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Dry and Brittle Hair – Causes and Cures

Dry and Brittle Hair – Causes and Cures

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Do you suffer from dry and brittle hair? Here is a list to pinpoint causes for hair feeling and looking dry and/or brittle:  

  • An improper diet, one that is not rich in good fats, proteins, and nutrients, and not drinking enough water
  • Excessive sunlight, although sunshine can feel amazing, we have all experienced a sunburn brought on by excessive unprotected exposure to the sun.  Your hair can also be damaged by the sun’s harsh rays, which can break down protein bonds, causing your hair to become weak, dry, and brittle
  • Chemical treatments like coloring or chemical straightening.  Any chemical treatment that fundamentally changes your hair, whether by changing its color or texture, causes damage.  Whenever you use permanent color or chemical straighteners expect damage and be sure to take extra care.
  • The climate, especially summer and winter, can be especially hard on curly hair
  • Medical illnesses, consult your doctor on new symptoms.
  • Medication, again consult your doctor on any noticed side-effects. 
  • Over conditioning by leaving the (deep) conditioner in too long resulting in limp, weak hair that easily breaks.
  • Protein overload by applying too much protein, which results in hair that feels dry, has hardened, and breaks easily.
  • Lack of moisture (read all about moisture and what it can do for your hair HERE
  • Product build-up — over time there can be a buildup of pollutants, silicones, dirt, and products on your hair, which may cause it to become dry and brittle as the buildup prevents moisture from reaching the hair strand’s core.  While co-washing is a great alternative for many curlies, an occasional clarifying shampoo is necessary.
  • Not deep conditioning enough. A thicker conditioner can penetrate the hair shaft and temporarily repair it while nourishing the hair’s cuticle.
  • Using oils the wrong way. A few oils actually penetrate the hair shaft (some of these are coconut, kernel, and sunflower oil).  Oils should be used to smooth the cuticle, sealing in moisture and softening the hair strands. These sealing oils (such as avocado, olive, and argan oil) are not moisturizers and should be used after a water-based moisturizer.
  • Wearing a protective style too long can cause the hair to mat up, break off, or become severely dry.  This is especially true if the hair is neglected while in the protected style.  Remember that hair needs air and shed hairs need to be removed.  Removing a style from tangled hair can also lead to excessive breakage.

Here are some additional tips for keeping your hair as healthy as possible:

  • Try a bond-building treatment, such as an Olaplex treatment, between color services.  This will fortify your hair to better withstand the coloring treatments. 
  • Try a steam treatment. Sit under a steamer while deep conditioning your hair.  
  • If a steam treatment is unavailable to you, try a hair mask that seals the cuticle for maximum sheen and definition.  If possible, use a thermal conditioning cap for maximum benefit.
  • Get a haircut, trim, or dusting every 4-6 months. Maybe sooner if your hair has suffered during the winter from the dry air or from diffusing with heat. It is beneficial to periodically trim the ends, which are the oldest, most damaged parts of your hair.  

Go to the SHOP to peruse the Ultimate Guides for some favorite products to leave your hair conditioned and moisturized.

Absolutely Everything Curly

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