When hair becomes brittle, it can lead to a daily battle of trying to tame frizz and tease hair in to a manageable style. This can result in a downward spiral, because the harsh chemicals in some hair products combined with the heat of styling tools can dry out hair, leading to increased fragility. The result is hair that is brittle, weak, and easily broken.
One way to prevent brittle hair is to shampoo and heat style less often. By shampooing, blow drying, coloring and styling less often, you will find that the condition of dry, brittle hair improves over time. When hair is prone to dryness, shampooing every day can strip it of natural oils and break down its protective barrier. By shampooing every second day, you will give your hair the opportunity to protect itself. Dry shampoos can make it easier to skip a day and when you do wash your hair, opt for a product that does not contain harsh detergents. This will leave your natural oils intact. Let your hair air dry, when you have time, and avoid using heated styling tools, where possible. Save curling tongs and straighteners for special occasions and you will avoid driving essential moisture from the hair shaft.
Coloring, curling, and relaxing treatments infuse the hair shaft with harsh chemicals. These can result in the hair shaft being weakened, particularly if the treatments are carried out too often. To avoid brittle hair, ensure that you leave a reasonable gap between treatments, or even try altering your style for a while to allow hair time to recover. While hair is colored or treated, it is best to use specially formulated hair products that replace vital moisture and nutrients.
The heat of the sun or harsh winds can also strip moisture from your hair, leaving it dry and brittle. Protect your hair from environmental aggressors by wearing a hat when you venture outdoors or use a hair product with sun protection that will help prevent damage.
While prevention will go some way to avoiding further damage to your hair, how can you improve the condition of hair that is already dry and brittle? In order to strengthen the hair shaft it is important to deliver high levels of hydration. When brittle hair has been nurtured and moisturized, it will regain its shine and texture.
Some remedies for brittle hair are straight from your store cupboard. Natural hair masks can be created by mixing together oil-rich ingredients, such as avocado, banana, egg, and olive oil. Mix your chosen ingredients together, apply to the hair, and then sit back and relax for 10 to 15 minutes while the vitamins, minerals, and oils penetrate the hair shaft. Follow the treatment with a gentle, moisturizing shampoo that will remove the mask without stripping the hair.
A natural alternative to this nutrient-rich mask is to use mayonnaise, which can be left on hair for up to an hour before being shampooed off. The nutrients from the oils and fats contained in the mayonnaise will leave hair looking shiny and smooth.
If you prefer to use commercial hair products, always choose the most gentle, moisturizing shampoo. To avoid brittle hair, shampoo should always be followed by a conditioner. If your hair is prone to dryness, consider using a leave-in conditioning product. Rather than rinsing vital ingredients down the drain, leave-in products allow them to work on your hair for longer, providing the highest level of hydration and protection. Brittle hair will also benefit from weekly treatment masks, which deliver intense repair and hydration. Hair care technology now delivers products containing proteins which match those in the hair shaft, adding strength and vitality.
If you are a regular swimmer, you are likely to find that chlorine from the swimming pool dries out your hair, making it weak and brittle. Consider wearing a swimming cap to protect your hair, or comb through a protective cream or conditioner prior to entering the pool. Some shampoos and conditioners contain ingredients which counteract the effects of chlorine on hair.
As with any other part of the body, diet and nutrition play a key role in the condition of your hair. If you do not drink enough water each day, then your hair, along with your skin and nails, is likely to be dehydrated. Ensure that you include essential fatty acids in your diet to boost the condition of your hair. If you find it difficult to eat a balanced diet every day, consider taking a nutritional supplement specially designed to strengthen and improve the condition of your hair.