Health Tools & Information

Dry hair

Definition

Dry hair is hair that does not have enough moisture and oil to maintain its normal sheen and texture.

Alternative Names

Hair - dry

Causes

Home Care

  • Shampoo less frequently -- perhaps only once or twice a week
  • 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
  • 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 is used?
  • How often do you wash your hair?
  • Do you use a conditioner? What type?
  • How do you normally style the 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 the microscope
  • Blood tests

References

Habif TM. Hair diseases. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 24.


Review Date: 11/30/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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