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Why is My Hair Dry and Brittle?

Why Is My Hair Dry And Brittle?

Here’s a question we get asked a lot: Why is my hair so dry and brittle? While it’s easy to blame it all on harsh hair care products (and often they do deserve the blame), the truth is that there are numerous possible reasons for dry, brittle hair—ranging from heredity to lifestyle factors.

Some people are more prone to dry hair than others. But in any case, there are things you can do to achieve healthier hair. To make your hair soft and supple, you must first determine what is causing the dryness.

Causes of Dry, Brittle Hair

There are several reasons why you have dry, brittle hair. One reason may be a lack of moisture. This happens once the oil glands in the scalp have been depleted or when excessive heat is applied to your hair from styling tools like blow dryers, flat irons, or curling irons.

It could also mean that you have a weakened immune system due to illness, nutritional deficiencies, poor eating habits, or stress. If you’re asking, Why is my hair so dry and brittle?” here are some possible culprits:

  • Hormonal imbalance due to age or pregnancy 
  • Damaging chemicals in shampoos
  • Washing your hair too often 
  • Overexposure to chlorine in swimming pools
  • Not conditioning your hair after every shampoo
  • Dying, perming, or relaxing your hair often
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, anemia, and thyroid disorders
  • Excessive UV-ray exposure

Have you been spending a lot of time in the pool? Using cheap shampoos and conditioners? Struggling with an unrelated—or seemingly unrelated—medical condition? In some cases, the causes of brittle hair are obvious. In other cases, the reasons may be less apparent. That’s when it’s time to see a doctor to get to the bottom of it.

Treating Dry, Brittle Hair

A woman touching her hair

For dryness that’s not related to a chronic health condition, there are many habits you can incorporate into your routine to combat hair breakage.

Wash Your Hair Correctly

If you’re wondering, Why is my hair so dry and brittle?” your hair washing routine could be to blame. When you wash your hair, it is ideal to use a high-quality shampoo and apply it only on your scalp. Washing the entire length of your hair can dry out your ends. So concentrate the shampoo on the top of your head, and let it rinse through the ends.

If you’ve been using conventional supermarket shampoos, it might be time to switch to a gentler cleanser. There are a lot of harsh chemicals in shampoo that can cause dry, brittle hair. So you have to read the labels carefully and watch out for ingredients like sulfates, parabens, silicones, and synthetic fragrances.

Look for all-natural alternatives if possible. This goes for your conditioners as well.

Condition Your Hair Consistently

Make sure that every time you wash your hair, you use a conditioner and concentrate it on the ends of your hair. A conditioner can significantly help damaged hair by increasing shine, lessening static, and protecting against harmful UV rays. Don’t apply the conditioner to your scalp, as this can result in over-conditioning and flat hair.

Along with consistently using conditioner, try adding a deep-conditioning treatment into your routine once a week to moisturize dry, brittle hair. Deep-conditioning treatments are designed not only to hydrate but also restore hair that has been ravaged by chemicals and styling products.

Protect Your Hair Against Chlorine

A young woman in a swimming pool

If you frequently swim in a chlorinated pool, that could be the answer to your question, “Why is my hair so dry and brittle?” Chlorine is a harsh chemical that damages your hair. You must wear a tight-fitting swim cap while swimming in a pool to protect your hair. It is also advisable to deep condition your hair after swimming to replace the moisture and natural oils stripped by chlorine.

Limit Heat Applications

Every time you use heat on your hair, it dries out the hair, eventually leading to damaged and split ends. To combat dryness from heat applications, limit the use of heat styling tools and utilize the lowest temperature settings.

The heat from improper blow-drying can also be an issue. Blow-drying wet hair is generally safe, but it’s important to follow a few golden rules. First (and most obviously), don’t blow-dry your hair if it’s already dry. This will instantly lead to dry, brittle hair.

Also, use a heat protection spray before blow-drying. Keep the dryer about six inches away from your hair, and gradually reduce the heat as your hair dries.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

A dish with fish and vegetables

Are you still pondering, “Why is my hair so dry and brittle?” Your diet may be causing your hair problems. A diet lacking in essential nutrients can cause dull, coarse, and fragile hair.

Adopting a healthy diet with plenty of water, proteins, and vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and zinc will allow your hair to regain strength and grow back healthier than before. Eggs, spinach, milk, legumes, sunflower seeds, and carrots are just a few surefire bets for obtaining the nutrients you need.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for growing full, shiny hair. Foods rich in omega-3s include salmon, oysters, mackerel, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. You can also take omega-3 supplements to reverse dry, brittle hair.

Try Low-Level Laser Therapy

If your brittle hair is causing hair breakage and thinning, you may want to try low-level laser therapy (LLLT). LLLT works by energizing stem cells within the hair follicles using red laser light, releasing growth factors and increasing blood flow to the local area. As a result, the hair follicles produce thicker, stronger, and healthier hair.

Strong, healthy hair is less likely to break, giving you a fuller head of hair over time. LLLT technology is scientifically proven to regrow hair and can be found in portable devices such as laser combs and laser caps. They are convenient and can be used from the comfort of your home.

Reverse Dry, Brittle Hair With LaserCap

Once you know the answer to the question, “Why is my hair so dry and brittle?”, the next obvious question is, “What can I do about it?” If you’re struggling with dry, brittle hair that is breaking off, diet and hair care alone might not be enough to restore your hair’s fullness. It’s important to know, however, that treatments are available.

At LaserCap, we have a powerful solution that has proven effective for many people struggling with hair loss and brittleness. If you want healthier hair, our LaserCaps can help. LaserCap is a FDA-cleared low-level laser therapy (LLLT) device that stimulates hair stem cells and increases blood flow to the scalp. It can produce stronger, thicker hair within four to six months of starting treatment. 

Get your LaserCap today to start your journey toward happier, healthier hair!


Michael Rabin, MD, MBA

Michael Rabin, MD, MBA, is the founder and CEO of LaserCap Company. He is a physician, entrepreneur, and inventor of The Original LaserCap. Dr. Rabin received his MD and MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He has more than 30 years experience creating and leading innovative biomedical companies.

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