After you shampoo, condition and style your hair, it still looks and feels a little stiff. You are left asking yourself, ‘Why is my hair so stiff? How can I fix the stiffness?’.
There are various causes of stiff hair. And stiffness shows that there is damage to your hair. It is normal to panic over dry and stiff hair, but the good news is that you can fix the stiffness and regain your smooth, healthy hair strands.
What Does Stiff Hair Mean?
Stiff hair can be described as hair that appears dry, messy, and easily breakable, no matter the treatment you try to give it. You can still experience stiff hair even when you do your best to care for it properly.
Stiff strands almost always indicate that something needs to be changed in your hair care routine. It also means that the hair cuticle has been damaged.
The cuticle is the outermost layer of your hair and is composed of numerous small scales. The hair appears dry and stiff when these scales separate from the rest of the hair shaft.
Why Does Hair Become Stiff?
The main culprit of stiff hair is residual product build-up. Some hair products can leave a stubborn film on your strand that is difficult to remove with regular shampoo.
So if your hair feels stiff after washing it, the best thing to do is try a clarifying shampoo to remove any built-up product.
Hard water also contributes to build-up in addition to hair products. This is because hard water contains dissolved minerals that leave a similarly difficult-to-remove film. The effect will be the same regardless of where the build-up came from.
Hair product build-up prevents water from penetrating the hair. Therefore, you’ll do everything right, but the build-up won’t allow water and hair products to sink into the hair.
Additionally, too much protein and less moisture can cause hair stiffness. This is because the hair needs a balance of both moisture and protein. Excess protein leaves the hair feeling brittle and stiff.
Too much sebum from your scalp is also another cause of stiff hair. Sebum is the natural oil our scalp produces to keep our hair healthy, but if it’s not washed out regularly, it can accumulate and make our hair feel greasy and heavy.
Your hair can also become stiff for several other reasons. For example, maybe you slept on it wet, and it got tangled up. Or perhaps you used too much product, and it’s become weighed down.
How To Fix & Handle Stiff Hair
Now you understand the causes of stiff hair. The good news is that this problem is easy to fix. If you follow the steps below to the later, your hair will restore its healthy glow and become soft and flexible again.
Use the Right Hair Care Products
Make sure you’re using shampoo and conditioner suited for your hair type.
Use a Hydrating Hair Care System
Look for products that will nourish and restore the hair strands by strengthening them.
I know it can be tempting to slap some product on your head and go, but if you want your hair to look good, you need to take the time to massage it. Start at the roots and work your way down, covering every strand.
Deep Condition the Hair From Time to Time
Try a deep conditioning treatment every once in a while to help eliminate any built-up oils. If you do this regularly, your hair will start to look softer and silkier in no time.
Fewer Heat Styling Sessions and More Air Drying
Heat can harm the hair, especially if you subject the hair to too much heat. If you must use heat styling tools occasionally, ensure you apply a heat protectant and the lowest heat setting.
Take a Break between Dye
While trending hair colors are beautiful, they can damage your hair’s health. Give your hair time between the coloring sessions, or opt for a temporary color spray if the pressure to color your hair is overwhelming.
Stop Using Too Many Hair Products
Various hair styling products coat your hair strands, reducing its moisture levels. A little bit goes a long way; if you use too much, your hair will look greasy.
Avoid the Sun
Like the skin, the sun damages the hair strands making them brittle and stiff. You can protect your hair from the sun using a hat, cap, or umbrella whenever you spend time outdoors.
How To Avoid Stiff Hair
You must pay attention to things during the entire hair care routine to avoid stiff hair.
- Avoid using hot tools on your hair every day. If you can, let your hair air-dry as often as possible. Using hot tools every day can damage your hair and make it more likely to become dry or fall out.
- Also, avoid washing your hair frequently. Frequent or daily washing of your hair can strip it of its natural oils, making it dry and brittle. Try to wash your hair only two or three times a week.
- Avoid exposing hair to the sun. Wear a cap or an umbrella if you want to spend long hours outside under the sun.
- Shampoo your hair regularly, use a clarifying shampoo if needed, and rinse thoroughly. Try a deep-conditioning treatment once a week.
In a nutshell, your hair might be feeling stiff because of build-up on the hair shaft. This can be caused by various things, such as using the wrong shampoo for your hair type, using too much styling product, or even just not washing your hair enough.
Follow the above-explained tips, and your hair will return to its old self in no time. However, if the hair stiffness persists, it might be time to see a professional. A stylist can help you figure out what’s causing the problem and recommend a solution.