The condition of your hair is the best proof of your overall health and well-being. It should be smooth and shiny no matter the season. Still, one of the most common hair issues seems to be dry and brittle hair, which is something that should be instantly addressed. 

Hair consists of three layers and oils that are naturally produced. The outer layer is there to protect the inner layers with the natural oils that your body produces, and also makes your hair look smooth and bright, due to the fact that it reflects light.

On the other hand, if you find yourself with fragile hair, it is a sign that it has problems retaining moisture, either due to environmental factors, certain habits, or medical conditions that may affect the health of your hair. A common problem is using the wrong type of shampoo. You can find more about the right types of shampoo for your dry and brittle hair here.

Don’t get us wrong — fragile hair is treatable, but in order for you to do so, you need to detect the cause of the issue. So, without further ado, let’s go ahead and answer the question of why is my hair dry and brittle. 

Why is My Hair Dry and Brittle

Environmental Factors

As mentioned above, dry and brittle hair is the result of many different factors, including the environmental situations you are in. The first one is connected to you spending too much out in hot and dry weather. Apart from this being the case during the summer season, you are at an even greater risk during the winter, due to the fact that you enter from cold outdoor conditions to overheated indoors, which is a shock for both your hair and skin.

While vitamin D is essential for healthy hair, overexposure to the sun may once again result in brittle and dry hair due to the fact that too much exposure to UV rays may hinder its ability to retain moisture. Also, heavy wind can have a hazardous effect on your hair as well.

We all know that swimming is good for your health, but spending too much time in salty or chlorinated water can once again damage the outer layer of your skin and hair, thus reducing the natural oils that are produced and stored.

Practices that Affect Your Hair

Women go through different hair treatments with the idea of getting optimal results and looking attractive. But while dyeing your hair every few months won’t cause any heavy harm, other treatments that feature harsh chemicals may have ill effects on the health of your hair.

These treatments include smoothing treatments, bleaching, and hair straightening. Also, using irons and curlers is a common cause for dry and brittle hair due to the fact that you damage the outer layer and thus hinder its ability to produce essential oils.

While you should make sure to regularly wash your hair, doing it too often will remove those same oils that are used as natural protection. Also, if you want to prevent possible stripping effects, you should stay away from harsh shampoos and conditioners as these are common causes of fragile hair.

Last but not least, exposing your hair to too much blow-drying and too much heat is another reason why it may have problems with retaining moisture.

Medical Conditions that Affect Your Hair

Apart from the practices and environmental factors, there are certain medical conditions that may reflect on the health of your hair.

Firstly, is anorexia nervosa, which is a common eating disorder that can lead to the lack of nutrients essential for the health of your hair. Also, dry and brittle hair is present in people who are suffering from hypothyroidism.

Last but not least is Menkes syndrome. While most people are not familiar with it, it is mostly inherited and described as a condition in which your cells have issues absorbing copper, resulting in dry skin and hair.


The health of your hair is affected by numerous conditions, including many things that are out of your control as well as those that are mainly your habits. Dry and brittle hair is one of the most common hair conditions experienced by people in general, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t treat it. By detecting the cause and addressing it as early as possible, you will have your shiny hair back in no time. Remember to avoid as many unnatural treatments as possible and you will be well on your way to healthy hair.

(Last Updated On: July 23, 2019)

A licensed hair practitioner, Catalina Johnson has worked in hair care for more than 25 years, spending the last decade focusing on trichology, which is the study of hair and scalp disorders.She is an accomplished author and educator as well, and she credits God for drawing her to the hair industry.

Leave a Reply