It's no surprise that maintaining healthy hair requires a consistent routine filled with products that contain the proper nutrients. If your hair tends to be on the dry side, there are several treatments you can use to boost your hair's health and hydration at home without needing to visit the salon. While the thought of using hair oils or masks might seem intimidating at first, we promise it's not as difficult as it seems. We interviewed four expert stylists—Sunnie Brook, Ericka Verrett, Justine Marjan, and Melissa D'Avenio—to get all the details on the best at-home treatments to treat dry hair, and the results are in.
Meet the Expert
- Sunnie Brook is a celebrity hairstylist and Biolage Brand Ambassador who has worked with stars such as Elizabeth Moss, Nicole Scherzinger, and Amy Poehler.
- Ericka Verrett is a hair stylist at SWA Agency specializing in red carpet and editorial looks for the likes of Miranda Kerr and Maggie Rogers.
- Justine Marjan is a celebrity stylist whose client list includes Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian, Kerry Washington, and Ashley Graham. She is the Global Stylist for Trésemme and the Lead Stylist for Bravo's Project Runway.
- Melissa D'Avenio is the senior hairstylist at Antonio Prieto Salon in New York City.
Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about hair hydration.
Try Some Prickly Pear Oil
Brook forgoes the classic coconut oil hair masque in lieu of another lesser-known oil for instant shine. "Prickly pear oil adds shine, repairs damaged ends, and protects hair from the sun," she says. This cactus oil is rich in nourishing fatty acids, natural collagen, and vitamin E. Just be sure to cater the application process to your hair's texture and density. "If you have medium to thick hair, oils are good, but if you have fine hair, oils can tend to weigh the hair down," Brook tells us. "If you want to hydrate ends with oils but have fine hair, add the oil to some warm water in a fine mist spray bottle and spray on damp hair."
Cleanse and Blow-Dry Strategically
Another genius tip for anyone with dry hair: Try adding a touch of oil to the ends of your hair before shampooing, as it hydrates them while keeping them protected against drying cleansing agents. "When drying your hair, use a Turkish cotton towel as they are the most absorbent, to remove as much of the water in your hair before using a blow-dryer," Brook says. Then she recommends focusing on drying the roots of the hair first. "Depending on the texture of your hair, leave the ends to air-dry or lower the temperature of the dryer to medium to protect them from heat."
Experiment With Different Kinds of Oils
Speaking of hair oils, Verrett is a big fan. "Oils are well-suited for use on dry hair and make a great DIY treatment. There are so many different ways to use and incorporate them into your haircare routine." Instead of traditional oil cures, she likes to keep multitasking oil products in her kit, and she's a fan of the Kora Organics Noni Glow Body Oil. "Even though it's technically formulated to boost skin health, this oil is rich in noni extract, rosehip oil, and sunflower seed oil, which all work to nourish and hydrate hair," she says.
She recommends mixing the Kora body oil with coconut oil for a pre-shampoo treatment. Simply mix a few pumps of this product with a spoonful of coconut oil and apply it to hair 10 minutes before shampooing. After you wash it out, your hair will be smooth, shiny, and hydrated.
Opt For a Silk Pillowcase
Marjan recommends switching out your pillowcase from the standard cotton to silk. "My biggest tip for dry hair is to sleep on a silk pillowcase," she says. "This is the most passive action you can take to make the biggest difference in your hair and skin. Regular cotton pillowcases absorb and pull moisture from your skin and hair, leaving it drier than before you went to bed, while silk pillowcases allow your hair to soak and absorb oils." Marjan loves the Hollywood Silk Solution pillowcase.
Use Kérastase Elixer Ultime
D'Avenio loves stocking up on Kérastase's classic hair oil, Elixer Ultime. "It's a serum that uses a combination of four oils that really penetrate into the hair, allowing for maximum nourishment," she says. "It also delivers a beautiful shine without looking oily."
For extra-dry hair, D'Avenio prefers the Kérastase Magistral Mask ($56), as a daily conditioner or weekly treatment.
Invest in Hair Supplements
There are a couple of different types of dryness, according to Marjan. "Some hair types need keratin added in, and some need more cream-based moisture," she says. Knowing what type of dryness or damage you have can help avoid common mistakes like thinking that your hair needs moisture when it really needs protein or vice versa.
"If your hair has been over-processed, chances are that oils may not be enough. I would suggest addressing dry hair from multiple aspects," she says. In addition to living a healthy lifestyle, Marjan says that supplements can help: "A supplement like Olly's Undeniable Beauty Gummy Vitamins will allow your hair to grow in stronger along with preventing future dryness."
Make DIY Masks at Home
For Marjan, the best DIY at-home treatment involves melting together a teaspoon of organic unrefined honey with coconut oil. "Honey acts as a humectant, sealing in the moisture from the coconut oil, making it more effective than if used alone." Mixing the two can make a real difference in hair, just be sure to thoroughly rinse out when finished so there's no leftover residue.
Boar Bristle Brushes Will Be Your BFF
Brushing hair is an easy and effective way to boost its health right away. Marjan says that brushing the hair delicately when it is dry with a smoothing brush will pull moisture from the scalp through the ends. The action hydrates the dry ends with your scalp's natural oils, in return keeping it hydrated. Just be sure to use a boar bristle brush, as they're most effective at distributing oil. "It is more elastic and can pull fragile strands, causing breakage," Marjan says. Our current favorite is a combination of oil-distributing boar bristles and detangling nylon bristles.
Try Using Aloe Vera
Pure aloe vera isn't just for soothing sunburned skin. Thanks to antioxidants, fatty acids, and natural vitamins A, C, and E, this plant locks in moisture anywhere it's applied. Aloe-infused haircare products like shampoo and conditioner are a great way to implement this powerful ingredient into your routine.
While we love using aloe-infused haircare products, if our hair is really damaged and dry, we apply it in its natural state. Just slice open the long-stemmed aloe leaf and apply the cooling gel directly to the hair.
Repair Damage With Olaplex
"For color-treated hair that might have been over-processed, I would suggest at-home Olaplex treatments to repair the damage," Marjan says. Olaplex strengthens the chemical bonds in the hair's cuticle, meaning it actually reseals split ends.
Marjan also recommends using a leave-in conditioner and preventing heat damage. "I strongly recommend only using non-damaging hot tools like flatirons or curling irons from GHD, as it's a myth that the hotter the iron, the better you can style your hair. Always finish blow-drying with the cool shot button on your GHD Blowdryer ($199) to close the cuticle and prevent frizz."