I’ve lived in UAE all my life.
I was born in Abu Dhabi and I had no idea how harsh the climate was to my hair until I started travelling.
By the age of 18, I started traveling frequently.
I now live in India but I still make trips back and forth to UAE because the place still calls me.
It’s my home.
But I never knew how damaging the climate and water was to my hair until I started noticing it.
Because the salt water is treated with chemicals to make the water less hard, it’s actually really drying for the hair.
Apart from this, the sun is very harsh.
And just like how the sun tans and ages the skin, UV rays do affect the hair and make it more dry and damaged.
That’s why when you live in a country like UAE, you do need to take extra care of your hair.
So, whether you are an ex-pat living in UAE or you’re traveling there for a bit – these tips will help you!
In this post, I’ll explain a bit about this and also cover multiple ways I take care of my hair in UAE.
Let’s dive in!
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Is hair fall normal in UAE?
Yes, UAE’s weather and water conditions are very unfavorable to hair. The UV radiation from the sun and the high mineral concentration in hard water weaken and damage and dry the hair – causing hair fall.
Here’s why people experience hair fall in UAE:
- Climate and environmental factors: UAE experiences very hot and arid weather conditions (especially in July and August, this is why we have such fewer work hours and we get summer holidays in school) with high levels of humidity and intense sunlight. Because of the intense UV radiation from the sun, hair becomes weak and dry – and this leads to more hair fall.
- Water quality: UAE processes the salt water to make it less hard before supplying it to houses and apartments. But in certain regions of UAE, the mineral content of water like chlorine and salt will be very, very high. And this hard water with high mineral concentrations causes dryness, scalp irritation, and hair damage – leading to hair fall.
- Nutritional imbalance: It’s very easy to eat packaged and processed food in UAE – almost everything is imported. Even the fruits, vegetables and meat comes from other countries but along with other kids, I grew up with junk food. We get the best of the best-packaged milk, juices, sodas, chips, chocolates, and everything you can possibly think of. It’s easier to grab a snack than cook your own meal and this can cause nutritional deficiencies – which weakens hair follicles, making them more prone to breakage and fall out.
- Hormonal changes: Because we eat a lot of processed food in UAE and drink a lot of canned beverages, this does have an effect on our hormones. A lot of men and women have hormonal imbalances and this can cause increased hairfall.
- Lack of vitamin D: The sun is unimaginably harsh. Because of this, a lot of us cover ourselves from head to foot and rarely step out of our air-conditioned apartments. Even our cars are tinted. A recent study proves that most people are vitamin D deficient and this too can cause hair fall.
- Hairstyling practices: Most women in UAE blowdry or straighten their hair. They also wear tight hairstyles and this can damage the hair shaft, weakens the roots, and contribute to severe hair fall.
How to take care of hair in UAE?
Yes, taking care of your hair in UAE definitely requires more effort on your part because of the weather conditions and the water.
But if you follow these steps, you will see a huge difference in a few weeks.
1. Drink plenty of water
Because you are constantly in an air-conditioned building, you are going to lose a lot of water quickly. Air-conditioning also dries the air and subsequently your hair.
So, stay hydrated – it’s difficult to feel thirsty in Abu Dhabi – we tend to confuse hunger and thirst there a lot and it’s easier to reach for a coffee or a soda.
Don’t do that.
Coffee will dehydrate you further.
So, please drink a lot of water. Calculate how much water your body requires on a daily basis and drink a lot of water.
By staying hydrated from within, your hair will become stronger.
Additionally, consider investing in a humidifier like this so that you can add moisture to your air and prevent excessive drying of your hair.
2. Be very gentle when cleansing your hair
Don’t use harsh shampoos with a lot of sulfate in them – you may want to see froth and foam when shampooing but because the water is mostly hard, it’s going to be difficult to achieve that with mild shampoos.
So, please use mild shampoos. It’s okay if it doesn’t foam – as long as you feel it’s cleaning your hair and removing dirt, pollutants, and hair products – you’re good to go.
I highly recommend the Pura D’Or anti-thinning biotin shampoo – it only cleanses the hair without removing the natural oils present in your hair – so it won’t overdry your hair and leave it frizzy, this is what I love about this shampoo.
Also, as much as possible, prevent overwashing. Overwashing can lead to dryness.
Washing your hair every other day or every 2-3 days is more than enough.
Most parts of the UAE are not that polluted – the air is quite clean and fresh based on my experience.
3. Deep condition your hair
Now, if your hair is dry, frizzy and you notice that your hair tangles very easily, it means that your hair needs a lot of moisture.
Now, I’ve already said earlier that drinking water is a must!
But apart from that, you can help your hair retain more moisture, bu giving it some extra tender loving care – and that involves deep conditioning treatments.
Now, you don’t need to go to a salon to do this.
Just get a regular hair mask or deep conditioner. Make sure it’s enriched with natural oils and hydrating ingredients.
After you’ve shampooed your hair and rinsed normally, just apply the deep conditioner from mid-length till the ends of your hair – focusing on the driest areas.
Usually, the hair ends are brittle and dry.
Leave it in for 15-30 minutes and then rinse regularly with lukewarm or cold water.
As a curly girl with hair that tends to get frizzy and dry in humid climates – this is one technique that has helped me maintain soft, bouncy curls. And I swear by this deep conditioner. It’s enriched with Argan oil and it works like a charm for my hair!
4. Protect your hair from the sun
If you wear a hijab or a scarf when you go outside, then you’re good – you needn’t worry.
But I strongly recommend covering your hair or being very careful when staying outdoors.
The sun damages hair – period.
Just like how you have to religiously apply sunscreen in the UAE, you also need to protect your hair from the harsh UV rays.
Wear a hat or a scarf when spending prolonged periods under the sun.
I recommend wearing a large sun hat like this because this is stylish and I usually wear it to prevent getting a headache – the sun is extremely hot in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
5. Be mindful of styling your hair
If you are experiencing weak and damaged hair and you’re noticing hair fall – be gentle with your hair. This means:
- Not wearing tight hairstyles – so avoid ponytails and buns that pull or tug at the hair tightly
- Not combing hair harshly – detangle gently in the shower starting from the ends and using conditioner so you don’t pull out your hair
- Not rubbing your hair with a towel after a shower – gently dab or pat your hair to dry it and then let it air dry – don’t roughly rub, it really damages hair!
- Not using heat when styling – avoid straighteners, curlers, or blow-dryers as much as possible. I’ve eliminated them completely because excessive heat can make the dryness and breakage work.
It’s hard, but try to embrace your natural hair texture or try heat-free styling methods like braids or air-drying.
Even if you are using a blow dryer, use the cold-air setting to dry your hair.
And if at all you can’t avoid them, use a good heat protectant spray like this to minimize the damage!
6. Use a lot of nourishing oil on your hair
I’ve covered how you can pre-poo your hair with oil and I’ve discussed the best oils for pre-pooing – give this a read.
In my opinion, argan oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil are excellent choices for restoring moisture, reducing frizz, and adding a nice gloss to the hair.
Apply a small amount to damp hair (not wet hair because it won’t absorb) and then wait for 30 minutes and shampoo it out.
Don’t use too much or leave it on for more than 2 hours, otherwise, you’d have to overwash with shampoo and this will dry out your hair even more!
7. Trim off split ends
Everyone gets split ends.
The ends of the hair are more susceptible to wear and tear because hair grows from the roots and not the ends.
Split ends don’t grow. They ride up and damage the rest of the hair.
So, it’s absolutely crucial that you trim your split ends every 6-8 weeks. This will ensure that you are removing damaged and brittle ends – and this helps your hair grow.
To prevent split ends and maintain healthy hair growth.
So, schedule an appointment with your hairstylist and get those trim ends cut off.
8. Eat nourishing foods
The last thing you can do is include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and plant-based protein sources like beans, lentils, and tofu in your diet – this will help you consume protein which is crucial for hair structure and growth because our hair is primarily made of protein.
Apart from protein, include food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.
You can also consume almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds – these are excellent sources of vitamin E, biotin, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Leafy green vegetables like spinach contain vitamins A and C which help you to produce sebum – our hair’s natural oils.
Eating these foods will drastically help you increase the quality and health of your hair.
I know I’ve mentioned a lot of tips – but try to incorporate them one by one. Deep conditioning and pre-pooing will improve your hair the fastest.
Dietary changes and hydration will take time but these work from within.
If you have more tips, do let me know!
Here are some posts you may find helpful:
- How to Protect Your Hair from Chlorine Without a Swim Cap
- Is it Bad to Touch Your Hair a Lot + How to Stop Touching Your Hair
- When Can I Wash My Hair After Giving Birth? How to Do It
- Pre Pooing with Jamaican Black Castor Oil – Everything to Know
- 5 Reasons Why Your Hair is Sticky After Swimming + How to Fix It
- 9 Genuine Reasons Why Your Hair is Always Tangled in the Back
- Can You Bleach Permed Hair? Everything You Need to Know!