6 Causes Behind Dry And Brittle Hair

With this changing environment, it is becoming difficult to maintain healthy hair. There are so many activities we do that are unnoticeable but might have an effect on our hair. Not giving enough attention might cause dull, dry, and brittle hair. Let us read about the roots that give rise to brittle hair and how can it be rectified? 

What causes dry brittle hair? 

Given below are reasons that might have caused your hair to become dry and brittle:

Damage due to heat

Brittle Hair

Nowadays people have begun using heat emitting products to style their hair. This includes the use of hair straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers. Some people use these appliances without taking any measures and not taking into account the degree of heat it produces.  

Any appliance that produces heat above 175 degrees is likely to cause damage to your hair. The high amount of heat causes the formation of water bubbles inside the hair strands, which ultimately causes damage to the shaft. 

This kind of treatment makes your hair lose its moisture. Hence, resulting in dry brittle hair. 


Environmental conditions can have a huge effect on our hair. The hair reacts to different types of weather, for instance, our hair becomes extremely brittle during the summer season. The same happens when someone lives under a dry and humid climate or spends a lot of time under the Sun. Activities such as extensive swimming in salty or chlorinated water can also be responsible for brittle hair. 

The reason is that all these consequences tend to dehydrate the hair and make it prone to breakage. Similarly, spending time inside a heated room during winters can also cause your hair to become dry and brittle.

Chemical treatments 

Brittle Hair

The various chemical treatments done to the hair can also cause it to lose its natural texture. For instance, a keratin treatment can strip off the cuticle layer of the hair. The cuticle consists of elements that determine the color, texture, and even the strength of the hair. 

The chemicals from different types of products can cause harm to these necessary elements. Long term usage of chemical treatments is capable of ruining the hair making it dull and prone to sensitivity. 

Insufficient nutrition

Like our body, our hair too needs important nutrition to maintain its natural strength. Consuming a diet that is lacking in proteins, minerals and vitamins can cause the hair to become brittle, dry, and weak. 

Feeding yourself food that is high in sodium and sugar can also cause brittle hair. An un-nourished hair is a lot prone to breakage. 

Using the wrong shampoo

Everyone has different hair that needs a specific type of care. Applying the wrong shampoo might not suit your hair and will end up causing trouble. Washing the hair frequently with harsh shampoos and conditioners can cause the hair to lose its natural texture making it dry and brittle. 

Health problems

An underlying health condition can also cause damage to the hair. Naming a few:

  • Hormonal changes: 

Hormonal changes in the body occur due to intake of birth control pills, menopause as well as pregnancy. The hair is also affected by hormonal changes. It transforms the hair into being brittle and dry. 

  • Anorexia nervosa: 

This is an eating disorder that leads to a malnourished body. This also causes malnourishment to the hair making it dry and brittle. 

  • Hypothyroidism: 

This is a body condition during which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Due to this malfunctioning, dry and brittle hair is achieved. 

  • Menkes syndrome: 

It is a rare genetic condition that prevents cells from absorbing enough copper. Low copper level in the body causes it to lose its moisture. This also results in dry and rough hair.  

  • Hypoparathyroidism: 

This is a condition that happens when the parathyroid gland located in the neck produces fewer amounts of parathyroid hormones. This leads to a deficiency in calcium. The hair becomes weak due to the deficiency of this mineral resulting in weaker health of the hair. 

How to treat dry and brittle hair?

One can cure brittle hair by following the given steps:

Keep an eye on your diet

Brittle Hair

An efficient meal has the capability to change your body as well as your hair. Reduce the foods that are high in sodium and sugar. Help yourself with meals rich in biotin, iron, vitamin E and C. Consume the following to increase your nutrient levels:

  • Iron: organic red meat, spinach, and legumes.
  • Biotin: eggs, fish, and sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamin E: wheat germ oil, red bell peppers, dry fruits, and nut butter. 
  • Vitamin C: citrus-rich fruits, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. 

The above nutrients can also be achieved by consuming supplements.

In addition to this, also include foods that are rich in omega-3s and antioxidants in your diet. This can be achieved by consuming foods such as salmon, oysters, tuna, and sardines. These are rich in good fats and peptides which add shine to your hair. 

Changing shampoo

Use shampoos that are produced organically and designed specially to treat damaged hair. Look for supporting elements that are antioxidants, protein, and nourishing oils in that shampoo. You can also go for a dermatologist as they might prescribe you some specific products for curing damaged hair. Applying the right shampoo will restore the hair’s natural health and texture. 

Avoid washing the hair every single day

Brittle Hair

You might think that shampooing your hair every day will make it cleaner and healthier. But you are wrong. Continuous washing of hair will cause loss of sebum. Sebum is a very important natural oil that helps in maintaining your hair. 

If washing hair is really important, you are free to switch to dry shampoos

Protecting the hair from heat

Now that we know about the harm that heat can cause to our hair, we should take protective measures. Before making your hair go through any kind of heat appliance, remember to apply heat protectant serum before-hand. The serum acts as a barrier between the heat and the hair, lowering the amount of damage. 

Go for an appliance that has a temperature control knob to protect your hair from extensive damage. 

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