. Sebum is also what makes oily hair look, well, oily.

Dry hair

Dry hair happens when your hair doesn’t get enough moisture, or when it can’t hold on to the moisture you put in, thanks to damage of the outer layer. You can tell your hair is dry when it looks dull and frizzy and feels brittle and rough.

Different things can cause dry hair, such as getting older, having a dry scalp, and what’s going on in your environment. A big factor is how you take care of your hair – frequent washing, harsh shampoos, heat styling, and other procedures (such as perming or bleaching) can all help moisture escape or cause damage to that outer layer, leading to dry hair.

Damaged hair

When we say damaged hair, we mean damage to the outer layer – the one that’s meant to be doing the protecting. Damaged hair looks and feels unhealthy, instead of shiny and soft. Having damaged hair is basically like having a bad hair day, every day.

Damaged hair can be brittle and fragile and more prone to split ends and breakage (boo). The cause of split ends or hair breakage is a damaged outer layer, which leaves the inner layer exposed and vulnerable to the world.

While obvious causes of hair damage include things such as bleaching, colouring, perming, and straightening (all the fun things), it’s important to understand that even how we handle our hair everyday can be causing damage over time. Rubbing your hair roughly when washing or towel drying, brushing it too hard or too much, using hair dryers and hot styling tools, exposure to sunlight and pool water – these everyday actions can all cause damage to both the inner and outer parts of the hair shaft.

What is the best shampoo and conditioner for dry and damaged hair?

When it comes to choosing a shampoo and conditioner for dry and damaged hair, it’s important to choose products that are specifically made for hair that needs a bit of extra love. Damaged and dry hair shampoo should offer mild, gentle cleansing to remove dirt and excess oil from the hair while also hydrating to help the hair hold on to moisture. Damaged and dry hair conditioner should flatten and seal the outer layer to protect and smooth the hair shaft, helping to prevent moisture loss as well as boost hydration.

Dermaveen Hair + Scalp Extra Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner are the perfect combination to help soothe your sensitive scalp and hydrate, strengthen, and repair your dry and damaged hair. These products are dermatologically tested and contain OatActiv+® to soothe and protect your scalp, as well as hyaluronic acid and jojoba esters to nourish and strengthen your hair.

Tips to protect dry and damaged hair

In addition to choosing the right dry and damaged hair shampoo and conditioner to care for your hair, take a look at these other tips and tricks to help you protect your locks as you go about your days.

When you’re washing your hair

You may have heard that dry and damaged hair should be washed less often than other hair types. One research study found that washing your hair more often with a mild shampoo did not, in fact, damage the inner layer of the hair shaft. That said, how often you wash your hair really comes down to how oily your scalp gets and your personal preferences around how that feels and affects your hair.

Whatever you choose in terms of how often you wash your hair, some key tips when washing include:

  • Gently massage shampoo into just your scalp and avoid rubbing it through the lengths and ends of your hair to help prevent damage
  • Use a conditioner every time you shampoo to help protect and smooth your hair
  • Avoid vigorous rubbing with a towel – consider wrapping your hair in a towel to absorb the excess water instead (it may take more time but think of it as a way to help prevent those bad hair days!)

When you’re styling your hair

Over-brushing is actually contributing to hair damage, so try to limit brushing your hair to just those times when you are styling. Avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet – instead, consider using a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle damp hair. Do your best little mermaid impression – we won’t judge if you sing while detangling!

Using styling tools such as a hair dryer, straightener, or curling iron can certainly cause heat-damaged hair, with higher temperatures associated with more damage. But if going cold turkey on your favourite styling tool seems a bit drastic, tips for reducing heat damage include using lower heat settings, having the tool touch the hair for less time, using the tools less often, as well as using a heat protectant product when you do use heat styling tools.

When it comes to keeping hair off your face, styles that pull the hair tight and products that provide long-lasting hold can also contribute to hair damage. Try looser hair styles and use hair-friendly elastics or clips – make it a fashion statement!

When you’re out in the sun or water

Did you know that sun protection is not just for your skin? To protect your hair from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, consider using products that contain UV protectants or wearing a hat. 

To help protect your hair from chlorinated or salty water, consider applying a conditioner to wet hair before swimming and wearing a tight-fitting swim cap while you’re in the water. Always remember to rinse your hair immediately after swimming!

Dry and damaged hair FAQs


A dry scalp may be one reason for dry hair, but there are other causes of dry hair including harsh shampoos, exposure to sun or water, heat styling, and chemical procedures.


Dry hair needs extra moisture to help smooth the protective outer layer and protect the inner layer from damage, so look for a specially formulated dry hair shampoo and conditioner to boost hydration such as Dermaveen Hair + Scalp Extra Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner.


As well as choosing a specially formulated dry and damaged hair shampoo and conditioner such as Dermaveen Hair + Scalp Extra Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner, it’s important to be gentle when washing and brushing, limit heat styling when you can, and use appropriate products to protect your hair when heat styling, in the sun, or out swimming.


Split ends may be controlled between washes using certain hair products, but having dry, frizzy split ends trimmed off regularly can help your hair feel smoother and look healthier.