Is dry and brittle hair getting you down?
If your tresses have seen better days, there's no need to grab a hat and hide your hair underneath it.
Some of us really put our hair to the test using styling tools, hair products, and tight elastics that can contribute to damaged hair.
These things, whether in isolation or combined, can then lead to unsightly hair loss.
Unfortunately, hair loss in women can be a hard issue to grasp for both men and women alike, given it’s less talked about in public and there’s few representations of it in the media.
There’s no denying, full and voluminous hair is often touted as the peak of feminine beauty.
But not all of us are born with the genes that even make this a possibility.
We often have to work with what we’re born with, unless you go down the route of borrowing the look with human hair extensions.
There are, however, things you could be doing to your hair everyday which aren’t doing you any favors and hindering you from at least having your best looking hair.
Harsh chemicals and overheating can damage and dry your hair, leaving it brittle and dull. All those years of bleaching or dying can really take its toll!
In this article, we're breaking down why your hair is damaged and what you can do to repair it.
Here are some of the top reasons why you may be experiencing dry, brittle, and damaged hair.
Table Of Contents
1. Check Your Diet
Ever heard the saying, you are what you eat.
Diets filled with processed and refined foods, lacking in any real nutrients, can leave a lasting negative impact on your body and your hair.
Your skin, hair, and nails shine when you eat a balanced diet.
Spinach is a great source of iron, vitamin A and C and protein. Having low iron could be a factor contributing to your hair loss.
There could be a number of reasons you aren’t absorbing enough iron from your diet, so the best way to check is to get a blood test from your doctor.
It's essential to get zinc, iron, and folic acid in your daily diet. Certain nutrients can also help boost the absorption of other minerals and vitamins critical for healthy hair growth.
Solution: Take care of your body, and your body will take care of you.
Too much alcohol and drugs will wear you and your hair down, and even inhibit your body from absorbing certain nutrients.
Limit your intake if you want stronger, healthier hair that shines. Focus on eating a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly.
2. Stop Stressing
Stress, both emotional and physical, can raise your cortisol levels and cause a ripple effect on your body's ability to rest and digest, and assimilate nutrients effectively.
If you're living in a chronic state of stress, you may find you start to feel fatigued, and your body will start sending signals that things are out of balance.
Hair loss is a common symptom of your body trying to tell you, 'Hey, something isn't right here!'
Solution: Look for ways to get your stress under control. Meditate, take a yoga class, or talk to a counselor to see what might be causing triggers in your life.
Keeping a daily journal to track your thoughts and emotions. A sweet leather bound journal could be all the inspiration you need to turn this into a daily habit.
3. Hair Washing Habits
Washing your hair too often can actually be causing more damage than good. Oils in our hair are actually healthy. The sebum your scalp produces is vital to healthy, shiny hair. So no, you don’t actually have to wash your hair everyday!
Solution: If your hair is dry, start washing your hair two times a week.
If your scalp tends to get oily faster, consider washing your hair a few more times a week.
Dry shampoos can also work as a quick fix for those in-between days when your hair is getting a bit oily, but it's not the time for a wash yet.
4. Read The Labels Of Hair Care Products
Too many women take marketing as law when it comes to hair care products. Rather, we should be looking past the glossy labels and do our own research into what’s actually being put into our hair care products.
Sulfates in your hair products give you that foam that makes you feel like you're cleaning your hair. While your hair may feel clean, sulfates also strip your hair of its natural oils. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) can cause irritation to your eyes, skin, mouth, and lungs. Sulfates may also clog pores and cause acne if your skin is sensitive.
Parabens are known to disrupt hormone function and also go by the names: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or ethylparaben. Diethanolamine (DEA) is used as a foaming agent to make your shampoos and conditioners sudsy.
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the FDA linked the topical application of DEA and certain DEA-related ingredients and cancer in laboratory animals. However, the NTP study did not establish a link between DEA and the risk of cancer in humans.
Solution: To see what type of impact these products are having on hair and your health, switch your shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks to see if you notice a difference. Your hair might bounce back to its natural form.
5. Pollution, Sun and UV Damage
Everyday environmental exposures can also be doing harm to your hair.
Soot, dust, smoke, and other pollutants can take a toll on your locks, leaving your hair desperate for some attention. These things can make your hair more vulnerable to dryness and an itchy scalp.
Do you love going to the beach and spending all day in the sun?
We hate to break it to you, but UVB rays can damage your hair cuticles and skin. If you want to avoid split ends and thinning, bring a hat with you if you plan on spending an extended period outside.
Solution: Need a quick fix?
Use a deep nourishing hair mask to pamper your hair, and be gentle when you're combing out tangles from wet hair.
You don't want to cause more breakage by being too rough—check-in with your stylist for regular hair care maintenance.
6. Heat Styling
We know you love your hot iron and curling iron. They work like magic; we get it! But heat styling your hair every day is not good for your hair.
If you must use a hot tool, wait until your hair is completely dry and use a low setting to avoid breakage. Always use a heat protector serum or spray before using any heating tools on your hair
Solution: To tame your mane, give it a break every few days. Steer clear of searing hot water when washing those tresses.
Test this method out to see what works best for your locks. Use lukewarm water and rinse with cold water just before you get out of the shower.
When styling, remember to be gentle on your hair. Towel dry your locks and let your hair air dry before reaching for the blow dryer
7. Bad Hair Extensions
If you’ve gone down the route of getting hair extensions to help add volume and length to your natural locks, then this one's for you.
There's nothing worse than having poorly applied hair extensions. Not only do they look tacky, but they can also be painful and break your hair.
Do your research and make sure your stylist knows what they're doing. Ask for referrals if you don't want your hair to pay the ultimate price.
Solution: Consider clip-in extensions that won't weigh down your hair, causing it to break. They can gently be attached and taken out when you want, allowing you to give your hair a break when not needed.
Diet, stress and heat damage among other things, can take a toll on your hair.
While it may be frustrating to experience dry and brittle hair, and see your locks falling out, treat your hair gently to prevent further damage.
Brushing too harshly can also be a factor in what's causing your hair to fall out too and lead to further damage. If you want to avoid split ends and dull, brittle hair, start with a healthy diet and a proper hair care maintenance routine.
The most important thing is to take action as soon as you begin to notice the first signs of breakage.