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Why is My Hair Puffy and How Can I Fix It?

Hair puffiness can be frustrating for most people. Puffy hair can be a result of several things, such as humidity, dryness, damaged hair and even genetics. If your hair is puffy and wondering “why is my hair puffy and what to do about it”, the good news is you can take action to help your puffy hair become straight hair again.

In this discussion, we will discuss the causes of puffy hair and explore various ways to fix it.

What Is Puffy Hair?

puffy hair
Puffy Hair

Healthy hair lays flat with tightly closed cuticles. It is sufficiently moisturized and gives off a smooth and shiny look. However, puffy hair typically stems from brittle, dry, or damaged hair.

Puffy hair happens when the hair strand opens up in an attempt to get more moisture. Then, the hair swells in response to the moisture in the environment. When this happens, it can cause your hair to be frizzy. It may seem like puffy hair is just a cosmetic problem, but when ignored, puffy hair can lead to further damaged hair.

Your hair can suffer from the continued stress of swelling with moisture. It can cause damage to your hair, like weakening the hair strands and eventually leading to split ends and breakage.

The rough edges split ends, and hair breakage can cause the puffy or frizzy look and feel of your hair. It can be a vicious cycle of dry hair seeking outside moisture and ending up puffy, while puffy hair can cause further dryness, weakening your hair.

Why Is My Hair Puffy?

Here are the main causes of puffy hair.

Hair Damage: One root cause of puffiness is dry and damaged hair. Some widely used practices cause your hair to dry out, weaken, and break. Heat can be a contributor to puffy hair. Using heating tools, such as a curling iron, regularly can leave your hair vulnerable to breakage and dryness. Try using less heat in your hair care routine.

causes of puffy hair

Brushing Wet Hair: Hair care products, such as brushes, can also cause harm to your hair. Your hair is weakest when it is wet. Avoid brushing your hair when wet unless you use a brush designed for wet hair. You can also try using a wide toothcomb to protect your hair.

Chemicals: Chemical processes, such as perming, bleaching, dying, or relaxing, can also lead to dry or weakened hair. Consistent and prolonged use of these chemical processes can leach moisture from your hair and scalp. When using these processes, make sure to take steps to moisturize your hair.

Overwashing and Wrong Products: Washing your hair too often or using products that will dry out your hair, like shampoos with sulfates or clarifying shampoos, can be very harmful to your hair. Your hair and scalp need oils to maintain healthy hair. However, washing too often or using harsh shampoos can end up stripping your hair of all the good hair oil and moisture it desperately needs.

Weather: Unfortunately, the weather is also a contributor to puffy or frizzy hair. High humidity can cause your hair to take in extra moisture and swell. There is not much you can do about the weather, but you can take steps to protect your hair when the weather is unfavorable.

How To Fix Puffy Hair

Puffy hair now and then may not seem like a big deal. However, you want to get puffy hair under control before it causes more damage to your hair. Here are some steps you can take to help you fix poofy hair.

Step 1: Wash Hair With Formulated Products

How to Fix Puffy Hair - Wash with Formulated Product

Hair products can drastically help you prevent or repair puffy hair. Specially formulated products can help protect your hair from damage and strengthen your hair. Deep conditioners and hair masks will help give your hair an infusion of essential nutrients to moisturize your hair.

You can also find shampoos that are geared towards moisturizing weak, brittle hair. Using high-quality moisturizing hair products is essential. However, it is crucial that you stay away from products that could do further damage to your hair.

Avoid hair products with sulfates or clarifying products. Using these products too often can strip your hair of all the good oils and nutrients and leave you with dry, brittle hair, further perpetuating the puffy hair.

Step 2: Use Cold Water to Rinse Your Hair

Rinsing your hair with cold water helps hair cuticles lay flat. When using hot water, it can dehydrate your scalp and strip your hair of natural oils. Once stripped, your hair can become dry and brittle, prone to split ends and breakage.

Try rinsing your hair with cold water for just a few seconds toward the end of your shower to help your hair shafts seal in the existing moisture and keep out unwanted moisture. 

Step 3: Be Gentle When Drying Your Hair

How to Fix Puffy Hair - Dry Hair Gently

Your hair is most vulnerable when wet. Wet hair must be handled very carefully when wet, or it can be damaged. Air drying is the best way to go when drying your hair. However, sometimes it is just impossible to wait for it to air dry.

If you can’t wait for it to air dry, you can try gently patting it with a small microfiber towel. Other fabrics can leach good moisture from your hair and end up drying out your hair in the long run. When you must use heat styling tools to dry your hair, always use a low heat setting. Using tools with high heat can cause serious damage to your hair.

Step 4: Don’t Hesitate to Moisturize Between Wash Days

How to Fix Puffy Hair -Moisturize Properly

Moisturized hair is essential to avoiding puffy hair. One of the root causes of most puffiness is dry, damaged hair. Some hair types may not need additional moisturizing. However, if you’re finding that your hair is weak or drying out, you can use products to help.

There are many products formulated to give your hair and scalp extra moisture. These products may be especially beneficial if your hair is prone to drying out. You can use moisturizing shampoos, hair masks, or oils, such as jojoba oil, castor oil, or grapeseed oil.

Covering your hair at night can also help protect your hair from losing moisture to the fabrics of your pillows and bedding.

Step 5: Don’t Head Outside With Wet Hair

How to Fix Puffy Hair - Protect Hair

Humidity and elements outside can penetrate the hair strand and cause swelling, especially in a weakened state. When heading out, make sure your hair is completely dry. In a rush, that may not always be possible.

Always protect your hair when going outside with a wet head. You can protect your hair with a hat or scarf.

So, What Causes Puffy Hair and What to Do?

Puffy hair happens when your hair cuticle breaks open and absorbs unwanted moisture. This swelling can cause your hair to have split ends, breakage, and stick out, giving it a puffy or frizzy look.

It can happen when your hair is already dry or damaged and can actually further damage your hair. Take action as soon as you see signs that your hair is puffy or frizzy. You should always moisturize your hair using products designed to add moisture to your hair and scalp.

You can also use deep conditioners or hair masks on days you don’t wash your hair. Always protect your hair against heat and the elements. Puffy hair is salvageable as long as you take action.