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Hair health and science

How Moisture Helps Damaged Hair

8 minutes

Well-moisturised hair feels soft, smooth and silky with a serious healthy shine to it, and sits ‘just right’. Sounds like the kind of hair we all aspire to have, doesn’t it?

In reality, a lot of us will testify that our hair tends to be rough, dry and even a bit straw-like, far from the swishing hair seen in adverts. 

If this sounds more like your hair at the moment, then you need the best hair moisture treatment to get back to healthy-looking hair. But how do you know what to look for? And why is your hair dry in the first place?

Read on for everything you need to know about giving your hair a hit of hydration – think of it as your cheat sheet on how to moisturise hair.

Does hair needs moisture?

Before we dive into the moisturising treatments for hair you need to defend your locks against damage, it’s helpful to know why we need moisture in the first place. 

Moisture helps to protect hair from external stressors, like extreme weather conditions. It’s about more than the shine and how your hair looks on the outside, moisture’s also critical to prevent breakage and improve hair’s elasticity (the reasons to condition hair just keep building up!).

Our body naturally produces oils from the scalp to hydrate hair. The oil’s (sebum) travel from the root, down the hair shaft, leaving hair moisturized. But sometimes, the oils we naturally produce don’t quite do the trick. Depending on your hair type and hair’s condition, you might need a little help from conditioning products to keep hair hydrated. 

Curly and thick hair types crave moisture because of their natural structure; it’s harder for the natural oils to migrate down the strands because of the shape, leaving them much drier – moisture fills these dry gaps in the hair structure. Fine or straight hair still needs moisture, but possibly less / only from mid-lengths to avoid a ‘weighed down’ look.

But what are the biggest contributors to dry, brittle hair that feels rough, especially at the tips? Keep scrolling for more on what causes damage and how moisture can help.

Moisture and dry, damaged hair

Our hair very visibly reflects the things we do to it. When we colour it, take to it with styling tools and use regular styling treatments, each strand feels the wear and tear. All of this, as well as external stressors like UV, pollution and the weather can lead to damage and hair that feels and looks dry and brittle. Dryness is actually the main visible signal that your hair’s damaged. 

Look at it this way: if you put a drop of water on a styling tool’s hot plate, it sizzles and evaporates. Now imagine that happening to your hair when you use straighteners or curling wands! By doing, that, you’re removing the natural moisture from your hair and makes it craving nourishment. 

This is the beginning of a vicious circle: damaged hair lacks moisture, and dry hair is weakened / sensitized and more prone to further damage and breakage.

The key to gorgeous, healthy-looking hair is all about keeping the right level of moisture at any point in time.

So, the key to gorgeous, healthy-looking hair is all about keeping the right level of moisture at any point in time.

Moisture and frizzy hair

Healthy hair has a dense structure and can absorb 30% its own weight in water, however, dry and damaged hair is more porous and will soak up almost double this amount, making it frizzy and unruly. Humidity is microscopic water droplets in the air that is easily absorbed by dry and damaged hair as it fills the gaps in hair’s structure. So, the more moisture your hair has, the less likely it is to absorb humidity and get frizzy. In short, healthier moisture levels lead to better behaved hair! Damaged hair is going to be dryer and so, it’s more prone to frizz.

When overworked, your hair’s natural oils can’t sustain the right amount of moisture and that’s why you need to compensate and take action with the right moisturising products.

When overworked, your hair’s natural oils can’t sustain the right amount of moisture and that’s why you need to compensate and take action with the right moisturising products. It’s the same for hair that’s curly and dryer towards the ends because of the hair’s structure. Luckily, there are many things you can do to make sure your hair is moisturized to the max – keep reading for our simple steps to hair hydration.

How to moisturise hair in 4 simple steps to fight dryness and damage

1. Pick the right moisturising shampoo 

For the ultimate moisture, all aspects of your haircare regime should aim to be hydrating to the hair. If you tend to have dry and damaged hair, make sure you use a shampoo that lightly moisturizes. That way it won’t strip your hair’s natural oils (which could make it even drier and more vulnerable), and it will also bring moisture back to its healthy levels. 

The Superfood collection, that includes a nourishing shampoo, does exactly that. It’s like a multi-vitamin for your hair, combining a potent blend of key nutrients for 100% fuller and stronger hair*. 

2. Choose a moisturising conditioner 

Conditioners smooth out your hair by depositing conditioning agents onto it, filling the gaps in your hair structure and leaving it feeling much smoother and softer after you use it. Most of us (if not all) include a good moisturising cream as an essential part of our skincare regime, but not all of us think about doing the same for our hair. Think of a conditioner as a thirst-quenching moisturiser for hair that’s an essential regular step in your haircare regime. 

If your hair is on the dry side, upgrade your regular conditioner to one that’s a little more potent, like our Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Superfood, to nourish hair and keep it feeling moisturised all day long. This product acts as an intense treatment, but is formulated for daily use. Together with the shampoo, your hair will be noticeably smoother AND stronger. After all, it’s not just the outside of your hair that’ll look healthier, the inside will be healthier too. 

The finer and thinner your hair, the lighter the formula you need. If your hair gets weighed down easily, you need a foam conditioner! The Repair & Protect Foam Conditioner offers all the moisture you need with none of the weight, helping to repair hair and protect it from damage. 

The same applies for thicker hair types – the Gold Series Moisture Boost Conditioner was designed specifically with afro curly and kinky hair types in mind and is the perfect remedy to make sure moisture finds its way to the tips of curly hair. 

3. Use a weekly moisture treatment

For exceptionally dry and coarse hair that’s prone to a lot of frizz, give our Protect & Repair Deep Repair Masque a go. It’s like a tall glass of water for your dehydrated hair. And it’s simple to use. Just let strands soak up the moisturizing formula – a few minutes should do the trick - and your hair will be protected against humidity and external stressors that can cause damage throughout the day. It’s the perfect little moisture treatment for hair. Use it 2-3 times a week until your hair looks and feels back on track, then use weekly. 

Don’t forget that a dry oil can also be a good ally on your non-wash days to bring give hair the moisture it needs. We’ve designed the Pantene Dry Oil with Vitamin E to nourish your strands and protect them from breakage. If you have fine hair, you can trust this oil to give you this shiny and bouncy finish without the weight. 

A few simple changes to your lifestyle could make all the difference to your hair’s condition.

4. Take care of yourself with a positive lifestyle and diet

A few simple changes to your lifestyle could make all the difference to your hair’s condition. Including Omega 3 rich foods in your diet (like avocados and salmon) are great for healthy hair growth. 

Try to reduce the number of times you blow-dry your hair and be gentle when towel drying so as not to cause breakage. Use a heat protectant, like our Gold Series Thermal Heat Protector every time you blow dry or use styling tools. 

When you go for a swim in salty or chlorinated water, make sure you wash your hair afterwards and properly moisturize hair with a deep treatment, like our Repair and Protect Deep Repair Masque. 

These small changes can have a big impact on the overall condition of your hair and its moisture levels. 

Hopefully now you’ve got to grips with just how important moisture is for damaged hair, filling those gaps in the hair structure for smoother, better-behaved and healthier hair. Hair goals will be yours in no time at all.

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