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Dear Sugar
I straighten and blow dry my hair several times a week which I know really dries it out. I was wondering if you could recommend any good products to use to help prevent further damage? Dry Di

Dear Dry Di
Heat is the #1 killer of hair cuticles. Try your best to let it air dry a little bit this summer. The straightening iron isn't going to do much anyway once you step out into the summer heat.

But, who am I kidding, right? A bad hair day sets the tone for a bad day in general so do what you must. Just use protection (hee hee). Try using products that contain humectants (moisturizers that replace lost moisture) and EFA's (essential fatty acids).

Safflower oil is one of the best EFA's and you can actually use the kind that you cook with. Rub 2 drops between your hands and massage it into your hair (best when your hair is dry). Start at the ends and work your way up to the roots.

Note: You should always place moisturizers, hot oils, etc... at the ends of your hair first. Your scalp produces sebum - it's a type of hair oil, but what happens is that when your hair grows past your neck line, the sebum doesn't really reach it anymore and your hair dries out.

This is why the tools that you use are very important. It's worth it to invest in a Mason Pearson boars head brush. It's like giving yourself a little scalp massage every time you brush your hair. It gets that sebum flowing and gives your hair a great shine. I bought mine in London and I use it everyday. It was a perfect souvenir.

FYI - hair normally has a moisture content of about 10%. If your hair drops below this level, the key is to increase the hair’s ability to attract and retain moisture. Try this safflower oil trick once to twice a week until you see some improvement. Also, check out the post about Managing Frizzy Hair . . .. Essentially, frizzy hair is dry hair. I've suggested lots of products here and offer additional helpful tips too.

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