Brittle Hair - Causes, Solutions And Tips
Hair has no known vital function in human beings, yet every broken strand breaks our hearts. Brittle hair is mostly the outcome of an unhealthy lifestyle. The quality of our hair depends on the balance of chemicals such as steroids and thyroid hormones in the body and external physical stress factors such as the use of cosmetic hair-styling products and techniques. Dry hair is the result of environmental exposure or lack of sebum production. Sunlight has the same damaging effect as a hot blow dryer on your hair.
What Causes Brittle Hair:
Hair is not a single sheet of cells but is made up of hard protein called keratin which has multiple sulphur bonds. A strand has a core which is hollow, like a thin pipe. On this core keratin overlaps like successive scales with free edges, directed towards the tip. As the strand grows, this becomes jagged - a process called weathering. Some amount of weathering is natural, but when the shiny outer layer or the cuticle gets damaged, hair becomes weak, porous, dry and prone to breakage. Brittle is when the damage is done to the hair shaft and is sufficient to cause a significant cosmetic disability. First you must determine the cause to brittleness and dryness. There are various other causes for hair to be brittle. Some of the common causes could be lack of conditioner and using the styling tools too often, such as curling irons and straighteners, gel and mousse. Once the cause is determined and found out, then you can proceed to repair the damage.
1. Natural Causes:
i. Genetic make-up: Genetic causes are associated with increased fragility and lead to patches of diffused hair loss, but these are rare conditions and are investigated only when the common causes have been ruled out.
ii. Overexposure to the sun: Sun's exposure damages your hair's natural protective film. It also damages the cuticles of the hair.
iii. Humid environment: Excessive exposure to moisture can make your hair shafts swell and damage the cuticle.
Hormonal imbalance: Hypothyroidism may also cause brittle hair. Lack of Vitamin B, iodine and copper in your diet weakens the bond formation which leads to the breakage of hair.
- Frequent brushing and combing
- Using hard water to wash hair
- Trichotillomania - the compulsive habit of pulling out hair
- Use of hair bands, clutches and clips
- Cosmetic procedures, such as blow-drying and ironing, done repeatedly
- Permanent changes such as perming and straightening of wavy hair.
Solutions To Brittle Hair