What Causes Dull Hair And How Can You Treat It?

Everyone wants the shiny, bouncy hair we see on TV but sometimes hair just looks dull and drab. Often, we can divert from our regular hair care routine when days get busy and our life gets in the way and that can contribute to our lack of luster. However, it's also possible that although we are keeping up with our regular hair routine, something just isn't working anymore. 

Hair is a reflection of our general health but also how hair is cared for, and routines may need adjustments every now and then. "Healthy hair is a reflection of what you put in your body and on your hair," says dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco (via Women's Health). The good news is that if you notice your hair isn't looking the way it used to and seems like it's lacking, there are specific actions you can take to restore it to its previously stunning state.

Reasons why you may have dull hair

The easiest sign to recognize dull hair is that it looks like it has lost its shine (via Hair.com). It may feel rough to the touch and look like it weighs down on the head. Yet dull hair may also present as frizzy.

Though dull hair can often occur when proper hair care has gone by the wayside, it can also appear when too many products are used. They can leave build-up that reduces shine and leaves hair limp. Using harsh chemicals and drying out the hair, whether by color, straightening, or curling treatments, can do the same as applying too much heat in the form of curling irons, blow dryers, or waving tools.

In addition, environmental agents play a role. Too much sun can cause dull hair and so can very cold or dry air. In terms of general health, you can experience dull hair if you lack the proper vitamins and nutrients and also with some medical conditions like thyroid disease and Cushing's syndrome. 

How to treat dull hair

The first thing to do when you notice dull hair is to give it extra TLC (via Healthline). First off, curb your use of heating tools. While regular shampoos are necessary, be careful not to shampoo too often, and when you do, apply the shampoo to your scalp rather than the ends. If you suspect your hair is dull due to product build-up, use a clarifying shampoo.

Next, commit to a consistent moisturizing routine. Always use a conditioner after shampooing and focus the product from mid-strand to the ends because that's the most important place to use conditioner. After cleansing, add a nourishing oil, like coconut or argan to help the hair retain extra moisture and nourishment.

In the winter, use an indoor humidifier to keep the air from becoming too dry. In the summer, wear a wide-brimmed hat whenever in harsh sun and a pool cap when in chemically laden pools. Make sure you're enjoying a healthy diet filled with vitamins and nutrients. If dull hair continues, consult your stylist and doctor just to be on the safe side.