Dry hair

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

Alternative Names

Hair - dry


Some causes of dry hair are:

Home Care

At home you should:

  • 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 do you use?
  • How often do you wash your hair?
  • Do you use a conditioner? What type?
  • How do you normally style your 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 a microscope
  • Blood tests


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

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 12/2/2014
  • Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, dermatologist in private practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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