Why is my hair dry and brittle?
One key reason hair becomes dry and brittle is weak blood supply to the hair. When a hair grows it’s connected to a tiny blood vessel in the scalp. When a hair stops growing that blood vessel disconnects from the hair. In order to keep your hair growing, you need to nourish the blood vessels in your scalp.
Research has shown that increasing the growth factor VEGF is crucial for maintaining healthy blood vessels in the scalp and that means healthy hair too. There are several products designed to increase scalp VEGF. I recommend using a product that increases scalp VEGF to begin with. This will immediately help increase the blood circulation in your scalp.
What to do right now
There’s a very good reason hair becomes dry, brittle and starts to thin. The reason is increased inflammation in the hair follicles. This inflammation gradually reduces the health of the follicles. The link between inflammation and reduced hair growth is very well established and documented. Read my article on scalp inflammation to learn more.
Fortunately there are some really good solutions that you can use right now to improve the health of your hair, increase hair growth and even make your hair thicker:
Applying peppermint oil along your hairline before bed
Start by applying a natural anti-inflammatory to your scalp every day to reduce inflammation. I suggest using peppermint oil. Try applying it at the front of your scalp every night to begin with. Beware that pure peppermint oil is very strong, so apply a test patch for one night to see how well your skin tolerates it.
Next: Increase scalp blood circulation to nourish your hair and increase hair growth
The reason your hair has started to become dry, brittle and thin is that it’s not receiving a strong blood supply. The hair needs to receive a supply of blood in order to grow.
Next: Increase the growth factor VEGF to strengthen hair and increase hair growth
VEGF (or vascular endothelial growth factor) is a growth factor that develops, maintains and multiplies blood vessels. A strong scalp blood circulation is very important for hair growth. Studies have shown that increasing VEGF keeps the hairs in the growth phase for longer, enabling them to grow longer and thicker.
Read my guide: How to increase scalp VEGF
Finally: Use a hair growth topical to intensely nourish your hair
Take a look at my list of the world’s best topical hair loss treatments. Although these treatments are designed for people who have significant hair loss, they will benefit anyone’s hair by increasing scalp blood circulation and nourishing the hair.
Read nextWhats the best shampoo for hair loss?
It is fairly common for women to start noticing their hair becoming dry, brittle and getting lots of split ends.
This is often an early sign that the hair is experiencing a major problem, that won’t just stop here. A reduction in hair quality might simply be a result of regular dying or heat treatments, but if you’re not dying or heat treating your hair and it starts getting dry and brittle there’s a good chance you’re on the road to hair loss.
Hair loss is usually a very slow process. It usually starts with the hair becoming dryer and brittle. This stage may last for several years before hair loss becomes noticeable. It’s hugely important to combat the problem as early as possible if you want to stop it before it gets bad.
Why is this happening?
Dryness and brittleness are signs that your hair is lacking something essential. At first it affects the quality of the hair, but in time the hair will not be able to survive without this essential element.
My top tips to prevent or stop female hair loss early
If you’ve noticed your hair has become dryer, more unmanageable or even thinner than it used to be, follow these steps early, before it’s too late:
Get your iron levels checked
Get a health check. Ask your doctor to check for an iron deficiency among other things. Iron is required for healthy hair. If there is an iron deficiency, the hair (being a non-essential feature of the body) will suffer as the body directs resources to essential functions.
You may think you have a healthy diet but iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiency (perhaps the most) in the UK, despite relatively healthy diets. It’s worth making sure you eat green leafy vegetables such as baby leaf spinach on a regular basis as these contain lots of iron and other vitamins and minerals. Egg yolks are also a good source of iron and other nutrients that benefit the hair.
Top tip: Eat one or two poached egg and green leaf salads with asparagus and a drizzle of flax seed oil per week for a boost in nutrients for hair growth.
Check for hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is fairly common in women over 35 and one of the symptoms is hair loss. The condition causes the thyroid gland to become overactive, which in turn increases metabolism. This can make sufferers experience anxiety, weight loss and hair loss.
While you are getting your health check ask to have your thyroid checked.
Check for allergies
It’s also worth having the standard allergy tests, such as wheat, gluten and dairy. You can do this yourself by eliminating each food group, one at a time, and analysing how you feel.
More information on allergy testing
How to actively encourage hair growth
Once you’ve completed the three checks explained above you can look at things you can actively do to improve the condition of your hair and encourage hair growth.
Hit stress on the head or say goodbye to your hair
Stress is a major cause of hair loss. It can sap the body of nutrients, leaving the hair with very little ‘resources’ to construct new hair with. If you often feel tense (especially in your neck and shoulders), find it hard to sleep, worry a lot or get angry frequently, these psychological stresses may be causing your hair loss. It’s important you deal with this because if you don’t, it will not only affect your hair, it will also have a negative impact on your overall health.
I have dedicated a chapter of my eBook to changing g the way you deal with stressful situations, so that you can train your mind to be more relaxed at all times. I’ve accompanied this with an 8 part audio programme to help you conquer stress for good. I’m giving this audio programme away free at the moment. You can download the package here.
Eat foods that encourage hair growth
The hair is made of keratin, which comes from protein. So you need protein in your diet for hair growth. But that doesn’t mean you need to eat lots of meat. You don’t see horses walking around with no hair because they don’t eat meat. There is protein in vegetables as well as meat, dairy and fish. My top tip for your diet is to buy an ‘Omega 3’ oil. Buy a high quality organic cold pressed extra virgin oil. Consume a tablespoon of this a day and you will reap the benefits within 2 weeks – just watch!
Top tip: Buy an omega 3 oil and eat a tablespoon a day.
For more tips like this download my eBook, which has a whole chapter dedicated to nutrition.
Make sure your scalp is in good condition
Your scalp can be difficult to clean because it’s covered in hair. Many people don’t wash their hair every day, yet they wash their faces every day. I sometimes advise people to not wash their hair every day, but there is a problem with this – your scalp can become dirty and with time the pores can become blocked. It’s important that you keep your scalp in excellent condition if you want it to grow thick strong hair. When you wash your hair, make sure you wash your scalp well. Massage your scalp with the shampoo and rinse the scalp thoroughly. But PLEASE use a good shampoo.
I have a list of good shampoos here. Choose one that sticks to these guidelines.
Top tip: Switch your horrible supermarket bought shampoo for an organic SLS-free shampoo.
I also have a chapter in my book dedicated to completely renewing the scalp to change it from ‘hair loss mode’ to ‘hair growth mode’.
Improve the blood circulation in your scalp
Hair needs nutrients in order to grow. Those nutrients are carried to the hair in the blood. By increasing blood flow in the scalp you can help feed your hair and promote hair growth. There are several products on the market that can be used to promote circulation in the scalp, including laser combs, Minoxidil products (like Rogaine), the Dermaroller, the Magi-grow and several more.
I think the Dermaroller is a superb product, well worth investing in, but you don’t need any of these products to improve circulation in your scalp. I’ve dedicated a chapter of my eBook to ‘turbo-charging blood circulation in the scalp to promote hair growth’. You guessed it, you can download it here!
Exercise and sleep
I can’t stress enough how important it is to exercise regularly and sleep well. If you get both of these things right you will help with all of the points above. Exercising helps reduce stress and improve circulation. Lack of sleep increases stress levels and also increases your need to eat. Often though, when you’re stressed you’re more tempted to eat unhealthily. If you’re sleeping well and exercising regularly you will feel more composed and able to live life the way you want to. Of course if you’re really stressed to begin with these things are easier said than done. That’s why I’ve included the subliminal mind training audio files in my stress fighting audio programme, which can train your brain while you sleep, work or exercise!
If you’re really worried that your hair is falling out, you need to do everything you can to stop it. In my eBook I explain just about everything you can do to stop hair loss and encourage hair regrowth. I provide step by step instructions on how to combat the 6 key causes of hair loss and how to turn them around so you promote hair loss – without using drugs or other hair loss treatments.