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Causes of Dry Brittle HairCauses of dry brittle hair

Causes of dry brittle hair range from genetics and heredity to damage caused by heat, chemical treatments, to lack of moisture and hydration.
  • If you are pre-disposed to dry hair through your gene make-up, there are some things you can do to help add elasticity and strengthen.  Weakness comes from the break-down in the follicle molecular structure.  Lack of membrane fluids allows bonds to break easier resulting it what appears to be brittleness.
  • Heat and chemical treatments deplete hair of moisture content, again, breaking down and destroying molecular bonds that allow for elasticity.  Styling appliances can, literally, steam or dry, water out of the follicle shaft.  Replacing depleted moisture can be done with conditioners or shampoos developed to infuse moisture into the cells.
  • Lack of moisture can be the result of poor sebum or hair oils.  Oils are secreted from root pore and help to protect the hair's structure.  Oils also protect internal functions.  If oil production is low, you may see that the causes of dry brittle hair lie in improving moisture content to the hair.

Using hair care products developed to add moisture and protection will help address the causes of dry brittle hair and will improve control.

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Hidden Factors of Dryness and Brittleness
While low moisture content (below 8%) in the follicle shaft is the most common problem, and underlying and surprising cause my be at work.
For many years, SLS (sodium laurel sulfate) has been used routinely in non-professional hair products.  This has lead to a rash of problems for many people of all ages:  Thinning, inflamed scalp, and as it relates to this article, a loss of moisture, stripped natural oils and structural damage to the follicle shaft, cuticle and bulb.
In an attempt to decrease operating costs, many "name brand" manufacturers with large marketing and distribution budgets have developed sub-brands to target chain stores and large-box retailers.  This has led to a proliferation of problems seen by trichologists and dermatologists.
A solution is to use a sulfate-free shampoo (or SLS shampoo) to combat and protect from chemicals that may be harming your scalp.  If this is a problem for you, follow the links above for more information.