Weak hair can be defined as limp, droopy, thin or falling out. Split ends, extreme dryness or excessive oiliness can all be signs of weak hair. It is often genetic, handed down from a parent, or it can be caused by hormonal factors such as menopause or childbirth, medications, disease or illness, poor diet, stress, a fungal infection of the scalp or cancer treatments. Environmental impact from sun exposure, chlorine or salt water, air conditioning or heating and pollution can weaken hair. That said, weak hair can be a detriment to our fashion sense and self image. In some cases, it can even be an indicator of a medical concern. Here are some ways you can strengthen your weak hair strands and achieve luscious and voluminous hair:
1. Use the right products to avoid further damage to weak hair
A good stylist can help you detect and diagnose weak hair, and make recommendations on appropriate product usage. Using the best products for weak hair is essential to restoring troubled tresses. For weak, delicate hair, use a shampoo, conditioner and styling products that will reinforce the hair by infusing protein, amino acids and other strengthening properties.
Don’t use a shampoo that will dry out hair, and when using a reinforcing conditioner, start at the roots and work the conditioner through to the ends. You can enhance conditioning by wrapping a hot towel or shower cap over your head to allow it to penetrate deeply into the hair follicles and shafts. A protein mask or deep conditioning treatment can also be beneficial to locks that have lost their strength.
Keep in mind, however, that the products we use on our hair can be overdone. You can have too much of a good thing, and excessive product usage over time causes damaged and weak hair. When hair is already damaged, compensating with more products can weigh it down, making weak hair look dull and rough. Avoid styling products that contain alcohol, for example, which can be drying to hair; and try to limit shampooing to every other day or even less frequently if your scalp doesn’t produce too much oil.
2. Take care of weak hair by limiting chemical use
Abusing and over-processing hair can lead to weak tresses. Ongoing use of strong chemicals through coloring, bleaching, straightening or permanents can damage hair fiber and make hair weak. When used too frequently or in too strong a dose, these chemicals can cause permanent damage, making weak hair dry and frizzy, with split ends and breakage.
3. Weak hair hates heat: don’t play with fire
Excessive heat from blow-dryers, hot curlers, curling irons and flat irons can cause weak hair and breakage. Using a too-hot blow-dryer on wet hair heats the water remaining under the hair’s cuticle and causes it to expand inside the hair, leaving spaces--or blisters --inside fibers, which weakens hair. These parched strands soak up moisture from the air, causing frizz.
4. Strengthen weak hair by switching up your style
Change how you wear your hair every day: wearing your hair down day after day can result in tangles and split ends. But ponytails, tight braids and dreadlocks can also stress tresses and cause weakening. Switch styles every day to avoid strain on weak hair and give your look a pick-me-up. When wearing hair down, use a strengthening shampoo, conditioner and styling products to protect weak hair. When wearing it up, use fortifying gel or mousse and hair-protecting elastics with no metal on them. Don’t get too zealous when brushing, and never brush wet hair.
5. A healthy diet helps restore weak hair
An unhealthy diet, or too-low of a caloric intake (crash diet), can lead to hair falling out, as can endocrine disorders. What you eat has an effect on the health of your hair and scalp. The nutrients from healthy food provide the energy that fuels hair growth. A diet that includes iron-rich protein feeds your scalp and hair by building strong keratin, the protein that strengthens hair, improves texture and stimulates growth. Consume lean meat, fish, low-fat cheeses, egg whites, spinach and soy to keep your head happy in more ways than one. In between meals, snack on fruits, vegetables and grains.
Vitamins are also key to hair health. Vitamin C, or collagen, keeps blood vessels in the scalp healthy by supporting hair follicles. Vitamin C also helps you absorb iron from plant proteins. Biotin, an essential B vitamin, strengthens weak hair and improves its texture. Biotin is found in salmon, carrots, egg yolks and sardines. Vitamin supplements can help weak hair as well. Water is another essential for your body and your hair. Adequate hydration helps keep your body functioning like a well-oiled machine, and helps strengthen weak hair. It’s best to drink plenty of water throughout the day and evening.