Why is My Hair Dry and Stiff?

We all desire glossy, silky, manageable hair, as this is linked in everyone’s mind with beauty, youth and health. However, like many people, you may find that what you actually have is dry stiff hair, without really understanding why, or what you can do about it. In fact, this problem is caused largely by environmental and lifestyle factors, and there are measures you can adopt quite easily to improve the condition of your hair.

Causes Of Dry Stiff Hair

It is the outer layer of your hair, known as the cuticle, which determines how healthy your hair appears. The scales of the cuticle can be affected by sun, heat and chemicals, causing the scales to separate from the shaft. This results in excessively dry hair, which will be brittle and stiff, lacking in flexibility, and sometimes looking like straw. The factors that contribute to this effect include:

  • Over-exposure to high winds or hot sun.
  • Swimming in salt water or chlorinated pools.
  • Excessive use of bleach, or other chemical treatments for coloring or perming.
  • Using curling irons or blow-dryers that are too hot.

The sad thing is that all these causes of dry stiff hair arise either from healthy outdoor activities, or from practices aimed at improving the hair’s appearance. The fact is, however, that very many of our normal activities do result in our hair being stripped of its natural oils. This can be remedied both by improving on our normal practices, and by adopting special techniques to restore the natural shine.

Improve Your Normal Practices

There are many ways you can enhance the condition of your hair just by making small alterations in your everyday activities.

  • Protect your hair from the sun — wear a hat outside, or use an umbrella.
  • Shampoo your hair weekly or at the most every 4 days, not daily, and use a shampoo with humectants and protein. Consider sometimes using a conditioner instead of a shampoo — this will cleanse your scalp without drying.
  • Apply a leave-on conditioner at every wash.
  • Air-dry your hair — forget blow-dryers and hot irons.

Extra Pampering For Dry Stiff Hair

If your hair is badly affected, there are additional techniques you can use to repair and improve its condition.

  • Mix a hair salad with vinegar and olive oil — massage the oil into your hair, cover with a cloth till morning, rinse well with white vinegar, then shampoo.
  • Use an egg wash — mix white of egg with water and a little honey, apply after damping your hair with warm water, then rinse off after 10 minutes.
  • Rub in a few drops of mineral oil to gloss your hair.

There are really three elements to restoring dry stiff hair to its natural beauty and shine.

  1. First, you need to eliminate all the drying factors from your normal washing and styling practices
  2. Bring in a few special treatments to pamper your hair
  3. Ensure these changes are permanent, not just a flash in the pan, so that your hair never again becomes harsh, dry and unmanageable.

Knowing how to properly care for and style your hair is something you can learn.  To be an expert, where you can care for and style hair that is not your own, you can train at a beauty school like Evergreen Beauty College for professional skills.

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Ochena Bikel
Ochena Bikel
8 years ago

Good. You have covered all factors that are causing hair dry. But, I want to add something.
The weather in the beach area is another factor. Air in the beach contains salt which can be a cause of making hair dry. Isn’t it?

1 year ago
Reply to  Ochena Bikel

I don’t know. But I was just present at the beach and used a different shampoo and conditioner. Now my hair is stiff and brittle. Was it the water or is the conditioner?

9 months ago

my hair is stiff since I was a baby every time I’m touching it, it so stiff like a wig there’s still a chance to make it smooth ?

Gopi v
Gopi v
6 months ago
Reply to  Mmor

I too have same problem

2 months ago
Reply to  Mmor

Your lacking iron and other b vitamins , you might have no hair when your like 50.

8 months ago

Hi I have had some issues with my hair for over 5 years now and I’m on the verge of going to a doctor that specializes in hair and stuff because my hair started turning black really thick and wiry.It is as thick as beard hair now and recently it has gotten worse by starting to dry up and turn hard on the ends and sometimes the entire hair.I have cut the hard ends off and a few days later the ends are hard again!I stopped doing hair color over a year ago and don’t use a drier or hair styling tools.I have been using argon oil and other oils like coconut and special conditioners,leave in conditioners and so on but nothing seems to help.Do you know of any products that really work?

T crumel
T crumel
2 months ago

Hi, last year i began wearing wigs with my hair underneath in a wave cap or wig cap. Now i have notice that my hair is becoming extra dry, brittle and has started to break off. I wash every week to week and a half, what can i do to help it?