8 Surprising Reasons Your Hair Is Dry and Brittle

May 18, 2021
Diana Crisan
By: Diana Crisan | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
8 Reasons Why Your Hair is Dry

Some causes of brittle, limp hair are as clear as day (like your 400-plus degree heat setting!), but others are not as obvious. For example, hopping in the shower or going for a dip in the pool can actually do more harm than good if you’re not taking the right precautions to protect your hair. Keep your strands silky smooth and, more importantly, healthy by avoiding the dry-hair contributors below.

Steamy Showers

Showering with hot water can strip moisture out of hair and leave it limp and dry. Instead, wash and rinse using lukewarm or cool water to seal strands and lock in moisture. 

Your Shampoo

Not all shampoos are created equal. Some formulas contain sulfates, which strip away more than just dirt and oil buildup — they can also remove the natural oils your hair needs to stay healthy and hydrated. For a sulfate-free option, try the Garnier Whole Blends Sulfate Free Remedy Honey Treasures Shampoo.

Towel Drying

The friction from roughly towel drying your hair causes breakage and overall dry, frizzy strands. Instead, use an old cotton T-shirt or microfiber towel to absorb excess moisture without the damage. If you have curly hair, take an extra step while hair is still damp, and comb a leave-in cream, like Carol's Daughter Monoi Leave-In Cream, through your strands to protect from breakage.

carol's daughter monoi leave-in cream

Direct Heat


When blow drying your hair, keep the nozzle a few inches away from your head or the direct heat can cause some serious trouble — think burning off a section of your hair. Always use a heat-protectant like Redken Hot Sets 22 Thermal Setting Mist before blow drying or using a styling tool like flat iron or curler. 

Sunshine and Salt 


Like skin, your hair can be damaged by UV rays and salt water . Keep your strands shiny and smooth with a replenishing mask like Kérastase Soleil Masque UV Defense Active for sun-exposed hair.

Poor Diet 


A balanced diet with a healthy daily dose of protein, iron and other nutrients will keep your hair full and bouncy. If only pizza kept hair and skin healthy!



Going for a dip? Don’t forget to protect your hair against ultra-drying chlorine with a sealant like Kérastase Soleil Aqua-Seal, otherwise the chemical can weaken your strands and ruin your color.

Hard Water 


Hard water — the water that you use to shower — can be  infused with mineral salts like calcium and magnesium and can really do a number on your hair. Prevent  lifeless, straw-like hair by attaching a filter to your showerhead.

Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

Read more

Back to top