Why is my hair so dry, brittle and dull?

Dull, brittle hair that lacks its natural shine that we all love so much. HELP! This is not what we want. When we are meeting someone one of the first things we notice are their eyes, their smile but also the condition of their hair. When we look into the mirror we all want to see a healthy head of hair. When you are struggeling with dull and hair that easily breaks, it can have many causes. It could be that:

  • You are using poor quality hair products or products that do not suite your hair type
  • You are using a bad hairbrush or one that doesn’t fit your natural curls or waves
  • Your lifestyle and nutritional behaviour is not supporting your hair in growing strong and shiny
  • Your hormones are out of balance

In this article 3 tips to start swaying healthy and shiny hair!

Tip 1: Protein for hair

Hair is “dead” material, but the growing process is a very live and active process that needs proper nutrition and building blocks to grow healthy, shiny and strong. I can’t keep on repeating this, but it is extremely important to adopt healthy nutrition habits that supply your hair the building blocks it needs. When you are dealing with dull and brittle hair it could be that for example you don’t eat enough healthy protein.

Protein is an essential nutrient for all organs in your body and it especially affects the growth of your hair because hair itself is build out of a very strong kind of protein called keratin. Without proper production of keratin your hair will grow very weak or not at all and you might even start to suffer from hair loss like I did so many years ago not watching my diet.

The best proof that the protein keratin is so important is also in a study published in the “Journal of Investigative Dermatology” (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Volume 131, Issue 2, Pages 273-547,February 2011) that stated that the IGF-binding protein 5 even determines the shape of your hair making it either curly, straight or wavy.

So make sure that you eat a healthy portion of protein everyday. I prefer to eat protein in my meals opting for fatty fish (also a good source of omega 3), lean meat, greek yoghurt and legumes. Zorg ervoor dat je elke dag een gezonde portie vis, vlees of yoghurt op het menu zet om een proteïnetekort te voorkomen of verhelpen.

There are also many test cases where eating whey isolate had very beneficial effects on hair growth, but when you eat a balanced diet and if you are healthy and fit, you shouldn’t need this as an extra.

Tip 2: 100 brushstrokes a day

Often neglected but brushing your hair everyday with a good quality brush is soooo important to achieve healthy and shiny hair. Your scalp and more in particular the sebaceous glands surrounding the hair follicle produce sebum, your own homemade conditioner packed with essential nutrients to nourish and protect your hair. When you brush with a high quality brush manufactured with natural hair you gently spread this sebum all along the hair lengths adding shine to your hair. Brushing also improves circulation and many other things. Please read my other article on the importance of brushing to find out more about it, you can find the link here.

Please don’t be afraid to “use” what nature makes best and let that sebum do its work.

So brushing does help you protect your hair from being dry and brittle.

Tip 3: Natural care with oil

When brushing and spreading sebum along the hair lenghts isn’t enough to nourish and repair your hair or when your hair is extremely damaged, then use another ally Mother Nature has in store for you: natural oil. I advice you to have a good haircut first to cut out all the worst parts of your hair to be able to make a fresh start. A hairmask based on natural oils is then the perfect way to keep your hair in top shape and to repair the damage.

Always choose high quality natural oils like jojoba, argan, apricot or castor. Be aware of products that claim they are using one of the above ingredients as many of them contain only a very small amount of it. So check the label!

When you like to give your oil treatment that little bit of extra power to heal your hair, then add a couple of drops of essential oil like lavender or rosemary. For a deeply nourishing treatment it is best to put a sufficient quantity on your hair and let it work over night. (put a towel on your pillow!) When massaging in the oil, don’t forget to also treat your scalp as a healthy scalp is the basis of healthy hair. In the morning you just shampoo and condition as usual. If you do this at least once a week you will see a difference.