Brittle hair is one of the many ways damaged hair strands manifest, and as such, is important to deal with right away to prevent dull lackluster hair. Brittle hair has often been compared to dry skin, largely because such hair is dry, frizzy and broken. In many cases, such hair also features split ends.
The severity of the condition varies from mild cases to blown-out hair breakage. Some of the characteristics of brittle hair include hair that breaks quite easily, hair strands that are both dry and rough as well as tangled hair after washing. For those who color their hair, brittle hair does not retain color treatment for long, leading to quick fading away.
Some of the causes of brittle hair include stark nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes as is the case in pregnant women as well as use of wrong hair products. Certain lifestyle aspects are also to blame, and this include but are not limited to overexposure to harsh weather, chlorine contained in swimming pools and using hot tools that strip moisture away from the hair.
All these factors affect the structure of the hair strands, and over a long period of time, cause it to break with ease. The good news is that there are a handful of home remedies that are available for the natural treatment of brittle hair, many of which are easy to source and use. Each of the remedies below is accompanied by the approximate time you will need to prepare and apply the remedy, the amount of time it will take as well as the difficulty level of the same.
1. Have a Balanced Diet:
Time Required: Varies depending on the specific foods provided.
What You Need: A diet with balanced nutrients.
One of the key ways to manage brittle hair is to make sure that you eat a balanced diet. This compliments the use of topical hair products by nourishing your hair from the inside out. Granted, it does take time to notice any changes with this remedy, but in the long run, this is one of the best ways to treat brittle hair. Failure to take a balanced diet strips the body of key nutrients, and this predisposes the hair to drying and the damage that accompanies brittle hair. Below are some of the key foods which you need to incorporate in your diet in order to manage brittle hair.
Foods to Add to your Diet for Healthy Strong Hair
- Yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt has, over the years, been linked to healthy hair largely because of the high concentration of Vitamin D. Vitamin D enhances the health of the hair follicles, and this in turn preserves the structural integrity of the hair strands structure. Additionally, yogurt is also rich in proteins and Vitamin B, both of which help improve the overall health of the hair, effectively treating the brittleness.
- Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, one of the body’s most important antioxidants. The presence of this beta-carotene helps fight off free radicals which are known to cause damage to healthy hair. The beta-carotene is also converted to Vitamin A.
- Nuts are known to contain healthy oils which enhance the proper growth of the hair strands. More preferably, walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E which is known to help with cell protection. This is the choice nut to leave your hair thick, strong and healthy.
- Green leafy vegetables and/or sunflower seeds are excellent sources of Vitamin E which is essential for managing dry brittle hair. You may also use Vitamin E supplements, but this should be done under a doctor’s consultation.
2. Egg Hair Mask:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Fresh eggs (or more depending on the length of your hair), a shower cap, cool water to rinse and hair shampoo. Yogurt and almond oil (optional addition)
An egg hair mask is a simple and effective way to manage brittle hair. Not only do the eggs provide much-needed nutrients, they also add to the hair’s natural sheen. The yolk specifically, is rich in proteins and essential fatty acids. Additionally, the enzymes available in the egg white go a long way in cleansing the scalp to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with brittle hair. You will need cool water to rinse off the egg mixture. Avoid using hot water because it cooks the eggs and makes it more difficult to get rid off among the hair strands. Add yogurt and almond oil for their aforementioned benefits in treating brittle hair.
- Beat the eggs into a bowl and whisk well.
- Add some of the yogurt and almond oil to the egg and whisk some more to mix the two ingredients well.
- Beat the mixture until you get a creamy consistency for easy application.
- Apply a generous amount of the egg mixture on the hair and massage the scalp with it as well.
- Cover the hair with a shower towel and allow 30 minutes for the home remedy to act.
- Once the time has elapsed, rinse the hair and scalp using cool water. Avoid using hot water as it cooks the egg mixture and makes it difficult to eliminate from between the hair strands.
- Shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
- Use this treatment at least bi-monthly for the best results.
3. Olive Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min (Alternatively, apply the remedy and use it overnight)
What You Need: Olive oil in a bowl, warm bath, warm towel and hair shampoo and conditioner.
It is impossible to talk about home remedies for brittle hair without making mention of olive oil. One of the best solutions for treating this type of damaged hair, olive oil is packed with Vitamin E which is integral for proper hair development. The oil is also rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that not only prevent free radicals from destroying the structure of the hair, but also form a protective moisture layer around the cuticle of the hair strands. This strengthens the hair strands over a period of time and prevents them from becoming too brittle.
- Put the olive oil in a bowl and heat it indirectly by placing it in a warm bath. This is recommended because it does not destroy the active ingredients present in the oil.
- Place some of the oil between the palms of your hands and massage as gently as you can for maximum absorption.
- Place a warm towel over your head and leave it on for half an hour. For best results, or in cases where the hair is extremely brittle and damaged, it helps to let the oil remain in the hair overnight.
- Shampoo and condition the hair as you normally would.
- Use this remedy at least once weekly to get rid of brittle hair.
- Remember to use olive oil on a regular basis after your usual hair routine.
4. Coconut Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Coconut oil, water bath, hair shampoo and conditioner.
Coconut oil is recommended for the natural treatment of brittle hair for the simple reason that it nourishes and moisturizes the hair. Best of all perhaps, is the fact that the oil penetrates the hair strands with such remarkable ease that the effects are visible after a relatively short period of time. Once the oil reaches the core of the hair strands, it prevents cuticle damage and this in turn, ensures hair remains strong. You will need warm water to melt the coconut oil since it tends to solidify in low temperatures.
- Place two teaspoons of the coconut oil in a shallow container before transferring it to a warm bath for melting purposes.
- Apply the warm coconut oil on the scalp and hair strands as you massage as gently as possible.
- Leave the coconut oil in the hair for 30 minutes or apply it overnight for hair that is extensively damaged.
- Wash and rinse the hair the next day using your preferred shampoo and conditioner.
- Use this remedy once weekly.
5. Raw Organic Honey:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup of raw organic honey and some warm water. You may also add plain Greek yogurt and some olive/coconut oil for best results.
One of the characteristics of brittle hair is that it is extremely dry and is often rough to touch. This is where honey comes in handy as it not only attracts moisture to keep the hair strands hydrated, it also locks in the moisture. The end result is soft healthy hair. Add yogurt and/or coconut/olive oil to the honey hair masks for the additional benefits. Note, however, that excessive use of honey to treat brittle hair may result in lighter hair color, which is of concern for those with colored hair. You may want to limit this treatment to just once weekly and follow the directions below for application purposes.
- Add some warm water to the honey in order to thin it out and manage its viscosity for easy application.
- Wet your hair prior to applying this remedy.
- At this point, you may opt to use the raw honey as it is, or opt for the addition of yogurt and either coconut or olive oil.
- Apply either the thinned honey or use the thickened honey mixture that contains yogurt and the oil.
- Massage the remedy in as gently as you can and cover the hair with a shower cap.
- Wait the remedy out for half an hour before rinsing with warm water.
- Repeat this remedy once weekly to treat brittle and damaged hair.
6. Black Tea:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup of water, 1 teabag and hair shampoo.
Harness the healing benefits of black tea for the natural treatment of brittle hair. Used as a final rinse after shampooing, the tea’s high concentration of Vitamin E nourishes the hair. Black tea is also known to be rich in polyphenols that sustain the hair’s health. It is also important to mention that black tea also protects the hair strands from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which have been touted to be one of the leading causes of brittle hair. Add black tea to your weekly hair routine and treat brittle damaged hair well.
- Boil the water and put the teabag in the hot water for it to steep for 5 minutes.
- Use the resulting tea to rinse your already-shampooed hair for the aforementioned health benefits.
- Leave the remedy in the hair for about 20 minutes before carrying out one final rinse using warm water.
- Use this remedy twice weekly for best results.
7. Ripe Bananas:
Time Required: 30 Min.
What You Need: 2 Ripe bananas (or more depending on the length of your hair), blender, 2 teaspoons of coconut/ olive oil, 1 teaspoon of honey and warm water.
Brittle hair is rough to touch, so one of the best home remedies to treat this is ripe bananas. Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamins which strengthen the structure of the hair strands and eliminates the brittleness. Additionally, the texture of the mashed bananas helps improve elasticity and soften the hair while improving its natural appearance. Add coconut oil for its high concentration of Vitamin E, and some honey for its moisturizing properties. Follow the simple directions below to treat brittle hair using ripe bananas.
- Blend the bananas so that you have a creamy consistency that is easy to apply.
- Add in the oil and honey and mix well.
- Apply the paste on the hair, preferably when wet for better absorption and more effective treatment.
- Leave the remedy for half an hour and proceed to rinse with warm water for soft strong hair.
8. Avocado Hair Mask:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Rips avocado, blender, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and warm water to rinse.
One of nature’s gifts for the treatment of brittle hair, avocado’s healthy fats and rich nutrients go a long way in treating brittle hair. The fat in the fruit both coats the hair strands and softens the hair to keep it hydrated and healthy. Add olive oil for its Vitamin E content and treat brittle hair with ease.
- Take the pulp of the ripe avocado and blend it to get a thick paste.
- Add the olive oil to the blended avocado and mix well.
- Apply a generous amount of the avocado mixture on the hair and leave it on for between half an hour and an hour.
- Wash out the remedy using warm water and apply an appropriate hair moisturizer.
- Use this remedy once weekly until your hair regains its natural lustre.
9. Tips For Managing Brittle Hair:
- Reduce the amount of heat the hair is exposed to. Excessive use of heat not only weakens the hair, it also damages its structure and predisposes it to brittle strands.
- Ensure that your hair shampoo and treatment products work to hydrate the hair and not strip it of moisture.
- Avoid styling methods that cause the hair to become taut and keep off metal hair accessories because they add to the stress experienced by brittle hair.
- Hair is at its weakest when wet, so use minimal force when styling. Avoid combing and brushing wet hair, and instead pass your fingers through to prevent tangling of the wet strands.
Depending on the extent of hair damage, you may need to use hair supplements for the proper treatment of brittle hair in addition to the aforementioned home remedies. If you have any doubts, consult your dermatologist for the way forward.