Can You Fix Dry, Brittle Hair? Short answer, yes! Yes, you can! But rather than just tell you “yes” we’re going to go into a little more detail, talking about what causes dry brittle hair, why it’s bad, and what the best approaches to fix it are.
What is Dry Brittle Hair?
Okay, why are we asking this question? This is our hair, we know our own hair. We know this! Well… you might know your own hair but everyone’s hair is a little bit different. Take how it looks for example. For some people, dry hair just looks dry, there’s not much they have to worry about it just looks dry and is prone to breakage. However, for some people with naturally wavy or curly hair, dry hair is more likely to become frizzy, tie up in knots, and then break, creating clumps of dead hair. Not only that but brittleness isn’t inherently common to dry hair – far from it a lot of things can cause dry hair – but dryness is common to brittle hair. Brittleness has its own set of causes which can differ greatly from person to person so let’s break it down.
Dry hair is rough hair that is prone to breakage. Brittle hair looks frizzy, and dull, and tends to separate into split ends. These splits can occur either at the ends of each hair strand, or it can occur at the root.
So what causes Dry, Brittle Hair?
Dry hair on its own is typically the combination of what happens when your hair doesn’t get enough water and nutrients, and when your hair isn’t healthy enough to retain water or nutrients currently within the hair. Brittle hair – which often leads to dry hair – is often caused by a variety of factors. Naturally, a lack of nutrients is one, but chemical processing and heat damage are another.
In these cases, split ends are typically found at the ends of hair follicles. However when splits derive at or near the roots, this is typically a shaft disorder or illness – and of course, nutrient deficiency right from the shaft affects the entire follicle. There are a number of disorders and diseases that can affect hair follicles such as:
- Trichothiodystrophy (TTD) – A group of genetic disorders that cause short, dry, brittle hair that is low in sulphur content. Often comes accompanied by issues with growth, skin conditions, vision problems, and sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation (UV).
- Menkes disease (MD), also known as kinky hair disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes a range of symptoms.
- Pili torti: A hair shaft disorder that causes short hair and breaks easily. It can be identified in hair strands that flatten and twist 180 degrees at regular intervals along the shaft.
- Monilethrix: A condition that can cause raised papules which indicate that the hair follicles are blocked by a build-up of keratin.
- Woolly hair: A condition that causes extremely curly hair with a texture similar to sheep’s wool.
- And finally Uncombable Hair Syndrome: A rare hair shaft disorder causing silvery-blond or straw-colored hair that stands out from the scalp.
Additionally, scalp infections and illnesses that affect the whole body can also lead to nutrients being sapped from our hair.
Finally, we can get dry and brittle hair simply from mistreating our hair. After all, spend too much time in the sun and it’s going to sap nutrients fast.
How to Fix It
Ultimately it depends on what the cause is. Some of the conditions we just described are, sadly, incurable, but they can be treated or reversed at least temporarily with the right ingredients. For the most part, there are two ways to fix dry brittle hair. These are based on our diet, or on what shampoo and conditioner we use for our hair.
When it comes to shampoo and condition, Kevin Murphy shampoo and conditioner are one that is designed to treat dry and brittle hair specifically – and it is definitely advisable to find a shampoo or conditioner that is designed to treat the condition you’ve currently got. No point in using that ever-popular anti-dandruff shampoo if dandruff isn’t your issue.
The other option is diet, of which the four things we need most for healthy hair is Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B12. These four are especially needed for our hair health in general with the last of them, Vitamin B12, particularly useful for fighting grey hairs. But ultimately no matter how much we put into our bodies, what our hair is exposed to will always have a major impact.
Constant heating, excessive chemical processing, bleaching or dyeing can directly lead to brittle hair, and often the best solution is to simply stop doing those things. If that’s not working, and you know your diet is good, then check with a professional – maybe you need a different form of treatment entirely – but for most people, a good shampoo, condition, diet, and avoiding harsh chemicals and heat should correct most of your issues.