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Why is My Hair So Stiff? Causes & Fixes for 2023

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why is my hair so stiffAre you wondering why your hair is so stiff? You’re not alone! Millions of people across the world are struggling to find solutions for their straw-like locks. Going from soft, silky strands to dry and brittle ones can be a huge shock if you don’t know what causes this issue.

From sun damage to chemical treatments and product buildup, there are plenty of reasons as to why your hair feels like it’s made out of steel instead of silk.

Key Takeaways

  • Sun, chlorine, and chemicals damage hair and strip oils.
  • Heat and washing too often cause dryness.
  • Buildup blocks moisture.
  • To prevent damage and replenish lost moisture.

Causes of Stiff Hair

Causes of Stiff Hair
You may be wondering why your hair has become so stiff and brittle recently. Sun damage, chlorinated water, chemical treatments such as bleaching or coloring, heat styling without protection from a product like a thermal protector, overwashing the hair, and using hard water minerals can all contribute to this issue.

Additionally, drying products with alcohols, sulfates, parabens, or buildup of any kind will also lead to stiffness in the hair.

Sun Damage

Excessive and unprotected sun exposure can damage your locks, leading to dryness and brittleness. Split ends, heat-styling tools, chemical damage from bleaching agents or saltwater all contribute to stiff hair.

To prevent this, wear a hat; avoid overusing styling products; use specialty treatments specifically designed for UV protection; deep condition regularly with moisture-rich ingredients. Prolonged sun exposure without proper care will lead to further breakage and split ends that require professional attention.

Chlorinated Water

Swimming in chlorinated pools can damage your locks, making them dry and brittle – but there are ways to protect them! Hard water minerals combined with chlorine strip away natural oils from the hair shaft.

Apply a specialty application before swimming or use shampoo and conditioner designed for hard water after swimming. For extra protection, add an oil-based serum or leave-in conditioner that will help lock moisture into the hair shaft, providing relief for stiff hair.

Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments, such as bleaching and perms, can leave your hair dry and brittle. To restore natural oils in the locks, use deep conditioning treatments regularly. Heat protectants help to shield from further damage while applying mineral oil post-showering keeps moisture locked in.

The outermost layer of the hair shaft is particularly vulnerable, so avoid harsh chemicals that strip away essential oils or cause breakage, which leads to stiffness.

Heat Styling Without Protection

When it comes to heat styling, always use protection or else you’ll be fried before you know it! Heat protectants are essential for keeping your hair healthy and looking its best. Look for a high-quality product specifically designed to defend against the signs of heat damage.

Use an egg wash treatment afterwards to help nourish damaged locks and maintain trims for split ends that may form from excessive styling. To keep hair strong, opt out of regular shampooing in favor of moisturizing products instead – this will attract natural oils back into the scalp rather than stripping them away like harsher shampoos do.

Taking these extra steps can make all the difference when trying to avoid stiff hair due to overstyling!


Avoid washing your hair too much, or you may end up regretting it! Overwashing strips away natural oils and weakens the cuticle scales from the shaft of each strand. Wet strands are more vulnerable to damage than dry strands in general, so use specialty products that cater specifically to restoring moisture and strength.

If basic shampoos don’t do enough work for you, look into finding different small-scale treatments like mineral oil after showering or deep conditioning masks.

Normal practices such as shampooing can still be used occasionally – just make sure they’re balanced out with restorative methods if you want healthy locks free from stiff hair!

Hard Water Minerals

Hard water minerals can leave your hair feeling dry and brittle, but there are treatments available to help restore the moisture and strength.

  • Try a deep conditioning treatment with oat proteins and wheat.
  • Use a cleansing conditioner to dissolve minerals in the hair.
  • Massage your scalp weekly for extra hydration.
  • Use a lemon juice rinse once per month as an acidic cleanser.
  • Add oil or cream before styling for added softness.

When it comes to keeping your locks healthy and strong even after hard water damage, make sure you’re doing regular restorative treatments like those above.

Drying Products With Alcohol, Sulfates, Parabens

Try to avoid drying products with alcohol, sulfates, and parabens for better hair health. Opt instead for natural ingredients like plant-based oils, which can help maintain moisture in your strands and reduce dry ends.

Even chemical services such as coloring or straightening should be done at a salon that uses high-quality, gentler hair products. If you’re using styling tools at home, use heat protectants first to prevent damage from hot irons or curlers.

Product Buildup

When it comes to product buildup, regular clarifying treatments can help remove stubborn film from your hair, allowing for a healthy balance of moisture. Conditioners and oils can become trapped in the strands, which block nutrients and cause stiffness.

Apply deep conditioner once or twice a week to break away build-up that ordinary shampooing won’t address. Stick with sulfate-free shampoos to avoid stripping natural oils from the scalp, then use non-buildup products such as leave-in conditioners for extra nourishment.

This will also allow you more styling options! By being proactive about removing residue on a regular basis, you’ll be able to maintain softness in your locks while avoiding any unnecessary dryness or damage from product accumulation.

How to Get Rid of Stiff Hair

How to Get Rid of Stiff Hair
If you’re wondering why your hair has become so stiff and brittle, then it’s time to make some changes. To get rid of the stiffness in your hair, start by washing it less frequently and deep conditioning weekly.

You should also switch up the products you use on a regular basis and do a clarifying treatment periodically to prevent product buildup from causing further damage. Lastly, be sure to protect against heat styling or chemical treatments that could cause more harm than good in the long run.

Wash Your Hair Less Frequently

Cutting down on how often you wash your hair can help reduce stiffness and give it a healthier look. Air dry damp hair whenever possible, limiting heat styling to prevent serious damage. Special treatments like egg washes or mineral oil may be needed for stubborn buildup, as well as restoring natural protective oils.

Avoid drying products with sulfates, parabens, and alcohols, which strip moisture from the scalp, causing further damage! Keep trims frequent to avoid split ends that make the condition even worse. If severe enough, seek professional treatments at salons such as Evergreen Beauty College in Washington State for special attention.

With healthy practices in place, you’ll see glossier locks soon enough!

Deep Condition Your Hair Weekly

To keep your locks looking their best, give them some TLC with a deep conditioning treatment each week! Keep styling tools like curling irons to an absolute minimum and use special formulas that contain silk amino acids, keratin, hydrolyzed collagen, or rice water.

Apply a monthly clarifying treatment to remove product buildup while restoring protective oils.

Change Up Your Products

Try switching up your hair care products to see if that helps with stiffness and dryness. When washing, use cool water instead of hot; this will help protect your hair’s moisture balance. Additionally, look for shampoos and conditioners formulated with wholesome ingredients like shea butter or aloe vera.

Lastly, limit shampooing as much as possible—only occasional washes are necessary to keep those locks looking their best without drying them out further—and be sure not to forget about deep conditioning treatments every now and then too! The right combination of these products can restore crucial moisture levels in damaged strands so they feel softer than ever before!

Do a Clarifying Treatment

Consider incorporating a clarifying treatment into your routine to help remove excess buildup that could be contributing to the stiffness of your hair. A higher concentration of reparative ingredients and a potent blend of cleansers can make a big difference in restoring moisture balance back to damaged, stiff hair.

Environmental factors like hard water and harsh chemicals found in certain products can also contribute, so it’s important to keep an eye out for these potential culprits as well.

Damaged Stiff Hair Higher Concentration Of Reparative Ingredients Potent Blend Of Cleansers Environmental Factors Harsh Chemicals
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By making sure you’re using the right combination of products that protect against any environmental damage while replenishing lost moisture levels from chemical treatments or heat styling, you’ll likely start seeing some softer locks soon!

Prevent Heat and Chemical Damage

Protect yourself from heat and chemical damage by using a combination of products designed to guard your locks against environmental factors while replenishing moisture. Make sure you get a stellar treatment with beneficial compounds that protect your hair color.

Incorporate this into your hair care routine on a weekly basis: wear hats, use leave-in conditioner, air dry hair; use mineral oil after showering; deep conditioning treatments; moisturizing shampoo and conditioner without drying products.

Specialty Applications for Extremely Damaged Hair

Specialty Applications for Extremely Damaged Hair
If you’re wondering why your hair is so stiff, it may be time to try some specialty applications. Consider beginning with an egg wash treatment followed by applying mineral oil after showering for deep conditioning.

To keep the damage from worsening, use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and avoid drying products like alcohol or sulfates that could further harm already damaged tresses. Maintaining trims can also help prevent split ends from forming as well as make styling easier over time.

Egg Wash Treatment

An egg wash treatment can be a great way to restore moisture and shine to your severely damaged tresses. By combining the protein-rich egg white with other ingredients, you’ll create a mixture that works wonders on hair in need of repair.

This treatment is especially useful for restoring hair from dry and brittle conditions back into its healthy appearance, making it soft and manageable again.

For best results, visit an evergreen beauty college salon where their professionals have experience with this type of unique treatment! With regular use, you’ll regain confidence in your beautiful locks once more without worrying about split ends or breakage due to stiffness!

Mineral Oil After Showering

After showering, replenish your severely damaged hair with a restorative mineral oil to smooth cuticle scales and restore lost moisture. Mineral oils are beneficial because they can fill in the large holes created by sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, and permanent hair dyes.

They also provide extra protection against signs of damage caused by heat styling or over-washing.

Deep Conditioning Treatments

Try deep conditioning treatments to restore your locks and bring back the shine! Treatments like an egg wash, mineral oil, moisturizing shampoos, and conditioners can help reinvigorate tired hair. For extra nourishment after a lot of swimming or heat styling, consider seeking out an expert’s touch for specialized services designed to combat dryness.

There are a variety of reasons why someone’s hair might become stiff, but following these remedies should help alleviate any damage that has been done:

  1. Egg wash treatment
  2. Mineral oil after showering
  3. Moisturizing shampoo/conditioner
  4. Deep conditioning treatments

An experienced stylist is always best if extreme damage needs repair, as they have access to better products than you may have at home, plus valuable knowledge on how to use them properly – without further strain placed upon already fragile strands!

Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner

You can nourish your locks like a thirsty plant with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, giving them the life they’ve been craving for! An expert’s touch is key to help prevent dryness from causes such as sun damage or chemical treatments.

A deep cleansing formula rich in vitamins will open up the hair’s cuticles, allowing effective cleansers without damaging your scalp. Consider using natural ingredients that are healthy alternatives to harsh chemicals found in store-bought products.

This helps restore moisture while simultaneously promoting shine and flexibility.

With these proven techniques, you’ll have softer strands feeling silky smooth in no time!

Avoid Drying Products

Avoiding damaging products such as those with alcohol, sulfates, and parabens will help keep your locks silky smooth and glossy. Even though they may be present in a particular product you’re using, these are some of the worst offenders when it comes to drying out hair.

So if you’re living in Washington State or anywhere else for that matter, get rid of stiff hair by excluding them from your haircare regimen! Try switching to natural ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil, which provide moisture without the harshness.

You can also try special treatments designed specifically for extremely dry strands, which contain essential oils that nourish while locking in hydration.

With proper care, you’ll have healthier-looking tresses once again!

Maintain Trims for Split Ends

Keep your hair looking lusciously healthy by getting regular trims to keep split ends away! Split ends are a common sign of dry, damaged hair and can be caused by things like over-washing, heat styling without protection, chemical treatments, or sun damage.

To get the best results for your individual needs, it’s important to consult with a professional who knows different locations in Washington State that offer specialized treatments.

How to Avoid Having Stiff Hair

How to Avoid Having Stiff Hair
If you’re looking to avoid having stiff hair, it’s best to start with protective measures.

To begin, make sure that you wear hats and use umbrellas for sun protection when necessary.

Limit washing your hair as well and opt for a leave-in conditioner instead of rinsing out the conditioner in each shower.

Air drying is also important, so make sure not to overuse heat styling tools like straighteners or curling irons without using a heat protectant beforehand too.

Finally, clarify your water by using treatments specifically designed for hard water buildup every few weeks or months depending on how often you wash your hair.

Wear Hats, Use Umbrellas for Sun Protection

Protect your hair from sun damage by wearing a hat or using an umbrella to shield yourself from the harsh rays. With proper protection, you can avoid stiff, dull buildup caused by exposure to UV radiation and other environmental elements.

Not only will hats and umbrellas help protect against damaging sun rays, but they also add style to any outfit! Furthermore, with regular use of these items, it is possible for you to reduce your risk of experiencing stiff hair due to long-term exposure.

Limit Washing

Limit the number of times you wash your hair each week to keep it healthy and soft – like a gentle summer breeze. Your natural oils are essential for maintaining healthy locks, so when washed away too often, it can have disastrous effects on your hair’s health.

Too much bleach or other chemical treatments will also have a similar effect, stripping away moisture and leaving behind stiff tresses that won’t be easy to manage. Reduce the amount of washing per week while supplementing with conditioners at home or professional treatments at salons if needed.

Use Leave-in Conditioner

Reinvigorate your hair with a leave-in conditioner for maximum moisture and softness – think of it as giving your locks a refreshing drink!

This product comes under many names, from various manufacturers, but its effect is the same: to introduce moisture into dry or damaged hair. Leave-in conditioners are widespread in the vast majority of American homes because they can be applied quickly and without water.

Their ingredients help detangle those stiff strands that have been caused by sun damage, chlorine exposure, or chemical treatments like bleaching.

Whether looking at why is my hair so stiff or just wanting the right article for healthy locks – this quick list has got you covered.

Air Dry Hair

Give your locks a break and let them air dry – like giving your hair a chance to soak up some warm summer sunshine! Air drying is the best way to protect against heat-related damage, maintain color from salon sessions, and nourish with its own natural oils.

Use leave-in conditioners for added protection against sun exposure as part of an overall system that keeps your hair healthy.

Here are five essential items:

  1. Wear hats or use umbrellas outdoors.
  2. Limit washing.
  3. Use moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
  4. Add deep conditioning treatments.
  5. Incorporate leave-in conditioners for additional care.

So don’t be afraid – embrace air drying as part of a routine that’s sure to keep you looking sleek all season long!

Use Heat Protectant

Protect your hair from heat damage by using a heat protectant before you style. Heat styling without protection can lead to product buildup, split ends, and drying out of the natural oils in your hair.

Wear hats or use umbrellas outdoors.

Deep conditioning treatments are important to replenish moisture lost during styling sessions.

Limit washing and use moisturizing shampoo & conditioner.

Air dry hair whenever possible.

Make sure to keep trims up-to-date so split ends don’t multiply.

Invest in regular deep conditioning treatments that help replenish moisture lost during styling sessions.

With proper precautions and some TLC, you can keep your locks luscious all summer long!

Clarifying Treatments for Hard Water and Buildup

Revitalize your locks with clarifying treatments to prevent hard water and product buildup. Water hardness can damage hair, so use a shower filter or invest in special shampoos designed for harder water areas.

Select the right products: choose those that are sulfate-free and don’t contain harsh chemicals like parabens. Heat protection is essential when styling; opt for leave-in conditioners or cream serums instead of heat sprays if possible to avoid drying out your hair further.

Limit Heat Styling

Limit the use of heat styling tools and products to keep your hair looking healthy and shiny. Try different techniques like air drying or braiding, which won’t damage your locks as much. When using heat, apply a protective product beforehand so you don’t end up frying it! Also, practice healthy habits such as avoiding excessive washing and brushing when wet to reduce breakage.

If severe damage has already occurred, consider repair options like specialty treatments at salons or deep conditioning masks that can help restore shine while nourishing strands from within for long-term protection against future stiffness.

How to Manage Stiff Hair

How to Manage Stiff Hair
Managing stiff hair can seem like a daunting task, but by establishing a nourishing hair care system and taking protective measures, you can maintain healthy locks. Reach for leave-in conditioners to add moisture while air drying your tresses, which will help seal in that hydration.

Additionally, make sure to protect your mane from the sun with hats or umbrellas and limit color sessions, as bleaching can strip away valuable nutrients, causing stiffness.

Use a Nourishing Hair Care System

Maintaining a nourishing hair care system can help your hair stay healthy and strong, so you can enjoy its natural shine. Incorporate hydrating oils to replenish moisture levels in between washes and opt for chemical-free shampoo and conditioners.

For extra nourishment, use moisturizing masks or protein treatments once a week. Heat styling should be kept to an absolute minimum; air drying is the best way to keep your locks safe from damage.

To complete the routine, avoid using any products with alcohols or sulfates, which will only dry out strands further! Stick with this regimen for long-lasting softness without any of the stiffness that comes along with heat-styling or overwashing – it’s worth it!

Reach for a Leave-in Conditioner

Reach for a leave-in conditioner to pamper your locks and give them the TLC they deserve – without the stiffness, of course! A hydrating spray, oil treatments, and sulfate-free shampoo are all great options.

Keep heat styling to a minimum and use an extra moisturizing treatment once in a while for split ends. You’ll notice improved shine as you nurture hair with these nourishing products while avoiding damage from harsh ingredients or too much heat.

Air-dry Your Hair

Give your hair some time to breathe and air-dry after a shower for healthy, silky locks. Heat styling should be kept to a minimum, and split ends need regular trims. To keep strands soft, apply mineral oils or an egg wash treatment right after washing the hair.

Protect Your Hair From the Sun

Shield your tresses from the sun’s harsh rays by wearing a hat and using an umbrella for extra protection. Protecting hair from sunburn can help preserve color, prevent dryness and stiffness, and reduce damage over time.

Follow these 4 steps to protect yourself: 1) Wear hats whenever possible; 2) Carry umbrellas when outdoors; 3) Use heat-protective products prior to styling; 4) Regularly apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher on exposed scalp areas.

Limit Your Hair Color Sessions

Limit your trips to the salon and keep color treatments to a minimum, as these can lead to dryness and damage that leave your hair feeling like straw. Protecting it with softening treatments and conditioning regimens is key. Regular trimming of split ends will also help maintain healthy locks.

If you must dye your hair, use products specifically designed for protecting it from damaging chemicals in dyes.

Get Help With Your Hair With an Expert’s Touch

Get Help With Your Hair With an Expert
If your hair is still feeling a bit stiff, consider visiting an experienced stylist to help you get back on the road to healthy tresses. A professional salon can assess any chemical damage and recommend treatments for scalp care or hair health.

They may also offer advice on heat styling techniques that are gentler on your locks and won’t leave them looking dry or brittle.

For severe cases of stiffness, they could suggest permanent changes in washing habits as well as specialized treatments such as deep conditioning masks that will restore lost moisture levels.

It’s important to remember that taking precautions like using protective products while swimming in chlorinated pools or applying heat protectant before styling can go a long way towards keeping those locks soft and glossy – instead of stiff and unmanageable!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What products are best for treating stiff hair?

Transform your stiff hair with the right products! From moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to deep conditioning treatments, you can have glossy locks that look like silk.

How often should I be trimming my hair to avoid split ends?

Trim your hair every 6-8 weeks, like clockwork, to prevent split ends. Regular trims help keep your locks healthy, strong, and shiny – just like a freshly polished diamond!

What are the benefits of using a heat protectant?

Using a heat protectant offers protection from damage caused by styling tools and the environment. It helps keep hair glossy, silky, and healthy, reducing the chances of dryness, stiffness, or brittleness.

Is it okay to use styling tools on my hair?

It is okay to use styling tools, but be sure to protect your hair with a heat protectant first.

What kind of treatments are available for severely damaged hair?

If your hair is severely damaged, there are treatments available. Consider deep conditioning, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, egg wash treatment, or mineral oil after showering. Professional salon treatments can help you make permanent changes to care for your locks.


Suffering from stiff, unmanageable hair can be a source of frustration. From sun damage to product buildup, there are many potential causes of this condition. However, with the right strategies, you can easily learn how to prevent and manage your stiff hair.

Sun protection, moisturizing products, and deep conditioning treatments can all help keep your hair looking glossy and healthy. If you have severely damaged hair, professional treatments may be necessary. With the right approach, you can easily recover from stiff hair and keep it looking beautiful.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.