Why Your Natural Hair Is Always Dry & How to Fix It:

While curly, coily, and kinky hair is generally prone to be drier in texture, if you find that your natural hair is always dry no matter what, there may be a fixable misstep somewhere in habit. It is easy to apply moisture to our hair, however, for many naturals the problem is retaining that moisture.

Here are some reasons why your natural hair is always dry, and how to fix it:

natural hair is always dry
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Heat damage and prolonged chemical use (dyes, relaxers, etc.) can cause permanent damage to the hair shaft. If you have not previously cut off this damage, it can be a reason why your natural hair is always dry. The reason being is because the damage has created gaps and cracks throughout the hair cuticle, leaving the hair cuticle in a raised state. This makes it more difficult to seal and trap in moisture. High porosity hair is a common result of hair damage, and can give the appearance of frizzy, dull, and dry hair.

How to fix it:

  • If you have not already, go ahead and cut off your remaining hair damage, or gradually transition. Health over length will pay off in the long run. Use protective styles in the mean time if you are transitioning.


Another reason your natural hair is always dry, is because you are using the wrong products. This can mean the product you are using simply does not work, or you are using a product in a way that it is not intended for. For example, you cannot apply only a styling gel to your hair and expect for your hair to be moisturized.

Many people also get the misconception that oils can moisturize hair. However, most oils can only seal in moisture. There are a few oils though that can penetrate the hair shaft (e.g. avocado oil, coconut oil), but there still must be some sort of prior moisture applied for the oil to lock on to. Most naturals can determine whether or not a product works for them. If you are afraid of buying a product and wasting money because it does not work, try buying a travel / sample size to test out to prevent wasted funds.

why your natural hair is always dry
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How to fix it:

  • Aside from not using the wrong products that do not work for you, make sure you are using a product for its intended use. Styling products like gels typically do not provide or retain moisture, so it is best to apply a moisturizing leave-in prior to your styling products. Another tip is to read the directions on hair product labels. Many of us tend to skip over that part, but it can actually be very helpful and provide better results with our styles.


As we all know, the weather can have a varying affect on our natural hair. Humid climates tend to cause more frizz, and when the winter season rolls around, drier hair is likely. If you live in an area where the weather is desert-like, hot and dry, you can expect a similar effect on the hair. In humid weather, our hair cuticles lift in an effort to absorb the water molecules / moisture in the air causing it to expand, often giving the appearance of frizzy hair. If you are not applying moisturizing products before going out in any particular climate, dry hair is a possibility.

How to fix it:

  • If the weather forecast isn’t looking good the next day you can always tie your hair up. However, if you want to wear it down there are ways to limit the frizz and dryness for any climate. For humid weather, layer up on moisture! A creamy leave-in, a strong hold styling product, and a heavy sealing oil will aid in combating frizz. For dry weather, whether cold or hot, the same applies. Add layers of moisture to protect against the harsh environmental elements. 


Sealants are what help to keep your hair moisturized. They can come in the form of creams, butters, oils, leave-in conditioners, etc. All of which can lock in moisture. If you find that your natural hair is always dry, it might be because you are not properly sealing in the moisture that you have applied.

why your natural hair is always dry

How to fix it:

  • On wash day after you have cleansed and deep conditioned, you are going to want to retain as much of that moisture as possible. To do this, apply a leave-in conditioner followed by a sealing oil, then style as desired. For thicker hair textures, heavier sealants like creams and butters will provide more benefit. For fine strands, a lightweight cream or a leave-in with slip will get the job done. The L.O.C. or L.C.O. methods are additional ways to seal in moisture.


Scalp health is at the start of your overall hair health. A scalp that has too much product build-up or isn’t properly taken care of can inhibit growth at the root. Additionally, the scalp is where the natural oils that our hair produces, called sebum, stems from. If your scalp isn’t clean or is blocked by too much build-up, this can make it even harder for the sebum to reach the full length of the hair strand. The result is excessively dry strands.

How to fix it:

  • Check out our list of 5 signs of too much product build-up. Make sure you are keeping your scalp clean and healthy. A few ways to do so are by using a moisturizing shampoo – cleanses yet doesn’t strip the hair of its natural oils. Maintaining good scalp health also includes doing occasional scalp massages with an oil, letting your scalp breathe (when wearing protective styles, wigs, etc.), and consuming healthy foods on the inside that transfer to the outside.


Oils provide many health benefits, especially for natural hair. The natural oil that our hair strands produce, called sebum, has difficulty traveling down the spiral shaped strands, sometimes creating dry, brittle ends.  While most oils cannot moisturize, and instead help to seal in moisture, they still play an important role. Oils can provide an additional layer to lock in your moisturizing products that you have applied.

why your natural hair is always dry

How to fix it:

  • If your natural hair is always dry, try using a heavier sealing oil like coconut oil or castor oil after you have applied your moisturizing products. If you hardly use oils, try incorporating them into your hair regimen. Peppermint oil, castor oil, and lavender oil are just a few stimulating oils that can help to promote hair growth (make sure you first dilute essential oils with a carrier oil beforehand). Another tip is to make it a habit to apply oils to the ends of your hair nightly, or every other day. This will alleviate dryness and help to mend brittle ends.


Using too harsh of a shampoo can be another reason your natural hair is always dry. Have you ever used a shampoo and it left your hair feeling literally kind of squeaky clean? Sometimes shampoos cleanse the hair to the point where it strips the strands of its natural oils. Because of this, the result is often times dry hair.

How to fix it:

  • A good way to cleanse the hair without the process being too harsh on your strands, is to use a moisturizing shampoo. Moisturizing shampoos still cleanse the hair, but simultaneously provide moisture and preserve your hair’s natural oils. There are even natural cleansers like apple cider vinegar. Doing an apple cider vinegar rinse can also help to balance the pH of the hair.

What are some of your favorite moisturizing natural hair products?

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