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Oil hair mask

Most people’s ideal hair is shiny, strong locks. That dream isn’t always a reality, though. Most people have a bad hair day from time to time, but it can become even more of a problem if you experience dry, brittle hair – especially if it’s brittle to the point of falling out.

The Signs of Brittle Hair

So, how do you know when you have brittle hair, meaning your hair is brittle and dry? The signs are usually pretty obvious. When you look at your hair in the mirror, you may notice a lack of shine, split ends, dullness, and a frizzy look. You may even encounter your hair breaking off, which is a sure sign of brittle hair. Overall, it looks dry and unhealthy – a look that most people want to avoid.

Why is My Hair So Dry and Brittle?

There are many potential causes of your dry, brittle hair. Sometimes, brittle hair can be a result of simply getting older; other times, it has to do with your hair care routine. It could be the result of any of the following:

  • Over styling
  • Thyroid Issues
  • A Dry Climate
  • A Nutritional Deficiency
  • An Eating Disorder (Such as Anorexia)
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Age

In terms of what’s actually happening to your hair structure – healthy hair usually has a coat of oil on the shaft, which protects the entire strand. Brittle hair occurs when this oil protection disappears, leaving your hair exposed and dry. As a result of this, it’s more likely to break off.

How to Deal with Dry and Brittle Hair

Healthy hair doesn’t have to be behind you. By managing the root cause of your brittle and dry hair and taking action to reverse it, you can enjoy luscious locks once more. Here’s how.

Don’t Use Too Much Heat

Most people know that heat damages hair. It’s true – regularly using hair dryers and heated curlers will quickly lead to your hair losing its elasticity and moisture. That’s why taking a break from your favourite styling gadgets is a good idea if you’re experiencing dryness.

Of course, it might be near-impossible for you to stay away from heat completely (especially if you’re running late and really need to blow-dry your hair!). If that’s the case, always use a heat protector. While a heat protector isn’t as good as not using heat at all, it still helps protect your hair from excessive damage.

Heat protector

Wash Your Hair Less Often

Did you know that washing your hair too often can cause dryness? Yes – even if you use a moisturizing conditioner. That’s because many shampoos strip your hair of its natural oils (as well as dirt and other build-up). While this is good for achieving clean hair, it can make your hair dry if done too often. Washing your hair less often gives your strands a chance to shine from their natural oils.

Address Nutritional Deficiencies

Did you know that particular diet deficiencies can cause dry hair, as well as hair loss? That’s why it’s so important to address any deficiencies you may have in your diet. Some of the vitamins and minerals that you need for healthy hair include biotin, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin D. [1] If you are deficient in any of these, it can lead to dry, thinning hair.

If you suspect a deficiency, it’s best to go to your doctor, who can run tests to see your deficiencies. Then, they can prescribe supplements that will address the issue head-on. It might take some time, but your hair will get healthy again if a deficiency is the root cause.

Improve Your Hair Care Routine

Your hair care routine can either make or break your hair. Are you using the right shampoo and conditioner? Are you using any oils? These are the questions you need to ask yourself if you have dry, brittle hair. To improve your hair care routine to achieve shinier, healthier locks, here are some tips:

  • Use a Shampoo Tailored to Your Hair Type
  • Always Use Conditioner (and preferably leave it in for at least five minutes)
  • Use a Hair Oil One to Two Times Per Week
  • Only Shampoo the Scalp
  • Look Into Potential Medical Conditions

Aside from nutritional deficiencies, there are also certain medical conditions that can lead to dry, brittle hair falling out. For example, an overactive or underactive thyroid can cause your hair to shed, completely disrupting the typical hair growth cycle. [2]

Another medical condition that can cause dry hair is anorexia nervosa. This is an eating disorder that leads to a lot of nutritional deficiency, hence why it has such a devastating effect on the hair (as well as many other life-threatening issues). If you’re worried you might be suffering from an eating disorder, consider speaking to a healthcare professional, as they will be able to help you start a journey toward recovery.

Avoid Particular Hairstyles

Certain hairstyles can lead to dryer hair that is more likely to fall out. Some may even lead to traction hair loss. Hairstyles like tight braids, dreadlocks, and ponytails all pull too much at the scalp and can lead to hair loss. Instead, opt for more protective hairstyles like loose braids.

Trim Your Hair

While cutting your hair won’t address the root cause of your brittle hair, it will make it appear much healthier – especially if your ends are very dry and frizzy. You might not even need to take much off for it to have a big effect! A small trim of even an inch can help restore life to your hair. Talk to your hairdresser about how much hair you’re comfortable with trimming, and they will be able to help you achieve a healthier-looking style (while also giving you tips on hair care).

Trimming hair


Take Care of the Scalp

Don’t neglect your scalp! Looking after your scalp is so important; some studies [3] show that scalp care is just as important as caring for the locks when it comes to your hair health. One cause of brittle hair might be that your scalp isn’t producing as much oil/sebum as it should.

To reverse a dry scalp, there are a few things you can try. A good scalp scrub will help clear up clogged pores and excess dirt. Using a hydrating oil on your scalp at least once a week is a good idea, too – leave the oil in your hair for a few hours (or even overnight!) and then wash it out with shampoo. Scalp massages are good, too – they stimulate blood flow, with some research indicating it even promotes hair growth. [4]

Shield Your Hair from the Environment

Sometimes, the environment you’re in can cause dry hair. For example, if you live in a big city with a lot of pollution, that can wreak havoc on your strands. Likewise, living in a dry climate can quickly leave your hair brittle and dry. While moving is probably not an option, you can protect your hair from pollutants and dry air by wrapping it up in a scarf or wearing a hat while you are outside.

Is Your Hair Not Growing Back?

Have you addressed many potential causes of brittle hair, but your hair isn’t growing back? Experiencing hair loss is always a cause for concern. If it’s not growing back, your problem likely extends beyond simply having dry hair. There are many hair loss factors; you may be losing hair due to age, or you may have a form of alopecia. In any case, there are other solutions.

Solutions to Hair Loss

You don’t have to accept thinning hair. Whether your hair has gotten thinner over time or it’s falling out to the point of balding patches, there are some solutions that can help you. Medical treatments like minoxidil and finasteride have a proven track record of reversing hair loss – especially in men. Using these treatments may be enough to restore your hair to how it once was.

Another solution is a hair transplant. Hair transplants use the latest and most innovative technologies to restore your hair in a natural-looking way, allowing hair to grow back once more. The most popular type is the FUE hair transplant, which takes individual follicles from a section of healthy hair and then places those follicles in the area where you’ve lost hair. The result is that you begin growing hair in the area of hair loss once more. It’s a fantastic solution that many people have used.

Get in Touch to Start Your Hair Restoration Journey

Are you ready to enjoy healthy hair once more? Harley Street Hair Clinic offers the best solutions to hair loss, including hair transplants for both men and women. You don’t have to lack confidence anymore. If you’re ready to get started on your journey towards thick and healthy hair, get in touch today – our team is happy to help and schedule a consultation.


  1. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review
  2. Is My Thyroid to Blame for My Hair Loss?
  3. Can a Scalp Massage Help Your Hair Grow?
  4. A Study on Scalp Hair Health and Hair Care Practices among Malaysian Medical Students
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