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Brittle Hair

Brittle hair describes a hair shaft that is frizzy, breaks easily and looks dull. Dry, brittle hair leads to damage, hair thinning and eventually hair loss, but brittle hair is not a hair type like curly or straight it’s caused by internal and external factors such as illness, over-styling and age. Men and women of any age can experience brittle hair but you can address and manage brittle locks with treatments for dry hair and a change in your lifestyle habits.

How to repair damaged hair

It’s upsetting when your hair turns brittle and dry but there are treatments for damaged hair that can restore your locks. Brittle hair needs help from the outside and the inside and it’s never too late to get started.

There are two main stages to repairing brittle hair:

Shampooing and Conditioning

Start with washing your hair only when it’s oily because washing removes the natural oils that coat the hair and keep it supple. Shampooing strips the oil away and leaves the hair exposed to the elements which in turn makes it brittle. Brittle hair results in snapped length and hair loss, so if your current shampoo contains alcohol, colours, chemicals or silicones its best to ditch it in favour of an all-natural shampoo that will treat your brittle hair with the utmost respect.

You could also try a regrowth shampoo which is one of the best hair treatments for damaged hair. Regrowth shampoo restores volume and bounce by stimulating the follicles to grow new strands. They are the best shampoos for hair growth because they contain moisturising agents that lock in oils and restore health.

After shampooing you can restore moisture with a DIY hair mask. Use essentials oils such as lavender or sandalwood on a base oil and rub this through your hair from scalp to split ends. Leave the oil on for an hour so the mixture can penetrate the hair shaft. If you can do this twice a week you’ll see a change in your hair texture. If you don’t have time to make a DIY hair mask try a super intensive conditioner. Intensive conditioners restore shine and strength to hair by hydrating the strands so invest in a good quality intensive conditioner and apply it several times a week. If you can wrap your head in a towel and leave it on for twenty minutes the ingredients will soak into the hair shaft and soften your brittle hair.

Hair Protection

As well as moisturising your hair with re-growth shampoos and intensive conditioners it’s also worth protecting your head from the elements. Hot sun will parch your hair and cold winter winds coupled with our love of central heating will dry out your hair too. It’s a year round problem! Keep your head covered in the sun and wear a hat or headscarf if there’s a cold snap.

Other causes of brittle hair are widely used colouring treatments, perming and heating tools. If you use these try stopping for a while because a lot of chemicals and heat on your hair shafts dry them out and put them at risk of snapping. If you don’t want to stop using heated tools at least keep them moving because when they rest on your hair they sizzle and fry away from the moisture.

A final top repair tip for brittle hair is to avoid brushing or combing when it’s wet. Brittle hair is vulnerable when it’s damp and this is when breakage is most likely to occur. Run your fingers through your hair instead and only style it once the bulk is dry. If you must use a hairdryer keep it on a low heat and consider switching to a hair straightening brush in place of straightening tongs which cause more heat damage and lead to brittle hair.

Why is my hair so dry and brittle?

Dry brittle hair is common and the reasons are numerous. Women are more likely to experience brittle hair although this may be due to the obvious damage on longer lengths, men can also experience brittle hair too. Overall brittle hair is a sign that your hair is missing moisture. To repair brittle hair you need to restore those moisture levels and keep them in place.

Common reasons for brittle hair are too much styling and heat exposure. Modern hairstyles often need heat to keep them sleek such as hair straighteners and powerful hair dryers but when your hair is heated up it loses moisture. Cut down on heating tools and look out for these other factors that can cause brittle hair too:

  • Chemical treatments cause hair havoc and even heavily moisturised locks can turn brittle overnight through bleach or chemical use. Dyes and chemicals are one of the main reasons hair becomes damaged and dry.
  • When you shampoo your hair do you rub the whole length of the hair strands? It’s not necessary to run shampoo into the ends of your hair. Concentrate on the roots where sebum and dirt collects and the shampoo will clean your hair as it’s washed out. It’s rare that hair ends need cleansing and doing so just dries them out.
  • A poor diet will lead to brittle hair. If you lack vitamins and minerals that create healthy hair then you’ll be left with a head of fragile strands. Take a specialist dry hair supplement to boost flagging levels of nutrients in your system and boost hair moisture levels.
  • A lack of water will also affect your tresses. Water is essential, but most of us don’t drink enough. The NHS recommends eight glasses a day so drink up to help repair brittle hair.

Brittle Hair and Your Health

As well as the treatments we use on our hair there are health reasons for brittle locks such as hormones which can seriously affect your locks. Women who take birth control pills may notice a change in their hair texture and pregnant women will certainly see some changes, but it’s menopause that really upsets woman’s hair. Brittle hair is a symptom of the oestrogen dive associated with menopause. Oestrogen keeps your hair healthy, so when it dips the quality of your hair dips too.

Another medical condition that can affect your hair is a thyroid imbalance. A thyroid imbalance can produce dry hair, dry skin, tiredness, and make you feel cold. Dry brittle hair is one of the most obvious symptoms of thyroid troubles. If you think a medical condition is affecting your hair its worth speaking to your doctor.

If you are struggling with brittle hair it’s not the end of the world because there are treatments to help. Hair damage is common and it’s likely you’ll go through stages of having healthy moisturised hair and then brittle hair depending on your health, the weather, and your current styling routine.

To prevent brittle locks you should regularly use a treatment for dry hair and improve your diet. If your hair is so brittle that you’re beginning to experience hair loss try a regrowth shampoo too as this helps stimulate your follicles to regain that shiny mane.

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