Dry hair most common reason for lack of hair confidence, shows new study

woman washing hair in the shower

A new study into the perceptions of different hair types, conducted by Harvey Water Softeners, has found that three-quarters of men and women say their confidence has been affected by their hair, with 40% of those stating dryness, frizz or general lack of health as the main issue.

The second most common reason for a lack of hair confidence was colour, with 22% of respondents. Of those who said colour affected their confidence:

  • 37% had brunette hair
  • 22% had blonde hair
  • 18% had black hair

The data revealed that women are actually happier with their hair overall, with 15% of all women saying that they were satisfied with their hair, whilst just 4% of men felt happy with theirs.

Dry hair is a common issue amongst those living in hard water areas, with the natural build up of minerals in the water causing clogged hair pores and a lack of shine, bounce and overall hair vitality. We conducted this study to better understand the impact of dry hair on those living with it.

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What can we do about dry hair?

Dry hair isn’t necessarily something you have to grin and bear.

The best way to combat dry hair is at its source – namely, your water supply. An investment in a water softener will give you access to a better quality of water that will keep your hair looking and feeling healthier.

There are also various treatments you can try, many of which we’ve shared right here in our Hair Care Hubtake a look at our range of hair mask recipes and tips to avoid dry hair.

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What causes dry hair?

  • Over-washing
  • The hardness of the water in your home
  • Using too much heat on hair
  • Nutrition
  • Age
  • Using bleach or hair colouring products
  • Chlorine
  • Sun

If you live in one of the 13 million homes in the UK that are affected by hard water, then you might find that hard water in your house is harder on your hair and your scalp, which can lead to dry hair. Hard water contains higher levels of calcium and magnesium, which can irritate your scalp and cause a build-up of these minerals in your hair. This build-up can produce a film on your hair, making it harder for moisture to penetrate the hair follicle, leading to drier hair. A water softener removes these minerals, giving you softened water, which is kinder and softer on your hair and doesn’t leave a residue behind when washing. Washing with softened water can mean that you don’t need to use as many products, which is kinder to your skin and hair.

Dry hair study: what the experts say

We asked Valerie Maine, CEO and hair care expert at Live True London for her reaction to our dry hair study. She said:

“Dry hair is a common hair concern but one that can be easily addressed with the right haircare regime. Washing hair too frequently removes the hair’s natural oils which keep it feeling soft and looking moisturised. Additionally, heat styling your hair regularly can also dry out the hair and cause damage. We recommend washing hair no more than twice per week. If your hair is getting greasy quickly, try using a dry shampoo in-between washes. If you’re suffering from dry hair, try to limit the amount of heat styling you do, keep the temperature to a minimum if blow drying your hair and always use a heat protection product before styling.”

The study data

The survey looked at total responses from 400 people across the UK.

Female (42.75%), Male (57.25%).

Age groups: 14 – 17 (0.75%), 18 – 24 (15.0%), 25 – 34 (33.25%), 35 – 44 (23.75%), 45 – 54 (13.25%), > 54 (14.0%)

Of those who said their hair had affected their confidence:

  • 62% were male and 38% were female
  • 42% were Millennials, 34% fit into Gen X
  • 21% were in London, 19% in the North West and 10% in the East of England and Yorkshire and the Humber
  • 42% were brunette, 22% had black hair and 21% had blonde hair

The second most common reason for a lack of hair confidence was colour, with 22% of respondents.

Of those who said colour affected their confidence: 37% had brunette hair, 22% had blonde hair and 18% had black hair

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