The Causes of Dull Hair and How to Fix It

It can be incredibly frustrating when no matter what we do – our hair looks limp, dull, and tired. But there can be all sorts of things that are stopping your hair from looking shiny. Below, we look into what causes dull hair and what we can do to get healthy-looking, shiny hair.

What is dull hair?

Dull hair will look matte and dry, instead of glossy and shiny. It’s also sometimes combined with frizzy and flat hair that looks limp and lifeless. It’s usually the opposite of what we want from our hair, which is sleek, shiny and healthy-looking.

Hair will look dull when the cuticle layer on the strands is raised instead of flat. The cuticle layer is made up of lots of overlapping cells – when these cells lay flat, it reflects light, making your hair looks smooth and shiny. When the cuticle is raised up, it loses that reflection and hair looks dull.

What causes dull hair?

There are many different things that can make our hair look dull and tired. Common causes include the below.

Heat styling

Using heat styling frequently, such as hair straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers can all damage the hair cuticle and stop it looking smooth and shiny. The damage will be increased the more you use these types of styling tools.

Hair dye or chemical treatments

Coloring your hair, including whether you’re going darker or lighter, can cause damage to your hair and leave it looking dull. Harsh chemical treatments will have the same effect.

Sun damage

Harmful UV-rays from the sun can damage our hair in the same way that it can damage our skin, leaving it dry and brittle.

Product build-up

If we use too much product and don’t wash it out properly, it can build up on our scalp. This can stop the natural oils of our scalp from moisturizing our hair strands, which will result in them looking dry and dull. Product build-up can include dry shampoo as well as styling products.

Using the wrong hair products

Your hair will have specific needs and it’s important to use the right hair products for your hair. Using incorrect products that aren’t designed for your needs, or that are formulated with harsh ingredients, could damage your hair and leave it looking dull.

Not brushing enough

Brushing our hair helps to move the natural oils from the scalp down to the ends, leaving them moisturized and helping to keep the cuticle smooth. If you don’t brush your hair often enough, the ends of the hair won’t get the moisture it needs, and it will dry out.

Wrong diet

Even if you have a healthy diet, your hair needs specific nutrients to keep it healthy and looking shiny. If you’re not eating the right food, your hair might be missing out on these essential nutrients, which is why it might look dull.

How to stop hair looking dull

There are a few different ways you can help prevent your hair from looking dull, and instead have healthy, shiny hair.

Hair gloss treatment

A regular hair gloss treatment is a great way of keeping your hair looking shiny and healthy, especially if you dye your hair. Our Glaze Hair Gloss is available in a range of shades so you can amplify the vibrancy of your color whilst you nourish your hair with Babassu oil. The result is gorgeous hair with a mirror glaze shine, perfect for keeping your hair glossy in between visits to the salon.

Avoid overusing product

You should try to cut down on the amount of styling products you use to prevent build-up on your scalp. You should also limit how much dry shampoo you use. If you find your hair is getting too greasy in between washes, you may need to add another wash to your routine. When you wash your hair, make sure you’re using a gentle shampoo that won’t dry out your hair but will effectively remove any product. A scalp brush can be handy in helping to remove excess product from your scalp.

Take a break from heat styling

If possible, you should cut down how much you use heat stylers. It can do your hair a lot of good to let it air dry every now and then, instead of using heat stylers. If you just can’t abandon your heat tools, then try to turn down the temperature to limit the damage. You should also always use a heat protectant spray, to help prevent your hair cuticle from burning.

Brush your hair with the right brush

As we mentioned, brushing your hair regularly will help to move the natural oils from your scalp to the ends of your hair, which will moisturize them. So, to avoid dull hair you should brush your hair regularly with a boar bristle brush. The softer bristles will create more shine than metal ones and won’t damage your hair.

Eat the right foods

You should ensure your diet includes the right food and nutrients to keep your hair healthy and shiny. Vegetables like carrots, spinach, and broccoli are all rich in beta-carotene, which will help nourish your hair and keep the cuticle smooth and healthy. Fatty fish like tuna contains lots of omega 3, which will also help to make your hair stronger and less prone to breakage. You should also make sure you drink plenty of water, to keep your hair hydrated from the inside out.