I’ve been there.
For a long time, I’ve been suffering from dry and brittle ends.
I love how the rest of my hair has glossy and soft curls and my ends are dry and frizzy.
They also break very easily and a lot of times, I can clearly see how frazzled the ends look.
I spent a while understanding how to curb the split ends and recover from the damage.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit of work. You have to really moisturize your ends so that they heal and recover their strength and tactility.
However, it’s possible.
And if all else fails, you will have to trim your ends before the damage spreads. Split ends do rise and damage the rest of the hair, so this is going to be the last option – I swear.
Let’s dive in!
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So, let me answer the big question first.
Why are the ends of your hair dry and brittle? How to fix fry and brittle ends?
You have to understand that hair grows from the root (in your scalp), not from the tips – meaning fresh hair grows out of your scalp.
So your ends are the oldest parts of your hair and this makes them very vulnerable to wear and tear.
And as to why they are dry and brittle, here are the most common reasons:
1. Normal wear and tear
Just your hair brushing against the pillow, your clothes and constantly swooshing up and about does cause some wear and tear – not to mention constant touching and styling.
This is another reason why I mention that you should avoid touching your hair frequently.
Your hair isn’t destructible so it needs a lot of moisture and care.
Here are some ways to reduce the wear and tear you have daily:
- Tie your hair up in a satin scrunchy when you’re not outside or even sleeping – this will reduce friction drastically and you’ll be protecting your hair. I use these hair scrunchies and I keep buying them because they’ve drastically decreased my hair tangles and keep my hair very soft.
- Use a satin pillowcase – This will really help reduce friction. When you sleep on a satin pillowcase, your hair glides over the pillowcase with minimal friction as opposed to cotton.
- Be gentle when handling wet hair: Wet hair is more prone to breakage. To reduce the damage, avoid brushing or combing hair vigorously when it’s wet. Use a wide-toothed comb designed for wet hair to gently detangle from ends and slowly go upwards. I also suggest using a conditioner to make it easier to detangle – it works like a charm for me and I have incredibly curly and frizzy hair.
2. Heat styling
If you constantly use hot styling tools like flat irons, curling irons, or even blow dryers, you can end up damaging the cuticle layer of your hair (it’s the outermost layer) and this can cause it to become dry and brittle over time.
I stopped using heat and my hair improved drastically.
Now, even if you have to use heat – minimize it. Use the blowdryer in the cold setting.
And always, always use a heat protector before styling. I only recommend Chi Heat Protectant because this is the best one I’ve used and you can just read the reviews to see that this is one of the best products in the market.
Every few months, cut your split ends. While trimming won’t repair split ends – it does prevent them from rising further up the hair shaft.
So, I highly recommend trimming every 6-8 weeks if you notice that your ends are always dry – this will promote healthy hair growth.
3. Chemical treatment
No matter what chemical treatment you do, it does affect your hair.
Dying your hair, bleaching your hair, perming, or relaxing – all of it does end up damaging the hair cuticle and your ends become more dry and brittle.
So, how do we fix this?
- Deep condition: Incorporate regular deep conditioning treatments in your hair care routine. I love, love, love this Argan Oil Hair Mask and I use it religiously every week.
- Wear your hair in protective hairstyles: Styles like braids, buns, or updos (where the ends are tucked and shielded away from harsh environments) will help protect your hair and prevent further damage
- Reduce chemical treatments: Limit or avoid further chemical treatments such as coloring, perming, or relaxing till your hair has recovered a bit. I know this is not what you want to hear but these treatments can exacerbate the dryness and damage – making it harder for your hair to regain its health.
I bet you didn’t think of this one, right?
If you put very heavy oils, you use stronger shampoos to get rid of the oily, sticky feeling – this overwashing can dry out your hair.
So, you need to be very careful when you wash your hair – wash your hair too much, and you’ll strip your hair of its natural oils.
- Reduce washing frequency: Start by gradually reducing the frequency of your hair washing. If you have the habit of washing your hair daily, slowly space it out to every other day and then move it to once in 3 days. This is going to allow your scalp to produce and maintain its natural oils which is super essential for healthy hair!
- Use mild shampoo: Don’t use harsh shampoos because they strip away the natural oil your scalp creates. Choose a mild, sulfate-free shampoo that is suitable for your hair type. I highly recommend the Pura D’Or anti-thinning shampoo because this shampoo is gold for people who have postpartum hair loss or just have very sensitive hair in general. It’s very mild and only cleans the hair. It contains a lot of natural and organic ingredients.
- Avoid hot water: Please wash your hair with lukewarm or cool water instead of hot water. Hot water can strip away the natural oils and leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. Cooler temperatures help your hair retain moisture.
5. Environmental factors
Just normal exposure to harsh weather conditions like sun, wind, and even snow can cause dry and brittle ends.
The sun does damage your hair, so it’s very crucial to always braid it or use a hat and protect your hair from the sun.
- Shield from UV rays: As I mentioned, your hair (just like your skin) can be affected by the sun’s harmful rays. So, you can protect your hair by wearing a hat or scarf when you’re exposed to prolonged sunlight. In UAE, I wear a large sun hat like this constantly to prevent my hair from getting damaged by the constant and harsh sun.
- Rinse after swimming: Chlorine from pools can damage your hair. I explain this in my post on how chlorine makes hair sticky afterward. After swimming, always rinse your hair with fresh water to remove any chlorine or salt residue. It’s also very important to use a clarifying shampoo made specifically for swimmers to thoroughly cleanse your hair and remove any buildup!
6. Lack of moisture
If you have curly or wavy hair, then you need to work twice as hard to moisturize your hair.
Have you noticed that your skin dehydrates and becomes more scaly and patchy if you don’t moisturize it enough?
My mum had this weird habit of applying moisturizer on my skin every day since I was a child. So my skin now as an adult is still soft and baby smooth.
Likewise, you need to do the same for your hair.
Now if you have straight hair or greasy hair, you’re in luck because you don’t have your work cut out for you.
Dry hair needs extra moisture to stay healthy. That’s why you need to use a deep conditioning treatment to help nourish and moisturize your hair.
Deep conditioning doesn’t work wonders overnight.
It takes time to see results. So be patient.
Here are some ways to moisturize your hair especially if you have very dry and brittle ends:
- Use a deep conditioner at least 3 times a month (once in ten days is plenty). After you’ve shampooed and rinsed out the shampoo, apply the deep conditioner mask. Let it sit in your hair for 30 minutes and then wash it off. Have a simple and uncomplicated routine – this will help you build this sustainable habit.
- Oil your hair once a week – start with a mild oil like Olive oil and mix it with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or argan oil. Just do that 1 time a week. Oil your hair and rinse it with shampoo after 2 hours. I talk about how you can pre-poo here. Sometimes, I mix olive oil with honey because it makes my hair extra soft and shiny.
Do this for a few months and watch how your hair transforms.
It does require a bit of patience, I won’t deny it – but it works and I’ve seen my hair become so soft and shiny because of this.
7. Your hair needs more nutrients
Your hair is made up of protein just like your skin and nails.
This means, your hair needs certain nutrients to stay strong and healthy – like proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
If at all, your diet is lacking in these nutrients – you may notice your hair getting drier and more brittle, especially at the ends.
You need to eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats to nourish your hair from the inside out.
I’m not a nutritionist, so I’ll link to a post that I’ve found on the right foods to eat to improve your hair health.
Also, just a word of caution: Please don’t take hair supplements without consulting a doctor first. Even if you want to take biotin or collagen supplements, talk to a doctor before you do.
I hope this post explained why the ends of your hair are dry and brittle and how you can fix it.
These tips have worked for me wonderfully – and as you know, having curly hair does mean that my tips suffer from constant dryness.
So, moisturize your hair a little extra if you have curly or coily hair – your hair will thank you for those extra deep conditioning treatments.
Here are some more posts you’ll find useful:
- How to Protect Your Hair from Chlorine Without a Swim Cap
- Is it Bad to Touch Your Hair a Lot + How to Stop Touching Your Hair
- When Can I Wash My Hair After Giving Birth? How to Do It
- Pre Pooing with Jamaican Black Castor Oil – Everything to Know
- 5 Reasons Why Your Hair is Sticky After Swimming + How to Fix It
- 9 Genuine Reasons Why Your Hair is Always Tangled in the Back
- Can You Bleach Permed Hair? Everything You Need to Know!